02 May 2015

“The 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey”

Many international riders are set to hit the road, as the “The 51st Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey”, the country’s oldest and most prestigious cycling event starts this weekend... The world's sole "transcontinental cycling tour" race will be kicked-off in Sultanahmet Square at 10:00 o’clock in the morning and some of the adjacent streets will be closed to traffic...
The 51st edition of the “Tour of Turkey”, or the “Presidential Cycling Tour”, will stage a eight-leg race between more than 150 cyclists from all around the world, pedaling their way from Alanya to İzmir on a route that spans the coats on the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. The Istanbul stage on Sunday (May 3, 2015) will start from Sultanahmet Square at 10:00 a.m. and some of the streets from and to the Square will be closed to traffic. Our Reception Desk has a list of them which could be seen also in the official website of the Tour (*), so that, please arrange your morning program accordingly in order not to be affected by the closed traffic and enjoy your Sunday!
(*) Official WebSite of the Tour: www.tourofturkey.org/2015/

30 April 2015

April 30th, UNESCO International Jazz Day! Let there be music in your life!

Among Armada traditions Jazz has a special place. Below are some jazz masters who had  concerts at the Armada Hotel in the then “Radio Bar” and some of our Jazz Events:

  • Sylvie Cobo - Emanuel de Bonneville, “La Baronne”, Concert Series at the Radio Bar, 1995-1998
  • Judy & Jacky Duo Concert Series at the Radio Bar, 2002
  • Bilal Karaman, “Turkish Jazz Feast”, Valentine’s Day 2012, Armada Terrace
  • Dolunay Obruk - Ercüment Dolunay Jazz Duo,  Armada Terrace, 2010
  • Emin Fındıkoğlu Trio “Love and Jazz at the Breakfast”, Valentine’s Day 2010, Armada Terrace
  • Baki Duyarlar, City of Hotels gala Jazz Piano, Armada Salon
  • Stephan Micus, Festival guest, 2008
  • “Monofiks”, “Ricky Ford” (Bilgi University Jazz Groups), On Cue Trio (Galatasaray University Jazz Group), Street Concerts, Sultanahmet Square, 2005
  • Sunny Murray, Solo Jazz Concerts, Armada Terrace, 2000
  • Alain Buisson - Mathieu Leygonie, “Premier Symptome”, Concert Series, Radio Bar, 1997
  • Beth Marie, Emin Fındıkoğlu, “Ballads & Blues”, Concert, Radio Bar, 2014
  • Bora Çeliker Trio, Jazz Nights at the Radio Bar, 2015
  • Batu Akyol, Director, “Jazz in Turkey” (*) –Private Showing of the Documentary , 2013

(*) In the Honor of UNESCO International Jazz Day, the award winning documentary “Jazz in Turkey’”will be shown in every room of Armada Hotel during the last week of April.

29 April 2015

Happy World Dance Day!

Armada celebrates the World Dance Day, April 29, 2015!
Here is the 2015 official message written by Alkis Raftis:

Alkis Raftis
A century ago famous Russian organizer Sergei Diaghilev revolutionized ballet by inviting the most talented painters and musicians of his time to contribute to his performances. I have the impression that present day choreographers neglect the other arts, do not feel the need to present their creations alongside their equals in other fields.

   I am sure audiences would appreciate more arts included in dance performances, starting with the classical arts: painting, sculpture, theater, music, poetry, architecture, as well as more modern forms like photography, cinema, multimedia, lighting design, sound design. Let me go further in proposing to enrich choreography with the humanities (history, literature, philosophy and linguistics). Personally I would particularly enjoy storytelling, martial arts, and - I mean it very seriously - culinary arts.

    There is nothing new to it, ancient Greeks in their symposia combined all the above. After 25 centuries we could return to the idea that a complete performance combines as many arts as possible.

    This year the International Dance Council CID joins forces with a sister organization to celebrate Dance Day. The International Association of Art IAA/AIAP is a non-governmental organization whose offices are next to ours at UNESCO. Our common proposal is to combine dance with painting, drawing, sculpture or other forms of creative work in the visual arts.

    Many thanks to Ms. Rosa-Maria Burillo from Mexico, World President of IAA/AIAP, who mobilized artists from dozens of countries suggesting they cooperate with choreographers, dancers and dance teachers in common events: performances, exhibitions, happenings, flashmobs, worship meetings, therapeutic sessions and (why not?) banquets!

Alkis Raftis
President of the International Dance Council CID

26 March 2015

March 27, World Theatre Day 2015

Happy World Theatre Day!

The author of the Message of World Theatre Day 2015 is the Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski! And here is the message:

The true masters of the theater are most easily found far from the stage. And they generally have no interest in theater as a machine for replicating conventions and reproducing clichés. They search out the pulsing source, the living currents that tend to bypass performance halls and the throngs of people bent on copying some world or another. We copy instead of create worlds that are focused or even reliant on debate with an audience, on emotions that swell below the surface. And actually there is nothing that can reveal hidden passions better than the theater.  
Most often I turn to prose for guidance.  Day in and day out I find myself thinking about writers who nearly one hundred years ago described prophetically but also restrainedly the decline of the European gods, the twilight that plunged our civilization into a darkness that has yet to be illumined. I am thinking of Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust. Today I would also count John Maxwell Coetzee among that group of prophets.
Their common sense of the inevitable end of the world—not of the planet but of the model of human relations—and of social order and upheaval, is poignantly current for us here and now. For us who live after the end of the world. Who live in the face of crimes and conflicts that daily flare in new places faster even than the ubiquitous media can keep up. These fires quickly grow boring and vanish from the press reports, never to return. And we feel helpless, horrified and hemmed in. We are no longer able to build towers, and the walls we stubbornly construct do not protect us from anything—on the contrary, they themselves demand protection and care that consumes a great part of our life energy. We no longer have the strength to try and glimpse what lies beyond the gate, behind the wall. And that’s exactly why theater should exist and where it should seek its strength. To peek inside where looking is forbidden.
 “The legend seeks to explain what cannot be explained. Because it is grounded in truth, it must end in the inexplicable”—this is how Kafka described the transformation of the Prometheus legend.  I feel strongly that the same words should describe the theater. And it is that kind of theater, one which grounded in truth and which finds its end in the inexplicable that I wish for all its workers, those on the stage and those in the audience, and I wish that with all my heart.
Krzysztof Warlikowski
Translation: Philip Boehm

20 March 2015

Turkey Celebrates March 21, World Poetry Day

Children reading a panegyric during a festival in Timbuktu.
Source: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

"Every poem is unique but each reflects the universal in human experience, the aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders, of time as well as space, in the constant affirmation of humanity as a single family."

Afsar Timucin
"World Poetry Day" on March 21, 2015, will be celebrated in Turkey as usual. 
After a proposal that has been given to UNESCO by Turkish PEN Centre in 1997, "March 21" was approved as World Poetry Day in 1999. Since then, each year a poet from Turkey who won the yearly poetry prize of Turkish PEN Centre, writes poetry message. 
This year's message was written by Afşar Timuçin, philosopher and poet (1939- *) who won the 2015 Poetry Prize of Turkish PEN Centre