Netherlands 2012


This year in the framework of the 400 years celebration of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey, with the support of both the Dutch and the Turkish governments, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts(IKSV) will be organising a series of events in different cities of the Netherlands. IKSV is collaborating with several institutions in Netherlands for the coordination of these projects, which are events from different disciplines like music, jazz, film and dance.

Lucas Vis musical direction
Tessa Joosse filmmaker
Hezarfen Ensemble

1 June 2012, Rotterdam Operadagen
"Holland Premiere"
24 Haziran 2012, Hagia Eirene Museum
"Turkey Premiere"

Michael Ellison
Say I am You

The Rotterdam Operadagen Festival hosts the world premiere of "Say I am You", a contemporary musical play by the distinguished composer Michael Ellison, in a co-production with the Istanbul Music Festival to mark the 400th anniversary of the Netherlands-Turkey diplomatic relations. VocaalLAB Choir, Hezarfen Ensemble, Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson, Ekaterina Levental and Arnout Lems participate in this inspirational project, which throws the boundaries of theatrical, cultural and musical clichés aside while creating a lively theatrical immediacy in probing Mevlana's relationship with his mentor. Michael Ellison's unique musical language culminates in the powerful and absorbing work that blends the traditional with the contemporary in a refined sensitivity of classical manner. Telling a universal story from centuries ago, "Say I am You" also relates directly to the condition of the modern man and invites the audience to a unique and innovative experience. It will provide a meeting point, a forum, a creative nexus of attraction for visions in the 21st century culture that dare to create something not of the East nor from the West but simultaneously from and beyond both, addressing the eternal essentials of human existence: "You, the only one among all of them, say I am who? Say, I am you."

"Encounter Turkey"
Curated by Istanbul Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival
03-08 July 2012

3 July, Bimhuis, Amsterdam
Timuçin Şahin ile Eric Vloeimans ve Tyshawn Sorey

5 July, North Sea Jazz Roundtown Groundz, Rotterdam
Timuçin Şahin ile Eric Vloeimans ve Tyshawn Sorey
Ferit Odman Quartet ve Sean Jones
Baki Duyarlar Quartet ve Eric Vloeimans

6 July, North Sea Jazz Festival Yenisel, Rotterdam
Oğuz Büyükberber ile Simon Nabatov, Nils Wogram ve Tobias Klein
Hüsnü Şenlendirici ve Aytaç Doğan ile Dhafer Youssef Quartet

8 July, North Sea Jazz Roundtown Volga, Rotterdam
Erdem Helvacioğlu ve Per Boysen

The first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place in 1976 in the Netherlands Congresgebouw in The Hague. In the early days, the festival had six venues, three hundred artists and about nine thousand visitors. In this very first year of the festival, internationally renowned jazz legends performed, such as Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, as well as most Dutch avant-garde artists. In 2006, the festival moved to its current, bigger location in Rotterdam. The North Sea Jazz Festival is now considered among the biggest jazz festivals of the world.

The festival, which will be organized between the 6 and 8 July 2012 expects to host more than a thousand musicians, in more than 150 performances at thirteen different stages. With over 65,000 visitors, the festival still manages to retain its intimate character and offers a unique experience to visitors.

This year the festival will feature different musicians and bands from Turkey, showcasing a wide-ranging selection of contemporary Turkish music in the framework of the celebrations of 400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. The participating artists will be selected in cooperation with the Istanbul Jazz Festival, İKSV. Special emphasis will be given to those artists and musicians fusing the tradition with modernity.


İlyas Odman ve Aslı Bostancı
06-07 July 2012, Podium Mozaek

10-11 July 2012, Theatre De Melkweg

Julidans is an annual and highly acclaimed international contemporary dance festival, which takes place at various locations in Amsterdam during the first two weeks of July. The festival offers productions by established and upcoming national and international dancers who have theatrical choreographies in which dance and theatre, music and other disciplines merge. The festival also distinguishes itself by featuring a unique program of non-Western forms of contemporary dance from the Middle East, North Africa and China. Julidans 2012 takes place between Tuesday, July 3rd – Saturday, July 14th 2012, hosting different companies/artists at the Stadsschouwburg and other theaters in Amsterdam. 

