(331 Miles Away… with Furkan Y from Istanbul)
Furkan Y got in touch with us in response to a call put out on our behalf by the folks at GZone Magazine, Turkey’s one and only LGBT magazine. I replied to him with the main details, asked which date would be good and put him down on the schedule.
He was really keen, and my first inkling of this came due to the fact that he submitted his story well before the shoot. Actually Istanbul was the most difficult issue to make so far in terms of guys submitting their stories by the deadline. But that’s for another story.
My next inkling of Furkan’s keenness came a few days before the shoot when he messaged me to check where exactly we should meet. On an aside, I was going to shoot him in the Grand Bazaar, but a pass through the area instructed me that I hated the place. It was way too crowded, kinda lacking soul, and way too full of people who obviously weren’t Turks (I mean ladies in full burqas from the Arabian peninsula or aged Western backpackers). Yes, it may be an iconic Istanbul sight but it’s also on the verges of cliché, so I felt ok to abandon it.
Anyway, without a location in mind, I asked Furkan where he lived, thinking I could choose a location near his place. “Ankara”, he said.
Erm, that’s the capital, 331 miles (533 km) away from Istanbul. I had no idea, but then I never asked. I just assumed he was from Istanbul as after all he answered a call to participate in the making of an Istanbul issue. But I wasn’t going to argue. He wanted this badly, so I would have to bend the rules on allowing a not-so-local boy into the issue.
We decided to meet at the top of Galata Bridge mainly ‘cos I knew he’d be able to find it (everyone knows where that is). On meeting him it was rather obvious that he wasn’t used to Istanbul. He didn’t know where he was going and seemed a little bit frightened by the mean streets of the big city. He also kept voicing his frustrations with Istanbul peculiarities that didn’t exist back home, such as the level of traffic and the lack of litter bins. But once the camera was on, he was in the zone, becoming the most prepared and considered poser of all the Istanbul boys. “Relax” I’d keep telling him, trying to break the poses, but he came a long way for this shoot, and he was going to do it his way.
See more of Furkan Y and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (06) Istanbul