Turkey’s brain drain: is it reversing?

By Victoria Khroundina | August 29, 2014

‘There were no opportunities for genetic engineers in Turkey when I graduated,’ says Pelin, stirring sugar into her tea. We are having dinner at her place in Oxford on one of my recent visits there. ‘That’s why I left immediately after finishing my first degree. I wanted to do my...
Posted in News

Documentary sheds light on Turkish pop cinema

By Victoria Khroundina | August 26, 2014

This year, which commemorates the centenary of the birth of Turkish cinema, has thankfully been a very successful one for Turkey’s film industry. The biggest news of the year has been that Nuri Bilge Ceylan took the Palme D’Or at Cannes for his three-hour-plus odyssey The Winter’s Sleep (currently in cinemas)....
Posted in Film

Looking for Hadrian

By Victoria Khroundina | August 22, 2014

Earlier this month excavations began at the 2,500-year-old city of Kyzikos, in Balıkesir, northwest Turkey. The prize in sight? A relief of Hadrian. Speaking to Hürriyet Daily News last week, Nurettin Koçhan, in charge of the excavations and an associate professor at the archaeology department of Atatürk University, said that...
Posted in Archaeology, News

Sarkis at the Venice Biennale

By Victoria Khroundina | August 19, 2014

Exciting news from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) last week, with the announcement that the artist Sarkis will represent Turkey at next year’s Venice Biennale. A new installation by Sarkis will be displayed at a dedicated new location at the Arsenale, which has been secured by the IKSV...
Posted in Contemporary Art, News

Images of the Other: Istanbul, Vienna, Venice

Learning about cities through images

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | August 15, 2014

Eagerly awaiting this conference in the splendid old Austo-Hungarian embassy in Yeniköy, on the European shore of the Bosphorus (September 2–4). A suitable venue for scholars, architects, photographers, writers, artists and filmmakers to examine perceptions of the three cities through music, film, photography, poetry, video games, popular song, the media...
Posted in Main Featured

Pando Kaymak faces possible closure

By Victoria Khroundina | August 12, 2014

We were sad to hear news that a Beşiktaş institution – well, an Istanbul institution – faces closure. Pando Kaymak, a favourite breakfast spot that makes its venerable kaymak (clotted cream) on the premises has been given an eviction notice, as reported by Culinary Backstreets on Friday. The café – featured...
Posted in Culinary Arts, News

‘Quick as boiled asparagus’

This month marks the bimillennial of the death of Augustus. David Barchard pays tribute to Rome’s sunny first emperor

By David Barchard | August 8, 2014

The Res Gestae Divi Augusti (The Works of the Divine Augustus) in the sadly neglected Temple of Augustus in Ankara (photographed by John Henry Haynes in 1884). THE ANNIVERSARY OF A COLOSSUS There are two classic images of Augustus from later ages. You may remember him as the grey, calculating, uncharismatic but inexorably...
Posted in History, Travel

‘The Water Diviner’

The new Russell Crowe film about Gallipoli

By Victoria Khroundina | August 8, 2014

To commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign, and more widely the First World War, any number of projects have been initiated, including exhibitions, conferences, publications and films. This Anzac Day, a number of Australian and New Zealand artists travelled to Gallipoli to paint landscapes for a centenary exhibition entitled...

Music to the eyes

‘Plurivocality’ at Istanbul Modern

By Victoria Khroundina | August 5, 2014

As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, Istanbul Modern is exploring the history of visual art in Turkey and in the surrounding region. From January to June, Neighbours examined contemporary art in Turkey and neighbouring countries with close historical, political and/or cultural ties. The latest exhibition focuses on the relationship between visual...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Music and Performing Arts

Greek isles, dire straits

By John Scott | August 2, 2014

Islamic nero, a work by Alexis Veroukas, is from the group exhibition Water, opening this evening in the Old Primary School of Chora on Patmos (until August 23). The show celebrates water and all it means to us. The intention is to raise awareness of the fragility of the marine eco-system,...

