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Friday, May 3, 2013

Turkey Soars On A Symphony Of Butterflies And The Wings Of Alicia Keys, Rihanna And Justin Bieber

From the rare Jersey Tiger Moth emerging from undisturbed corners of Butterfly Valley to world-renowned R&B singer Alicia Keys baring her soul at Istanbul International Jazz Festival, summer in Turkey sets the stage for events and festivals as majestic and diverse as its landscape.

Butterfly Valley Breading Season in Fethiye and Oludeniz runs until June, the ideal time to mix the search for exceptional fauna with inimitable experience like the Marmaris Maritime and Spring Festival in June, the SunSplash Antalya Festival from June 2 to 9, the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival from June 2 to 22, the One Love Festival, headlined by British rockers, Blur, on June 21, or the International Istanbul Jazz Festival from July 2 to 18.

Turkey’s most iconic events and festivals include:
Butterfly Valley Breeding Season – Fethiye and Oludeniz (April to June)
Step off the beaten path into Butterfly Valley near Fethiye during butterfly breeding season from April to June for a glimpse at the rare Jersey Tiger Moth. A boat to the protected valley, just beyond Oludeniz along the coast towards Faralya, will take wildlife lovers into a 1,150 foot-deep canyon towards a waterfall and very little else other than a few tree houses and a small beach bar.
Stay in tents or wooden sheds to explore the turquoise waters of the cove and walk among the 30 different daytime, and 40 nighttime, species of butterflies that call the valley home.
Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival – Antalya (June 2 – 22)Celebrating its 20thanniversary, the International Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival brings together unique history and the unmatched acoustics of the 2000-year-old Aspendos Antique Theatre with the natural beauty of Antalya and performances by the state opera and ballet. Since its inception in 1994, the festival has been repeatedly ranked among the 10 best opera festivals around the

41st Istanbul Music Festival41st Istanbul Music Festival (June 4 – June 29)
The month-long Istanbul Music Festival shows why Istanbul and Turkey are ranked among the world’s leading and most innovative music scenes. The schedule includes renowned classical music stars, prestigious arts organizations and many of Turkey’s leading musicians and composers. (Photo left: Borusan Istanbul Filarmoni/ Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. Credit: Bennu Gerede)
20th International Jazz Festival (July 2 -18)This year’s International Istanbul Jazz Festival presents a remarkable variety of music, ranging from traditional and contemporary jazz to rock, electronica and world music. A highlight will be world-renowned R&B artist Alicia Keys, performing in Turkey for the first time on July 2. (Photo right: Alicia Keys. Credit: Michelangelo di Battista.)

Ephesus Festival of Culture and Art  (First week of May)
The best part about this local festival is the use of the Great Theatre at Ephesus as a venue for some of the concerts and theatrical presentations.
Istanbul will also be home to some of the world’s top recording artists this year, including Justin Bieber at the ITU Stadium from May 2, Depeche Mode at KucukCiftlik Park from May 17, Rihanna at BJK Inonu Stadium from May 30 and Roger Waters at ITU Stadium from August 4.

Other Festivals Include:

Marmaris Yacht Charter Show (May 12-16)
The Marmaris Yacht Charter Show, which marks the beginning of Turkey’s charter season, attracts agents, brokers and sailors to Marmaris Harbor.
Youth and Sports Day (May 19)
Every year, Turkey celebrates the historic arrival of Ataturk at Samsun, which marks the beginning of the 1919 War of Independence. The annual Turkish holiday is celebrated with parades, sports, folk dances and theatre.
Istancool (May annual)
The world’s leading cultural figures, fashion gurus, writers and artists come together for a dynamic arts diplomacy program throughout Istanbul.
International Istanbul Puppet Festival (May annual)
Performed over a week at Caddebostan Cultural Center, the annual International Istanbul Puppet Festival hosts national and international puppeteers from around the world.
Chill Out Festival (May annual)
The Kemer Golf & Country Club in Istanbul hosts this early summer festival with 12 hours of non-stop jazz, hip-hop and Latin tunes.
International Izmir Art Biennial (May 1-5, 2013)
Izmir International Fair Centre, Izmir
Held at the Izmir International Fair Centre, young artists from around the world display their creativity to bring different cultures together with a common ground for sharing.
Istanbul Shopping Festival, (June)
The Third Annual Shopping Festival gives shoppers from around the globe bargains on everything – spices, antiques, the latest fashions and electronics.
SunSplash Antalya Festival – Antalya (June 2 –9)
Known as Turkey’s Biggest Little Festival, SunSplash Antalya combines a beachfront venue with a week of sun, sea and dance music.  This year’s event will be held at The Hillside Su and feature SunSplash resident artist Gilles Peterson, producer Mad Professor and Germany’s root down master Rainer Trueby and DJ Phil Asher among many others.
One Love Festival (June 21)
British rockers Blur will headline this year’s One Love Festival in Istanbul, one of the premier music events in the world. The festival draws 20,000-30,000 visitors annually, and has previously attracted top acts like Manic Street Preachers and a host of British bands like Suede, Editors and Happy Mondays.
Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Championship (July 1 – 7)
Wrestlers take part in the annual “sudden-death” Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Championship at the Edirne Stadium.
International Istanbul Opera Festival (July)
The International Istanbul Opera Festival hosts world-renowned opera soloists and companies at Istanbul’s most outstanding historical venues, such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene, and Sureyya Opera House.
Bodrum International Ballet Festival (August)
Organized by the Directorate General State Opera and Ballet, the Bodrum International Ballet Festival is first and only ballet festival in Turkey. It brings well-known productions like Don Quixote to historic sites like the 15-century Bodrum Castle.

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