105th Session of the International Labour Conference
JUNE 2016 / VOL. 36 / NO: 2
105th Session of the
International Labour Conference
The Importance of FDI
Foreign direct investment (FDI) offers many advantages, particularly
for emerging markets like Turkey. For instance, since FDI comes in
the form of green field investments, this means that the recipient
country can achieve more investment than its domestic savings
allow, resulting in a higher growth rate. Other FDI advantages include
bringing in new technologies, creating more jobs, contributing to
exports, and paying taxes. Even if it comes in the form of mergers
and acquisitions (M&A), FDI helps to finance trade and current
account deficits run by several emerging markets, including Turkey.
According to the latest figures from United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Turkey currently attracts about
1% of global FDI flow. With an inflow of $16.5 billion FDI in 2015,
our country became the 20th most-popular destination for foreign
direct investment, and we received the fifth-highest amount of FDI
in the emerging Asian region.
We have built a solid foundation, but given our aggressive growth
targets, we still need to increase the share of global FDI inflow from
1% to 3%. This target is achievable given our country’s geographical
location, young population, and very active, creative business
people. What we need to do today is to work together to improve our
country’s investment climate.
In this respect, our optimism and expectations have increased
thanks to the new government’s efforts to prepare a comprehensive
package including several regulations to eliminate existing
obstacles faced by local and foreign direct investors, and, with
the introduction of a Turquoise Card, and ease the employment
conditions for qualified foreigners.
The EU countries represent the bulk of FDI inflow into our country.
For example, according to the latest statistics released by the Central
Bank of Turkey, during the January - April 2016 period Turkey
attracted about $1.5 billion worth of FDI, of which $954 million
was of EU origin. This represents about 60% of the total inflow and
constitutes a worrisome picture for us given the recent events which
have begun unfolding in the wake of the British referendum to leave
Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Government of Turkey and the ILO with the participation of employer and employee organization representatives
The 105th session of the International
Labour Conference of the International
Labour Organization (ILO), was held in
Geneva (Switzerland) from 30 May to 11
June 2016. This year, a record number of
5982 delegates from 187 ILO member States
attended the Conference.
The Conference once again provided a
forum where the tripartite constituents from
all continents to have intensive debates on
global social and economic problems.
In this year’s Conference employer, worker
and government delegates from the ILO’s
187 member states discussed a wide range
of issues, including global supply chains,
decent work for peace, security and disaster
resilience, as well as the impact of the ILO
Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair
Globalization. Tripartite delegates also
considered amendments to the Code of the
Maritime Labour Convention.
Since Britain has always been an important economic and trade
partner of Turkey, as Turkish employers we are also confident that
it will soon overcome today’s difficulties, and that our relations will
be unaffected by the present crisis.
The Turkish Minister for Labour and Social
Security, Mr. Süleyman Soylu made his
intervention to the plenary session of the
Conference on 2 June 2016. In his speech,
he explained the measures taken by the
Government and their reflections to the
labour market. He said: “As our national
income continued to increase rapidly, we
have made efforts so that the lowest-income
earners can also benefit from such a growth.
We raised our GDP per capita from USD
3,500 in 2002 up to USD 10,000. Within the
same period, we reduced our P80/P20 ratio
from 9.43 to 7.4, which represent the ratio
of the household income of the wealthiest
20th percentile to the 20th percentile of the
lowest income earners.”
Today we keep our fingers crossed for both the EU and the UK!
Minister Soylu also underlined high level
Since we as Turkish employers have always believed in the EU’s
values and supported our country’s accession to the Union, we will
continue to assert that Turkey should remain tied to the EU anchor
in order to further modernize our country and boost FDI inflow. We
also believe that the EU can cope with the present crisis, as it has
found effective remedies for curing various illnesses in the past.
of unionization and the latest figures
on freedom of association in Turkey. He
continued: “The reforms we carried out in
recent years and their outcomes are clear
indicators of the importance we attach to the
freedom of association and social dialogue.
In this regard, the number of workers
affiliated to trade unions has increased by
approximately 500 thousand and reached
1 million 514 thousand members when
compared to July 2014, an increase of 47%.
The increase in the unionization rates for
public sector employees is more striking.
