- What’s On
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Heath Lowry continues his single-minded search for traces of the Ottoman past, with a focus on Muslim religious sanctuaries and venerated trees. Ancient trees have often survived the ravages of time and destructive impulses better than monuments of stone and mortar—in Serres, for instance, the eighteen plane trees that magically sprouted from the stakes to which the eighteen warriors accompanying Gazi Evrenos Bey, the Ottoman conqueror of Northern Greece, tethered their horses have proliferated, and attract modern pilgrims who associate them with St John. Lowry chronicles Muslim sacred spaces today visited by Christians, as well as mosques that became churches after the Ottoman retreat from the Balkans, and Muslim sanctuaries destroyed after the population exchange of 1923. A significant number of the Ottoman monuments in Northern Greece are now being restored and Lowry’s exhilarating new series of studies, which contain a wealth of photographs old and new, is now the indispensable vademecum for the Ottoman explorer.
The work of Feyhaman Duran and his contemporaries, once dismissed as unfashionably figurative, is now attracting renewed interest. A recent exhibition at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul celebrated their work. Berrin Torolsan selects some of her favourites
High in the apparently empty Kaçkars, the way of life is as old as the hills. Michael Hornsby joins in the fun at a village festival in remote summer pastures. Photographs by Giulio Rubino
Norman Stone unravels the history of Kars
Unlocking the door to the private world of Feyhaman and Güzin Duran, by Maureen Freely
The Turkic Uighurs of Western China have long chafed under Communist Chinese rule. Christian Tyler meets their formidable figurehead, Rebiya Kadeer, who spent five years in prison for protesting against her people’s treatment and now carries on her fight for their freedom from Washington
Robert Ousterhout is agog at the remarkable Georgian churches of the Tao-Klarjeti, the two medieval Georgian principalities between Kars and the Kaçkars
For the English-speaking community of Istanbul the suggestion of aqueduct-hunting in Thrace strikes fear into the hearts of all but the foolhardy. Relentlessly cheerful, Prof James Crow of Edinburgh University would laugh off each misadventure and forge onward.
Leo Gough grew up in the hothouse atmosphere of Cold War Ankara, where his father was director of the British Institute of Archaeology. He recalls tales of derring-do from the larger-than-life visitors and scholars who passed through the institute’s doors
Kate Clow, pioneering waymarker and author of two walking guides to the Taurus Mountains, has now created a guide to trekking in the Kaçkars. Here she describes four breathtaking one-day walks.
By whatever name it is known – whether Karataş Yayla (Black Rock Pasture) or ÇaGrankaya (Singing Rock) – this spur of the Kaçkars is full of drama. Andrew Byfield battled rain and fog to reach its riches
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