Öngösterim Görseli

Spring 2024 – Literature, Culture, Art Program


  • Murathan Mungan, Yüksek Topuklar
  • Charlie Campbell, Scapegoat, a History of Blaming Other People
  • Annie Ernaux, a Girl’s Story
  • Daniel Pennac, Reads like a Novel


Reading corner of this season


New season, new reading list… The books, I am going to share with you below from Turkish literature to world literature, are the ones that we should read and have in our libraries.


On the occasion of Women’s Day last month, we continue where we left off with Beauvoir. This time we’ll talk about Turkish literature first. Murathan Mungan’s Yüksek Topuklar tells us many things about the identity of women. The novel, which also makes references to the concepts of being a woman and being born a woman, is a very enjoyable book with plenty of observations. Although Murathan Mungan is reluctant to call this work a “novel”, we can definitely say that it is one of the author’s most important works. The story is about a five-day period during which the lonely and unhappy Nermin spends in the same house with five-year-old Tuğde. The novel touches on Nermin’s unhappiness despite seemingly good living conditions and the source of her unhappiness: her family life. The traumas that Nermin experienced, especially due to her conflicts with female family members and forced cohabitation, left permanent scars on her due to her inability to establish healthy communication with her parents in the past. : In the book,  Nermin associates women with high heels. Saying that, “if high heels were beautiful, men would use them; however, high heels only slow down speed. In fact, there is an understanding here that shapes women’s identity through their perception of “being beautiful and adorned”. As Beauvoir, who was among last month’s writers, said, “The woman who suffers from doing nothing thinks that she expresses her existence through adornment.” This idea is clearly revealed in the book. Although there are many controversial aspects, I think that the work has a great impact on the perception of modern women, as it draws attention to the responsibilities placed on women in the novel and the fact that women are constantly troubled and injured.



Nothing paralyzes the intelligence more than the search for a scapegoat.

Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity

“First there was the accusation. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blame the serpent. “Not accepting responsibility for our actions is our original sin,” begins the first page of the book Scapegoat. So why do we always blame others? Why do we have difficulty accepting our mistakes by taking responsibility? In the book, Charlie Campbell underlines how we need a scapegoat to blame both our individual and social failures on. It explains, through various examples, how human beings have coped with the difficulties and struggles they have faced, starting thousands of years ago until today. There is a nice quote in the book. In the quote from the detective incriminating a suspect in the TV series The Wire, “Nobody thinks they’re stupid, that’s part of their stupidity.” So, what actually is the term “scapegoat” used by Campbell, who associates the emphasis on a type of stupidity with constantly blaming others and looking for scapegoats? The origin of this term, which was used by the Bible translator William Tyndale in 1530, is a play between the English words escape goat and scape goat. The book contains a lot of detailed information about the origin of the term; we see various forms of creating scapegoats in many areas in terms of religion, politics, economy and gender through historical examples.


“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”  With this quote from George Orwell in the last chapter of the book, the following question comes to mind: Is everyone who succumbed to this struggle looking for a scapegoat?


Annie Ernaux defines the novel A Girl’s Story as the book she has been thinking about writing throughout her life. All of the author’s texts are the kind that will attract even a reader who gets bored and stops reading. The main reason why Ernaux is able to do this is that she not only focuses on the story itself, but also establishes the cause and effect relationship within the text very well. Ernaux is a writer who attaches great importance to connections and the accuracy of these connections in her texts. She tells her story in all its reality: unfiltered and clear.

A Girl’s Story brings together today’s Ernaux with the young girl of 1958. The novel, which won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, actually examines many issues about a woman’s life, her changing thoughts and perception of life. However, the book also focuses on self-perception. Establishing a dialogue between what we have now and the “me” of the past, and focusing on the heartbreaks brought on by insurmountable walls while establishing this dialogue, Ernaux presents the novel to the reader in the form of a memory journey.


