Archive for November, 2006

A late notice- here is a possible Friday programme for you!


All events to take place in Dolapdere Campus of Istanbul Bilgi University
# Recent developments in Turkish Film Industry
Ezel Akay, Director
# Film on TV: What is the offer in Turkey?
Cengiz Semercioğlu, Hürriyet
# Watching Cinema on TV, Comparative Ratings
Arzu Eder, AGB Türkiye

Luce Vigo, Film Critic

12:30 BREAK

# French funding system: How does it work?
Xavier Merlin, CNC, International General Manager
# European funds and how to get them?
Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, Eurimage
# Cinema funding: How are Turkish films financed?
Mehmet Soyarslan, Özen Film

15:00 BREAK

# BBC and Cinema: What kind of a relationship?
Jane Wright, Head of Rights and Commercial Affairs, BBC Films
# Canal +: Why is cinema so important?
Olivier Zegna Rata, Manager, External Relations, Canal +
# TV and Turkish Cinema – A historical perspective
Prof Dr. Nezih Erdoğan, İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi
# Turkish cinema and TV – A cooperation model
Murat Saygı, Doğan TV

TV Broadcasters’ Association

The Stone Council, Directed by Guillaume Nicloux

For the interested ones, this should not be missed. Sorry for the late announcement:(

The Papal Traffic

As it is already known, the Pope is in town. This historical visit is a test in multiple levels, but i suppose there is at least one who fails the test. Many Istanbulites got angry with the traffic yesterday. Because of security reasons which streets would be closed were not announced and many people who just left their work had to spend incredible amounts of time to reach home or wherever they were destined to go. I can understand the logic of security reasons but i wish the officials in charge would also care about thousands of their own citizens. I am sure our pain could be alleviated with a better organization. But would our officials care about that?…

Singing In The Dark

This is a pathetic beginning, but I must borrow a line and theme from a previous posting: A few months ago I wrote that the “Joys of Blogging do not extend to the province of absentia”. “Absentia” in our case, has been the eastern border regions of Turkey. We have been spending a considerable amount of time in Dogubeyazit, a town in the foothills of Ararat. After the first of the year we will split our time equally between these two extremes of Turkey.
With my frequent absences I have felt that my literary liability was exceeding acceptable limits and I am wretchedly apologetic. If you must protest, I will be happy to submit to your admonishment and forfeiture until you feel I have been aptly punished. Ouch. For the rest of you…lets get down to business.

A few days ago we visited the Basilica Cistern and were treated to a local university choir performing next to the Çay Garden. They deserved a much larger forum and audience than our few friends who had gathered…but it was an outstanding setting and performance. The manager said that there is a regular schedule for Turkish music performances at the Cistern each week by local universities and cultural institutions.
There is some truth to the rumor that if you approach the exit of the Cistern and request admission (without fee) to just the Çay Garden, you will be welcome to visit tariff free…depending of course on personality variables. Even if you must pay the full admission fee…these concerts and the setting are worth it.

changing europe changing migrations

saturday, 26th of november, at bilgi university.


