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Aphrodisias

Interest in Aphrodisias has ebbed and flowed like the tide since 1961. Sometimes we await news of the ancient city with bated breath; other times we barely notice when it appears. We took the re-opening the newly refurbished Aphrodisias Museum on 2A October as an occasion for following up on the latest finds.

It`s September 1958. The then Prime Minister is going to open Turkey`s biggest dam, the Kemer. Getting wind of the event, Hayat (Life) magazine quickly dispatches photojournalist Ara Giiler to the nearby town of Aydin. Provided with a car and driver by the governor`s office, Giiler is stilt shooting when night falls. They lose their way, winding up in a coffeehouse in a remote mountain village. The locals are playing cards on top of a Roman column capital. As soon as it gets light the next morning,

Gtiler takes a look around the village, photographing the reliefs of figures on sarcophagi crushing, grapes and driving a pair around the Hippodrome. The village is Geyre. On his return to Istanbul he shows his pictures first to writer and culture doyen Sabahattin Eyuboglu, and then to Rustem Doyuran,Director of the Archaological Museum. No one is familiar with this place.

Architectural Review

Guler has the idea of sending his photos to the Architectural Review. Not long afterwards a telegram arrives from the American journal, Horizon. Giiler returns to the village with the same driver. When the journal requests a very well known` writer, Prof. PhD.. Kenan T. Erim is enlisted. And from that day forward, Erim never stops writing about Aphrodisias. Right up to his death…

This story is better known than the city itself. Dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite (Venus), and one of the chief archaeological sites of the Greek and Roman periods, it nevertheless lies off the beaten track. The excavations, which have been under way for years financed by the Geyre Foundation, culminate in new finds every autumn. But since they are stowed away, either in the Dig House or the Museum`s storage area, few people are aware of them.

A scene of countless invaluable ruins, Aphrodisias up to now has been only about one-quarter unearthed. Another hundred years will be needed for completion of the task. Drawing attention last year for the opening of the Sebasteion Sevgi Gonul Gallery, the city is opening the doors of its newly refurbished museum on 24 October. We viewed the pre-opening preparations and the finds waiting behind the blue door of the Dig House for Skylife readers.

Venus on the half shell

There are a large number of reliefs and sculptures depicting Aphrodite in this city, which is known for its Temple of Aphrodite and ceremonies enacted in her name. Aphrodite, aka Venus, on the Half Shell is one of them. Currently undergoing work in the Dig House preservation and restoration areas, this sculpture has not yet been exhibited despite having turned up in the original.

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Aphrodisias The Blue Horse

Aphrodisias The Blue Horse


The `Blue Horse` sculpture, which was found in the Civil Basilica during the 1970 excavations, finally went on display last year in the Sebasteion Sevgi Goniil Gallery after waiting many years in storage. Although only the upper part of the young rider`s left leg remains, it is clear that he has been depicted falling off his horse. The work is important as the only example among ancient sculptures that depicts a galloping horse in marble.

Restoration Continues


The Sebasteion, constructed in the mid-lst century A.D. in honor of the Roman emperors and the local goddess Aphrodite, is adorned with a marble panel of 200 life-size human figures in high relief. One after the other, some 80 of them have been on display in the Sebasteion Sevgi Goniil Gallery since 2008. But there are also examples in the Dig House that have not been displayed and continue to undergo restoration. These reliefs, whose subjects are varied and extensive, depict prominent figures and scenes such as Aphrodite and Troy.

Towards a New Museum…


Built at the start of the excavations, the Aphrodisias Museum soon became too small to accommodate the richness of the ruins, so architect Cengiz Bektas was asked to renovate it. A project ongoing since February 2009, the Aphrodisias Museum is re-opening on 24 October.

The School of Sculpture


The reliefs and sculptures produced in the Aphrodisias School of Sculpture, which had its inception in the 1st century B.C. and continued its existence into the 5th century B.C. in the early Byzantine period, are world- renowned. A head of a `Man Playing a Flute` is just one of, niariy other examples that are waiting in storage.

The Weeping Women Sarcophagus

Among the works to be exhibited at the newly re-opened Aphrodisias Museum, the `Weeping Women Sarcophagus` has never before been displayed. Restoration of the sarcophagus, which was found in pieces on: the Eastern Necropolis in the 1994 excavations, has just been completed. On it, sumptuously dressed women are weeping and mourning. Another example of the same theme is on exhibit at the istanbul Archaeological Museum.

Late Settlement at Aphrodisias

Artifacts such as a small bronze shovel, an oil lamp and a stone game token, which were unearthed in the 2009 excavations, have been dated to the late 5th – early 6th century A.D. These artifacts, found under the basilica corridor, have fueled speculation that there were settlements on the site.