It’s time for the last book on the list. Here is a novel that can completely destroy the reading taboos we have created in our minds: Read Like a Novel. The book, in which Daniel Pennac focuses on issues such as the feeling of inadequacy regarding reading and succumbing to certain codes while reading, expands the boundaries of reading by getting to the reader’s side for the first time.

Reading, in its own cycle, is always being in a production. Pennac supports this and says, “Reading is a continuous act of creation.”

Why recommend this book? Because of its different approach to the act of reading, which we all want to do, but we do not have the opportunity to do, perhaps due to lack of time or sometimes due to negligence. It’s a novel that contains an author’s thoughts about reading and even includes a reader’s rights declaration. So it is not only a literary work, it shows us that everyone can read it fluently and that we can easily see that reading does not need to be forced.

The existence and content of this book undoubtedly brought another question to my mind: Does the sociology of the novel exist?


  • Justin Timberlake & *NSYNC , Paradise
  • Black Atlass, Don’t Forget
  • Mahmut Orhan, Ali Arutan, Selin, In Control
  • Alicia Keys, Kaleidoscope


• Lara Fabian will be on the Volkswagen Arena stage on April 25th!

• American singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Emma Ruth Rundle, one of post rock’s greatest gifts to us, will be at Beyoğlu, Blind Istanbul on May 11th!

• Dimash Qudaibergen will be at Beşiktaş Stadium on May 24th!

• İş Sanat celebrates the 100th anniversary of Türkiye İş Bankası! The Gala concert where tenor Murat Karahan and the great voice Plácido Domingo take part, also include the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Carlo Tenan. The concert will be accompanied by soprano Elena Stikhina on stage, and will be at Volkswagen Arena on May 28th!

• Yalın will be at Beşiktaş Stadium on May 31st with his 20th anniversary stadium concert!


·         İDOB’s modern dance show called Rezonans will premiere on May 21st and will be on stage at AKM Theater Hall on May 25th!

•    Falstaff, Giuseppe Verdi’s 3-act commedia lirica opera about the reign of Henry IV, will be at Kadıköy Municipality Süreyya Opera Stage on May 8th, 11th, 15th and 18th!

•    Anadolu Ateşi, considered one of the world’s leading and largest dance groups, will be at Beşiktaş Stadium with its 25th anniversary special show on June 2nd!


• Bu Bir Efsane Sarah Bernhardt theatre play will be on stage at Atatürk Cultural Center on April 15th!

• Adapted from the novel of the same title in Nermin Yıldırım’s story book titled Bavula Sığmayan, directed by Hakan Emre Ünal and starring Melisa Sözen, Ülkü Duru and Müfit Kayacan, Aile Yalanları will be at Zorlu PSM on May 2nd and 3rd!

• Rıza Kocaoğlu’s one-man play, Kibritin Ucunda, will be at Zorlu PSM on May 6th!

• Romeo’yu Beklerken theater play will be at Tatavla Stage on May 18th!

• Bir İdam Mahkumunun Son Günü will be at Akasya Culture and Arts on April 26th, and at Kadıköy Education Stage on May 27th!


Spring months herald festivals in Turkey as well as all over the world! Turkey hosts many events, from the Adana Orange Blossom Carnival to the Alaçatı Herb Festival International Urla Artichoke Festival…


• Adana is the host of the Orange Blossom Carnival. This carnival is a street carnival that has been held in Adana in April since 2013. It also has the distinction of being Turkey’s first carnival. At the carnival, whose slogan is “April in Adana”, participants wear colorful costumes and march in a cortege. The festival takes place between April 13th and 21st this year.


• Alaçatı Herb Festival… Another spring-scented festival of Turkey. Many events are organized within the scope of the festival; from herb identification and collection tours to cooking workshops, wild herb and plant nutrition seminars and concerts. Competitions for picking the most herbs and eating the best herbs are held at Alaçatı Open Air Theatre. The festival, which is held for the 13th time this year, where participants collect herbs, cook meals, set tables, get to know and taste new herbs, takes place between April 18th and 21st.

