Review of Muğla Metropolitan Municipality Orchestra Concert at Fethiye Culture Centre

On 20th January 2017; a cool but dry winter's evening, Fethiye's Cultural Centre was host to Muğla Metropolitan Municipality Orchestra, and their wonderful New Year classical concert.

The concert began with Mozart's Divertimento in D Major. Perhaps this is one of Mozart's less familiar compositions, however it was a perfect start to the evening. Its three movements evoked a feeling of warmth and welcome, as if the audience and orchestra were sitting together around an open fire.

Inspired by his research into the ancient and antique history of southern Turkey, local author Birol Ganioğlu has written the Soothsayer of Thelmessos trilogy of novels.

Originally published in the Turkish language, the first book of the series, Mother Syessa (a Historical and Mythological novel set in the Lycian Civilisation in the first century B.C.) is now available to read in English.

Lycia (meaning 'The Land of Light') was a federation of independent cities in Anatolia (southern Turkey) in what are now the provinces of Antalya, Muğla and Burdur. The largest city in Lycia, now the site of modern-day Fethiye, was known as Telmessos . It is here that Birol Ganioğlu's historical novel begins.

The Sustainable Living Film Festival was celebrated in 20 towns and cities across Turkey, including Fethiye, on the weekend of November 18th-20th. 25 short and full-length documentaries were collated in the festival programme, all of which were thought-provoking and often challenging.

What is clear from all of these films, is that the responsibility to literally save our planet, our race and our habitats, lies with each individual world citizen. We must do much more - individually and collectively - to stop climate change, end the reliance on fossil fuels, and work towards 100% recycling and zero landfill use.

The Sustainable Living Film Festival is a celebration of those striving to create a better future throughout the world.

This year's festival will take place between November 18th and 20th in cities all across Turkey. In Fethiye, all screenings will be held at the Fethiye Culture Centre. All the films will be in the English language, or have English subtitles. Entrance to all films is free.

The festival organisers – a voluntary organisation known as the Sustainable Living Collective, have collated documentaries by dozens of directors, who imagine a society that is open to the public, fair, understanding, embracing of diversity, kind to the planet and all life on it. 

On Çalış beach in Fethiye, you'll find a delightful display of traditional Turkish nomadic culture. Yörük Çadırları & Müzesi (Nomad Tents & Museum) is a tribute to a more simple way of life.

The beach-side arrangement of tent structures, filled with traditional kilim woven rugs and patterned cushions for sitting on the floor, is a charming place to spend a morning, afternoon or evening, while eating and drinking from the short-legged circular tables which are dotted around the place.

The museum is an Aladdin's cave of hand-made artefacts, and it's clear that a great deal of time has gone into its construction.

Review - Turkish Music Spring Concert at Fethiye Culture Centre. 9th April 2016

I would describe traditional Turkish music as an acquired taste. That's in no way meant disparagingly. Some of my favourite flavours - including olives, fresh coffee, real ale, scotch whisky – are ones whose enjoyment I have developed over the course of time. That's exactly how I feel about traditional Turkish music. It wasn't that I believed this music was bad; I just didn't know how to properly appreciate it.

I could have asked for no better immersion into this musical style then, and a way towards appreciation, than the 2016 spring concert at Fethiye's Cultural Centre.

Easter Sunday fell on 27th March this year; a date which is also celebrated annually as World Theatre Day. Fethiye marked the latter in style, with a visit to its Cultural Centre from Ankara Unity Theatre, who are touring the country with their new political farce, Üç Kuruşluk Diktatör‬ (The Threepenny Dictator).