The Archive of Mesut Tufan in ŞEHİR Library
Mesut Tufan, who is journalist, documentary film-maker, writer and photographer, donated his archive which includes thousands of negative films, photographs, and Long Plays on world music,  written and visual documents to İstanbul Şehir University. 

Mesut Tufan, who is journalist, documentary film-maker, writer and photographer, donated his archive which include thousands of negative films, photograps, and LPs on world music, written and visual documents to İstanbul Şehir University. The archive will be digitized by İstanbul Şehir University Library and will be made available open access.  ​

The archive of Mesut Tufan, who lived in Paris for 34 years and worked as journalist, photographer and editor in SIPA Press, has photographs and documents of many remarkable events in the world history and politics. There are also important strategic analyses, political comments and academic works about regional and global issues published in world press.

The crucial part of the archive is composed of news, essays and photographs about Turkey, Balkans, Middle East, Caucasus and Eastern Bloc published in French press. Books and magazines published in various languages will be very significant source for researchers who are interested in religion, history, geography, ethnology, sociology, folklore, philosophy, philosophy, literature, culture and art.

The outstanding examples of the archive are photographs of Jerusalem under the protection of Ottoman, press photographs of American cinema between I. and II. World War, photos of Soviet aristocracy and Lenin, photos of İstanbul and Cappadocia in 1960s and 70s, secret manuals prepared by Communist Party for militants, plaques and tapes of world music.

The most interesting pieces in the archive are the photographs of Yılmaz Güney in his last days, taken by Mesut Tufan personally and not published yet. 

It is planned that the photographs and documents in the archive of Mesut Tufan will be exhibited periodically at İstanbul Şehir University Dragos Campus.

İstanbul Şehir University Library, which includes the archives of important names such as Şerif Mardin, Kemal Karpat, Taha Toros, Fuad Köprülü, Talat Halman, continues to expand thanks to the non-released works in the archive of Mesut Tufan.

Who is Mesut Yaşar Tufan?

He graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1974. In France, where he went for higher education, he first completed his associate degree in Law at the University of Paris I Sorbonne Panthéon, and then he got undergraduate and master's degree in Political Sociology at the St. VII University of Paris VIII Vincennes.

He also received a "Linguistique et civilisations" diploma from INALCO - Eastern Languages Institute, Chair of History and Cultures of the Balkans, Middle East and Caucasus.

In 1994, he received the Cinema Directing Certificate from Université Paris IV Sorbonne Nouvelle

From 1979 to 1993, he worked at SIPA Press News Agency as a Photo Editor and Editor. In 1981, in the establishment of the first private radios in France, he conducted Turkish and French news and culture programs at Radio Soleil for a year.

He received the French Official Press card in 1983. He worked as an expert journalist and consultant in Eastern Europe, Soviets and the Middle East at SIPA Press News Agency.

As the Agency's Special Projects Officer, he conducted many exhibitions, shows and book projects. In 1987, he took part in the establishment of Sipa Press New York Office. He curated nearly 30 exhibitions, diaparoma and events in Paris, Arles, Perpignan and Cannes, prepared by SIPA Press.

He started working on documentary films as of 1993. His first film was “Albania of Enver Hodja", which was collaboratively produced by Albanian director Robert Qafzezi and the product of a 4-year study in Albanian secret state archives. It was broadcast in 1997 by ARTE, the French-German co-cultural channel.

The film won the Second Prize in the category of documentary at the Biarritz International European Television Programs Festival - FIPA, and the Special Jury Prize at the Istanbul 1st International Cinema and History Meeting. This documentary was broadcast on various Belgian, Swiss and German television channels as well as various Festivals.

His second film, “Bartholomeos, The patriarch", was also released as an opening film on a theme night devoted to ARTE's Orthodox world in 2002. The documentary was broadcast on various television channels in German, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Finland.

His latest film, "Muslims of Europe and Christians of the Middle East: Broken Mirrors", directed by Lebanese director Jacques Debs, was broadcast in ARTE on December 1, 2006. The film moving from Sarajevo to Kosovo, from Macedonia to Albania, to Lebanon Israel and Palestine through İstanbul and Mardin and ending in Jerusalem, discussed the mutual and cross-view of a European Muslim and a Middle Eastern Christian. The film, which takes into account religious communities and identity conflicts under the ruling of states in the old Ottoman lands, showed the unusual local witnesses, their efforts for inter-religious harmony and peace, without any thesis. This was also broadcast on various television channels in Austria, Germany and Finland.

He worked as independent editor for 5 years with the Courrier International Journal , which publishes excerpts from world press, and whose chief editor is Alexandre Adler, on the Balkans (1996-2001). In addition to his work as a chronicler (2000-2006) at the Turkish Publications Desk of the French International State Radio - RFI, his articles and photographs were published in various magazines and newspapers. He was invited to France as a specialist and consultant in various radio and television programs.

