Three extraordinary exhibitions in Beyoğlu
By Emma Harper | April 26, 2016
Over the next few months Istanbul’s galleries and museums are pulling out all the stops before the summer exodus. The following exhibitions in Beyoğlu are particularly exciting, and, as a bonus, they can be visited during the course of one day. Once you’ve had your Turkish coffee and some sustaining börek
Architecture, Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, History
Inaugural Slow Food-organised event in Ayvalık takes a deep dive into the history, culture and ecology of the olive
By Jennifer Hattam | April 22, 2016
‘Turkey is not really an olive oil country.’ It seemed a strange thing to say at an event hosted in Turkey and dedicated to the world of olives. ‘So why are we meeting here?’ one international participant whispered after the Turkish academic Artun Ünsal made his declaration on the first...
Culinary Arts, Nature, News
Films with a Turkish connection screened at the 2016 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival
By Emma Harper | April 20, 2016
It may not look like Turkey, but the WOW Kremlin Palace in Antalya was the sole Turkish connection at this year’s Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, held from April 14–17 in Hawick, Scottish Borders. Sasha Litvintsev’s short film Exile Exotic
is set at the hotel, which features a replica...
Tickets go on sale for the 23rd Istanbul Jazz Festival
By Emma Harper | April 15, 2016
Each year the Istanbul Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Istanbul Arts and Culture Foundation (IKSV), manages to push the envelope in terms of either artists or venues. In 2016, they are doing both. The highlight of this year’s packed programme features two rapidly rising jazz acts performing at a very...
Music and Performing Arts, Jazz
Istanbul printers travel the world
By Roger Williams | April 12, 2016
The sun shone through the great glass roofs of the London Book Fair on its opening day today, when publishers from around the world brought their books to market. Sometimes it seemed more like a travel fair, and trips could be planned around such tempting titles such as Medieval Georgian
Books, Literature, News, Shopping
A journey through Turkish homes
By Lynn Gilbert | April 11, 2016
In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes.
Visiting the town of Borçka, in Artvin Province in Turkey’s Black Sea region, turned out to be an experience which I savoured long after my visit. For in this small, unassuming town I gained...
Architecture, Design, Photography, Textiles
‘Empty Fields’ at SALT Galata situates the traces of a dispersed museum within a contemporary context
By Emma Harper | April 7, 2016
When Istanbul is abloom with tulips each April, it is often the sheer quantity of flowers – the cascade of colour in Emirgan Park comes to mind – that dazzles visitors. But for budding botanists, discerning the different varieties is what delights. If one such botanist were to find the...
Applications due October 31, 2016
By Emma Harper | April 2, 2016
Have an idea for a research project related to things Turkish or textiles? Now is the time to put pen to paper and apply for the Ancient & Modern Prize, an award of £1,000 given to a candidate aged under 26 or over 60. Applications are open until October 31,...
Archaeology, Architecture, Culinary Arts, Design, History, Islamic Art, Literature, Textiles
A new book sheds light on a time of unexpected alliances
By Roger Williams | March 27, 2016
This unattributed portrait of Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud, Moroccan Ambassador to the Court of Elizabeth I in London, was painted in 1600. Excommunicated by the Pope and at war with Catholic Spain, the Tudor queen had made alliances with the Muslim world and was selling arms to Morocco. The story...
Books, History, Literature, News
Tickets go on sale for the 35th Istanbul Film Festival, a massive cinematic event
By Emma Harper | March 26, 2016
The IKSV Film Festival is, in one word, immense. Over the course of 11 days, 221 films from 62 countries will be screened. Yet while the size of the event is noteworthy, what separates this film festival from the others organised in Istanbul is its focus on competitions. The seven...
Film, Music and Performing Arts, News
‘The Eye of Istanbul’, a documentary on Ara Güler, wins big at the DC Independent Film Festival
By Emma Harper | March 24, 2016
Ara Güler has found himself in the spotlight yet again. Last week it was announced that The Eye of Istanbul
, a documentary film about the legendary Armenian-Turkish photographer and the culmination of his retrospective exhibition in Istanbul, won Best of Fest at the DC Independent Film Festival. The screening at...
Exhibitions, Film, News, Photography
Koç University offers language programmes and courses on the urban environment
By Emma Harper | March 20, 2016
Once summer rolls around, the make-up of Istanbul’s population shifts ever so slightly. While many residents decamp to summer houses and small villages to escape the heat and humidity, the city receives an influx of (mainly foreign) students who enrol in the various summer courses on offer. This year Koç...
A trio of contemporary art exhibitions in Istanbul examine Turkey throughout time
By Emma Harper | March 17, 2016
Delving into Turkey’s past, present and future is on the docket this month as we explore three exhibitions in Istanbul – truth be told, we like our art with a dash of history. First stop is The Empire Project in Cihangir to see Burhan Kum’s solo show Unofficial
(ending April 23)....
Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, History
Tickets go on sale for the 20th Istanbul Theatre Festival
By Emma Harper | March 11, 2016
The clowns are coming to town, ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. Not that Istanbul is an especially dangerous place for clowns. But when the 20th Theatre Festival takes over the city in May, these particular clowns will have to die, over and over again. Four members of Spymonkey,...
Music and Performing Arts, News
‘Taşkafa: Stories of the Street’ screening at Somerset House in London
By Emma Harper | March 6, 2016
‘Hundreds of dogs were laying in the streets and enjoying the sun from Pera all the way to Şişli! It is not exactly an attractive sight. These mangy dogs who often exhibit wounds inflicted by their co-sufferers neither move for pedestrians nor for carriages or trams. People usually just step...
An architectural history of the Narmanlı Han, now under restoration
By Emma Harper | March 2, 2016
Keeping track of Istanbul’s ever-changing cityscape is a full-time job, especially as skyscrapers and mixed-use developments have mushroomed in the past decade. Accompanying the construction boom are questions of how the city’s past should factor into its future growth – what role does historical preservation play in a city obsessed...
Architecture, History, News
In conversation with the artist and cartoonist Cem Dinlenmiş about his exhibition ‘You’ll Know When You See It’ at x-ist
By Emma Harper | February 23, 2016
When it comes to recent developments in Turkey, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. One of the best at finding the humour in what would otherwise make you weep is Cem Dinlenmiş, the artist and cartoonist whose weekly ‘Anything Goes’ (‘Her Şey Olur’) column in Penguen
Artefacts from four museums in Turkey are on loan to the ‘The Golden Age of King Midas’ exhibition at Penn Museum
By Emma Harper | February 18, 2016
Travelling to Gordion in 1950, scholars from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) couldn’t have foreseen the treasures they would unearth. Seven years later, a team of archaeologists would behold an extraordinary sight inside Tumulus MM (Midas Mound), the largest of Gordion’s man-made burial mounds:...
‘The Art of Banksy’ exhibition at Global Karaköy takes the artist’s work out of context and packages it for consumers
By Emma Harper | February 11, 2016
A tube train approaches a station, tracks rattling noisily, the blinking headlamps blinding and the heavy metal carriages sending tremors through surrounding structures and human bodies alike. The experience of standing in a station as a train pulls in, an elemental aspect of city living, is difficult to duplicate. Just...
Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, News, Gezi Protests
Stop-motion emotions, artful butts, chilly silences and female speed demons… !f Istanbul is back and abuzz
By Emma Harper | February 5, 2016
The abundance of films at this year’s !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival can make a cinephile feel like Augustus Gloop in the Chocolate Room at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – just as Augustus's voracity saw him falling head first into the chocolate river, your desire to see everything could leave...