Hasan Söylemez’s journey

An unusual tale

By Monica Fritz | February 16, 2021

This February the Istanbul Film Festival is offering 12 films, all available online. The one Turkish production among them is by the filmmaker Hasan Söylemez. I would describe this documentary, named Tenere after a region in the Sahara desert, as rough and captivating, with beautiful photography. The characters are so natural...

Istanbul Film Festival is alive and well online

A talk with the Festival’s director Kerem Ayan

By Monica Fritz | February 11, 2021

For those who haven't noticed, the Istanbul Film Festival has been going on and off online since May 15. Today I had a short chat with the festival’s director, Kerem Ayan, to see what’s planned for now and what we can expect for the upcoming 40th year, to be celebrated, hopefully,...

The Quintessential Artist’s House

The extraordinary world of Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu, (1911-1975) painter, poet, ceramist, printer and mosaicist in photographs. 

By Monica Fritz | January 31, 2021

Here, squeezed into the characterless streets of an Istanbul Asian suburb, you would never imagine finding this homage to an artist. The plan was to make a museum but, tangled up in bureaucracy, it is yet to open its doors to the public.  On a rainy winter day I was accompanied...

Istanbul’s Surreal Spring

Wrinkles of the City

By Monica Fritz | January 20, 2021

2015 was the year the now-famous French artist JR came to put his mark on our city with his project ‘Wrinkles of the City’. At the time it was like a treasure hunt, scanning the backstreets of Balat and Tarlabaşı in search of his oversized black-and white portraits that stood...

Sainted friends: the panels of the Crimean Church rood screen

Canon Ian Sherwood introduces Mungo McCosh’s saints

By Monica Fritz | January 13, 2021

Step down the aisle of Galata’s lovely mid-19th-century Crimean Memorial Church, a little-known masterpiece by George Street, architect of the Law Courts in London, and look closely at the rood screen dividing the nave from the chancel, the domain of the clergy, and you will come across some beautiful, unusual,...

David Barchard (1947–2020)

We have lost a friend, a brilliant writer and a man with a passion for Turkey and its people. David Shankland pays tribute

By David Shankland and friends | December 27, 2020

David Barchard's funeral took place on Tuesday, January 12, at St Mary's, Nun Monkton, Yorkshire. Since none of David’s family, nor his friends (other than those living in Nun Monkton), could attend the funeral because of Covid restrictions, this deeply moving service was live streamed. This is the link for...
Posted in Obituaries

A New Year glow

By Cornucopia | December 23, 2020

In lockdown, New Year never comes too late, and Valentine's Day is on the horizon. Serap Yurdaer, the famous Alaçatı ceramcist, has produced a beautiful limited-edition ceramic plate-bowl-and-spoon set for Cornucopia readers. The set hand-shaped and food-safe, fired in her charming farmhouse studio with a warming deep reddish slip. A...

A Visit to the Feriköy Cemetery with Paolo Girardelli

Commentary by Paolo Girardelli

By Monica Fritz | December 21, 2020

I start with a quote from Andrew Finkel's 'Private View' column, in Cornucopia's issue No 42, on the parting of a friend: ‘The city I first met, too, has long since disappeared as the population has doubled and doubled and doubled again. But, of course, Istanbul is a city where...

Reminiscing on an Istanbul winter

By Monica Fritz | December 13, 2020

Everything about this year has been strange, to say the least, including this December weather. In January we usually see a bit of snow in Istanbul, and only three years ago there was a wonderful blizzard, shutting down the city, which in those days was an appreciated oddity. This year...
Posted in Travel, - Monica at large

Serendipitous Bodrum

By Cornucopia | December 2, 2020

Thanks to Lara Stoby for this link to this mini-portrait on Bodurm, directed by Cenk Baysan with music by Sarper Semiz. Old settlers puts on brave faces against a jangling world of Oriental muzak, gross development, dual-carriage highways and tourist tat. Or is that unfair? But one can understand why...