Stone Game Token

Small items such as a stone game token, an oil lamp and a bronz shovel found in the recent excavations have been dated to the late 5th – early 6th century A.D. These artifacts, which were found below the floor level of the Aphrodisias Basilica corridor and removed to refuser storage, are important for giving an idea about life in the period.

Portrait of a Young Man with a Beard

The New York University dig team found the head of a portrait sculpture dating to approximately 160-200 A.D. at the Aphrodisias Basilica.

`Bearded Young Man`, who commands notice for his deeply carved curly hair, is important for masterfully combining the techniques of marble portraiture with an individual style.

The Sebasteion Rising Again

One of Aphrodisias`s most monumental structures, the Sebasteion is also known as the Temple of the Emperors. Efforts are under way to put this temple, a focus of current research and preservation work, back on its feet. Started in 2005, these efforts are expected to culminate in 2011.

If unearthed in the 2008 excavations is a marble column capital depicting a Villager Milking a Goat`. This capital, one of the prominent finds from the Late Roman period, is thought to : have been made in the 6th century A.D. It was recovered in an area replete with marble encased walls, glass wall mosaics and murals on Tetrapylon Avenue between the U monumental gate of the Aphrodite Temple`s front courtyard and the : entrance to the Sebasteion.

Two Bulls and a Lion

One of the finds from the Basilica`s south hall includes a pediment and, over it, an arch, wedged between the blocks that were toppled by a disaster in the 7th century A.D. Conservation and restoration of this piece, which was found in its original ruined state with all its fragments, continue at the Dig House. There are figures of two bulls and a roaring lion on the capital of the pediment, which exhibits an unusual design.

If Ara Giiler hadn`t lost his way and photographed Aphrodisias in 1958 September and hadn`t sent these photographs to the Architectural Review and the Horizon magazine; this ancient city would have never drawn Prof. Dr. Kenan T. Erim`s attention and all that we are able to see today would remain buried under ground.

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The Museum of Yalvac

With such a wealth of history and historical remains, Yalvac naturally has a fine museum in which finds from excavations and other sources are on display. At the entrance to the museum you are greeted by examples of some of the fine reliefs that once graced Antiocheia`s monuments. Entering the museum, we are immediately enthralled by an unbroken sequence of works that begins from Prehistoric times.

The aesthetic satisfaction that comes of viewing works in terracotta changes to the pleasurable experience of examining Roman sarcophagi. The deep gaze in the eyes of a statue of Aphrodite is reflected in the statues of Pan and Men. That golden chalice over there must surely have been a witness to the excitement of countless victory celebrations. Works of mother-of-pearl depicting Mary, Jesus, and angels are just a few of the rare and exquisite works on display at the Yalvac Museum, which also contains a section for ethnographic material as well.

Camping and picnic grounds

There are numerous excursion spots in and around Yalva^; where you will find incomparably wonderful opportunities to relax and enjoy nature. The Monumental Plane Tree (Platanus orientalis), is an ancient guardian of the area and has been a witness to who knows how many events. Seat yourself beneath its emerald-green leafy boughs and sip tea as you let the day`s tiredness melt away.

The local inhabitants of all ages frequently come here to sit, enjoy themselves, and chat with one another. Over the centuries, this tree has been where many important decisions affecting the future of the town and its people were made; and from time to time it almost seems to shake its branches as if to signal its support. The people of Yalvac regard this tree as a sort of good-luck charm for the whole county.

Hidirlik Tepesi is a hill where the finest hues of the color green are proudly displayed by the pine trees and where the local people traditionally hold their festivals. In places such as Hisarardi, Su Qktigi, Diizkir Orman Alam, Gemen Korusu and Gaziri Mevki history and nature embrace one another while the delicious and savory smell of fresh fish and meat being cooked wafts its way to you from tiny, charming restaurants. The spring water is pure and icy- cold and its flavor seems to be mingled with the scent of pine. The thanks we feel for Mother Nature fall unbidden from our lips.

Extremely faithful to their traditions, the people of Yalvac are determined to sustain and nourish the rich cultural tradition that their forefathers have left them. One of the most productive of those traditions is leather-working, which is an important source of revenue not just for the county but for Turkey as well. Modern methods are employed where modern demands of taste and quality so dictate, but one thing that has not changed is the painstaking and age-old attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Craft & Cultural Heritage

The leather goods that the people of Yalvac create by the sweat of their brows and the delicate artistry of their taste are offered in great pride to markets in Turkey and around the world. Another age-old activity in the area is felt-making, another craft and cultural heritage for which efforts are being made to keep it alive. The number of full-time felt-makers is slowly declining, but those who practice the craft still produce carefully-made objects fashioned from felt made from the purest wool.

