LIFE

From the East to the World: a Turkish Week in Athens

Whirling dervishes, images of past and present Istanbul and rich Ottoman flavors are but a few of the highlights comprising Turkish Week, a cultural and culinary festival taking place in southern Athens, until Friday, March 14, under the auspices of the Turkish Embassy and the Turkish Consulate General.

The event, titled “From the East to the World,” is taking place place at the Astir Palace Resort in Vouliagmeni – the luxury resort was recently sold to an Arab-Turkish consortium in which Turkey's Dogus group holds a 15 percent stake - and the Municipality of Palaio Faliro.

Internal political upheaval may be dominating headlines back home, yet Turkey's ongoing efforts to promote its heritage remain focused. In Athens, Turkish and Ottoman cuisine takes center stage at the Astir Palace Resort, where two guest chefs working with the hotel's resident staff will be preparing a variety of traditional dishes at the Arion Hotel from Friday, March 7, to Sunday, March 16.

On March 9 and 10, the hotel's Turkish Week program also includes a two-hour show featuring whirling dervishes, among others, with the 30-euro-per-person fee including a cocktail reception. The two evenings will also feature appearances by Trakya University's Balkan Melodies Group and String Quintet.

On the visual arts front, the festival is showcasing a display of paintings by celebrated artist Devrim Erbil, a collection of calligraphy works by Ismet Ozer, as well as an exhibition of miniatures and tezhip (Ottoman illumination) artworks. All three exhibits will be on display at the Vouliagmeni hotel for the duration of the festival, with refreshments available for visitors during viewings.

A photography exhibition titled “Istanbul in Four Seasons” is taking place at the Municipality of Palaio Faliro's Flisvos Cultural Center, organized with the support of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The show features a large selection of images reflecting changes in the city since the 1950s and will remain on display until March 14.

The festival's closing event takes place at the Municipality of Palaio Faliro's cultural hall on March 14 and will feature Muammer Ketencoglu and his group performing traditional Turkish songs and music. The concert starts at 7.30 p.m. and admission is free of charge.

For more on Turkish Week events at the Astir Palace Resort, visit www.astir-palace.com. For reservations, call 210.890.2000. For more information on events at the Municipality of Palaio Faliro's Flisvos Cultural Center, call 210.981.3274.

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