Biennial 2015 highlights: Istanbul Modern and ARTER

By Emma Harper | October 6, 2015

Given the inextricable link between Istanbul and the Bosphorus, as well as the seas that lie on either side of the enduring strait, the theme of this year’s Biennial – ‘Saltwater: A Theory of Thought Forms’ – seems especially apt. Salt water and the contrasting image-forms of knots and waves...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Modern Art

Erasing Memory: A Conversation with Murat Germen

By Dayna Tellibayraktar and Peri Sharpe | September 30, 2015

Keeping up with the reshaping of Turkey is not for the faint of heart. Those who are paying attention are forced to digest the ramifications of the actions taken by a growing number of opportunists. In the midst of it all, there are a number of peaceful activists who seek...
Posted in Architecture, Exhibitions, Nature, Photography

Films galore at the 14th Filmekimi

By Emma Harper | September 28, 2015

Istanbul is gearing up for the start of another film festival season, and first on the docket is the 14th edition of Filmekimi, which runs in Istanbul from October 2 to 11. Screening critically acclaimed films fresh off the major festival circuit, Filmekimi is a cinephile’s dream. The festival, organised...
Posted in Film

Inside story: Zeki’nin Yeri

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | September 22, 2015

In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Traditional homes in Turkey exude a warmth and charm that is inviting; they are unlike any other place in the world that I've visited. Each house is an expression of its owner's creativity, which...
Posted in Architecture, Design, Photography, Travel

A taste of Turkish photography at IFSAK

By Emma Harper | September 21, 2015

The Istanbul Photography and Cinema Amateurs Association (İstanbul Fotoğraf ve Sinema Amatörleri Derneği – IFSAK) has mined its archives to organise a group exhibition featuring some of the most important names in Turkish photography. Housed in the front rooms of a cosy apartment in one of the stately older buildings...
Posted in Exhibitions, History, Photography

London’s Islamic Sales, Autumn 2015

By Emma Harper | September 16, 2015

For devotees of Islamic art, there is much to look forward to this autumn. Over the next few months the major auction houses in London will stage their biannual Islamic art sales, and a quick glance through the catalogues illustrates the many superb works on offer. We wanted to give...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art

Inside story: Bodrum

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | September 14, 2015

In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Bodrum, located in southwestern Turkey, is a beautiful, charming seaside resort. But it is also a place full of history. Going back to ancient times, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – an ancient Greek city...
Posted in Architecture, Design, History, Photography, Travel

ArtInternational 2015 in review

By Emma Harper | September 10, 2015

In my experience, modern art fairs are a mixed bag: there is everything from exceptional, cutting-edge artwork to overwrought, reductionist drivel. Both big names and relative unknowns are on display. Unlike exhibitions, which have a particular perspective and focus, art fairs often bring together under one roof galleries from many...
Posted in Contemporary Art

Inside story: Camili

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | September 7, 2015

In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Camili is not your typical tourist destination. For one, it’s difficult to reach: located in a remote area near the Black Sea on the border between Georgia and Turkey, it is surrounded on three...
Posted in Architecture, Design, Nature, Photography, Travel

The simple beauty of Anatolian kilims

A new publication featuring kilims from a private collection

By Emma Harper | September 2, 2015

With the publication of The Poetry of Simple Things (Die Poesie des Einfachen), Harry Koll and Sabine Steinbock have provided a valuable new resource for those interested in Anatolian kilims. The limited-edition monograph, which is written in both German and English, displays 131 Anatolian kilims from the authors’ private collection....
Posted in Books, Textiles

Turkey gets Aussie-fied

By Victoria Khroundina | August 31, 2015

From next month until December, events continue as part of the ‘Australia in Turkey 2015’ festival. The biggest celebration of Australian culture in Turkey to date, it aims to enhance social and cultural understanding between the two countries. That it’s being celebrated in the same year as the centenary of...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Culinary Arts, Design, Exhibitions, Film, History, Modern Art, Music and Performing Arts, News

Inside story: Çamlıhemşin part 2

A journey through Turkish homes

By Lynn Gilbert | August 28, 2015

In this blog series, the photographer Lynn Gilbert takes us on a journey through Turkish homes. Huge kitchens like the one above are found in old stone houses built high in the mountains in remote areas of’ Çamlıhemşin in the early 20th century. Amonst them were many successful bakers, one...
Posted in Architecture, Design, History, Photography, Travel

How to navigate this year’s massive Istanbul Biennial

By Victoria Khroundina | August 25, 2015

It’s almost time for another edition of the Istanbul Biennial – and the 14th instalment promises to be bigger, bolder and braver than ever. There will be works by 80 artists, hailing from every continent, displayed in over 30 venues on both the European and Anatolian sides of the city....
Posted in Contemporary Art, Design, Exhibitions, History, Modern Art, Museums, Photography

Cappadocia dreaming

By Victoria Khroundina | August 21, 2015

If you’ve been following the blog, you will know I have been travelling these past few weeks. Last weekend I finally got around to visiting Cappadocia, and out of all the places I have been to in Turkey this awed me the most. The otherworldly landscape peppered with fairy chimneys,...
Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel

Turks rule at next year’s Venice Film Festival

By Victoria Khroundina | August 18, 2015

Turkish cinema is going from strength to strength year in, year out – and with the recent announcement of next year’s Venice International Film Festival competition entrants and jury members, it looks like things are about to get even rosier. The first piece of exciting news is that Turkey’s prime...
Posted in Film, News

Turquoise beauty

By Victoria Khroundina | August 14, 2015

If you want to get up close and personal with Turkey’s Mediterranean coast there’s no better way to do so than by boat. You can stay in a town such as Fethiye, Kaş, Kalkan or Antalya, and take daily boat trips or, better still, hire your own boat and spend...
Posted in Modern Art, Photography, Travel

Star gazing

By Victoria Khroundina | August 12, 2015

Tonight the Istanbul Modern will hold a special event to watch the annual August Perseid meteor shower. Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, Earth crosses the orbital path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle (rediscovered in 1992), the parent of the Perseid meteor shower. The debris will slam into...
Posted in Museums, Nature, News

‘Gariné’ in London

Dikran Tchouhadjian’s famous opera comes to Arcola Theatre


If you live or find yourself in London on August 14 or 15, the city’s only Turkish theatre, the Arcola in Dalston, is staging a version of Dikran Tchouhadjian’s (1837–1898) Gariné. Considered the first opera composer in the Ottoman Empire and known in his lifetime as ‘the Armenian Verdi’ and...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Opera

Gallipoli Survivor

By Roger Williams | August 6, 2015

A British naval vessel built in 1915 that was employed in bombarding the coast in the Gallipoli campaign has opened to the public this week in Portsmouth Historic Dockyards after a £2.4 million restoration programme. Armed with two six-inch guns, HMS M33 was a ‘568-ton metal box lacking in comforts’,...

The drawing on the wall

By Victoria Khroundina | August 4, 2015

Street art is gaining popularity in Turkey, with the Pera Museum even staging its first-ever graffiti and street-art exhibition last autumn. But the best place to see street art in the city is undoubtedly Kadıköy, where Istanbul’s most laidback and progressive municipality is beautifying its neighbourhood with massive, bold murals,...
Posted in Contemporary Art
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