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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Turkey: not just for Christmas


With the festive season fast approaching, London is opening its doors to colours and lights from all over the world as street markets offer traditional trinkets, high-street stores invest in expensive displays and winter themed activities spring up all over the capital.

A great time for art lovers, Christmas gives London a new and unique appearance that is sure to satisfy ... but it’s not the only city in the world to do so.

November is expected to be a rather busy month in Turkey as tourists will be flocking from far and wide to descend on the city where East meets West, so don’t be surprised when flights to Istanbul with Pegasus Airlines are in high demand.


The reason? Well, the city is due to play host to a full week’s celebrations of contemporary art and culture. The imaginatively titled ‘Art Istanbul’ will be held between the 4th and 10th November 2013. It will run across the city, and will be held at arts fairs, galleries, cultural centers and museums all over Istanbul.

These foundations and institutions will entertain a vast number and range of activities including talks, artistic performances and workshops.

The week long festival overlaps with the eighth edition of ‘Contemporary Istanbul’ an annual three day celebration of art featuring 92 different galleries and exhibiting works from 21 different countries by well over 600 hundred different artists from all over the world.

Far from resting on its laurels, ‘Contemporary Istanbul’ as the name suggests it should, is finally embracing new technologies with ‘Plug-in Istanbul’ introducing the experimental perspectives on art; dedicated to video, new media and other digital forms of expression.

The range and diversity of art on show during the entire festival is enough to whet even the most discriminating palate.

A danger of visiting Istanbul during this time is you may be so pre-occupied with the arts festival that you miss out on all the usual Turkish delights on offer – such as the famous Blue Mosque, built at the behest of Sultan Ahmed I in the 17th Century. This stunning example of both Byzantine and Ottoman Empire influenced architecture is situated in Sultanahmet near Aya Sofya and is certainly worth a visit.


Probably the best way to see Istanbul though, or a way that will certainly give you a unique perspective of the city, is to take a cruise down the Bosphorous. These tours are available daily and consist of the short tour (2 hours in length) or the full tour (approximately 6 hours in total) – perfect for London art lovers looking for something a little different this year.

4 comments:

John said...

Been to Turkey a few times on holiday, but never Istanbul - too many places, so little time!

Sharon said...

I follow another London blogger who is actually going to Turkey for Thanksgiving.

Angie said...

I do hope that nobody mistakes that cat for a turkey!!

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger (大哥) said...

Is Christmas still starting in July in the UK?!

Duncan In Kuantan
Kuantan nature photos

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