A stroll through the pages of The Land of the Anka Bird – the new book from Cornucopia

By Monica Fritz, filmed by Luca Fritz | November 29, 2020

Cornucopia photographer-at-large, Monica Fritz turns the pages of the new book from Cornucopia Books, in which Caroline Eden pays tribute to the pioneering Turkish photographer Ergun Çağatay's hauntingly beautiful images of Central Asia and beyond. Click here to view on youtube.

The Anka Bird has landed…

By Cornucopia | November 23, 2020

The new Cornucopia book launched this week The Land of the Anka Bird, a heart-warming selection of photographs of Central Asia and beyond by the much lamented Ergun Çağatay was immediately spotted last week by its author, Caroline Eden, in her favrouite Istanbul shop, Envai in Bebek (which also sells...

Not too late to catch the last spoonful of the Jazz Fest

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 29, 2020

The online streaming of the İKSV Jazz Festival concerts is due to finish on November 3. You have been warned! The tap is about to run dry, so now is the time to catch up on what you have been missing at online.iksv.org.https://online.iksv.org/caz Selecting a concert at random from the...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Jazz, - Musical Shares, Shopping

Birds of a feather: a magnificent Ushak ‘bird carpet’, and the first rumblings of deaccession

London Islamic Sales Week 2020

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | October 26, 2020

It's Islamic Sales Week again! And as always there are lovely artefacts waiting to be discovered and snapped up. It is astonishing to see an institution of the LA Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem's standing open its doors, even a chink, to deaccession treasures. Covid no doubt means...
Posted in Islamic Art

Not only but also…

The İKSV Jazz Festival adds its voice to the Virtual Chorus

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 11, 2020

No sooner had the 2020 İKSV Istanbul Music Festival got under way in September than the İKSV Jazz Festival popped up – like a most welcome jack-in-the-box (or should that be jazz-in-the-box?) – on October 3.  Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Garanti...

Cannonballs and cadenzas

The 2020 İKSV Music Festival defiantly opens

By John Shakespeare Dyson | October 8, 2020

‘Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”’ It...

The Turkish Youth Philharmonic and friends join in an Island serenade

By John Shakespeare Dyson | September 22, 2020

Following my blog on Saturday, the much-anticipated concert on Büyükada – given by an assortment of young string-players from Turkey, the United Kingdom and Germany – duly took place at the San Pacifico Church that same evening, and was streamed online. The orchestra, conducted by Dr James Ross, played works...

The ‘Monster of Moda’: such a nice boy

Canavar: portrait of an artist in pursuit of the unpleasant

By Paul Benjamin Osterlund with photographs by Monica Fritz | August 22, 2020

The home and studio of the Istanbul-based artist Canavar (Turkish for ‘monster’), whose work above graces the walls of Marmara University building, is tucked away on a backstreet in the heart of Kadıköy’s Hasanpaşa neighbourhood, one of the few areas in the district that has not been gentrified or was...

Postcard from Pergamon: on the road with Don McCullin and Barnaby Rogerson

Monica Fritz, Cornucopia’s photographer-at-large, shares images from her travels in the Troad and beyond last September

By Monica Fritz | August 1, 2020

WAITING FOR THE RIGHT LIGHT… Last September I had the honour of accompanying the famed photographer Sir Don McCullin (pictured at Assos, left) and the author/publisher Barnaby Rogerson (right) on what turned out to be a very fun road trip to the west of Turkey for Cornucopia's issue No 61....

Adalet Ağaoğlu (1929–2020)

A tribute to one of Turkey’s best-loved novelists

By David Barchard | July 16, 2020

Adalet Ağaoğlu, who died on Tuesday, July 14, at the age of 90, was one of the country’s most accomplished novelists in the last quarter of the 20th century, and very widely read in her own country, though undeservedly ignored elsewhere. Two of her novels, however, were translated into English...
Posted in Literature, Obituaries
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