Over the past decade, the unionization rate
in this sector has increased from 47% to
71% as of July 2015. The unionization rate
for all employees has reached 22.7%.”
Minister Soylu concluded his remarks
by outlining the crisis which Turkey
faced upon the Syrian refugees and the
measures taken in order to tackle the
crisis. Regarding the crisis he called on the
international community to take action for
this humanitarian tragedy and to share the
During the Conference, a memorandum
of understanding was signed between
Turkish government and the ILO for the
organization of the 10th European Regional
Meeting by Turkey in 2017. The regional
meeting which is expected to be one of the
important platforms to contribute to ILO’s
policymaking will be held in Istanbul in
Within scope of the Conference, TİSK’s
Secretary-General Bülent Pirler was elected
to the membership of management board of
the International Organization of Employers
as a representative of European group.
TİSK Vice-President Erol Kiresepi Represented Turkish Employers in
World Humanitarian Summit 2016
TİSK Vice-President Erol Kiresepi made a speech on
behalf of Turkish employers on ‘‘The Central Role
of Decent Work in Addressing the Syrian Refugee
Crisis: The ILO Experience’’ session of 2016 World
Humanitarian Summit that was coordinated by
International Labour Organisation (ILO) in İstanbul
on 23 May 2016.
The opening speech of the session was delivered by
Minister of Labour and Social Security Süleyman
Soylu. Under the moderation of ILO Director General
Guy Ryder, Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions
(TÜRK-İŞ) President Ergün Atalay, Governor of
Kilis Süleyman Tapsız, GAP Regional Development
Administration’s Social Affairs Coordinator Adalet
Budak Akbaş took part in this session as other
TİSK Vice-Present Erol Kiresepi stated that 2.8
million Syrians were hosted by Turkey and every 4
people out of 100 in the streets were Syrian.
“Perspectives, Expectations and Suggestions of
Turkish Business Sector on Syrians in Turkey’’
report which was published by TİSK on 7 December
2015 emphasized that vocational counseling and
qualification licensing services should be provided
after a database on Syrian’s educational background
and vocational qualification is constituted Kiresepi
Kiresepi also stressed that social parties’
participation and support is essential for
developing precautions of labor market and
Turkish Government had been showing necessary
sensitivity on this topic.
GAN General Council and National Networks Meeting
Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) General Assembly
and National Networks Meeting took place in Geneva on
9 June 2016.
GAN’s 2015-2016 activity report and budget were
approved in the meeting which was attended by TİSK
Vice-President Erol Kiresepi, GAN Director Shea Gopaul,
Adecco Official Relations Director Bettina Schaller, BIAC
Secretary General Bernhard Welchke, representatives
of National Networks and some national employer
organizations who are planning to establish a national
TİSK’s representatives presented GAN TURKEY’s activities
and gave information to participants on the benefits and
difficulties of establishing a national network.
GAN TURKEY’s key performance indicators presented in
the meeting were seen as the best practice and decided to
be implemented by other national networks.
National Network representatives from Argentina,
Indonesia, Colombia and Mexico also presented their
activities and projects for future.
JUNE 2016 / VOL. 36 /JUNE
NO: 2 2016 / VOL. 36 / NO: 2
30 June, 2016
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Turkish economy grows 4.8 percent in
Turkey ranks 3rd
with its labor force growth
Turkish economy grows
Turkey’s economy grew a larger-thanincreased
of industry increased
percent in theincreased
first quarter of 2016,
by 5,9% and of4.8services
expected 4.8 percent in the first
official data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on June 10,
as wage hikes
of 2016, official data from the
migrants fueled private consumption, according to analysts.
Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on of 2016.
Highest contribution to growth came from domestic and government consumption
June 10, outperforming majorexpenditures.
of the growth,
demand reduced the overall growth figure by 1.5 percent.
markets peers, as wage hikes and increased by 2,4% whereas imports
Value added of agriculture increased by 2,7%, of industry increased by 5,9% and of
spending by Syrian migrants
fueled 5,1% at constantby
to the same
services increased by increased
in the first
quarter of 2016.
private consumption, according
Overall, exports of goods and services increased by 2,4% whereas imports increased by
7,5% compared to the same quarter of previous year.
at constant prices,
demand contributed 6
percent of the growth,
but net external demand
reduced the overall growth
figure by 1.5 percent.
