From Bsanna-News. Istanbul to host international festivals in July.
Istanbul, European Capital of Culture 2010, will host international tango and jazz festivals in July.
Tango dancers from almost 50 countries will attend “the 7th International Istanbul Tango Festival” which will take place between June 30 and July 4.
Istanbul 2010 Tango & Jazz
Renowned dancers Sebastian Arce, Mariana Montes, Mariano Chico, Frumboli, Juana Spulveda, Adrian Veredice, Alehandra Hobert, Damian Rosenthal, Celine Ruiz, Ruben and Sabrina Veliz will perform in the festival.
“The 17th International Istanbul Jazz Festival” organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and sponsored by Turkey’s Garanti Bankasi will be held between July 1 and 20.
50 concerts will take place in the festival in which more than 300 singers and bands will perform.
The opening of the festival will be held at The Marmara Esma Sultan on July 1.
Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre, Archeology Museum, Aya Irini (Hagia Irene) Museum, Istanbul Modern, Istinyepark, Salon and The Marmara Esma Sultan will host concerts.
Chick Corea Freedom Band, Tony Bennett, Grace Jones, Seal and Martha Wainwright are among performers of the Istanbul Jazz Festival.
Istanbul is cool this year, 2010. It is the “coolest” destination for everyone, from backpackers to jet setters. Istanbul has definitely become the hottest vacation destination this year and one of the reasons is the fact that Istanbul was voted the European Capital of Culture 2010 by the European Union. Istanbul is emerging as the “It” destination of the year for its unique situation and history, its architectural and cultural splendors. Istanbul is putting on her finest dress this year.
Istanbul for 24 hours: Where would you stay, what would you do if you only had 24 hours in Istanbul? The following is how to get the most out of a 24 hour stay in Istanbul.
Where to wake up? Wake up in the Hotel les Ottomans. Located close to the Bosphorus, you’ll wake up with the smell of the fresh air and the sea and stunning views of the Bosphorus. Hotel les Ottomans was once the stunning palace of an 18th century Pasha. The Hotel les Ottomans will treat you to the services of butlers and personal shoppers. The Hotel even has a yacht, just in case you need it and you have the time. More details on this stunning hotel can be found at lesottomans.com.
What about lunch? Lunch, that all important meal of the day, where to grab a bite when you’re on the go? The best donor and kebabs in Istanbul can be had at Bambi a stall, open 24 hours a day, the price is right and the atmosphere is cheerful.
Head on down to Saray for a break after some fast paced sightseeing in Istanbul. Put your feet up, sample some of their delicious desserts and Turkish coffee. Got to be had – Ladies’ Thighs Baklava. Mmmmmm. Find out more about Saray in Istanbul before you go at their website at saraymuhallebicisi.com.
Where to dine? The eclectic Mikla restaurant is the hot spot for night eats in Istanbul. Their fare is judged one of the most splendid in the city. The views of Topkapi Palace from Mikla’s rooftop location are magnificent. Mikla serves up lamb chops with a fine crust of crushed pistachios and other divine dishes for the main event and try the cheeseboard for dessert with wine. Every mouthful is orgasmic! More info at their website at miklarestaurant.com.
How to spend the night? Drop by 5Kat – you can’t miss its flashy exterior. The interior design is done in velvet and beads, candles and lamps, providing a unique ambiance to listen to the music of new and established musicians, featured every night of the week. Visit their website at 5kat.com for more info. After 5Kat, swing by Ghetto, a club that used to be a bakery, and hear out some jazz, rock or pop music over a cocktail or beer. More info at their website ghettoist.com.
Don’t miss some of the cultural events of Istanbul during your quick stop in the city. Yes, Istanbul has become the hottest vacation destination in the world because Istanbul is now cool. You will never run out of things to do in Turkey, just head to Istanbul – the ‘It’ destination, 2010.
Image courtesy of 5Kat.
This recent news story appeared on the BBC news site and I can only slightly agree – that Istanbul’s muezzins need to have voice training. The morning calls to prayer are a part of Istanbul’s culture, tradition and religion and add to the mysticism of the city and all its charm. However, my complaint is not that they are singing out of tune, but it’s the actual timing of the call to prayer itself. Whenever I am in Istanbul, if I want to sleep later than the early morning azan, I’ve got to wear earplugs. The early morning call to prayer is – just that, too early. I’m not sure if I’m the only one tourist complaining, but some people are light sleepers and need to get their sleep. The early morning call to prayer is too early. I even think that some of the locals of Istanbul who have to get up and actually work in the city also find it somewhat annoying in that it wakes them up too early. Again, I like the call to prayer, but would it be possible in this sleep deprived city to have it begin a little later?
Istanbul’s tuneless muezzins get voice training
It is meant to be a beautiful, melodic and spiritual start to the day. But the morning calls to prayer by some of Istanbul’s muezzins and imams have had locals plugging their ears rather than reaching for their prayer books.
The problem is such that following a flood of complaints by locals, special classes for the tuneless culprits have been set up.
Imam Mehmet Tas, one of the school’s first pupils, said he was already feeling the benefits.
“I have so much more self-confidence now in my abilities to do all five calls to prayer in their correct tempos,” he said.
The improvement scheme was put together by Mustafa Cagrici, the city’s head of religious affairs, who is determined to make sure all of the city’s 3,000 mosques produce a beautiful call-to-prayer each morning.
“For some reason, these imams were hired even though their voices are not good, they just can’t sing!
We’re doing our best to help our imams and muezzins to improve their singing.”
He says that since lessons started, complaints have dropped from hundreds a month to just dozens, an improvement that can be credited to the singing teacher, Seyfettin Tomakin. “I personally find a badly sung azan [call to prayer] very disturbing,” he said.
“The azan is music, beautiful music that brings people to God, that’s why it’s so important to sing it well.
“Sure, there are some people who find it harder than others, that’s why some come here for a year. But my job is to find their voice to enable them to sing.” Sadly, for some, no amount of teaching will ever be enough.
“There are some people who can’t improve – no matter how much training you give them,” said Mr Cagrici.
“So we connect their mosque, by radio, to a central mosque where there’s an imam who can sing.”
What do my readers think? Leave your comment on the timing of the azan, the early morning call to prayer in Istanbul.