Copper-working has been an industry that Yalvac; has never been without and it has undergone constant development. The skillful hands of craftsmen steeped in millennia-old traditions turn sheets of metal into jugs, samovars, vases, dishes, and other useful utensils.

A riot of color and a symphony of wood, Yalvac`s distinctive and unique horse carts are an invariable element of the local decor and popular photographic subjects. Saddle and Harness making are also among the traditional handicrafts which still survive in the region.

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Zafer Upar General Manager of the Merit Sahmaran Hotel

Zafer Upar is a newcomer to Van, despite having only arrived in the Spring, he has made himself quite familiar with Van and the region. Mr. Upar provides some background, “Merit Hotels is a Turkish chain, and is the only chain represented in Van. With 90 rooms, we are also the largest and newest in hotel in the city, and the only hotel with an open swimming pool and pool bar.

Right now, the bed capacity in Van is way above requirements, as there are two 4-star, three 3-star and other smaller hotels in addition to ours. There has been a significant drop in visits by American groups this year, and our guests are mostly Japanese; Korean; Belgian and Dutch. There are very few French and English visitors, but quite a few Turkish groups. Until 1992/93 the-re were not enough hotel rooms in the city, then terrorism caused a severe decrease in tourism.

However, there has been an 18% increase in visitors this year. One of the biggest problems for people coming to the area are the restaurants, tourists want to see a variety of restaurants, but in Van only 2 or 3 cater to tourists, and those don`t have liquor licenses. However, Van`s biggest shortcoming is the lack of promotion. /I hotel only rents rooms, but Akdamar Church will rent my room 10 times and Hosap Castle will rent it 100 times. We need to get people to come to Van”

Tahir  President of Bazaar Urartu

Bazaar Urartu, has been in the carpet business since 1986 and opened its second store in Van in May. The building, more reminiscent of a historical castle than a shop, attracts attention as much for its` architecture as for its` carpets. Leaving aside the colourful carpets, we lend an ear to Tabir Abi: “Turkish carpets are among the most valuable in the world, especially the Hereke, which when it comes to silk is superior to the Iranian carpet.

Increasing the level of exports requires a great deal of promotion, and that is lacking. It is necessary to tell the world, in the right way, that our situation has improved and to introduce our arts and our cultural riches.” Another name working on tourism development on the shores of Lake Van is Hikmet Deniz, owner of `Grand Deniz Facilities`. Located in Gevas County, this beautiful and well-kept facility also organises “Blue Voyages” on the astoundingly coloured waters of the lake. As you travel around Van, you become aware of the efforts, excitement, and hope of local people. From the travel- agent to the hotelier, from the merchant to the museum watchman, everybody is striving for the advancement of tourism.

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Street Markets of Istanbul

Street markets (pazar) still create a good alternative for economical shopping. People who generally do their shopping at various stores get astonished when they somehow come across with the prices in street markets located at different neigbourhoods on specific days of the week. The street markets at Ulus on Thursdays, YeSilkoy on Wednesdays,

Kadikoy on Tuesdays are the most popular ones. You can buy the garments of the latest fashion at a reasonable price range. Besides you can meet your needs ranging from clothes to kitchenery, bags and decorative furniture in the street markets at Fatih on Wednesdays, BeSiktaS on Saturdays and Fmdikzade on Fridays. Street markets promise a few hours full of joy and nostalgia for remembering the acquint smell of that enthusiastic and colourful crowd, as well as an economical shopping.

Which Pazar, where, when?

Cuma Pazan Fidikzade Friday

Cuma Pazari Usktudar Friday

Cumartesi Pazari Bakirkoy Saturday

Cumartesi Pazari Besiktas Saturday

Bostanci Pazari Bostanci Wednesday

Carsamba Pazari Fatih Wednesday

Yesilkoy Pazari Yesilkoy Wednesday

Carsamba Pazari Ihlamur Wednesday

Pazar Pazari Kucukcekmece Sunday

Pazartesi Pazan Bahcelievler Monday

Persembe Pazari Etiler Thursday

Persembe Pazari Merter Thursday

Persembe Pazari Erenkoy Thursday

Persembe Pazari Ulus Thursday

Persembe Pazari Suadiye Thursday

Sail Pazan Kadikoy/Sogutlucesme Tuesday

 Istanbul that accustomed to “the universal culture”

The come and goes of the most famous artists of the world are no longer “sensational events” for the people of Istanbul; because Istanbul has a determining role in I “the universal culture circulation.”

