Spread the word
WHO IS ALI SAMI BEY
Photographer Ali Sami Bey was born in Turkey in 1870. In 1893 he published a book entitled 'Basic Principles of photography methods'. Αs a photographer, he participated in the Greek-Turkish War of 1897. In 1898 he photographed the tour of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II in the Holy Lands and in 1900, the Shah of Persia in the Bosphorus. He was awarded a bravery silver medal, the medals of Osmani and Mecidi D class, as well as many medals from the foreign Coroners he had accompanied. However, the blind loyalty to Sultan Abdul Hamid II was the one that gave him the title of "Chief photographer and Follower of His Majesty the Sultan"!
Regardless of his fame, Abdul Hamid was dethroned a few years later, and Ali Sami escaped to Egypt.
In 1913 he appeared in Thessaloniki, where his former protector and then exiled Sultan had also settled. There he published The Daily "Hak" until the Asia Minor campaign when he returned to Turkey to fight against Kemal Ataturk's regime.
With the departure of the Greeks in 1923, he returned to Thessaloniki and with Mount Athos being his first stop, he began to travel all around Greece and take pictures. After Kalavryta in 1929 and Athens in 1930 in 1932, he established a photo studio in Gargaliani, always wearing his worn military uniform with all the medals. He then sold photos for a living.
Polychronopoulos Polychronis (1895-1987) finds him in Gargaliani and buys from him the 'photo album of Trifylia', a collection of photographs of Ali Sami from the villages around Gargaliani with black and white photos with some photochromed by himself.
The album has been remained unknown until recently when Mrs Lucia Prevezanou found it among other old things in her grandfather Polychronis' belongings and trusted us to share it with the Messenians all over the world.
The photos we shall come across are the following:
1. Pylo's View
3.4. View Of Gargaliani
10. Floka View
13. View of Chora
14. Chora's Hospital
16. Album cover
17. Inside cover with the biography of Ali Sami Bey