As my Turkish blog is becoming increasingly Greek in the summer months, it's satisfying to have both national flags side by side on this post. I have also mentioned that my favourite archaeological site is Stratonikeia and that I have fond memories of the ancient theatre so I was very happy to catch a H3A-organised bus to Stratonikeia yesterday evening. These flimsy fabric emblems, that incited horrific bloodshed and enmity, were flying together in the theatre last night to celebrate a Friendship Concert featuring the AK-DER Turkish music group and a Rembetiko group from Kos. The concert was introduced by Prof. Dr. Bilal Söğüt, the director of the archaeological excavations, which ticked another box on my blogging list (if only there had been a rescue dog dancing the sitarki while cooking a kebab, I would have had a full house).
Eventually the musicians were allowed to take centre stage and played over two hours of well known songs which had the whole audience joining in. Three brand new pieces which to my untrained ear sounded exactly like the old favourites, seemed to be well received. I've included a clip of "Izmir Kavakları" (Izmir Poplar Trees) which started off in Greek and ended in Turkish; appropriate if one considers the history of this great city.
|The streets were full of stalls selling honey, olives, local remedies, crafts and refreshments. It was great to see the once-deserted town so full and bustling.|
|The ladies of the chorus in their striking turquoise outfits.|
|A photo grabbed before dusk fell. The theatre eventually filled up to numbers that would have been respectable in the years after its construction in the reign of Augustus (63BC-14AD)|