Istanbul-Gyeongju World Culture Expo to begin on Aug. 31

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Istanbul-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2013 will begin with a ceremony at Ayasofya Square in Istanbul on Aug. 31, 2013 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II4GaQdF-Yw#t=18World 

Istanbul-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2013 will begin with a ceremony at Ayasofya Square in Istanbul on Aug. 31 so as to constitute a cultural tie between Istanbul and Gyeongju province of South Korea.

Countdown for Istanbul-Gyeongju World Culture Expo has started, according to a statement of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The expo which is hosted by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-do province and Gyeongju Municipality will last till September 22, 2013 and have 28 activities at 35 places.

Meanwhile, Silk Road voyage has started with a ceremony held in Gyeongju province on March 31. A convoy following routes of Xian (China), Dunhuang (China), Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran has entered Turkey via Agri-Dogubeyazit-Gurbulak border gate on August 23. The Silk Road convoy will later reach Istanbul on Aug. 31 after the ceremonies held in Erzurum, Urgup, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa provinces.

Korea state television accompanied the convoy along the voyage and will prepare a documentary film about the voyage.

In addition, about 1,500 guests from various countries will attend as well as the mayors of the provinces on the Silk Road route and Turkish Prime Minister is also expected to attend the expo.

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fonte:worldbulletin

Rock’n Coke 2013 Istanbul

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Coca-Cola’s annual open air music festival, Rock’n Coke, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on 6, 7 and 8 of September at Hezarfen Airport. The festival has established itself over the years as the largest open air festival in the country.

This year’s line-up boasts a fresh set of bands visiting from around the world. Headliners, Arctic Monkeys, will be the main attraction, but several additional big names have been scheduled to perform.

Organizers have increased the number of stages for this year’s festival, aiming to provide a wide variety of artists from different genres. As a result, the event should have a little something for everyone.

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The following artists will be making appearances:

Rock’n Coke Stage
Arctic Monkeys
The Prodigy
Jamiroquai
Hurts
Duman
Editors
MaNga
Aylin Aslım
Büyük Ev Ablukada
Rebel Moves

Alternative Stage
Ellie Goulding
La Roux
Can Bonomo
Selah Sue
Maximo Park
Melis Danişmend
Palma Violets
Yasemin Mori
Triggerfinger
Oi Va Voi
Ayyuka
Replikas
The Ringo Jets
Skindred

Party Arena
Netsky (Live)
Klaxons
Portecho
The Cribs
Everything Everything
Juveniles
Kaan Düzarat
DearHead
Rubik
Babylon Circus
Post
Little Boots
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Gecko Chamber (live)
Childplay (DJ Set)

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Early bird tickets have already sold out, but advance tickets can still be bought online via Biletix. Purchasing tickets at the door is also possible, but prices will be substantially higher.

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How To Get Your Phone Registered in Turkey

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If you’ve bought a phone from outside of Turkey, or want to continue using your (non-Turkish) mobile in Turkey, you can’t just put a Turkish SIM card in it and expect it to work. Even if you get away with it for a short time, pretty soon your phone will be detected and shut off by the Turkish authorities.

So, here’s what you have to do. After you arrive in Turkey, you have 30 days to register your foreign mobile with the telecommunication ministry so that it can work in Turkey.

To do this, you need to head to the Vergi Dairesi (‘tax office’) with your passport and mobile phone. You will also need a tax number, which is very simple to obtain from any tax office. When you get there, they will ask for your phone’s IMEI code (click here to learn how to find it), and ask for a registration fee / tax of 115TL.

There are several tax offices in Istanbul where you can do this, but a fairly central one is in Şişli near the police station (see map below). The nearest metro station is Gayrettepe, and from there the tax office is a 15-minute walk.

Once you have registered your phone, you will be given a receipt which you then need to take to your preferred phone shop (e.g. Turkcell or Vodafone), together with your passport. They will be able to register your phone (which costs a further 20TL). You’re then good to go!

 

Angelo Bucarelli. Alla Biennale di Istanbul….

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A ridar vita all’hammam più antico e grande della capitale turca, nella zona di Cibali, è un artista italiano, Angelo Bucarelli. Dopo un anno passato fra Milano ed Istanbul, Bucarelli è quasi pronto a mostrare la sua istallazione, parte della 13° edizione dellaBiennale di Istanbul, che mira a rappresentare la millenaria città turca in una goccia.