Not so long, some 20-25 years ago, Istanbul used to be all over the place when a foreign artist came. This famous guest used to be the focus of the public opinion. All the columns and cameras used to be directed to that person. Even the most serious columnists could not help mentioning “the sensational visit.”

It has changed now. The visits of the most popular, the most distinguished, the most famous singers, stars and groups are simply not much “sensational” for Istanbul. Because, Istanbul has taken its place among “the main cultural capitals” of the world such as Paris, Rome, New York, Vienna and London, Istanbul, with its cultural/historical/natural riches that the whole humanity admires, is “an open air museum.” Its giant surface area and population, whether they want or not, is taking Istanbul next to the main megapouses of the world. With all these “plus” and “minus” qualities,

Istanbul is certainly a “world city” and “city of culture” today…

The population of Istanbul is a very interesting mosaic. People from all social groups are represented in this city. The immigration rush from all parts of Turkey has brought Istanbul to be “the synthesis of this country.” It is hard to say that “the education and culture level” is at the same level with western cities, in the demography. But the “intelligentsia” of is strong enough to be dominant in the cultural life of the city. Or, “the intellectuals of Istanbul” are not only in “artliterature areas”, they are represented in many areas. For instance, most of “the businessmen at the top” are the active elements of this “intelligentsia.” Istanbul is organizing most of the festivals that has universal prestige owing to their efforts.

Besides, Istanbul has gained many of the cultural complexes that evoke admiration by the “culture and art foundations” they established. Briefly; The very strong “intelectual consensus” of Istanbul in terms of quality has accomplished the mission to take this city among “the universal culture capitals” with a great success, Istanbul has taken its place among “the world cities that could assimilated universal culture” despite of its mixed demographic structure by the efforts of its intellectuals.

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The prerequisites for inflation do not exist at present

“The threatening scenarios are a factor. They cannot be ignored.”

Tnvestors found themselves staring spellbound at the quotation boards A of financial markets in mid-March. The inferno in Japan had stoked uncertainty in particular, which was already high due to the uprisings in North Africa and the sharp rise in the oil price. Christian Ohswald, Manager of Private Banking at Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederdsteneich- Wien, puts it thus: “The threatening scenarios are a factor. You cannot simply ignore the levels of national debt now prevalent in European periphery countries, the problems in the Arab world, or the situation in Japan.”

The signs were positive when it came to saving the euro, at least, after heads of government in the Eurozone states reached an agreement to double the euro rescue package. On the other hand, the rise in inflation, which reached 2.4 percent in the Eurozone in February, continues to generate concern. Susanne Hollinger, Private Banking Manager ofErste Bank, commented: “The rate of inflation has risen in Europe.

But I`m not expecting to see a further sharp increase in the near future, however, or even inflation spiralling out of control.” Jurgen Danzmayr, Head of Private Banking at Bank Austria, went on: “For inflation actually to experience a lasting rise, the wage-price-spiral needs to begin spiralling very quickly, and the preconditions for this don`t exist at present.

Those still wishing to play it safe can invest part of their assets in inflation-linked bonds. According to Marcel Landesmann, Chair of the Board of Directors at Bank Vontobel 0sterreich, however, wise heads will not pursue such a strategy too brashly. Landesmann: “Inflation could rise to three percent in the medium term. Buying inflation-linked bonds only makes sense, however, if the increase actually turns out to be higher.” Raiffeisen expert Ohswald agrees: “inflation-proof bonds do not protect you against rising real rates of interest. In a scenario of that nature, they need to be handled as carefully as traditional government bonds.”

“Inflation could rise to three percent in the medium term.”

Where shares are concerned, the paper form continues to point to useful opportunities. However, investors should not flirt with the idea that the large profits that could be generated on many stock exchanges between March 2009 and the beginning of this year will continue unabated. In light of the precarious situation in the crisis spots of the world, moreover, investors will need to factor in often heavy price fluctuations on markets. From the point of view of share evaluation, at least, exchanges are well placed.

The securities of the world share index, MSCI World, are still reasonably valued with a priceeamings ratio of 13 based on profit estimates for 2011 as a whole. While investment experts particularly liked stock exchanges in emerging markets last year, the pendulum has now swung back in the other direction.

Private Banking Head Danzmayr: “The trend is positive in the USA and Europe, and particularly France and Germany in the latter. Measured by their price-earnings ratios, European shares are 30 percent cheaper than papers on Wall Street on average. On top of that, the average dividend yield in Europe is still 1.6 percentage points above US securities.”

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