Direnen Mizikacilar, Riddim Bar @ Taksim

I believe I wrote about the R&B joint before but since I went there last Friday, I thought I’d update on the current status of the Riddim nightclub in Taksim.
Their first venue was situated the next street after McDonalds on Istiklal street but they have moved to bigger and better places. They firstly rented/bought off (not too sure) the bottom part of Kemanci (on siraselviler) and then finally also placed themselves in the top part of Kemanci, turning the popular Rock bar into a live music venue. So what used to be a great hang out place for rockers and alternative music aficionados ended up becoming one of the most famous R&B joints in Istanbul. Is this a good thing? I think not. Kemanci was a great place. I’d still have to check out their new location..
We were at the live venue part of Riddim on Friday night and a group called “Direnen Mizikacilar” made us dance the night away. They’re pretty good. I still prefer Mayday though (who perform on Saturdays @ Riddim).
The ventilation system being what it is, the room was pretty smoked up by 1am, which killed it a bit for me and my asthma but I still managed to make it through till 2.30AM where I absolutely just had to leave the place before inducing an attack.
For those who’d rather listen to heavy R&B, don’t bother hitting the top floor of Riddim, just follow the stairs down to the nicer part of the nightclub where you can bump and grind to the latest tracks played by the talented DJs (check out DJ Bambi, provided he still works there.)
Now I don’t drink alcohol so I forgot to check alcohol prices but since a diet coke was 5YTL, I think you can figure out how much the rest of the drinks would end up costing. Entrance is 20YTL for both floors.
All in all, points for Riddim? I’d give them an 8/10 and they might even make it up to 9 provided they fix the air conditioning (if one exists.)
Riddim: Sıra selviler cad. No: 69/1 Tarif: Belçika Konsolosluğu Yanı
Tel: (212) 251 27 23 – (212) 251 30 15

Istanbul as a cultural capital of Europe….

For the record, from a TDN piece:
“The European Union Council yesterday endorsed a jury recommendation declaring Istanbul a culture capital of Europe in 2010. A seven-member jury panel recommended in April that the 2010 European Capitals of Culture be awarded to Istanbul, Essen in Germany and Pecs in Hungary…. Istanbul’s unique character as a cradle of many cultures and civilizations, straddling the Asian and European continents was among the major reasons the jury preferred the city over Kiev. The EU Commission submitted the jury’s recommendation report to member countries. The jury recommendation is usually endorsed by the EU Council.”

Istanbul will also be unique in producing new cultural forms of dealing with the increasing traffic, rising rents for apartments and with the ever enlarging city boundaries:)

lifestyle, culture, istanbul

there is a symposium being held in istanbul called “symposium on culture of istanbul lifestyle,” where the constantly changing lifestlye of/in istanbul will be discussed. the programme of the three-day event is here.

Quirky Days

Awhile back I was sitting in my pirated office in Kazasker when an elderly man stuck his head in the door and asked me to follow him. Curious as to what was in store I left my pile of work (Çop Şiş and a pitcher of Ayran) and headed out in tow.
IMG_3677.JPG Another Day At The Office

He led me down the street, around the corner, across Minibus Yolu, and into “Taç”, one of a series of chain stores scattered throughout Istanbul…where I was introduced to his wife and children.
There was no pressure to purchase or peruse he simply wanted me to see where he worked, what he did for a living and to meet his family. After a ramble amongst the wares I realized that this unplanned textile tour of “Taç” had reached its captivating climax.
IMG_3679.JPG “Movin’ Out With Metin”

I made my exit amidst much hand shaking and cheek kissing and headed back to my office and my overflowing desk with an eccentric element of this little corner of Asia to ponder. “Quirkiness” seems to be an intercontinental trait.
IMG_3685.JPGA Brief Stop On The Textile Tour

Mental Machinations

Someone is messing with the way my mental machinations mesh. I had just made the shift to Winter wear, Winter wool, and Winter wit…when today dawned bright and clear. After spending the week convincing myself that Summer had simpered, and Fall had fled…waking up to April skies seems intentionally cruel. Time to step up to facts though…where’s my beach towel?
IMG_5140.JPG Waffling Weather

Winter Wit

The cold weather here in Istanbul seems to have thickened my literary sap and while the content is rich…the flow has tapered to the occasional drip. We hope to bore deeper this week and find a vein to tap. In the interim, it really isn’t all that cold outside (40 degrees F), and yet the snow is falling heavy in Kosuyolu, disappearing as it hits the ground.
From The Igloo
I am stubbornly refusing to capitulate access to my balcony office and am paying a “weathering” tariff for my obstinacy. In need of a compositional “by-pass”, I have spent the last few weeks with Turks who have plied me with pastries, leveraged me with laughter, and whacked me with wit. Istanbul seems to have a cure for all that ails.

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