TURKEY-RUSSİA: TWO PERİODS OF RAPPROCHEMENT , oNUR yILDIZ, Editör, SALT026, İstanbul, ss.34-49, 2021
The painter Yevgeni Y. Lansere (1875-1946) visited Turkey upon the invitation of S.I. Aralov, who was the Soviet Russian Ambassador at Ankara in the period. The literary skill of the Russian painter, who had the habit of keeping daily notes on his journeys, was revealed most prominently during his trip to Turkey. In addition to writing down his travel impressions in his daily notes, the painter recorded the most minute details regarding Turkey that he noticed, in four small and three large drawing books. Departing from Tbilisi on May 30, 1922, Lansere made way towards İnebolu on a boat that visited the Trabzon, Hopa, Rize and Samsun ports along the way. Having reached his destination via İnebolu, the painter remained in Ankara for three months. As understood from the notes he took and the paintings he made, Lansere, who was at first interested in the historical periods of antiquity, Byzantium and Seljuks, in time came to be quite impressed by rural houses which had not yet embraced “the European style” and which had a different architecture as well. In addition to recording fair festivities in his travel notes, he both described and depicted in paintings the fire that broke out in the Embassy building in Ankara on August 13, 1922. On top of making portraits of individuals of the local people, the master painter also depicted Russian monks living near Akşehir, Halide Edip Adıvar, her member of parliament spouse Adnan Bey and Mustafa Kemal Pasha. With this journey of his and his meticulous work titled “A summer in Ankara 1922”, Yevgeni Lansere earned the title of the first Soviet cultural ambassador to Turkey.