This year the festival will feature three dance companies from Turkey: İlyas Odman, Aslı Bostancı and Taldans. İlyas Odman is a dancer-choreographer who is searching for a unique expressionist physical theatre method. He combines methods from contemporary dance, acrobatics, as well as risk technique and gesture theatre in an attempt to create an artistic production closer to performance art than imitative/expressionist dance art. Born in 1984, Aslı Bostancı graduated from Centre National de Danse Contemporaine Angers in 2009 and continues to work for Michael Laub / Remote Control Company since 2010. Founded in 2003, Taldans, has been established in Istanbul by Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sızanlı. Kaplan and Sızanlı have created many independent and collaborative projects. Taldans was named after the Theater Research Laboratory (TAL) of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Theater in which a movement-dance research unit was established by Mustafa Kaplan. For their latest work, Taldans, the choreographic duo of 14 years, started to work with memory. Not “on” or “about” memory, but by using memory as a tool of exploration and a means that allows to revisit a past, a subjective as well as collective history.

At Julidans Festival, İlyas Odman will present his work "Oggi niente", Aslı Bostancı "in between" , along with Taldans which will perform  “Eskiyeni”.

The performances will take place in the framework of the celebrations of the 400th year of the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. The participating artists have been selected in cooperation with the Istanbul Theater Festival, İKSV.

27 September - 1 October 2012, Utrecht

Opening reception: Restaurant Zindering, Stadschouwburg
Co-production panel: The Festival Pavilion, Neude Square
Co-production Meetings: Grand Hotel Karel V
The Cinema Militans Lecture: Blauwe Zaal, Stadschouwburg

Within the framework of the 400th anniversary celebrations of the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey, the Istanbul Film Festival’s “Meetings on the Bridge” and the Netherlands Film Festival’s “Holland Film Meetings” decided to dedicate their co-production meetings and panels to respective countries. With the purpose of encouraging co-productions and enhancing cultural relations between film producers from the Netherlands and Turkey, several events will be hosted and presented between 27 September and 1 October 2012. The Netherlands Film Festival’s country focus will be Turkey at the Holland Film Meetings. For this reason the director of the Istanbul Film Festival Azize Tan, Head of Meetings on the Bridge Gülin Üstün, and the producers and directors of 3 pre-selected film projects will be joining the Holland Film Meetings at the Festival Pavilion. During the opening reception, which will be hosted by the Istanbul Film Festival, a wider audience will have the chance to meet producers from Turkey. The last 5 years of the film industry and conditions of production in Turkey will be discussed at the panel, which will be attended by various managers from institutions and producers from Turkey. The renowned Turkish director Semih Kaplanoğlu will be the guest speaker of the Cinema Militant Lecture accompanied by a screening selection of his films.


Cultural Season of Turkey in France

Cultural Season of Turkey in France, held between June 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010 and organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture of Turkey and France, together with the collaboration of İKSV and CulturesFrance has ended. Turkey’s dynamism, creativity and diversity in the field of culture and arts have been presented to the French public with activities held all around France throughout a period of 9 months.

“Cultural Season of Turkey in France,” which was organized following the “French Spring” held in Turkey in 2006, has ended after an intense 9-month program consisting of cultural activities, collaborative projects in the field of education and economic activities carried on throughout France. The Müsenna performance held on Tuesday evening, April 6 at the Palace of Versailles in Paris and organised under the auspices of French Senate President Gérard Larcher and Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the closing activity of the Season.

With more than six hundred activities, which also include around one hundred conferences and scientific meetings, Turkey had the chance to present to the French public its cultural richness, creativity and diversity, its modernness and the long history of its strong ties with France. During this large-scope project in which one hundred and twenty local governments took an active part, Turkey’s modern face and it’s sophisticated, open and progressive nature was presented to the French public.