L’opea, “Water. Like Tears of Love“, prende il proprio nome da un verso del poeta ottomano Tursun Bey, che accompagnò il Sultano Mehmet II alla conquista di Costantinopoli. Ma, soprattutto, esprime la centralità dell’acqua, elemento portante dell’hammam, simbolo di rinascita e – secondo l’artista che vi si reca fin dal 1972- essenza dell’identità di Istanbul.

“Osservando il Bosforo e il Corno D’Oro da un terrazzo di Galata ho pensato a Tursun Bey il quale, entrando per la prima volta a Costantinopoli, era rimasto egualmente esterrefatto dall’abbondanza di acqua nella città”, dice Bucarelli.

Il Kucuk Mustafa Pasha Hammam, eretto 500 anni fa (nel 1477) e chiuso negli anni ’90 per lavori di restaurazione, gli è subito parso il luogo ideale per l’installazione che verrà esibita al pubblico dal 15 settembre al 13 ottobre di quest’anno. L’organizzazione è dell’istituto italiano di cultura ad Istanbul e la curatrice è Laura Barreca.

Bucarelli si è servito di metallo, vetro e tessuti- alcuni ricamati- integrandoli con la sua vera passione, la fotografia. Il soffitto forato del bagno turco ricrea una struttura a forma di globo, con meridiani di ferro che ricreano l’emisfero Sud, ai quali sono fissai preziosi pendenti di vetro di Murano che rappresentano la calligrafia ottomana. Ai muri, i tradizionali pestamals (gli asciugamani usati nell’hammam), raffigurano undici parole (anche queste con calligrafia ottomana) scelte dall’artista per descrivere l’acqua: “sete, orizzonte, oscurità e luce, profondità, rispetto, specchio, fonte, sudore, clima e veleno”. Queste ultime sono concepite da Bucarelli per esser lette nelle 6 lingue parlate, nei secoli, nella capitale: turco, curdo, latino, greco, armeno ed ebraico.

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Amidst the Gezi protests Istanbul is hosting a world renowned Italian artist,Angelo Bucarelli, for his site-specific installation at Istanbul’s oldest and biggest hammam. Bucarelli aims to convey the city’s rich culture and history in a single water drop.

These days, Istanbul is notorious for its protests and protesters after Gezi Park hit the headlines of international media. Many cancelled their vacations, some called off their concerts or shows and a few decided to postpone their business travels. But one artist decided to go ahead with his prearranged plans. World-renowned Italian artist, sculptor and photographer Angelo Bucarelli chose an Ottoman bath in Cibali, a historical neighborhood along the Golden Horn, to showcase his contemporary artwork. And this is where I found him.

 

Bucarelli has been shuttling between Milano and Istanbul for the past year to assemble his site-specific installation at Istanbul’s oldest and largest hammam. The installation is part of the 13th Istanbul Biennial and the artist’s aim is to take up the challenge of expressing the unique city in a single water drop. The name of the piece, “Water. Like Tears of Love”, was taken from a verse written by Tursun Bey, an Ottoman poet who accompanied Mehmet the Conqueror as the sultan was earning his sobriquet by taking Constantinople.

As curator Laura Barreca says, the exhibition of Angelo Bucarelli, in all its complexity, is a journey through the history, poetry, memory and love, in the temple where the water, the purest of the elements, becomes an expression and a metaphor of renewal.

“Since I first came to Istanbul in 1972” said Bucarelli, “I’ve understood that the key to the Istanbul’s identity is water.”

“Looking at the Bosporus and the Golden Horn from a terrace of Galata,” he continued, “I have thought of Tursun Bey, who was also struck by the abundance of water in the city when he first entered Constantinople and ‘like tears of lovers’, he wrote.”

Taking the advise made by Alessandra Ricci, an Italian historian from the Koç University’s Archeology and History of Art Department, to heart, Bucarelli immediately knew that the 500 year-old hammam was the best venue for his installation. After being shown the deserted hammam, Bucarelli felt like an invisible hand had protected it for 500 years just for the sake of his site-specific installation, which will be held between September 15 and October 13 this year.

The invisible hand

Yavuz Mermerci, current owner of the hammam, is probably the last ring in this chain of invisible hands protecting the hammam. “Mermerci Holding purchased the hammam in 1995 and started an 18 years long restoration work since then so as to prevent a collapse,” Mermerci said. He is glad his hammam will be hosting this event.

