In the Ottoman period, although the existence of studies and activities related to photography is known, there were no photography associations/organizations due to the lack of freedom of association in the First Constitutional Era of 1876. Although the 1908 the Second Constitutional Era partially permitted the right to establish associations, due to the harsh conditions of the country and the peculiarities of its cultural structure, no photography associations existed until the Republican period.

With the establishment of the Republic, the 1924 Constitution recognized the freedom of association. As in every field, the Republican period brought a great interest in art and culture. Between 1932 and 1950, 478 "Halkevleri" in 63 country were places where urbanites and villagers came together and shared knowledge, art and culture. In the "Halkevleri", where a generation was blended, important contributions were made in raising nationally conscious and cultured people. The first photography studies started in the "Halkevleri". Courses, exhibitions and competitions were organized. Many people who made important contributions to the history of photography were trained in these courses. With the closure of the "Halkevleri", the people left twist in the wind became the founders of the associations that would later be established.

Şinasi Barutçu (1906-1985) was a person who had studied abroad, who taught photography and organized events at "Halkevleri", and who was also a photography teacher at the Gazi Education Institute. The first photography association in Türkiye was founded under the leadership of Şinasi Barutçu in 1950 in Ankara under the name "TAFK (Turkish Amateur Photography Club)". The association, under the leadership of Şinasi Barutçu, made progress in its foreign relations along with its successful domestic activities and became a member of FIAP in 1958. Later, with the suggestions of Şinasi Barutcu, the "Amateur Photo Club" is founded in Trabzon in 1959. From the notes written by Şinasi Barutcu in 1973, it is understood that underlying the efforts to establish a new association is the desire and longing to establish a "National Federation of Turkish Photography Associations".

Nurettin Erkılıç (1926-1983), who had been working on photography at the "Istanbul Halkevi", started a new search with the closure of "Halkevleri" and founded the "Erenköy Amateur Photography Club" with 6 friends on November 29, 1959. In 1962, the association changed its name to "İFSAK (Istanbul Photography and Cinema Amateurs Association)" and is the oldest living photography association today. Later, "AFSAD (Ankara Photography Artists Association)" was founded in Ankara in 1977 and "AFAD (Adana Photography Amateurs Association)" in Adana in 1979. With the increase in the number of amateur associations and photography activities, Sefa Ulukan and Abdülkadir Kaçar from AFAD and Kemal Cengizkan from AFSAD came together under the leadership of Mehmet Bayhan, the president of İFSAK, and started to work on establishing the Federation of Photography Associations of Türkiye. There was no provision in the constitution at the time that would prevent federation. The draft of the federation had been prepared, its organization and working style had been determined when the coup of September 12, 1980 brought the work to a halt and the associations were closed down.

The Constitution, which was redrafted after 1980, requires "at least three associations of public interest" for federation. The decision to be a "public interest association" is made by the Council of Ministers. This practice, which is unique in the world, has prevented the establishment of a Photography Federation until today. When the associations jointly applied to the Presidency of the Turkish Grand National Assembly for support to remove this article from the law or to be recognized as an association working in the public interest, the response they received was that "it would not be possible to remove the law, but if they applied to be recognized as an association working in the public interest, they would be interested". In addition, photography associations also inform the governorships in the provinces where they are located. To date, only AFSAD in Ankara has received a positive response and has been recognized as an association working in the public interest.

Founded after 1980, the associations initiated meetings for a unity that would enable them to work together, even if the legal establishment of the Photography Federation was not completed. Especially after 1990, meetings were held regularly. Until 1995, Sefa Ulukan was the Secretary General of the FDÇK.

The "FDÇK (Photography Associations Working Committee)" came together several times a year to make joint work plans, develop the "Golden Camera Photography Contest", draft the federation statute, develop standards for photography contests, evaluate the situation in our photography world and determine the common attitude of the associations. In 1995, Mehmet Bayhan became the Secretary General of the FDÇK.

After this date, there has been a significant increase in the efficiency of FDÇK's activities and the number of association participation. In 1998, the name of the FDÇK was changed to the "Union of Photographic Art Associations of Türkiye (TFDB)". Özcan Taras was elected as the General Secretary in the election held in 2001. TFDB determined the final form of its working principles in 2001 and continued its activities in line with these principles until the establishment of the "Federation of the Art of Photography (TFSF)" on May 30, 2003.

Written by Ali İhsan Gökçen