The huge interest sparked by these activities was the most important evidence of the Season’s success. Among the activities that were held during the Season, “Kaftans from Topkapı,” “From İzmir to Smyrna, Discovery of an Ancient City,” “Hittite Civilisation” exhibitions were visited by one million and three hundred thousand people. The exhibition titled “From Byzantium to Istanbul: One port for two continents” held at the Grand Palais and the exhibition “The Magnificence of Camondos” held at the Museum of Jewish Art and History were visited by two hundred and fifty thousand people and forty thousand people, respectively. “Istanbul Traversée/Istanbul Traversed” exhibition organised in Lille was visited by one hundred and fifty thousand people. Turkey was the guest of honour of the Technoparade attended by three hundred thousand music lovers, Bastille Day celebrations in Nantes, which drew twenty thousand people and the Europe Education Fair attended by four hundred and forty thousand people. In October, countless people from around the world watched and were mesmerized by the lighting up of the Eiffel Tower with the colours of the Turkish flag. Ten conferences held as part of UTLS (Université de Tous les Savoirs) gave more than eight thousand French participants the opportunity to see Turkey from a new perspective. The “Roots and Wings” program dedicated to architects of Istanbul has reached over three and a half million viewers. With its activities appealing to every age and a variety of people, the Season had a real success in view of both the public opinion and the media.

During a period of nine months, this rich program was not only Turkey’s showcase in France but also created sustainable works by giving priority to co-productions and by acting together with collaborations between artists of the two countries and their institutions. It created the opportunity to develop future-oriented common projects by strengthening the relationship between high school and university students, and teachers and academicians; it also supported various collaborative projects in the economic field.

The dynamism of young Turkish artists highlighted by contemporary art activities held during the Season was a great discovery for France. With their talent and resolution, directors, writers, musicians, dancers, plastic artists, designers and photographers aroused the curiosity and stirred the interest of French art lovers.

In the future, the rapprochement between two countries, which was strengthened by the Season, is expected to provide basis for new collaborations in different fields.

For more information:

For high resolution images of activities held as part of Cultural Season of Turkey in France:

Two events took place in 2009 in Vienna for strengthening the intercultural discourse. “Spot On: Turkey Now” cultural festival was held during 10-11 October 2009, supported by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Promotion Fund of The Turkish Prime Ministry in collaboration with Vienna Konzerthaus and Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. Also in Wiener Festwochen (Vienna Festival), considered as one of the world’s most important cultural festival, several performances related with Turkish culture was shown in collaboration with İKSV.

SPOT ON: TURKEY NOW, VIENNA (10-11 October 2009)

The festival hosted over 20 events in Konzerthaus and Brunnenpassage, to illustrate the multi ethnicity and cultural diversification of Turkey. Main initiative in this festival was to form a bridge among societies for enhancing cultural exchange and improving tolerance. The various events in this festival shaped around the east-west dimension and focused on presenting diverse life stories in order to give the audience a fresh and modern notion of Turkey.

The festival included various events as literature, music and dance. Young violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja gave a concert performance of Fazıl Say’s violin concerto in Konzerthaus. Doron Rabinovici read excerpts from Mario Levi’s Istanbul Was a Fairy Tale. Worldwide-known musican Selim Sesler and his ensemble, gave a concert of Balkan’s and Roman’s sounds. Also Martin Grubinger performed Béla Bartók’s sonata for two pianos and percussion.

Brunnenpassage is the liveliest and the most vigorous cultural region in Vienna and in this festival, Vienna Konzerthaus has collaborated with Brunnenpassage for two events. “Saturdance” event, calling everyone for dancing every Saturday regardless of their ethnicity, race or origin, was held in Brunnenpassage on October 3rd 2009 and in Konzerthaus on October 10th. Additionally, on October 3rd, Vienna Konzerthaus’s highly appreciated “Sing Along” event took place in Brunnenpassage. This event was inspired by the Turkish culture and held in Konzerthaus in October 11th, 2009.

