Heidi Trautmann

903: The beautiful cats of Ankara - With Inci Kansu and Ismet Tatar at SAKÜDER in Ankara

By Heidi Trautmann


At breakfast time the cats, beautiful cats,  came along the window sill of the hotel restaurant to where we sat looking at us longingly and expecting some tribute for their beauty in form of salami and cheese. They were melting into the background of snow falling onto the streets of Ankara. Silently, covering people and streets alike.

We had come to Ankara on January 05, 2017 for the yearly exhibition of SAKÜDER Cultural Centre in Ankara/Cankaya, i.e. I had accompanied the two artists Ismet Tatar and Inci Kansu who were participating in the big yearly art show with about 120 artists from all over Turkey and my two friends from North Cyprus. They had brought their art work with them on the plane which we took directly to the art centre to arrange them at the space reserved for the next day’s opening.

We had to pass through thorough body and hand bag checking by security people as it was in this very building that the Russian Ambassador was shot. Whoa….I had not known that before but I trusted our guardian angels as – and as I found out later – all our art friends did, also all the art lovers who came on the evening of the opening and they came by the hundreds.

It was interesting to meet the team around Ali Eser, the President of the Association who worked just as hard as all the others to help the artists to arrange their art work. On three floors over three hundred art works were displayed, all kind of contemporary art, from conventional to modern by  professional and also self-taught members.

While my two friends were helped by the kind team members I took my time to discover the works on all floors, enjoying it extremely. What a fantastic venue of art.

The following day, as it seems to be the custom, the association and guest artists were led to the Atatürk Mausoleum to lay a wreath in the association’s name which was done by the guards, a  very touching ceremony, and the association’s president entered the name into the big book laid out in the museum, a gesture of respect for the great Turkish leader Atatürk. The sun had come out by then and lit the skyline around the mausoleum and its park. What a place for a man to be remembered by the people.

The opening event was a great event, seven Turkish art personalities were honoured with an award and finally our Turkish Cypriot artist Ismet Tatar was called to receive her award. With some words of gratitude she mentioned the importance of art in her life, the love she gains through her work and which she passes on to society, Art inspires love and peace she said. Inci Kansu had received the same award one year before in 2016. Both friends had the appreciation of many guests for their outstanding paper art the love of which has led them to found the new paper art association in North Cyprus just one year ago – I reported on its first anniversary and exhibition in November 2016 in Nicosia.

The annual event was celebrated with a gala dinner and the association’s president Ali Eser showed his many talents getting his members out onto the dance floor, even us Cypriot birds. The exhibition ends on January 17 and will then be taken to Istanbul together with a comprehensive catalogue of which I am happy to have a copy. Saküder’s website is the following: www.sakuder.org.tr

The remaining days the three of us spent walking the snowy streets, eating simits and hot chestnuts at the many open stands in the middle of the roads, and visiting the exciting CER.Modern Art Place with two exhibitions, led by the Half-Cypriot Zihni Tümer and it was a mere pleasure to learn about the activities taking place there, what an experience; here is their website www.cermodern.org

I had the very special pleasure to be invited together with my friends to the houses of Ankara art friends which gave me the opportunity to learn more about their rich intellectual involvement in art, culture and history.

Four precious days and when we drove to the airport through the governmental area, along the parliament where armed police were lining up to be prepared for the announced demonstrations I thought with sorrow of what will happen to the world we are living in right now. 

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