Süleyman Akman

 

Suleyman Akman was born in 1945 in Glodzevo (Lovdzha), Ruse region. In 1951, when he was 6 years old, his family moved to Turkey and settled in Konya. He graduated from Istanbul University, majoring in graphics and photography. He worked as a designer and editor in various advertising agencies, printing houses, newspapers and magazines.

On his way to West Germany in 1969, in connection with his participation in an international student camp, he returned to his home village after an 18-year absence. On his way back, he passes through the village where he was born and finds himself in an extremely tense situation caused by the threat of expulsion.

On 14 October, the surrounding villages of Glodzevo and almost all the Turks from Deliorman gathered at the Topchii railway station, not far from Razgrad, where a group of emigrants was to leave. The student Suleyman Akman, who realised the historical significance of the event, took the most valuable photographs of the exodus between 1969 and 1978.

Twenty years later, during the expulsion of Turks from Bulgaria in 1989, he photographed the arrivals several times at the Kapakule checkpoint in Istanbul, Izmir. Some of his photographs, which he kept for years and never published anywhere, he presented for the first time on his Facebook page.

 

Pictures from Süleyman Akman

1969

1. Topchii station, Razgrad region. 14 October 1969.
A bird’s eye view of an expatriate drama.

2. Topchii station, Razgrad region. 14 October 1969.
A photo to remember.

3. Topchii station, Razgrad region. 14 October 1969.
The freight wagons and employees before departure.

4. Topchii station, Razgrad region. 14 October 1969.
After parting… Will we see each other again?

5. Topçii station, Razgrad region. 14 October 1969.
Women’s eyes full of tears and grief.

1989

1. Kapıkule, Edirne. 08.06.1989.
The greeting of the doll and the sad girl.

2. Train stop at Kapakule, Adrianople. 08.06.1989.
Hope for a reunion with relatives.

3. Kapakule, Edirne. 08.06.1989.
In front of the registration desk.

4. Kapakule, Adrianople. 08.06.1989.
Waiting for the registration.

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