Wiener Festwochen

In the course of her work on behalf of the International Istanbul Theatre Festival (for the project X Apartments), stage designer Barbara Ehnes’s walk-in installation “Istanbul, Transgelinler” was shown during 1-8 June, daily at 6 to 10 pm at brut bar. In this IKSV and Wiener Festwochen co-production, she came into contact with the very poor Tarlabaşi neighbourhood, where inhabitants are mostly Kurds, Roma and African immigrants. For some time, Barbara Ehnes has been interested in a novel form of portraits, in the life stories and life conditions of people who find themselves in unusual situations. In Tarlabaşi, she worked with transsexuals, who lead a hidden ghetto life in a country whose biggest difference as compared to Europe is described as the relationship between the sexes. Barbara Ehnes addresses the question of what this transformation means and how it is subjectively experienced in a non-liberal as well as in a liberal society. Barbara Ehnes is one of the most outstanding stage designers of the younger generation, whose sets and specific spatial solutions are always spaces of and for art in their own right.

A re-interpretation of the story of Antigone, called Euridice's Cry, was shown on 6 June 2009 at brut im Künstlerhaus. In this performance, this time it is not only Antigone, her sister and her betrothed who put up resistance to King Creon but also his wife Euridice, who commits suicide at the end of the play. This performance is a high-speed spoken symphony that stages the tragic conflict of reasons of state, religion and female rebellion as a passionate to-and-fro of musical-rhythmic chants, chorus intermezzi, solos, duos, trios. Employing a choreography of language and light, eight young women and men visualise the fears of a people composed of directionless goody-two-shoes and the almost physical menace emanating from an unchallengeable power. The way of expression chosen by the performers, who all wear tight black tops, is a dark and dangerous rap. The decisive form adopted makes this production from Istanbul something very novel and strange. Director, author and actress Şahika Tekand played roles in 17 feature films and worked with numerous directors before founding her own, Istanbul-based ensemble Studio Oyuncuları (The Studio Players) in 1988. For several years already, the ensemble has been enjoying an international reputation as one of the best-known Turkish theatre groups.

Reporter, a docu-performance was performed on 8 June 2009 at brut im Künstlerhaus. Mehmet Ali Alabora was alone on the stage, playing himself as he narrates his own life-story as a specific, modern Turkish biography. Reporter holds up a mirror to the different identities of Memet Ali Alabora, his life and experiences and the way in which these personal experiences influence Alabora as a performer. Since 1995, directors Övül and Mustafa Avkiran have been collaborating as independent artists in Turkey but also in international contexts.

The international festival series, organised by İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts since 2004 to strengthen the understanding, dialogue, and interaction between East and West, continued in Vienna in 2008.

"Turkey at one Glance. Excerpts from Life and Culture" took place from November 4, 2008-February 1, 2008 in Vienna. The idea of the festival was based on a culture that derives from the daily life of a young and considerably critical generation and, thus, the festival dealt with issues of social change and transformation.


The programme included various events from film to music, dance, caricature, fashion photography, visual arts and literature. The exhibition "Index. Traces from Daily Life" that took place November 4-25, 2008 in Kunstraum Palais Porcia featured contemporary artists Selim Birsel, Nermin Er, İnci Eviner, Extramücadele, Murat Morova, Ceren Oykut, Murat Şahinler and Nalan Yırtmaç. Other exhibitions organised in the scope of the festival were Ahmet Polat's "The Mirror Between Us" photo exhibition, "The Sultan's Nose" Turkish caricature exhibition and "Forms & Landscapes" presenting fashion photography by Barış Aktınmaz, Ayten Alpun, Sedef Delen and Emre Ünal.


