Academic at Mardin’s Artuklu University becomes Turkey’s first Zaza language and literature professor
Ferhat Yaşar reports: İlyas Akman at Artuklu University in the southeastern province of Mardin has become Turkey's first Zaza language and literature professor. Zaza is a language spoken by around two million people in Turkey. There has been a long-standing intellectual debate about whether Zaza is a separate language or one of the numerous Kurdish dialects.
Istanbul's contemporary art museum Arter has announced that it will hold virtual guided tours every week, offering an insight into some of its exhibits.
In 2019, Freemuse registered 33 serious violations of artistic freedom of expression in Turkey, including putting nine artists behind bars. "The Turkish government was the main violator of artistic freedom and primarily executed the violations under the rationales of counterterrorism and protecting the state," the prominent NGO said.
An actress from the world-famed show "La Casa de Papel" collaborated with an artist from Rojava for the 75th anniversary of the fall of Italy's fascist leader Benito Mussolini. Joined by an Italian artist, the trio sang the classic protest song "Bella Ciao."
Two Armenian sarcophaguses that date back to the 17th century were discovered in the Western province of Aydın. Discovered during landscaping work for a new garden, the sarcophaguses were thought to be manufactured for two locals.
Diyarbakır's historic Zerzevan castle has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List. The Zerzevan Castle, which was built by the Roman Empire in the 3rd century as a defensive fortress on its eastern borders, was nearly forgotten until archaeological digs began in 2014.
The ancient site of Göbekli Tepe, portrayed in Netflix's The Gift, is the most visited virtual museum since March. Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry made museums and ancient sites available to tour virtually because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Artists earlier fired by Turkish Culture Ministry going through tougher times amid COVID-19 outbreak
Serkan Alan reports: More than 350 artists and technicians employed by the state lost their jobs earlier this year. Those, who were able to work on new projects after they were fired, have not been able to continue as social life has come to a halt amid the coronavirus outbreak. Unions urge the government to grant their retroactive rights and let them return to their jobs.
Turkey has lost two of its renowned writers this week. Nevzat Erkmen, translator of Ulysses into Turkish, succumbed to Covid-19 at the age of 89 on April 15. Historian Orhan Koloğlu, who wrote over 50 books, passed away two days later due to a skin infection at the age of 90.
A Netflix production called “Love 101” about a group of high school students was criticized by Turkey’s Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) when a fake Twitter account posing as the producers hinted that one of the characters was not heterosexual, binary or cis-gendered. "We couldn’t possibly overlook any content that could badly affect the development of kids and young adults,” RTÜK Chair Ebubekir Şahin said.
Special edition of the Istanbul Film Festival to be streamed online after being postponed due to coronavirus
Şenay Aydemir writes: This year's Istanbul Film Festival, which was scheduled to be held between April 10-21, was postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), which curates the Istanbul Film Festival, has partnered with the online film streaming platform MUBI, which will screen a selection of films that have previously won awards at the festival up until now.
A center for Kurdish language and culture research, the Kurdish Institute of Istanbul, received some 1,048 applications within 24 hours of announcing that they would be opening up new spots for their online classes in the Kurmancî and Kurmanckî dialects of Kurdish. The institute will open 27 new classes of about 40 students for the online courses that will start April 15.
Some 40 Kurdish musicians have prepared a video clip showing themselves performing the Kurdish version of the Italian folk song "Bella Ciao" in an attempt to show solidarity with Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The internationally-renowned Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan has received 2 million TL to help finance his latest film from a fund launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to support Turkey's filmmakers. Ceylan received the highest amount of any director selected.
Istanbul's legendary Atlas and Rexx cinemas have been shut down amid financial difficulties. They were both popular meeting points of Istanbulites and one of the few movie theaters that were not parts of big chains.