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Taking place in the Belgian capital, the Europalia International arts festival has been conducting several multidisciplinary events every two years since 1969, focusing on the cultural heritage of one guest country.
This year, the festival is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a program dedicated to Turkey, delving into both the historic and contemporary cultural and artistic richness of the country.
h2Heritage of Anatoliah2 There are three main exhibitions within the festival, which started in October and will run through the end of January. Curated by Professor Ridder Marc Waelkens and archeologist Zandulkanduf Yilmaz, the show and”Anatolia andndash Home of Eternityand” brings together more than 200 artifacts gathered from more than 30 museums in Anatolia covering its 12,000-year history at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Among the artifacts taken from institutions such as the Topkapi Palace Museum, the Istanbul Archeological Museums, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, there are ritual objects from the AlacahandOyanduk site dating back to the Bronze Age, carvings and sculptures from classical antiquity, miniatures and artworks from Seljuk and Ottoman periods, mosque furniture and cult objects, textiles from different periods and several objects from GandObeklitepe, the oldest known temple in the world.
h2Istanbul through artworkh2 The second exhibition, also displayed at the Centre for Fine Arts, is titled and”Imagine Istanbuland” and delves into the city of Istanbul through photographs referring to significant artists from the 20th century that have produced work in the fields of photography, music, cinema and literature. The show starts with several photographs presenting examples of 19th-century Istanbul photography from the Koandc collection that have never before been exhibited. The heart of the show is dedicated to the works of Ara Ganduler, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, who is also referred to as the and”Eye of Istanbuland” for his body of works depicting the now gone parts of the city.
Together with Gandulerand’s photographs, the works of promising young photographers such as Ali Taptik and Ahmet Polat are also included in the show. The curator of the exhibition, R. Paul McMillen, describes Taptik as the antithesis to Ara Ganduler. and”We could say that Istanbul needed Ali Taptik. It needed the gaze he brought to the ever-emerging cityscape which for him was a constantly emerging self-portrait of contemporary Turkey. His work is not a critique of Istanbul, it is an intimate interaction with it,and” he explains in the press release of the show.
For the other young photographer, Ahmet Polat, who recently won the prestigious and”Fotograaf des Vaderlandsand” award in the Netherlands, the curator says that he has built a body of work on the polarity of family background and his work is a combination of commentary and confession. Also, a selection of photographs by established director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the 2014 Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival for his movie and”Winter Sleep,and” and the works of contemporary artists such as Sophie Calle, Ayie Erkmen and Kasper Bosmans are featured in the show.
h2Port city talks — Istanbul and Antwerph2 Curated by the established architect Murat Tabanlioilu, the third main exhibition of Europalia Turkey takes place in Antwerp and centers on the vital role of water in Istanbul through its history and its similarities with Antwerp. and”Istanbul is literally the crossing point between Asia and Europe. For centuries, the port has been seen as the gateway to the East. On the other hand, Antwerp has emerged from being a port city on a river to a leading world port: a gateway to the rest of the world. Both cities have been known for centuries for their bustling commerce and political influence. The exhibition Port City Talks Istanbul-Antwerp will motivate the audience to walk through the traces of Istanbul, discovering artwork and artefacts from different centuries using multimedia installations, and to discover the Bosporus, its inlet Golden Horn and their hinterland. At the same time, the relation between Istanbul and Antwerp will be explored and the viewer will be invited for individual experiences and inspirations,and” the press release of the show explains.
h2Musical Istanbulh2 In the framework of the festival, international composer, producer and instrumentalist Xavier Thomas, known as Debruit in the world of music, premiered his new album that he recorded during his residency in Istanbul with a live show. Collaborating with musicians, including Okay Temiz, Mustafa andOzkent, Murat Ertal and Melike iahin from BaBa Zula, Gaye Su Akyol and Canduneyt Sepetandci, he presents his interpretation of Istanbul in his album.
Among the other musical performances of the event, the leading chamber orchestra Istanbul Solistleri will be performing a repertoire of works from 19th-century Tanburi Cemil Bey in Brussels, Valenciennes and Ghent in the upcoming days. Also, the Konya Turkish Sufi Music Ensemble and the Sama Ensemble will perform the traditional Mevlevi ritual in January featuring the whirling dance of dervishes in four cities, including Brussels.
h2Encounters in literatureh2 In terms of the events related to literature, many contemporary authors, including Ahmet andumit, Hakan Gandunday, Mario Levi and Nedim Gandursel, have already met with the audience in Brussels and there will be more gatherings for those who want to see names such as Enis Batur, Ece Temelkuran, Haydar Ergandulen, Enver Ercan and Sibel Eraslan.
Also, in collaboration with Yapi Kredi Publications, one of the biggest publishing houses in Turkey, the people of Brussels will be invited to translate a childrenand’s book written by Feridun Oral from Turkish into French and Dutch. The participants of the event and”The Spectacular Translation Machineand” do not need to know Turkish since the aim of the activity is to experience various ways to communicate.
Europalia Turkey will run through January 2016 in Brussels and various other cities in Europe.

Siirt Perfoming Arts Ensemble (Photo: B. Erkoandc)

Siirt Perfoming Arts Ensemble (Photo: Aykut Uslutekin)

iznik tile with two peacocks Ottoman period, 17 th century.

Kultepe idol late 3rd early 2nd millenium BC, Kayseri.


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