Kolektif İstanbul, Ayşe Tütüncü Trio and Baba Zula presented both traditional and contemporary music at three different venues on November 4, 5 and 6, 2008. The festival program also included a series of film screenings at the Filmhaus Kino Spittelberg from November 5 - 9, 2008. Among the films were Çağan Irmak's The Messenger, Semih Kaplanoğlu's Egg, Seyfi Teoman's Summer Book, Derviş Zaim's Waiting for Heaven and Sırrı Süreyya Önder & Muharrem Gülmez's The International.

Helmut Wittman, Mehmet Dalkılıç and Franz Bernegger presented Nasreddin Hoca stories at the reading called "Akıllı Deli" (Smart Madman), November 6, 2008. The festival also hosted two dance performances: "Saturdance" on November 3, 2008 and "Taldans-Dolap" on November 8, 2008.


Organised by the Ministry of Education, Art and Culture of Austria in cooperation with İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and the Embassy of Turkey in Austria, the festival was supported by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The festival was curated by Daniela Gregori and Deniz Ova.

Turkey Now, Amsterdam-Rotterdam (29 January – 21 April 2007)

Organised with the collaboration of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and Kulsan Foundation, the Turkey Now Festival was held in Amsterdam and Rotterdam between January 29 and April 21, 2009 with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Buitenlandse Zaken/HGİS.

On 29 January, the opening of the festival started with the concert of Sezen Aksu and Metropole Orchestra conducted by Arjen Tien, which was held at the Concertgebouw’s great hall. The concert, which was attended by distinguished guests including Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen and Turkey’s ambassador in the Hague, drew the interest of Turkish and Dutch audiences as well. An audience of around 25,000 Turkish and Dutch people attended the concert which sparked huge interest among the Dutch press.

Ankara State Opera and Ballet’s work Spring Tango was performed on February 7 at the Muziekgebouw. Turkish and Dutch spectators who filled the hall admired the work which is made of three parts. All parts of the work were applauded by the audience.

A total of 4400 people gathered for two concerts Fazıl Say gave with the Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra led by Hans Leenders on April, 20-21 at De Doelen Hall. Also attended by Turkey’s Ambassador in the Hague, these two concerts were highly praised.

The jazz series held in De Doelen Jazz Club on February, 16 and March, 9, 10, 31 were highly acclaimed. Ayşe Tütüncü, Mercan Dede, İlhan Erşahin, Sibel Köse who took the stage as part of this concert introduced Turkish jazz to European music lovers. All the concerts were sold out.

Starring Genco Erkal, the theatre play titled End of Play was put on stage as part of the theatre play series held in De Balie theatre and was very well received by the audience.

The rock concerts held at Melkweg night club was favourable as it brought together Turkish and Dutch youth. Dutch listeners were especially interested in the Athena concert.

Şimdi Stuttgart (22-29 November 2005)

Started in Berlin in 2004, the festival series "Şimdi Now" continued with the “Şimdi Stuttgart” in 2005.

Organised with the collaboration of the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation and Stuttgart Turkish-German Forum, the Şimdi Stuttgart Festival took place with the support of the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kulturstiftung des Bundes’. Along with various institutions in Germany, the Akbank Culture and Arts Centre and Hürriyet Daily News from Turkey contributed to the festival.

Bringing together artists from Turkey living in Turkey and abroad, the Şimdi Stuttgart offered to art enthusiasts more than thirty activities consisting of concerts that cover a wide range from hip hop, jazz and rock music to classical
and traditional music, as well as exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, literature meetings and film screenings in 14 different festival venues during 8 days as an activity which draws on a rich past and extends to today’s dynamic and modern Turkey with examples from different artistic disciplines.

The Şimdi Stuttgart started off with the Opening Concert at the Stuttgart Culture and Congress Centre Liederhalle in which pianist Fazıl Say
was accompanied by the Ensemble Resonanz Orchestra from Hamburg. The highlights of the festival were “Ghazals from Goethe’s Divan” rendered by world-renown reed master Kutsi Ergüner with the accompaniment of the Muezzins of Istanbul, the “1001 Nights” in which sisters Ferhan and Ferzan Önder were accompanied by Iranian storyteller Parvis Mamnun, “Many Things,” the new choreography of Zeynep Tanbay who is one of the prominent figures of modern dance in Turkey and Mercan Dede who masterfully brings together the East’s Sufi music with electronic music.