Mesut Tufan, who has been living in Istanbul since 2007, taught 20th century Middle East and Balkan political history, religious and ethnic identities in the Middle East and the Balkans and “français spécialisé" in the Foreign Languages at the Yeditepe University in 2008-2014. . He also continued his studies on documentary film, photography and writing.


Exhibitions for SIPA Press:

  • 1988 Paris Beaubourg, Centre Georges Pompidou Forum de l'Image et de l'Information,
  • 1984-1993 Festival de Cannes. The respect for master exhibitions each year for Festival Palace
  • 1989.Perpignan International Festival 20.Century Panoroma from SIPA PRESS Cams.
  • 1990 Paris Palais de Tokio. Exhibition for 100. Anniversary of Cinema and Great Moments and Great Masters.
  • 1990 Paris. SIPA PRESS-Tass joint exhibition.
  • 1986-1993 İstanbul Film Festival. AKM. Cinema-themed exhibitions. Sipa Pres-IKSV joint exhibitions.

Personal exhibitions:

  • 2007 Broken Mirrors. İstanbul Tütün Deposu. Curator: Ali Akay
  • 2008 Broken Mirrors. İstanbul Mavi Kum. 
  • 2009 Broken Mirrors Ankara, AnkaMall 
  • 2010 İstanbul, Austria Carnuntum 2010, 
  • 2010 Broken Mirrors, Austria Vienne, Kabelwerk Modern Art center, 
  • 2010 Istanbul, Austria Vienne 2010 Bank Austria, 
  • 2010 KırıkAynalar, Austria Graz, Orpheum Kultur Center, 
  • 2010 Broken Mirrors, Eskişehir, Espark. 
  • 2013 Génération Sipa-Sipa Generation" French Cultural Center
  • 2014 Crossing the Borders, “Lahaye İnstititute of Historical Justice and Reconciliation" Beyond the Limits, French Cultural Center İstanbul (along with Zaven Hatchikian)
  • 2018 Lines in war after a century (caricatures of I. World War) French Cultural Center


Works he contributed: 

  • 1986 Festival de Cannes 40è Anniversaire. 
  • 1986 Cannes Festivalinin 40. Anniversary" 
  • 1991 L'armée Rouge dernier combat Afghanistan “Afghanistan war through Soviet photographers 1991".
  • Various publications on the wars of Lebanon (1883), Kuwait (1991), and Yugoslavia (1993).
  • 2001 Return of Balkans. Editions Autrement. Prof. Stefan Yerasimos.
  • 2007 Broken Mirrors; Muslims of Europe and Christians of the East. İstanbul.
  • 2014 Balkan wars (with Izzeddin Calislar) a century later 2014 Işbank Cultural Publishing
  • 2014 Faces of Crimea (translation) Tarih Vakfı Yurt publishing Baronne De Wrangell
  • 2016 Unusul and secret İstanbul (The least known extraordinary historical places of Istanbul) Jonglez Publishing (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Turkish) İstanbul insolite et secrète
  • 2016 Black; history of a color (translation) Sel Publishing Michel Pastoureau
  • 2017 Balkan wars (with Izzeddin Calislar) a century later 2014 Işbank Cultural Publishing



  • 1997 Albania of Enver Hodja. Broadcast on ARTE, SFR,RTBF
  • 2002 Bartholomeos, The patriarch. Broadcast on ARTE, WDR, Austria. (along with Jacques Deps)
  • 2006 Broken Mirrors; European Muslims, Eastern Christians. (along with Jacques Deps)
  • Broadcast on ARTE and Finland televisions. 
  • Broken Mirrors; European Muslims, Eastern Christians. DVD+CD Kalan 2007.
  • 2009 Café Croissant short film Turkey-France cultural interaction history (for the same exhibition)
  • 2010 Tatlı Dünyası, Sweet of Orient, Arte, Ert, Al Jazeera
  • 2013 On the footsteps of Tchouhadjian (with Ara Shirinian)  IHJR
  • 2013 Beyond the Limits, Kars, Ani, Gümrü. (video clip for the same exhibition)
  • 2015 Dialogues of Closed Borders (Turkey-Armenia diplomatic relations 25. anniversary) Tarih Vakfı EU Project
  • 2017 with Yanyana Enis Rıza (Minorities in Turkey and living together) EU project/Rumvader
  • 2018 Galatasaray 150. Anniversary film with Enis Rıza.

Awards and invitations:

  • 1996 Biarritz FIPA Festival. The Second Best Picture Award. (Albania of Enver Hodja)
  • 1997 Istanbul International Cinema and History Meeting. Special Jury Prize (Albania of Enver Hodja)
  • 2007 New York Independent Film Festival. (Broken Mirrors)
  • 2008 (GNRC) Hiroshima Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children. (Broken Mirrors)
  • 2007-2008 Bosnia-Herzegovina Stolaç International short film festival jury member
  • 2008 Albania Gyrokastro Unesco- Argyro 2008 Joint cultural heritage conference in the Balkans.