Gallery Les Arts Turcs - In the heart of old Istanbul
by Karen-Claire Voss
You find the entrance, walk through a narrow doorway, then up three flights of curving stairs. You ring the bell and hear voices. After a moment or two, the heavy wooden door opens, and someone, perhaps one of the young boys who make tea, get sandwiches, dust, study English and work on computers, is standing there, holding open the door, looking at you brightly and smiling. “Hoş geldeniz.” “Bienvenue.” “Welcome.”
Stepping inside you are immediately enfolded in color, light, and music. Directly in front of you are shelves and tables heaped with Turkish arts and crafts, clothes, and jewelry. Prominently displayed on a large easel is a beautifully colored drawing of the hoopoe, the mystical bird from Farid ud-Din Attar’s (1) The Conference of the Birds, which functions as the sheikh like guide for a group of birds traveling in search of Simorgh. (2) On the left is a serious workspace—six computers, a printer, a fax machine, two desks, and several telephones. On the right, your eye is caught by a large room lined with shelves filled with an enormous collection of CD’s. You can select Turkish folk music from east Turkey, the Black Sea region, and the middle of Turkey. There is Turkish/Greek/Armenian /Jews,Ottoman Music,Çerkez music, Kurdish music, sanat music (art music), tasavvuf music (Sufi music), Gypsy music, you name it, as well as music from all the neighboring countries—Azerbaijan, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, etc. The walls are covered with original paintings and drawings, and the light pours in. Haghia Sophia and trees seem to fill the windows, making them look like paintings too.
Gallery Les Arts Turcs is a unique meeting place for local and international artists, journalists, writers, photographers, painters, and travelers. The aim is to help visitors to Turkey appreciate all that this country has to offer in terms of history and culture. They provide guides to the Sufi community in Turkey and offer a chance to see an authentic, non-touristic, whirling dervish ceremony. They also offer classes in painting, ebru (3), calligraphy, Oriental dance, guided tours for individuals and small groups, and more. Over the years they have developed a truly international network. There was even a story about the activities of Les Arts Turcs Gallery and its owner, Nurdoğan Şengüler, in a recent issue of the Paris-based newspaper, Le Figaro.
Les Arts Turcs Gallery invites you to come, browse, sit and drink tea, talk, and ask questions—
“Begin your journey in Turkey as our guest.”
1. Farid ud-Din Attar was a 12th century Persian Sufi poet. Besides The Conference of the Birds, he is also the author of The Book of the Divine, The Book of Affliction, and The Book of Secrets.
2. Attar intended the Simorgh to be a symbol of the true Self.
3. Ebru is the traditional, swirled painting one often sees on the flyleaves of old books.
the heart of Istanbul
Les Arts Turcs - Bazaar Turkey is located in Sultanahmet, the old town of Istanbul,
Turkey. The Aya Sophia and Blue mosques are our neighbors. If you look
out the windows of our gallery, over the park covering the underground
cistern, you can see both of these treasures, the Topkapi palace, and
the sea of Marmara beyond.
You are welcome in our real gallery anytime. Just stop by to
browse and to sit down for a cup of tea. We are open everyday from 10:00
|Les Arts Turcs I - Bazaar Turkey
Incili Çavus Sok. No: 19 Floor: 3
|Les Arts Turcs II
Ishak Pasa Caddesi
Istanbul / TURKEY
Map of our Place & Culture Center
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