Value added of agriculture
Turkish auto production increases 9
pct in first 5 months of 2016
Automotive production in Turkey rose
9 percent year-on-year in the first five
months of 2016, according to the monthly
Automotive Manufacturers Association
(OSD) report released on June 8.
Automakers in the country produced
nearly 594,000 vehicles, including
automobiles, light commercial vehicles
and tractors, within the January-May
period of this year, while automobile
production rose about 359,000, with an
increase of 13 percent year-on-year, the
compared to last year.
The association data shows that the sector’s
exports rose 15 percent to 454,000 in the
first five months of 2016 compared to the
same period last year.
The export value in the period of the
year was $9.6 billion, a rise of 12 percent
compared with $8.5 billion in 2015,
according to the Turkish Statistics Institute
The OSD added that production from
January-May was the highest since 2006.
The country’s automakers manufactured
nearly 125,190 vehicles in May, an increase
of 42 percent compared with 88,048 in
May 2015, the association’s data showed.
However, the overall auto sales market
(including light trucks and other vehicles)
fell 2 percent in the same period to 356,798,
whereas the sub-set of car sales was at
267,000, showing growth of 3 percent
Turkey is one of the world’s top 20 auto
markets, with major operations for Toyota
Motor Corp., Renault joint venture Oyak
Renault, Fiat Chrysler’s Tofaş unit, Ford
Otosan and Hyundai Motors.
Total & Total
Pass. Cars Production
According to the International Institute for Management
Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook
2015, the labor force grew by 6,43 percent in Turkey
in 2014. The rising size of the workforce presents an
opportunity to drive economic growth and it can be
regarded as an engine for development. Among the
61 countries covered by the Index, Turkey ranks 3rd.
Countries experiencing negative labor force growth,
thus the least percentage change in labor force are
Romania, Mongolia and Ukraine.
Source: Automotive Industry Monthly Report May 2016, Automotive Manufacturers
Source: Automotive Industry Monthly Report May 2016, Automotive
China Hong Kong
Source: Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Yearbook 2015(IMD) World
Source: Institute for
Competitiveness Yearbook 2015
Turkey’s work permits
for refugees are
praised by ILO
The head of the International Labor Organization
(ILO) praised Turkey on May 23 for allowing
Syrian refugees to obtain work permits. Ahead
of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul,
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder told state-run
Anadolu Agency that “...there are lessons that
Europe should learn on the issue. Turkey is one
of the countries - with its open-door policy from which Europe should take lessons,” Ryder
said. “I see it as a huge failure ... that Europe has
not yet determined a common attitude on the
refugee crisis … I would say that the international
community has been insufficient in its response
to Syrian refugees,” he added, stressing that more
than 60 million people are currently displaced
due to conflicts and violence across the world. ILO and İŞKUR
“More and Better Jobs
The ‘First Action Plan on Women’s Employment
in Turkey’ developed under the project “More and
Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment
through Decent Work in Turkey” implemented
by the International Labour Organization (ILO)
and Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) to
support policies geared to creating decent jobs
for women and activities of İŞKUR in this field
and to contribute to women’s participation to
employment was introduced to the public at a
meeting held in Ankara on 17 May 2016.
Global Compact Türkiye General Assembly
The UN Global Compact (GC) Network Türkiye
held its 4th General Assembly on March 30th, 2016
in Istanbul and elected its Board of Directors to
represent GC Network Turkey for the period of
Mustafa Seçkin, Unilever NAMET-RUB Region
Refreshments Vice President was elected as the GC
Türkiye 2016-2019 President and will assume the
role from Dr. Yılmaz Argüden.
The institutions elected to send their
representatives to the Board of Directors were
Unilever Türkiye, Borsa İstanbul, Borusan
Holding, Boyner Group, Çimsa, Coca-Cola İçecek,
Eczacıbaşı Holding, Garanti Bank, İstanbul Bilgi
University, Koç Holding, Nestlé Türkiye, Tayburn,
The Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey,
Yeşim Textile and also the two institutions
undertaking the secretariat of the network, TİSK
In his first remarks, Seçkin stressed that the
GC Türkiye will continue its work towards the
vision of a sustainable and inclusive global
economy by increasing its representation on
international platforms, increasing the number
of signatories, strengthening its participation
engagement strategy, improving communication
and content development. Seçkin also highlighted
the importance of Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) and added that the SDGs provide a
common vision and a roadmap for sustainable
development. Thus, achieving the SDGs by 2030
will require concerted collective action and new
forms of partnership.