While young piano virtuoso Toros Can came together with contemporary music enthusiasts, one of the leading rock bands of Turkey, Mor ve Ötesi, German hip-hop queen of Turkish origin Aziza A, award-winning pianist Gülden Gökşen’s original fusion project TürkiCaz, Kardeş Türküler who puts forward cultural diversity in their work, Baba Zula who has brought a breath of fresh air to Turkish Folk Music by blending traditional Turkish instruments with electronic elements and young jazz band Tamburada came together with their audience and drew a lot of attention in the club concerts of the festival.

Contemporary dancers and choreographers Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sızanlı’s shows “Dolap” and “Seksek” which were highly praised in Vienna, as well as the show “Fault Line” put on stage by and supported with the caricatures of writer and caricaturist Behiç Ak were among the most interesting events of the festival.

Held during spring months in the past years, Turkish-German Film Days also took place within the scope of the Şimdi Stuttgart festival. In the program in which along with contemporary Turkish cinema’s leading films such as Uğur Yücel’s Toss-up, Reha Erdem’s What is a human anyway? and Zeki Demikubuz’s Innocence and Fate, Turkish cinema classics such as Yavuz Turgul’s Mr.Muhsin were screened, films of Ferzan Özpetek and Fatih Akın were also shown. Uğur Yücel, Işıl Yücesoy ve Olgun Şimşek participated to the film screenings and answered the questions of the viewers.

Held under the scope of the Şimdi Stuttgart and with the contribution of the Stuttgart Literature House (Literaturhaus Stuttgart), Turkish-German Literature Nights attracted huge attention by hosting the leading figures of Turkish and German literatures. Literary figures such as Feridun Zaimoğlu, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Thorsten Becker, Yeşim Dorman, Friederike Groß, Georg Klein, Ahmet Ümit, Uwe Kolbe, Bejan Matur and Nazan Karanis participated to the meetings in which well-known poets and writers read excerpts of their works during three nights. Organised for writers with the contribution of Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, conversation and discussion forums accompanied by music gave Turkish and German writers the opportunity to get to know each other better.

Under the coordination of political scientist Selen Akçalı, photographer Muammer Yanmaz was among the artists who participated to the festival, with his exhibition entitled “40 Stations Paris.” Presented to art enthusiasts at the Stuttgart French Cultural Centre, the exhibition featured photographs taken at the Paris subway and showing 40 Turkish people of art, culture and science who live in Paris.

“Turks” Exhibition attracts record attention.

“Turks: Journey of a Thousand Years, 600- 1600”, organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, ended with over 262 thousand visitors. The exhibition demonstrated the wealth of Turkish culture to the rest of the world.

The exhibition was open from January 22 nd to April 12 th, 2005. 350 masterpieces dated between 600 B.C. and 1600 A.D. and witness to one thousand years of history as well as the development of the Turkic cultures were offered to the pleasure of the visitors.

Majority of the exhibition articles came from the Topkapı Palace Museum and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in İstanbul.

In addition, Berlin State Museum, Louvre Museum (Paris), New York Metropolitan Art Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum (London), Museum of Fine Arts (Vienna) and State Hermitage Museum (St Petersburg) contributed to the exhibition with their holdings of priceless articles.

"Turks: Journey of A Thousand Years, 600 - 1600", was organized by logistics and planning support of İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. Other sponsors were Akkök Group of Companies, Access Industries (UK), Çolakoğlu Group, Friends of the Royal Academy and Royal Academy Trust donators.

