- What’s On
Despite the drama of July 15’s coup, the rhythm of Azize Ethem’s life in Iznik has barely lost a beat. While the reintroduction of partridges and woodcock to the hills is welcome, less so is the new Yenişehir-to-Ankara highway cutting a swathe through the town. Meanwhile, in the garden the last bean crop has ripened
lthough the weather was uncomfortably hot on July 15 I unwisely spent most of the day working in the garden. In the evening, exhausted, flopped in front of the TV, I was mustering the energy to make my way to bed when a phone call alerted me to a coup… here in Turkey. A coup? Impossible. But no, it was indeed happening. For hours I flicked through the news channels trying to understand it all. Sometime after midnight I received a text from the President urging me to go out into the streets with a flag. Being technically dyslexic it took me a while to realise that someone, somewhere, can tweak a few buttons and send out millions of messages. I only have a Saudi flag, which we used on our yacht in the Red Sea, and waving that in the lane between the olive groves in the early hours of the morning wouldn’t have been much help to the Turkish nation.
Next morning, when I eventually crawled out of bed, my world looked the same. I am not sure what I was expecting but the serenity of the lake, the garden and the trees seemed surreal with the country in a state of chaos. Messages started to come in from friends. I channel-hopped and read articles online. Conspiracy theories were surfacing left, right and centre. The coup was over with and it was now time for retribution.
And the award for most versatile, most nourishing and best-loved ingredient goes to… the humble chickpea. Berrin Torolsan explores its history and its limitless talent to entertain us in a multitude of different roles
A fascinating exhibition at the Istanbul Research Institute that explores a dog’s life in Ottoman Istanbul and the transformation of attitudes as Westernisation takes hold
Yusuf Franko Kusa used brush and pen and position to lampoon and pull the strings of Ottoman high society. Unseen for 60 years, his caricatures are now the subject of a fascinating exhibition in Istanbul, writes K Mehmet Kentel
At one time all roads led to Erzurum, a key stop on a great caravan route and a strategic bastion against invasion. Today it is a remote city on Turkey’s Asian frontier with an important history crying out to be discovered. In Part 2 of Cornucopia’s Beauty and the East series, the photographer Brian McKee continues his tour of eastern Anatolia in Erzurum as Scott Redford leads us from Turkic citadel to Mongol minarets.
It was for centuries the preserve of sultans, extolled by the ancients, sought after in the harem, a staple of palace kitchen and pharmacy. More precious than gold, mastic brought fortune and fame to the island of Chios, today the world’s sole source of this ‘Arabic gum’. Now, thanks to a pioneering initiative, the Turkish shores across the water will be green with mastic groves. Text and photographs by Berrin Torolsan
An ambitious new work of classical music – based on Howard Blake’s enchanting score for ‘The Snowman’ – has just received its world premiere. This concert is just one of many achievements by Talent Unlimited, a Turkish charity that gives budding young virtuosi a helping hand. Tony Barrell tells the story. Photographs: Monica Fritz