News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





Turkish Amsterdammers appreciate exhibition

14 December 2006 – An exhibition on Istanbul will open next Saturday in the Nieuwe Kerk. Turkish Amsterdammers hope that the initiative will contribute to mutual understanding. “It is a cosmopolitan city, where people with different religions live together and with many civilizations”. The exhibition might have been a bit more critical though, some find.

See also: Ottoman treasures at the Nieuwe Kerk

The Nieuwe Kerk has a reputation for involving our country's large communities in its exhibitions, said Chief of Communication and Education Frans van der Avert. This time, the famous singer Sezen Aksu has narrated the Turkish version of the audio tour. Also, hundreds of buses full of school children will come visit the exhibition.

“I find that the Turkish community is rather closed. In comparison with other immigrants, there is little communication with people outside the community”, says Emel Can, district council member for the Green Party in de Baarsjes. “An exhibition that will familiarize people with Istanbul and Turkey is always a good thing. This will help bridge the gap between the Turkish community and the Netherlands”.

“Every initiative to promote mutual understanding is a positive thing”, says Nuri Karabulut, chairman of the workers’ organisation DIDF. In his view, Istanbul is a suitable theme. “It is a cosmopolitan city, where people with different religions live together and with many civilizations. In that respect, it is a very good choice”.

At the same time, he emphasizes that efforts should not be limited to cultural initiatives. “Many problems that people cope with are of a social-economic or legal nature. In order to promote integration, you will have to deal with that as well”.

HTIB chairman Mustafa Ayranci finds it important that young people are familiar with history, and not just Turkish history. “Sometimes we get students in work placements who do not know about the February Strike [a 1941 protest in Amsterdam against the deportation of Jews – Ed]. ‘Well, I don’t know’, they say, ‘I can’t be bothered’. That really makes me angry”.

Ayranci has already seen the exhibition. “It is good that positive side is shown, the treasures. But attention must also be given to the negative side. During the final period of the Ottoman Empire, bad things have been done to Syrians, Kurds, Greeks, and Armenians. I see nothing of all that at the exhibition”.

The Ottoman Empire has a reputation for having been relatively tolerant: minorities had to pay more taxes, but for the rest they were left alone. Ayranci: “That is the image we like to see. But I have been in Bulgaria a couple of times, and there I hear quite different stories”.

Can too would have liked to see other aspects included in the exhibition. “I would show Istanbul in its generality: from the Ottoman Empire, the presence of the Synagogue and the slums, to the modern side of Istanbul. I find Istanbul an example of a universal, multicultural city”.

Parallel to the exhibition, a cultural programme will be organised, including a performance by Sezen Aksu. “Sezen Aksu is a very good choice”, says Can. “She will definitely help involve the Turkish community. In addition, I would have invited a musician of Kurdish descent. That would improve relations between Kurds, Turks and other minority groups. For Istanbul has seen a massive influx of Kurds during the past ten years”.

Incidentally, the Nieuwe Kerk has had less than positive experiences with this kind of sensitive issues. Two years ago, the Moroccan government protested because a Morocco exhibition featured a map with a dotted line between Morocco and Western Sahara. The map was altered.

Meanwhile, the Turkish community does not seem to be aware of the Istanbul exhibition yet. “I have recently spoken with many people, but I have heard nothing about it”, says Karabulut. “But that may be just me!”

According to Ayranci, it is mainly the representatives of organisations who have already heard of the initiative. “Much must still be done to inform the people in the street”.

Image: Portrait of Sultan Ahmed III by the painter Levni, 1703-1730, Ottoman, paper, gilding, paint, 25 x 16.5 cm, Topkapi Palace Museum.

See also: Ottoman treasures at the Nieuwe Kerk


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here

This is the old website. Please find new content here