The plan suggests actions related to two basic
objectives as building occupational skills and job
orientation to enhance women’s employment,
improving access to labour markets.
Giving information about the content, process
of preparation and objectives of the Action Plan,
İŞKUR representative stressed that the plan was
developed, on the basis of the principle of decent
work, to bring gender equality perspective to
İŞKUR support to employment and to mainstream
gender equality in all activities.
The action plan was a product of social dialogue
and joint work developed by the National
organizations, and workers’ and employers’
organizations in the period June 2014-December
2015 through series of meetings, international
working visits and trainings.
TİSK representative spoke at the panel composed
of NTT members and shared their experiences in
developing the Action Plan.
Global Compact Annual European Local Networks Meeting and 2030 Conference
The Global Compact (GC) European Meeting and
2030 Conference took place in Prague, Czech
Republic between 4-6 May 2016.
The European Local Networks Regional Meeting
brought together the representatives and contact
persons from more than 20 European Local
Networks, including Global Compact Türkiye,
to exchange best practices and key learning.
The meeting also served as a platform where
UNGC presented the global updates and allow
for a dialogue between headquarters and Local
Networks especially on how to advance the
implementation of the SDGs at the local level.
The Regional Meeting took place after Global
Compact 2030: Looking into the future of
Corporate Sustainability, where Global Compact
Local Networks in Europe, their participants and
stakeholders came together to discuss the next
great challenges, the next great leaps and the next
great pioneers in the movement for sustainable
business. The full day event convened multistakeholder panels on social innovation, climate
action and gender equality.
announcement of his decision to step down as
the Chairman of the ruling AK Party on May
6. The party held an extraordinary congress
to elect a new chairman. İzmir Deputy and
Minister for Transport, Maritime Affairs
Communications in the 64th Government Binali
Yıldırım was elected as the new Chairman of the
AK Party in the extraordinary congress held on
22 May 2016. Following his election as the new
leader of the AK Party, Yıldırım was mandated
by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to form the
65th Government. On 24 May 2016, the newly
appointed Prime Minister Yıldırım unveiled the
new cabinet as approved by President Erdoğan.
26 members under the leadership of Prime
Minister Binali Yıldırım, features nine new
ministers while four ministers from the previous
cabinet have been re-seated.
The Deputy Prime Ministers in the new cabinet
are Nurettin Canikli, Mehmet Şimşek, Tuğrul
Türkeş, Veysi Kaynak and Numan Kurtulmuş.
The 65th government of Turkey led by Prime
Minister Binali Yıldırım won the vote of
confidence on May 29. The following day, the
government spokesman announced that under
its new government, Turkey will have five
priorities: economic growth, ending terrorism
in the southeast, a new constitution, new
foreign policy approaches, and ensuring social
Following are some important excerpts from the
65th Government Programme presented to and
approved by the Parliament:
•• Investment and projects will focus on science
and technology, which will in turn strengthen
Turkey’s aerospace and defence industries as
well as develop information-communication
technologies with the aim of increasing Turkeys
growth rate and welfare.
IOE GOSHNET meeting was held in Belgium
TISK was represented on IOE Global Occupational
Safety and Health Network (GOSHNET) meeting
which was hosted by the Federation of Enterprises
of Belgium (FEB) and Sibelco at the company’s
facilities in Genk, Belgium.
Occupational safety and health specialists
from IOE member federations as well as
affiliated companies attended the first meeting
of the GOSHNET in 2016, which substantive
presentations were given on the following topics,
stimulating interactive discussion among the
•• Sibelco Safety and Health “Going for Zero”
•• The effect of Global Megatrends on Occupational
Safety and Health
•• OSH: The future of work
•• How to engage with internal stakeholders to
create a positive focus on OSH
•• Travel risk management and return on
•• Critical Control Management: follow-up on the
•• Accidents reporting and management
•• Leadership for growth
Government plan to improve
are preparing to launch a quite detailed regulation
which will also resolve the problems before the
foreign direct investment inflow,” he said. •• Rapid transition to the “fourth industrial
revolution” in order to convert Turkey into a
manufacturer of high value-added goods.
