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Listening to Istanbul  
Bir is var
Her gun bu kadar guzel mi bu deniz?
Boyle mi gorunur gokyuzu her zaman?
Her zaman guzel mi bu kadar,
Bu esya, bu pencere?
Degil,
Vallahi degil;
Bir is var bu isin icinde.

Orhan Veli
There must be something
Is the sea as beautiful as this every day?
Does the sky look like this all the time?
Is this furniture, this window
always as lovely as this?
No, by God no,
There must be something behind this somewhere.

Translated by Bernard Lewis - 1982

 

The course title 'Listening to Istanbul' refers to a poem by the Turkish poet Orhan Veli. Based on the sounds he is hearing, 'intensely listing, his eyes closed' he describes the city, its present as well as its past. In this course the participants will learn how to discover the endlessly rich and multi-layered heritage of Istanbul this way, its sounds, smells, dialogues and curses, markets and harbours, people and buildings. The course will also introduce a way of experiencing a 'cultural environment' in such a sensitive way. Part of this is to articulate voices from the past representing these various layers.

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