Japan in Turkey

By Victoria Khroundina | July 31, 2014

When the Japanese, New York-based artist Ai Kijima spent spring this year in Istanbul, she enlightened me about something rather interesting: the presence of the Japanese community in Turkey and the fascinating blogs they keep. Here are a few of her favourites. This Iznik tile blog is written by a...

Soft power

The Urartian Jewellery Collection exhibition at the Rezan Has Museum

By Harriet Rix | July 30, 2014

A lion with two arrows sticking out of its neck marches proudly onwards; a sphinx sprouts a dragon's head from its rear; a pot of fragrant stew is taken towards the King by a servant girl; a chariot rolls over an Anatolian plain. All these things were depicted, along with...

Lavish landscapes

‘Landscape’ exhibition at the Paintings and Sculpture Museum

By Victoria Khroundina | July 29, 2014

The Mimar Sinan Fine Art University’s ambitious Paintings and Sculpture Museum (set to officially open in 2016) is hosting a temporary exhibition of landscapes by some of Turkey’s greatest artists. Expert brushwork on canvases of all sizes in (mostly) gold frames from such names as Hoca Ali Riza, Hüseyin Zekai Paşa,...

A portrait of Turkey

‘On the Road’, an exhibition of photographs from the Nar Photos Archive at the Istanbul Modern

By Victoria Khroundina | July 25, 2014

How does Turkey look today? That is perhaps the question you can ask yourself when visiting the new exhibition at Istanbul Modern’s Photography Gallery. Curated by Sena Çakırkaya, On the Road brings together 75 pictures from the Nar Photos Archives, showing scenes and events from Turkey’s recent past. Whether it's a...
Posted in Photography

Pera Palace: one of the best hotels for book lovers

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | July 22, 2014

Oyster.com has named Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeriah one of the eight best hotels for book lovers. Located in the cosmopolitan Tebebaşı district of Beyoğlu and dating back to 1892, the Pera Palace overlooks the Golden Horn with 115 rooms including 16 suites named after the Hotel’s most illustrious guests or their...

‘Through the Looking Glass’ at ARTER

Get lost in Füsun Onur’s wonderland

By Victoria Khroundina | July 18, 2014

As usual, ARTER delivers in spades: its current exhibition delves – with precision and ingenuity – into the 50-year career of one of Turkey’s most prominent contemporary artists, Füsun Onur. Forty-three works are thoughtfully displayed over four floors. The best advice I can offer when visiting the exhibition is not...

Summer art

Our gallery walks are on a break but there is still plenty for art lovers in Istanbul

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | July 15, 2014

As many of the city’s galleries shut up shop for the summer, our gallery walks also come to an end until September. But some galleries, museums and art institutions are still hosting a plethora of exciting exhibitions over the next two months. We bring you a round-up, by neighbourhood. Plurivocality exhibition...

One hot, dry summer

Turkey’s drought problem

By Victoria Khroundina | July 11, 2014

Every day this week the water in my apartment in Beşiktaş was turned off, for at least an hour. Tuesday proved particularly challenging, with the water off almost the entire day. As reported in the Cihan newspaper on July 3, the Istanbul Waterworks Authority (ISKI) has been resorting to water...
Posted in Nature, News

Dr Andrew Mango (1926–July 6, 2014)

A tribute by Andrew Finkel


I walk most days past Aslanyataği Street in the Cihangir neighbourhood of Istanbul – which translates as the Lion’s Den. It is a tiny loop of an alleyway and  I know it better for a particular building called Jones Apt which was home to the Mango family, scions of the...
Posted in Obituaries

Gallery walkabout: Karaköy/Tophane


For our last gallery walk of the season, we are in Istanbul’s gallery hub, Karaköy/Tophane, for five diverse group shows. Hale Tenger, ‘Balloons on the Sea’, 2011, 7-channel, video installation, colour with sound, audio by Serdar Ateşer, 5’ 40”, courtesy of the artist, Green Art Gallery and Galeri Nev Let’s...
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