Canikli said the package included significant
changes to the tax system.
•• The state will more strongly support the
private sector and access to funds. In fields that
are hard for the private sector to take initial
action or in which they are not interested, the
government will give importance to publicprivate partnerships (PPP).
“There will be regulations that will decrease the
stamp tax and other costs for the investors. In the
contracts, the stamp tax and the notary fee will be
charged only one copy. This is of great importance
for potential investors as we will be ceasing to
execute a 52-year-long practice which raises costs
for investors,” he said, adding that the stamp
taxes would also be refunded in the event of the
cancelation of public tenders. •• Especially in the eastern and south-eastern
regions of the country, the youth will be directed
to productivity rather than being deceived by
•• Monetary policies will continue to ensure price
stability as a priority while supporting growth
and the government’s employment policies.
•• The new government will bring dynamism and
contribute to the depth and complexity of the
financial markets with projects like the planned
establishment of the İstanbul International
Turkey’s cabinet is finalizing a comprehensive
package to improve the investment climate,
promising a series of regulations that will eliminate
several obstacles which are faced by foreign direct
investors and ease employment conditions for
foreigners, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli
said June 13. “A comprehensive package was presented to the
cabinet to improve the investment climate … We
Canikli said a series of regulations would be
introduced to improve the employment conditions
“We will unveil a Turquoise Card, which will
provide qualified foreigners with the opportunity
for permanent employment. Short-term foreign
workers and interns will also get a permit to work,”
Turkish Baklava exports booming
Putin says Russia
hasn’t canceled South
Exports of Turkey’s traditional dessert, baklava, The top 10 countries to which Turkey exports
have reached $20 million in the last five years, baklava include Switzerland, France, Saudi Arabia,
according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK). Australia, Russia, Iraq and Japan.
Baklava was exported to 48 countries on six
continents, according to figures released May 25
by TÜİK, with the world’s largest economy, the
United States, ranking at the top of the list.
Turkey has exported a total of 1,700 tons since
2011, TÜİK data showed. The U.S. imported nearly 312 tons of Turkish
baklava, followed by Germany at 210 tons.
Moody’s: İstanbul, İzmir in good economic shape
Sizeable investment programs are sustainable
for Istanbul and the Aegean city of İzmir thanks
to their robust operating performance, effective
financial management, strong economies and
large and valuable asset bases, said Moody’s in a
statement on May 5th.
The municipalities of Istanbul and İzmir are
planning infrastructure development programs
in 2016-17 estimated at 17.9 billion Turkish Liras
($6.3 billion) and 4 billion liras ($1.4 billion),
respectively. This would absorb 54 percent of
Istanbul’s total spending over the period and 49
percent of İzmir’s, said the statement.
Moody’s said Istanbul and İzmir’s high capital
expenditure reflected their strong population
growth. Both cities will focus on investments
in transportation infrastructure, utilities and
environmental projects, while their debt will grow
moderately, it added. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June
7 that Russia had not “definitively” canceled
either the South Stream or Turkstream European
gas export pipeline projects but needed a clear
position on them from Europe.
“There are certain political difficulties with
Turkey - this is widely known. But we have not
irreversibly canceled any of these projects neither South Stream nor Turkstream,” Putin
Turkey at the top
of global private
Turkey was the site of nearly half the world’s
private infrastucture investments in 2015,
according to figures from the World Bank.
There was a total of $111,6 billion in private
investments last year- $44.7 billion of which
occurred in Turkey, the global lender said June
Turkey especially topped the list due to İstanbul’s
third airport, which is costing $35.6 billion, and
the $6.4 billion Gebze-İzmir Motorway, which is
expected to cut the travel time between İstanbul
and the Aegean city of İzmir dramatically.