Urla Artichoke Festival, 10th International Artichoke Festival, will take place between May 3rd and 5th. So, do we know the history of artichoke? Why is it so important? Although Urla’s mastic artichoke is known as a vegetable, it is actually a flower bud that has not yet opened. This artichoke, unique to the Urla Peninsula, has flat and not too tight leaves and purple flowers. It takes its name from “Cynara”, the woman with whom the Greek God Zeus fell in love.

• Izmir Flower Festival will take place at the Alsancak Historical Coal Gas Factory on May 10th and 12th. So it is also a reference to Mother’s Day. Hundreds of colorful, fresh flowers, plants, seedlings, saplings and seeds in a wide flora… Tickets for the festival, which operates with the motto “Directly from Producer to Consumer”, are on sale!

At the Eskişehir Coffee Festival, where the atmosphere will be even more lively with concerts, the pioneers of traditional Turkish coffee, micro roasters, the best known representatives of the new generation qualified coffee movement, and professionals come together. This festival, which will host many national and international brands as well as local coffee shops, will be held at Vecihi Hürkuş Aviation and Technology Park on May 24th, 25th and 26th!

• The 52nd Istanbul Music Festival takes place between  May 21st and June 12th! The festival contributes to the enrichment of both national and international classical music repertoire.

• Bringing together the most delicious street delicacies and the most popular artists in Lifepark, Foodiefest hosts artists such as Ayhan Sicimoğlu, Buray, Köfn.


• Göz Alabildiğine İstanbul: Beş Asırdan Manzaralar, curated by Şeyda Çetin and Ebru Esra Çözüm, is an exhibition covering the period from the 15th century to the beginning of the 20th century, when Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The exhibition, which includes paintings, engravings, books and albums from the Ömer Koç Collection, keeps a rich visual record of the city, and builds a bridge between the artistic productions of Ottoman/Turkish literatüre. It can be seen until May 26th.

• Museum Evliyagil brings together artworks, mostly from the 50s, in the collection exhibition titled Yüz Yıl: Hem Evvel Hem Ahir. In the exhibition that will continue until July 10th, works produced from different perspectives in different disciplines such as painting, installation and video are exhibited. The exhibition includes the works of Abidin Dino, Bedri Baykam, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and many other Turkish artists.

• Arter’s new exhibition GLOSSOLALALA brings together two sculpture series of Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, a video series and two text-based installations of Dilek Winchester. Glossolalia, that is speaking in tongues, is the name given to a practice in which people produce words or speech-like sounds. The exhibition consists of works that connect with sound, text, body and space.

Dijital Sanatta Şimdi: Oyun Odası exhibition, curated by Güven Çatak and Zeynep Arınç, hosts the artists suh as Amanita Design, BugLAB, Eddo Stern, Emi Kusano, Jon Haddock, Ken Wong, Kristin Lucas, Murat Kalkavan, Ouchhh, Petra Szeman, Total Refusal, UCLA Game Lab, We Are Muesli. It is an interdisciplinary and highly interactive exhibition that is open to different experiences, presents computer games about the use of games in contemporary art to visitors as works of art, which you can visit at Akbank Sanat until May 18th.


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, directed by Adam Wingard, will be in theaters on April 5th!

Esperando a Dalí (Waiting for Dalí), directed by David Pujol, will be in theaters on April 26th!

Back to Black, which is a movie about Amy Winehouse’s life, is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. The movie will be released on May 3rd!

Robots, a comedy-science fiction movie starring Shailene Woodley, Jack Whitehall and Paul Rust, is coming to theaters on May 23rd!


  • The podcast that you may listen to in Turkish, called Ben Okurum is an enjoyable literature podcast in which Deniz Yüce Başarır tells the listeners about a book she read in each episode. She mentions how the book made her feel, and chats about the books with her guests.


  • Talk Art, a podcast dedicated to the world of art, where actor Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament interview artists, curators, and gallerists, as well as occasionally actors, musicians, and journalists, shows the magic of art in every field. It appears as a diligently prepared project that we all should follow.

Prepared by: Nazperi YILMAZ

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