Actually it was Leyla Alaton, a highly respected businesswoman, philanthropist and member of board of Alarko Holding, who convinced Mermerci to let the event be held at the hammam. Speaking at Palazzo Venezia, an allegiant historical Venetian palace in Istanbul used as the residence of Italian ambassador, Alaton told me about why she supported the installation. She said she got excited when an Italian artist discovered one of the long abandoned jewels of Istanbul and wanted to present it to the world.

Pınar Akalin, the executive director of the exhibit, said the cost of the site-specific installation is around 230.000 euros, most of which is covered by sponsors. Akalin said the installation organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in Istanbul and curated by Laura Barreca will be ready for the opening on Sept. 15, and those interested will have an opportunity to see both the art and the building until Oct. 13.

Italian Ambassador Gianpaolo Scarante, renowned for his efforts to demonstrate the common values shared by Turkish and Italian cultures, worked tirelessly to promote the installation. Scarante said he is working on two more projects, both of which will be permanent artworks that would enrich the city.

Water is the identity of Istanbul

Continuing his research on concepts of identity, Bucarelli discovered in water the essence of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul’s identity and choose it as the mode to reflect his art. “My work inquires about the complex world of identity and primordial human instinct of communication,” said Bucarelli. “Isolating words, I try to enter the difficult space of meanings and experience. In this new challenge, I would like to stimulate the observer to open his mind to a personal simple and deep perception of encountering a different culture and make it his own.”

As location, Bucarelli chose Cibali, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Istanbul and an old hammam, the epicenter and the symbol of social civilization, where water is protagonist. The Kucuk Mustafa Pasha Hammam is a beautiful complex — closed in the 1990s and subject of a meticulous restoration project — built in 1477 during the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror, 24 years after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul.

“The ancient bath known as Kucuk Mustafa Pasha Hammam is near the shore of the Golden Horn below the Fourth Hill. This is one of the oldest and grandest hammams in the city, founded before 1512 by Koca Mustafa Pasha, grand vizier under Beyazit II” the American historian John Freely tells of the hammam in his famous book, A History of Ottoman Architecture. But in fact the hammam is founded by Kara Mustafa Pasha, nicknamed as “Kucuk or little” so as to prevent confusion with Koca Mustafa, who also lived in the same era.

Bucarelli involved the local community and handicrafts to expand the role of his art. As is usual for him, the work utilizes different materials such as iron, glass, as well as fabrics and embroidery, integrating them all with photography, which is his passion. The light that penetrates the hammam from the circled openings of the dome gives rise to bright lively colors.

Rain of glass words

A part of the installation, named “Rain of Glass Words,” recreates the form of a large globe with the dome as northern hemisphere and iron meridians forming the southern hemisphere, from which hang, like drops of water, precious Murano glass sculptures that duplicate Ottoman calligraphy.

On the walls, the traditional horizontally striped Turkish towels, or pestamals, become woven tapestries that bring eleven words again in Ottoman calligraphy in gold, chosen by the artist to describe water: Thirst, horizon, dark and light, depth, respect, mirror, spring, sweat, weather and poison. Bucarelli uses the written text in its dual symbolic and evocative essence, with the aim to give back the semiotic sense of poetry and the visual purity. Those pestamals will remind one of the usual hammam items but at the same time the calligraphy will recall mosque decorations.

In the quest to reflect the city’s identity, Bucarelli wanted those eleven words to be read in six languages spoken in this city throughout the history, among which were Turkish, Kurdish, Latin, Greek, Armenian and Hebrew. This is to indicate one should refer to more than one nationality, language or culture so as to understand Istanbul’s rich and complex identity.

fonte:huffingtonpost

in the web:The indispensable Ottoman han

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What is a han? An Ottoman Turkish building that combined an urban hotel, stable, storage depot and wholesale selling point is more a descriptor than a definition. Before the Ottomans had hans, the Seljuk Turks built many and before the Seljuks, the Persians. But it should be pointed out that the Seljuks were much more interested in erecting caravanserai (caravan palaces), which served the many commercial caravans going between cities, than hans. They were located approximately one day’s journey between each, or 30-40 kilometers. This clearly was a reflection of the much larger economy under Ottoman control and the growth of trade in the Mediterranean.

