March 5, 2011  –   KUMBARACI50, BEYOGLU, ISTANBUL

With the “Contemporary Turkish Poetry Across Cultures” meeting, IEC welcomed people from different cultural backgrounds and literary traditions. The meeting was held in three sessions: a workshop, a panel & discussion and a multilingual poetry reading of translated Turkish poetry.

The first session was a workshop moderated by Barış Pirhasan, a renowned Turkish poet, translator and film director, and Senem Öner, a Translation Studies scholar currently lecturing at Arel University. Following a discussion on such poetry translation related concepts as “possibility of poetry translation”, “ethics of translation” and “the illusion of literal loyalty” the participants translated the poem entitled “Bat” by Anne Sexton into Turkish, Spanish, Greek, French and Galician language. The participants were freelance literary translators as well as students of Istanbul, Bogazici, Marmara, Dogus and Beykoz Lojistik Universities.


Barış Pirhasan, Başak Ergil and Senem Öner.

 The second session was a panel moderated by Mel Kenne, an American poet living and writing in Istanbul for years. The panel was entitled “The Translation of İkinci Yeni and  Contemporary Turkish Poetry” with the invaluable participation of panelists Richard Tillinghast and Julia Clare Tillinghast, the translators of Edip Cansever into English and Donny Smith, the translator of Cemal Süreya and Lale Müldür. The panelists and participants mainly discussed the cultural issues involved in the translation processes and the ways of approaching and dealing with them. The panelists read samples of their translations and shared their translation decisions with other participants.


Richard Tillinghast, Julia Clare Tillinghast and Donny Smith exchanging experiences in a panel moderated by Mel Kenne.

In the third session, translations of Contemporary Turkish poets’ works were read in world languages, Arabic, English, Greek, Polish, Ukranian, Kurdish, Zazaki, Spanish and Galician language. The Turkish poets whose works were read are as follows: Ahmed Arif, Şeref Bilsel, Metin Fındıkçı, Nâzım Hikmet, Murathan Mungan, Barış Pirhasan, Mesut Şenol and Mehmet Yaşin. The session was moderated by Filip Szymborski.

The translations by İrfan Güler, Pepa Baamonde, Felat Dilgeş, Mesut Şenol, Abir Zeki, Musa Havemdeh, Filip Szymborski, Jean Carpenter Efe, Natalka Bilocerkivec, Taner Baybars and Anthi Carra were read by İrfan Guler (Kurdish, Spanish, Zazaki and Galician language), Ruth Murias (Galician Language), İlham Kounda (Arabic), Filip Szymborski (Polish & Ukraninan), Mesut Şenol (English) and Maria Eliades (English & Greek), Julia Clare Tillinghast (English).

İrfan Güler reading “Deniz, Akşam ve Sen” by Nâzım Hikmet translated into Galician language by himself and Pepa Baamonde.


 Maria Eliades reading Mehmet Yaşin’s “Savaş Zamanı” in English (trans. Taner Baybars) and Greek (trans. Anthi Karra). 


Students of Dogus University Translation Program and some translators of Contemporary Turkish poetry.

 For further details regarding the event and speakers please click here .

Click here to read an article (in Turkish) on the event written by Ragıp Gökalp Tülek.




Başak Ergil and PAWI members discussing crosscultural issues.

Istanbul Expat Center Managing Director and Crosscultural Communication Consultant Başak Ergil met the members of PAWI (Professional American Women of Istanbul) on 12 February 2011, Saturday.  As the February 2011 guest speaker of PAWI, Ergil took the floor to deliver a speech on the basics of crosscultural communication in Istanbul and illustrated her speech with visual material from contemporary popular culture and art. During the speech, the participants discussed and asked questions about the crosscultural matters as well as sharing their own experiences as expats in Istanbul.

Despite the fact that the interactive session focused on the basic social and cultural structure prevailing in Turkey and in Istanbul, their reflections in the products of popular culture and the crosscultural problems that might emerge within this culture, PAWI members contributed to the illustration of these matters with their colorful (and sometimes humorous) personalities.

“The Basics of Crosscultural Communication” is the first of three different sessions offered by  Istanbul Expat Center: The Basics of Crosscultural Communication in Istanbul, Crosscultural Issues At Workplace and Child Care in Istanbul.

Istanbul Expat Center team thanks PAWI members for their invitation and enthusiastic participation especially to Ms. Maria Eliades and Ms. Katie Belliel who practically made this meeting possible.



Istanbul Expat Center Administrative Team was invited by JCI (Junior Chamber International) Megapol president Ms. Öykü İyigün to  the farewell dinner organised on 23 September 2010 on behalf of Mr. Mitsuru Horiguchi, Vice Consul General of Japan. The marvellous dinner took place in Titanic Hotel, Taksim in a totally friendly ambiance.

Having spent over 16 years in Turkey, Mr. Mitsuru Horiguchi welcomed the guests, made a speech with his perfect Turkish and accepted the farewell gifts presented to him. The friendly and humorous speech delivered by Mr. Horiguchi indicated the harmony he is in with the Turkish culture. 

He shared with his Turkish friends his memories and experiences in Istanbul and his hope to come back to this city. At the farewell dinner, Mr. Mitsuru Horiguchi was accompanied by his daughter Mina Horiguchi and his son Mirai Horiguchi who are both bilingual and welcomed the guests with their perfect Turkish.

Istanbul Expat Center, represented at the event by the managing director  Ms. Başak Ergil  and event director  Ms. Aylin Akkanat, wishes Mr. Horiguchi good luck and further achievements in his new position in Turkmenistan and would like to welcome him and his family back in Istanbul, a city which he dearly loves and is full of good friends along with irreplacable memories as also stated in his speech. We believe he has contributed a lot to the cultural polyphony of Istanbul with his friendly and insightful presence.

Thank you Mr. Mitsuru Horiguchi… Fare thee well! And see you back here!

(Front) Ms. Mina Horiguchi, Mr. Mitsuru Horiguchi, Ms. Öykü İyigün, Ms. Başak Ergil, Ms. Aylin Akkanat
(Back) Mr. Bahadır Sümbüllü, Mr. Mirai Horiguchi, Mr. Uğur Yasin Asal

2 Responses to IEC NEWS

  1. Stuart Kline dedi ki:

    Başak, I wished I had known about this event BEFORE and not AFTER it occurred. I know Mitsuru and would have liked to have been present to wish him farewell 😦

    • I am sorry Stu! I didn’t know you knew him. But I will invite him to see this page and know about your good farewell wishes… And I am sure he will be back in Istanbul sometime later… At least for a visit 🙂

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