The top five countries with the highest
investments in 2015, respectively, were Turkey,
Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, and Brazil,
garnering $74 billion or 66 percent of global
commitments in the developing world,” it added. Solar energy investments were also 72 percent
higher than the last five-year average, while
renewables attracted nearly two-thirds of
investments with private participation, said the
statement. Concerts & Exhibitions
Masters of Cinema in Turkey: Lütfi Akad
Mario Prassinos- In Pursuit of an Artist: Istanbul-Paris-Istanbul
Until December 31, 2016
Until August 14, 2016
Istanbul Modern Cinema has initiated a new
project titled “Masters of Cinema in Turkey”.
The first guest for this series, which is devoted
to founding directors of cinema in Turkey, is
Lütfi Akad, who has come to be known as the
“masterless master” and is a pioneer of the
period referred to as the “Filmmakers’ Era” in the
history of cinema in Turkey.
An archive exhibition will be presented within
the scope of the project commemorating the
director’s 100th birthday. Taking a look at the
cinema of Lütfi Akad, whose filmography
and 95-year life reflect the story of Turkish
cinema, the exhibition which will be held in
the cinema foyer brings together 100 pieces of
archive material such as production stills, film
stills, original scripts, and posters from Akad’s
filmography that had not seen the light of day
until now. This material is accompanied by the
director’s words to describe his films. Akad’s
aptitude for observation can be seen not just in
his films but in his memoirs as well. Shedding
light on the birth of Yeşilçam and its conditions,
his writings and interviews serve as the narrator
of this exhibition.
EXPO 2016 Antalya
23 April – 30 October, 2016
Expo 2016 is the next scheduled A1 Horticultural
Exposition recognised by the International
Association of Horticultural Producers after
Expo 2012, and is hosted by Antalya. The motto
of the Expo 2016 is “A Green World for the Next
The EXPO area includes: Expo Greenhouse,
the Agriculture and Biodiversity Museum, the
This exhibition is centered on the art of Mario Prassinos,
who was born in Istanbul into a Greek-Ottoman family
and began his artistic career in Paris, among the 20th
century avant-gardes. Bringing together a large selection
of his works ranging from paintings and book illustrations
to tapestries, portraits, and engravings, the exhibition
reveals the striking and unique character of Prassinos
and his distinctive style shifting from Surrealism to a
more realistic approach. Curated by Seza Sinanlar Uslu,
the exhibition welcomes back this original 20th-century
artist to his birthplace to Pera, Istanbul, on the 100th
anniversary of his birth.
Legend of Aspendos: A Journey to Aspendos
June 17- October 28, 2016
Internationally renowned dance group “Anadolu
Ateşi” (Fire of Anatolia) is celebrating its 15th year
with a new project, “The Legend of Aspendos: A
Journey to Aspendos,” taking viewers back to the
time of the Roman Empire.
Making its premiere on Oct. 17 at the ancient
Aspendos Theater, the two-act program brings
theatrical dance and a documentary screening
together. The documentary shows the history
of the Aspendos Theater and its legends as well
as the historical incidents that happened in and
around the ancient city. Viewers can watch Fire
of Anatolia’s impressive dancers on stage while
watching Alexander the Great in the war between
the Persians and the people of Aspendos, the
renovation of the theater by the Seljuks and
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s visit to the theater as well
as scenes from shows performed on Aspendos’
stage. The documentary also charts the stages of
construction the theater has been through. The
movie is being screened on the walls of Aspendos
via the video-mapping method. Viewers take their
seats after the film starts.
Children’s Science and Technology Center, the
Turkey Biodiversity Theme Trail, the Mosaiculture
Plant Statues Area, Expo Tower, Congress Center,
Expo Forest, Culture and Arts Street, the Outdoor
As well as being a giant botanical park with a theme
“Flowers and Children,” EXPO 2016 Antalya will
make great contributions to Antalya’s promotion
with different events. The EXPO exhibition area,
which will stay open for six months, will host
world-famous rock, pop and classical musicians.
7th International İstanbul Opera and Ballet Festival
Until July 17, 2016
Organized by the State Opera and Ballet, the festival will kick off on July 2 with a gala
concert to be performed by the Istanbul State Symphonic Orchestra under the baton of
Borislav Ivanov at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Hall.
As part of the festival, the “Hekimoğlu Opera,” composed by Tolga Taviş, will be on stage at
the Kadıköy Municipality Süreyya Opera House on July 5.
