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Paintings and souvenirs amassed by the Dutch envoy Cornelis Calkoen during Turkey’s Tulip Period are gaining as high a profile as their flamboyant owner. On show at the Pera Museum and the Amsterdam Museum in 2012, Calkoen’s Turkish Cabinet will grace the Rijksmuseum’s new 18th-century galleries in 2013.
When Amsterdam’s renovated Rijksmuseum reopens in 2013, the public will be able to visit the Turkish Cabinet of Cornelis Calkoen, the Dutch republic’s ambassador to Istanbul from 1727 to 1744. For more than a century now the museum has been the keeper of his collection of paintings. More recently the ambassador’s portrait and a group of personal belongings from his days in Istanbul were added to the collection.
Calkoen was 30 when he was appointed ambassador to Istanbul. He arrived with no diplomatic experience, though he had served in administrative posts before. The Calkoen family had been involved in the Levant trade for generations, and as ambassador it was Cornelis’s job to protect and stimulate that trade. This aspect of his work was so important that part of his salary was paid by the Directorate of Levant Trade.
Rather than follow the crowd and dismiss Ankara as a dull, soulless modern capital, says Patricia Daunt, visitors should take time to discover why the famed Angora of old, twice capital in ancient times, is back on the map.
Over the past decade Turkey’s wine industry has come of age. It is now more than ready to join the grown-ups of the wine-producing world. Kevin Gould and the Cornucopia team pick the best of a sparkling bunch. Photographs by Berrin Torolsan.
Cornucopia’s self-guided wine tours
The First Balkan War, a hundred years ago, is an obscure affair, overshadowed by the First World War that followed. But it ended the Ottoman Empire in Europe and came close to ending Turkey itself. It left almost half a million refugees and three times as many dead. David Barchard tells the story of a catastrophic conflict
With a taste for adventure Indiana Jones would appreciate, the Dutch architectural historian Machiel Kiel has risked life and limb in his mission to expose the annihilation of Ottoman monuments in the Balkans. The art historian Holta Vrioni pays tribute to his work and exploits
‘Never swim before the first watermelon rind falls into the water,’ goes an old Istanbul saying. By the time they ripen, the sea will have reached just the right temperature for swimming.
She was born to be a New York society beauty, but the late Josephine Powell’s chosen world was that of the Anatolian Nomad. Five years after her death, her archive of photographs recording old Anatolia in all its glory will see the light of day in Istanbul
As Turkey and the Netherlands celebrate
400 years of fruitful trade with a series of spectacular exhibitions in both countries, Philip Mansel, author of a new history of the Levant, reflects on the curious role of the Dutch at the Sublime Porte
Not far from the World Heritage city of Safranbolu lies the quiet village of Yörük Köyü, once famed for its valiant cavalry. Berrin Torolsan continues her series on Anatolia’s country houses with a visit to the Sipahioğlu Konak, a beautifully built mansion of satisfying simplicity and unassuming flair.
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