Love weighs in at İzmir exhibition

Artist Ozan Ünal’s latest exhibition ‘The Seesaw and the Spoilsport’ describes stages of courtship through statuettes of a man and a woman on a seesaw Who wields more power in love? Is it the young and innocent, oblivious to their fragility? Or is it the one who is willing to give up first? Or is…

You are great, now change…

With short platinum hair, dark eyebrows and a velvet black dress that hugs her figure, Güneş Topalöz more resembles a 21st century version of a Hollywood femme fatale rather than a painter who draws tortured portraits. The 24-year-old artist, who has previously displayed her work in the prestigious Pera Museum in Istanbul, uses crosses in…

When only naked defiance will do…

A trip to Paris a year after Charlie Hebdo shows how Parisians are hit but not sunk.   The weather is freezing but who cares? The women of Paris stride in down-coats or luxurious furs out through the sales; long lines wait before the top two exhibitions, “The Images of Prostitution” at the Musée d’Orsay…

Izmir: more gowns, more divorce

Erospolis explores how the city that has the highest rate of divorce in Turkey manages to produce every three out of four wedding gowns made in Turkey We seem to be floating in a sea of white tulle, lace and silk, with semi-precious gems, beads, sequins, butterfly wings and silk roses in pale colors thrown…

Ladies, lead the way to Turkish-style feminism

What fools we were as we struggled for equal rights at home and work, in word and deed! Little did we know that we were misguidedly depriving ourselves of all the qualities that made us beautiful, respectable and valuable, that we worked too hard and too long, talked too much, pushed too hard, acted too…

Izmir flaunts “none of your business” campaign to AKP

Karşıyaka Municipality’s March 8 posters, which cap sentences by AKP members with the slogan “none of your business,” coincide with Davutoğlu’s first post-election visit to İzmir. But it is President Erdoğan who subs campaign   The sentence needs to be delivered with one hand firmly on your belly, with the elbow provocatively jutted out, as…

Luxury-loving Turks squeezed between status-anxiety and economics

“Why even bother to buy a luxury brand if it is not instantly recognized as one?” asks my friend as she fiddles with her multicolor Celine handbag.  We have gone out together for a New Year shopping spree and I am already beginning to regret the decision. My friend, a 40-something “corporate Barbie” who works…

Russian jokes turn sour as the “tomato effect” hits the Aegean

The air is heavy with the smell of milk, vanilla and coffee. The strange marriage of wrought iron dominates the decorations. The coffee-counter sports strange flasks that should belong in a lab. I am in one of the “third generation coffee shops” with snazzy names like “Overdose” or “Awake” or “Baristocrat” in downtown İzmir. The hip…

Femicides increase in number and brutality

In Turkey, the number of women who are subjected to violence and murder has increased, but so has the brutality of the violence, according to an Izmir-based jurist. Nuriye Kadan, who heads Izmir Bar Association’s Women’s Rights and Legal Support Office, says that the last decade has not only seen the increase in the numbers…

It’s just fiction, you Ottomaniacs

“How dare Hollywood portray Anne Boleyn, the brave and intelligent mother of Elizabeth I, as a hysterical slut who slept with her brother?” said Queen Elizabeth II. “I ask all patriotic British people to boycott the movie and I ask the producer to take steps to correct this shame committed against our proud ancestors.” “We…

We’ll always have Paris

In December 1996, when a bomb planted by Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA) exploded in the Port Royal metro station, I had just moved to Paris. The police, carrying guns, and armored vehicles in Saint Michel, the touristic area near the Notre Dame, along with security cordons on pedestrian streets and ID checks by…

Izmir’s soccer frenemies try to bury the hatchet

My relationship to football is limited to asking my husband to turn down the sound if I have failed to escape to the movies with a girlfriend during a match. Nonetheless, as any red-blooded İzmirian whose ego needed repair after the Nov. 1 election results, I eagerly waited to see whether two of İzmir’s most…