Mozart’s opera “Abduction from Seraglio” will be staged by the Istanbul State Opera and
Ballet in the garden of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum on July 14 and 15.
The festival will be closed by the İzmir State Opera and Ballet, which will perform Mozart’s
opera “Zaide” on July 16 at the Kadıköy Süreyya Opera, İstanbul.
Ihlara Valley Archeological Site
It is located in Aksaray Province, Guzelyurt
District, Ihlara Town and in the Northeast of Hasan
Mountain. It is 40 km. distant from Aksaray and 7
km. from Guzelyurt. The valley can be reached by
following the signs via Aksaray. Ihlara Valley is a valley which is formed as a result
of abrasion of lava from Hasan Mountain volcano
by the river. Ihlara Canyon was established from
basalt and andesite as lava cools, the resulting
cracks and collapses as a result of creating a bed
for himself in the cracks of the Melendiz stream
that emerged as a result of the deepening gorge.
Melendiz Stream, at the end of a process of millions
of years, has formed this valley which is 14 miles
in length and 110 meters in height.
Melendiz Stream moves through the 14 km.
long valley, which was formerly named as
PERISTREMMA, by more than 30 meanders and
splitting the field deeply; creating amazing beauties.
Melendiz Stream caused the current formation of
this canyon today and it was named as “Potamus
Kapadukus” (Cappadocia Stream) in the ancient
ages. Today, this word is said as “Cappadocia”.
Cappadocia is the name given to the region in Ihlara
Valley, Gulsehir, Nevsehir, Goreme, Urgup, Avanos,
Aksaray and Kayseri and it includes various natural
and historical sites. Ihlara is a natural, cultural and
historical extension of Cappadocia region, located
in the east. As the rocks within the region are
unique with their soft structure, they can easily be
processed and transform into a solid material after
contacting with air. This field structure has turned
Cappadocia into a region where shelter and hideout
sites were built since the old times.
Fairy chimneys are the geographical formations
within the region, and the region became world
famous thanks to them and the Ihlara Valley. There
are 382 steps for the visitors to go into the valley.
HISTORICAL TEXTURE OF THE VALLEY
Ihlara is a place created with the collaboration of
man and nature. The natural beauty of the valley,
the rock and soil texture which is suitable for
carving were utilized in its best by the people; and
it was adorned by historical textures appropriate
with its natural structure and appearance. The
houses, churches and monasteries were carved
into fairy chimneys and valley slopes, and they
were decorated by frescos.
The natural formation and secure structure of Ihlara
Valley has made this place an important center for
Christianity. Ihlara Valley has become an important
monastery center since 4th century and it contains
various churches containing the characteristics of
the painting in that period. Some of the churches
in the valley are also important for history as their
constructivists are known.
It is quite hard to date the histories in valley.
Carved churches with Closed Greek Cross and free
cross plans are on the steep slopes of the Valley,
located in both sides and they integrate with the
Melendiz Stream. Valley was used by monks and
priests as a hermitage since 4th century, due to its
natural structure. Christianity was spread among
individuals with different native languages. Low
levels of literacy and the tough features of Latin
to learn caused the slow spread of the religion. So,
churches have depicted issues such as the life of
Jesus, the subjects in the Bible, religious figures
and events related with them through pictures.
Inside the frescoed churches in the valley
(Sümbüllü, Yılanlı, Kokar, Ağaçaltı, Pürenliseki,
Eğritaş, Kırkdamaltı, Bahattin Samanlığı) we
can see scenes suchas Birth of Jesus, Gospel to
Mary, Escape to Egypt and Last Supper. There
are also important churches in Selime Town and
Yaprakhisar Village within the valley. These are
Selime Castle, Dervis Akin Church, Dogan Yuvasi
Church etc. Ihlara Valley is the most important and
historical settlement in Aksaray with huge number
of domestic and international tourists.
HOW TO GO?
You can reach to Ihlara Valley in Cappadocia,
which has the most different geography in Turkey,
from the 11th kilometer of Aksaray-Nevsehir road.
Distance between Ankara and Ihlara Valley is
272 km. and you can drive there in 4 hours. The
distance to Istanbul is 715 m., with a 9 hours’ drive.
There is no airport in Aksaray, and the flights are
made to Nevsehir.