Sticky post

The warmth of “home” scaled down into a space of loss, grief and dislocation

I am “putting pen to paper” after two consecutive earthquakes of magnitudes 7,8 and 7,6, merely nine hours apart, shook us to the bones… crumbling to pieces the terrain, our hearts, our minds, our families, our hopes. Millions of lives are shattered, almost beyond repair. The whole country is in mourning. Except for the rescue workers and the medical staff, few have the strength to comfort one another. So I am doing what I know best – talking with a blank page. A barren piece of paper always welcomes words. My home land Türkiye is fault-ridden, prone to earthquakes.  As … Continue reading The warmth of “home” scaled down into a space of loss, grief and dislocation

Sticky post


I would love to introduce you to a very special musician, Kiann.  He is a renowned Persian-Italian composer of contemporary music.  He is a pianist, an instinctive melodicist, a magical music producer who has been pursuing a career in Austria for many years. No doubt it is his East-West heritage which builds a bridge between music and our souls. Tunes which blend classical, contemporary, instrumental and modern, warming our hearts and soothing our senses. His repertoire includes countless pieces from several studio albums, a live album recorded in Vienna Musikverein, many piano solos, electronic music, plus songs from a world … Continue reading AN ENCHANTING CONTEMPORARY EVENING WITH KIANN

art heals

Some believe art is not necessary I believe it’s crucial We will reclaim our joy and the strength to move forward via the arts It will take time, no doubt Although the 6 February 2023 twin earthquakes have hit like cannonballs to the soul, They have also shown that … …. strongest pillars of healing are built upon art and learning. “You’ve got to invest in the world, you’ve got to read, you’ve got to go to art galleries, you’ve got to find out the names of plants. You’ve got to start to love the world and know about the … Continue reading art heals

“Ecotherapy” in the fishing villages of Istanbul

Istanbul is, I believe, one of the most magical cities in the world. It is unique as it is the only metropolis in the world to extend into more than one continent. Napolean was apparently very impressed with Istanbul. If all the world were a single state, he said, this city should be its capital Home to nearly twenty million inhabitants, the city has been convulsing for many years now by a population influx, to some degree losing its charm Absorbing new residents each year, areas are being opened to property development by destroying former green reaches, with new districts … Continue reading “Ecotherapy” in the fishing villages of Istanbul

“Dreamers” with Shirin Neshat

I do remember the first time I saw Shirin Neshat’s work at a gallery, a good ten years ago now.   I had just moved to Istanbul.  And I also remember being so emotionally moved.  I remember very vividly the power of those photographs. Veiled women, just their faces, sometimes only eyes, feet or hands showing, inscribed with Persian calligraphy and poetry.  The impact, the dominance, the political message was just so strong.  Her photographs so evocative. The visual language so powerful. And I remember watching on tv the commanding speech She gave at the Crystal Awards ceremony during the World … Continue reading “Dreamers” with Shirin Neshat

Antique Ankara

Ankara has a tender spot in my heart.   Having lived in Turkey’s capital in my elementary school days way back in the late 70s, I have been back every year for the last ten years to meet my childhood friend for a long weekend in August.  We reminisce about the good old times, laugh a lot, gossip a little, shop some and make sure to observe our ritual of spending at least half a day “re-exploring” the winding lanes of Ankara Citadel.   It is our ceremonial procession to commemorate “the” annual reunion.       We try to invade as many … Continue reading Antique Ankara

An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Whenever I am visiting a new city or country, attending a classical music concert or the opera is on my priority list.   Main reason is of course the therapeutic effect.  Music is my salvation and antidote to the fatigue of walking around, trying to absorb every single detail during my travels.  Those concerts are my secret gardens only I allow myself to enter.  I feel elevated.  And the music itself of course feels wonderfully soothing There is another reason. Attending a classic music concert or the opera opens the window to the cultural state of the city or the country.  I … Continue reading An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Fazıl Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony is beyond words

Music is no doubt a universal language and a very powerful at that. It has the potential to evoke a myriad emotions…comfort, solace, jubilance, bliss, joy, sorrow, misery, distress, anguish, grief, heartache and the feelings it stirs can go on and on…but above all it has the power to soothe and feed the soul. There are of course composers one feels closer to, perhaps because of the emotional impact they convey with their music, perhaps because their themes strike closer to heart, perhaps due to the historical context, perhaps due to choice of instruments, the familiarity of the melodies, perhaps … Continue reading Fazıl Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony is beyond words

A surprise delivery of petit fours all the way from New York

It was the evening of April Fools day. I unlocked the door to my home in the evening after a non-eventful but draining day at the office to find the neatly wrapped “surprise” package from New York. I had actually been awating the arrival of the parcel from Rene, my friend of 20 plus years, who had dropped me a line to let me know that he had sent me a “book” he had spotted at a restaurant. Although its delivery was not unanticipated, its appearance on my doorstep was still a wonderful surprise which put a smile on my … Continue reading A surprise delivery of petit fours all the way from New York

Tea, that heartwarming drink reflecting Turkish hospitality

Turkey’s love affair with tea goes beyond being just a caffeine vehicle. It is a social lubricant, an inseparable and compassionate companion for many who sip the crimson coloured liquid anywhere and anytime from sunrise to sunset. It is so magical that it has a cooling effect during boiling hot summer days, warming effect during the most frigid winter months, healing powers for the sick, the heartbroken, recharhing powers for the fatigued, relaxing powers for the stressed. That is how extraordinary and hence essential tea is for the Turks. Not only is it magical and addictive, tea is very much … Continue reading Tea, that heartwarming drink reflecting Turkish hospitality