For aficionados of opera, ballet, musicals and classical music Aspendos Festival since 1994 has been a “must” place to be in June and July of every year.
Aspendos Theater the best preserved amphitheater, not only of Anatolia, but also the whole of Europe. On the Mediterranen near Antalya, the theater and its festival have delighted more than 600.000 music lovers. In the last seven years music groups from Russia, Georgija, Croatia, Bulgaria, Azerbaycan, Austria, Romania haven taken part.This year groups from Greece, Kazakhstan and Belarus will perform.
The Turkish opera and ballet companies from Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Mersin this year will be joined by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet, which will perform Verdi’s La Traviata.
The National Opera of Greece will perform the famous ballet of Theodorakis – Zorba the Greek. Spartacus of Kazachiaturian is a demanding ballet; it will be performed by the National Academic Ballet Theatre of the Respublic of Belarus.
The state opera of Kazakhstan will be performing an evergreen opera Bizet’s Carmen. It will be interesting to see how the Spanish lady will be transformed into a Central Asian woman.
The Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir Opera and Ballet companies will be performing. Aida, Taming of the Shrew, Hurrem Sultan and Rigolleto.
The 8th Antalya Festival certainly will be a memorable event.
ASPENDOS (BELKIS) – THE CITY
According to the Hellenic traditions, Aspendos was built during the leadership of Mophsos by the Colonists who came from Argos. The city was originally known as Estvedia – a name derived from a king known as either Asiavadia or Asitavada.
At the beginning of the 5th century B.C., except for the settlement by Side, Aspendos was the only town minting silver coins. In 330 B.C., Alexander the Great invaded the lover part in the city. During the Hellenisc Era, Aspendos as well as Side was a prosperous residentian location. In 190 B.C., following the Magnesiad Sipylum Wars, Aspendos established a good relationship with Rome. On the death of Attalos III, Aspendos was assimilated in to the station of Asia under Roman sovereignty. The ruins of today belong to this era.
The city of Aspendos is located in Pamphylia, and the theater is situated in the south of the acropolis. The maximum capacity of the theater is 9000 people. It was designed by the Architekt Zeno during the era of Marcus Aurelius in 161-180 A.D. The orchestra in the form of a circle is located between the auditorium – known as the cavea – and the stage area. The cavea is divided into two by a horizontal passage called adiasoma. The lower cavea ia divided into 9 separate sections with 10 stairs, the upper cavea is divided into 20 separate sections with 21 stairs. The audience reaches the cavea throught the vaulted (paodi) entries located on both sides of the stage. There is a gallery at the very top op the seating area in the shape of a half circle formed from 59 valuts. It is connected to the stage area by sidewals, creating a majestic sight. There is a additional gallery designetd to support the cavea; the upper level is reseved for important guests, whose names are inscribed on the seats. The remaining seating areas are allocate to the publc.
The drainage channels constructed around the orchestra area help to collect rain-water. During the 3rd century a stone parpet was constructed and used in arena surrounding the orchestra area.
The stage areas are constructed out of stone blocs, with five centrances available at the stage level for the artists. Th stage looks like a two storied structure decorated by twenty Ionic and Corenthean columns. Each floor has many niches supported by smaller columns.
The plays are presented on a wooden platform (proscenium) located in front of the stage. Howewer the gladiator fights during the roman period were more important than plays.
EDIRNE A MONUMENTAL CITY
Edrine has a total of five border crossings into Greece and Bulgaria, two by train and three by road. The D- 100 State Highway and trans-European (TEM) motroway both run through Edrine connecting it to Europe and to Turkey’s largest metropolis, Istanbul, a two-hour drive away. It also has a great tourism potential as a starting point to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
Edirne has a rich historical heritage due to its location between Europe and Asia Anatolia.
The fine border town of Edirne greets visitors entering Turkey with interesting mosques, bazaars, bridges, historical houses, and the magnificent Selimiye Mosque.
This city, which deeply feels its cultural heritage, derives its identity and significance from its position as the second capital of the Ottoman Empire.
The Gulf of Saros on the Aegean coastline of Thrace is covered by clean beaches. The Gulf of Saros has the cleanest water in the Aegean due to its strong water currents and its being far from industrials sites. Many different kinds of fish are caught here.
This year, the 640th Historical Kirkpinar Oli-Wrestling and Cultural Activities Week will be held between 26th June – 1st July in Edurne. During the week, folk-dances performances, exhibitions, local food contests and beauty contests will be held before the oil-wrestling competitions take place over the last three days.
In short, Edrine is a marvelous spot for vacation. If you are interested in history, you can visit the Selimiye Mosque, the Beyazid II Complex,
a caravanseray, aTurkish bath, an old bridge and the Gulf of Saros.
Edirne is situated in Thrace in the Marmara region. It covers an area of 6,276 square kilometers. The topography consist of plains and rolling hills with an average a of elevation of 41 meters above sea level.
“What brought us here today is in fact our common heritage, the Black sea. This sea has, troughout history linked our countries together. In Turkey, what is wellknown about the Black Sea, is the bravery and courage of its people and I am sure, this is the case for all other littoral countries. So, we feel confident that with these characteristics our navy will fulfill its task. With the stern wind of the BLACKSEAFOR our navy will sailing to the new horizons of friendship and cooperation among our countries.”
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister.
On 2 April 2001 Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Ismail Cem participated in an historic signing ceremony in the Ciragan Palace Hotel, Istanbul, to establish the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group. Other signatories included Georgian Foreign Minister Mr. Menagarishvili, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Avdeev, Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Sergeyev, Romanian Secretary of State Mr. Motoc and Bulgarian Chief of Navy Admiral Petrov.
With this Agreement, These countries of the Black Sea came together for the first time in the history of the region, to pool their naval forces into a join formation for humanitarian and environmental causes. The signing of this Agreement is a testimony to the countries` determination to bring the BLACKSEAFOR into life after a relatively short span of time in two years.
The idea of such a co-operation was spearheaded by Turkey, as part of its foreign policy which is based on fostering and maintaining regional co-operation and friendship, as reflected in the words of Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkey, “peace at home, peace in the world”.
The BLACKSEAFOR initiative aims at increasing peace and stability in the Black Sea as well as promoting regional co-operation. All items in the Agreement are consistent with the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Furthermore, it is stipulated that the BLACKSEAFOR is neither directed against any state or a group of states.
It is intended to promote naval co-operation, as well as providing an on-call force to carry out certain tasks including
• Search and rescue operations,
• Humanitarian assistance operations,
• Mine counter measures,
• Environmental protection operations,
• Goodwill visits,
Any other tasks agreed by all Participating Nations.
The BLACKSEAFOR is intended to operate in the Black Sea, but can also be deployed elsewhere, should the Parties choose to do so. The BLACKSEAFOR may also be available UN and/or OSCE-mandated operations. Similarly, it can participate in other types of internationals activities in accordance with the aims and tasks of the BLACKSEAFOR will also permit better co-ordination in the event of a tragic incident at sea. This is particularly praise-worthy as the countries of the Black Sea were rivals until a decade ago.