There is hardly any difference between a han and a caravanserai except for the first being urban and the later being situated on the roads and highways between urban settlements. Their structures were practically the same. As a building, the han had very high, thick walls with one or possibly two entrances, the better to guard against any external attack by enemy soldiers or brigands. The corners of the walls would have watch towers and they would have been seen as fortresses more than hotels and markets. They were made of stone and were either square or rectangular. And in the center there would be an open courtyard that generally contained a fountain for performing the ritual ablutions required in Islam and a very small mosque.

The latter in Bursa’s İpek (Silk) Han is two stories and octagonal in shape. The upper floor is used as the prayer room and is reached by a wooden staircase on the outside.

The han usually rose two stories and sometimes three, the upper floors reached by staircases from the courtyard. The ground floor was used to house animals such as camels, horses and mules that would have carried merchandise. It also had a large kitchen. The first floor would contain small rooms in which a merchant would store his goods and sleep. These rooms would have fireplaces for winter weather.
The origins of the han have been traced back to the ribat, soldierly outposts along the coast of North Africa, stationed there some time after the rise of Islam in the seventh century. Before that in the Near East, there is little evidence of any similar building, although that may be because they have not yet been excavated or any findings published. In any case, it is much more exciting and rewarding to go after palaces and temples. Some attribute the first of the han-type buildings to the Achaemenid kings who ruled Persia from 550 to 330 B.C. Later, there were areas including buildings that were deemed emporia among the ancient Greeks and later the Romans. These were places where merchants could settle and sell their wares.

A paper by Dimitroukas Ioannis, “Byzantine Roads in Asia Minor,” gives well-documented and detailed information on the road system that includes the routes taken by the important caravan trade from the coast as far east as Erzurum and south through Cilicia, including trade with Arabs. While the author gives details on routes and mentions several cities that served as emporia, he says nothing about the type of housing that would be available along the route.

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The first Ottoman han built in Bursa 
A number of caravanserai remain in Anatolia from the Seljuk period and a number of them have been restored so that one gets a sense of the scale of these monumental buildings with their enormous pillars and vaults. But as Ulya Vogt-Goknil points out in her book “Living Architecture: Ottoman,” when it came to the Ottomans, they were much more interested in the functional aspects of architecture, so the han became smaller in size and more suitable for cities in which these buildings had to fit in with other buildings.

The first Ottoman hans were those built in Bursa when the city was the capital of the Ottoman state. They were named after the commodity that was sold within and were probably under the guild that was involved. So we see the Cocoon Han, Silk Han, Rice Han and so forth. The Emir Han, which still exists, is the oldest and was built by Orhan Gazi sometime after he gained control of Bursa in 1321. It had 16 rooms with windows upstairs and a small stable with 36 storerooms on the ground floor.
The hans of Istanbul were much larger and generally built with three or even four stories. While their interior shapes were also square or rectangular, they had to account for the fact that many of them were built on hillsides in the Old City. There are today some 70 hans left in the city, twelve of which are in the old city. One can find them mostly in the area between the Covered Bazaar and Eminönü and as far west as Tahtakale. While the Covered Bazaar originally started out in the 15th century as the İç Bedestan, the fortified building in which people kept their valuables, it has grown much larger thanks to the addition of many hans that sprang up in the vicinity. As more and more of these hans were erected, they became attached to each other, although retaining their original names, and are now considered one building, the Covered Bazaar. But only the Kurkcu Han remains from the Fatih period. It should be noted that this area was also the commercial area under the Late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. A second commercial area sprang up in the vicinity of the Fatih Mosque complex.
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Few of the hans remained 
It’s not so surprising that few of the hans remain from the Ottoman period as the Old City has experienced so many fires and earthquakes. Although modern buildings have replaced almost all of the old hans, one can still see small imitations of the splendid old hans.

Of course there are other hans around the city, especially in the Beyoğlu area. These were built in the period following the destructive fire in 1870 and are still operating today.

For example, the Sismanoglio Megaro Han is now part of the Greek consulate and a portion of it is used for exhibitions such as the one that has just opened with photographs of Istanbul’s old hans. One of the guests at the exhibition opening was heard saying how beautiful it was that a Greek han, Sismanoglio Megaro, was the venue for an exhibition of photos of Istanbul hans. Another commented on the parallel between the people working in the old hans, who were struggling to make a living, and the hans, which struggle to stay alive today.

If one thinks about it, the modern shopping center is rather like a han, with its stores and depots lining a courtyard; just think of the Ataköy Galleria or the Cevahir Center. The old hans served their purpose but they’re still with us. It’s just that they’ve changed their form slightly.

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fonte: Daily News