Tattooing is considered a popular urban culture that is increasing considerably among the younger population, however it has become part of street fashion during the 21st century.
This practice has adopted different meanings over the years, for example, the ancient African tribes used it as a sign of differentiation from other tribes, even to frighten their enemies. Asia used tattoos as a symbol of offering to the gods, the Mediterranean area used tattoos to mark the slaves and the ancient Americas to align their bodies with Mother Nature.
Due to the modernization and development over the years, tattoos have been used for an entirely different purpose, this is, in the late 19th century and early 20th century, only sailors and prisoners tattooed their bodies as "bad times" marks. The sailor and prison tattoo are currently the most drawn among the tattooed population, what we would call "old school" draw. Moreover, the contemporary tattoo is also very popular as they are colorful symmetrical lines, trying to simulate nature shapes.
Today, many people choose to mark their bodies as a form of personal expression, they let an artist draw on their skin in order to show to other people what's going through their minds, the important people in their life or even feelings, all reflected through body art.
In Ankara aren't very common the people full tattooed, explains Ufku Gurkan, the main tattooer of Daftart. He started working in this studio 6 years ago and says: "I have been marking my body to the point of not having more space, but I love this unusual kind of art. I feel like a moving picture".
Ufku loves tattooing and wants to devote his life to it, so that is why he does not mind going so marked, also describe tattoos as an "artistic vice".
This 26 year old man described the tattoo as a way of life, "Not everyone can mark their skin forever, only those who consider tattooing as a deep meaning art. I think the key is to create through your body a personal canvas where your feelings and deep thoughts are exposed".
"In Ankara is very difficult to go unnoticed with so many tattoos, which is why sometimes I feel weird walking down the street because everyone looks surprised. However, I think that it's an educational issue. If you get the Turkish eye used to this kind of art, at the end nobody will turn to look at me".
"I also sell all kind of uncommon clothes, jewels and shoes just for people who do not want tattoos, at least they can express themselves through unique clothings".
"When I sit in the chair, smell the paint, hear the sound of the needle and feel the skin of the client beating like a heart, I feel that I belong to this study, I belong to Daftart".
"Helping people to express themselves freely through the body makes me happy".