Filiz Çağman (Director, Topkapı Palace Museum)
Nazan Ölçer (Director, Sakıp Sabancı Museum)
David Roxburgh (Professor of Islamic Arts, Harvard University)
Norman Rosenthal (Exhibition Secretary, Royal Academy of Arts)
Adrian Locke (Exhibition Curator, Royal Academy of Arts)

For more information, please visit:

Royal Academy of Arts / Press Office
Susie Pickering veya Christina Freyberg
Ph: +44 20 7300 5615/5614 Faks: +44 20 7300 8032

Main Sponsors:



Sponsor: LASSA

Bozar Turkey Festival

Bozar Turkey Fesatival was hosted during 6 October 2004-16 January 2005 to demonstrate the wealth of modern Turkey in various fields of art. Bozar Turkey Festival was organized in Brussels, through the contributions of the Turkish Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism & Culture, Belgian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Development & Cooperation, the participation of Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and the support of Bruxelles-Capitale Region and Turkish Private Sector Association.

A Happy Meeting

Turkey…A cradle of civilization between east and west…Due to its geographical position, it has served as a meeting point for years and today it is hosting more than 72 different cultural groups. In Turkey, where modern and conventional norms co-exist, the right to elect and be elected for women was given in 1934 while in Belgium women had to wait 14 more years.

For many years, Turkey has chosen the European way and became one of the top issues in the European Union agenda. Palais des Beaux-Arts has been conducting its activities focused only on culture, not politics. Thus, our intention is to set a brand new and pleasant meeting, while being respectful to cultural differences and depicting the modern Turkey’s wealth through this vibrant festival and colloquium. This is our primary responsibility as a European culture center.

Paul Dujardin
Palais des Beaux-Arts General Director
+ 32 (0)2 507 82 00

Şimdi Now, Berlin (27 August–4 September 2004)

The festival series, which started in Berlin in 2004 with the title “Şimdi Now”, continued with “Şimdi Stuttgart” organised in Stuttgart in 2005 and “Turkey Now” organised in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in 2007.

Aimed at having a journey in time and space, these festivals are musical journeys that range from classical to popular music, world music to new musical styles, traditional to contemporary art, and moves from a rich past to today’s dynamic and modern Turkey.

As the first leg of the festival series, Şimdi Now offered art lovers around 50 activities including concerts, exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, comedy shows, conferences and film screenings in Berlin’s 20 prominent venues during 9 days in 2004.

With this festival, Berlin had another chance to know about one of the most dynamic and rich cultures of Europe. The festival program, which reflects a creative potential that brings together the traditional with the new through humour and with a cheerful approach, managed to exhibit this most significant characteristic of the Turkish culture which embodies a lively and continuous interaction between Eastern and Western cultures.

The climax of the program was Tarkan’s Arena concert, Sertab Erener and Sezen Aksu’s concerts at the Tempodrom, Fazil Say’s project with Sertab Erener, which was held at the Konzerthaus, Guher and Suher Pakinel’s concert with Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen conducted by Paavo Järvi, as well as Ferhan and Ferzan Önder’s and Toros Can’s recitals at the Philharmonie.


Along with these, jazz master and percussionist Burhan Ocal’s performance with Trakya All Stars and Paco de Lucia at the Tränenpalast, versatile musician, composer and DJ Mercan Dede’s performance, İlhan Ersahin’s Wax Poetic project and Sultan Tunç’s concert with Aziza A. and Eastenders also stand out.


In the conference titled “How far Europe can go?” held at the Neuhardenberg Palace, Turkey’s accession to the European Union was discussed. A series of films from award-winning contemporary Turkish directors, which had been shown in Turkey but not in Berlin until that time, were offered to viewers at the Arsenal Movie Theatre. Writers, not yet discovered by Germany, read excerpts from their works at Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. Moreover, German-Turkish stand-up artists entertained their audience at the Werkstatt der Kulturen with their special shows.


First performed in 2003, a co-production of Tanztheater Wuppertal-Pina Bausch and Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Pina Bausch’s work titled Nefes, which is about Istanbul, was performed at Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.