Bosphorus Chronıcle


Bosphorus Chronıcle
RC 150th Year
Special Issue
The founders of Robert College
visited the campus! Turn to
page 2 to see the photographs.
If you are curious about what
Mr. Hays had to say in his last
year at RC, go to page 8.
Are you a music enthusiast?
Read the reviews of recent
albums by MGMT, Arctic
Monkeys,and Pearl Jam on
pages 12 and 13.
Bosphorus Chronıcle
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
Bosphorus Chronicle is the quarterly newspaper of Robert College
Beyond Art History: ASL II
Ege Bıçaker
Walking down the corridors of Robert College, you may see numerous
people carrying black textbooks
that feature on the cover an image
of The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. The textbook,
Fleming’s Arts and Ideas: Volume I,
is analogous to the Art, Society, and
Literature course known to many
simply as “ASL.” Over the years, ASL
has become a “must-take” elective
at Robert College. In fact, many
students say that ASL is one of the
best courses they have taken. Not
surprisingly, it is one of the most indemand electives offered at RC.
This year, ASL has a sibling: ASL II.
Last year’s Lise 11 students who
learned about this on November
2012 were struck with several questions that will also trouble those
students who are currently mapping out their electives. Is the workload too much for seniors who are
studying for YGS and LYS? Can ASL
II be taken without having taken
ASL I? Is this a continuation of ASL I,
or are there changes in the areas of
emphasis? The Bosphorus Chronicle
investigated the answers to these
essential questions.
A senior-only course, ASL II has
two sections this year. Rick Hummel teaches one section, while
Michael Hays teaches the other.
The ASL I course covers the history of art, architecture, philosophy
and literature from the birth of art
through the Northern Renaissance;
ASL II covers essentially the same
elements from the Renaissance
onwards. ASL II is thus the second
of two survey courses of the evolution of Western ideas and thought
as they find expression in art, architecture, literature, philosophy and
the humanities. The course takes a
St. Jerome Reading by Bellini. The course started with
the Venetian Renaissance. (Courtesy of
chronological approach over two
semesters, beginning with the Venetian Renaissance and continuing
through to the present. The period
includes, in order, the traditions of
Baroque, Enlightenment, Neoclassicism, Romantism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-impressionism,
Modernism and Postmodernism.
ASL II is interdisciplinary in nature as
students continue to ask and answer
some of humanity’s most enduring
questions. It is a fast-paced elective
course that is reading, discussion,
and writing intensive, utilizing materials designed for motivated and
intellectually curious students.
Until just three years ago, the survey
of these humanities topics, from the
Ice Age to 21st century, was taught
in a single course. It sounds impossible, doesn’t it? It was; teachers could
never cover all the material on Fleming’s Arts and Ideas over the course
of a single school year. Mr. Hummel
said that they usually skipped the
Baroque style and couldn’t teach the
overarching ideas of the periods as in
depth as they can now. After realizing that there is a two-volume set of
the book, the teachers prefer using
only the first volume for the course,
covering concepts in more depth.
ASL II students are currently studying the Palace of
Versailles, which they will visit in April (Wikimedia)
However, ending the survey with the
Northern Renaissance apparently
did not satisfy students. They were
curious about the rest of the story.
“So, what happens after the Renaissance?” was a question that naturally
occurred to them. It is a very reasonable question, since the periods
following the Renaissance include
many pieces of art and architecture
and philosophical breakthroughs
that students are somewhat familiar
with and would like to learn more
Nevertheless, ASL II is not simply
a continuation of ASL I. The obvious similarity between these two
courses is that the two volumes of
Fleming’s Arts and Ideas form the anchor in terms of moving chronologically from period to period. However,
there is a shift in emphasis from art
to philosophy and literature in ASL II.
Mr. Hummel indicated that teachers
assume that ASL II students have a
much deeper understanding of art
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
Idleness of Sisyphus by Sandro Chia. The course will end with contemporary art.
(Courtesy of
after the Renaissance than they have
of the philosophy and literature of
the era. Although the syllabus is
guided by Fleming’s Arts and Ideas:
Volume II, the course doesn’t devote
as much time to the text as it does in
ASL I. Instead, a wide variety of literary and philosophical excerpts are
analyzed in the course.
The literary readings include John
Gay’s The Beggars Opera, Goethe’s
The Sorrows of Young Werther, Oscar
Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters
in Search of an Author, and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
are Dead. Also, almost half of each
80-minute period is devoted to the
analysis of a poem --a practice Mr.
Hummel calls “Poem du Jour.” Students use The Norton Anthology of
Poetry and take a historical approach
to analyzing poems from the 16th
century to the present. An equally
important emphasis of the course is
on philosophy. The ASL II compendium is chock-full of philosophical
texts that trace the development of
the European way of thinking, from
Descartes to Sartre. If you are considering taking ASL II next year, you
need to ask yourself whether or not
you would enjoy reading the writings of philosophers such as Hobbes,
Rousseau and Nietzsche, and discussing the substantiality of their
arguments in class.
Even though ASL II assumes a deeper
understanding of art in students
than ASL I does, ASL I is not a prerequisite to ASL II. There may be some
students who wish to take both
classes in the same year or who want
to take ASL II, but not ASL I. These
options are perfectly possible. Yet,
Mr. Hummel encourages students
who don’t take ASL I prior to ASL II
to quickly skim through the first volume of Fleming’s Arts and Ideas, because some foundational knowledge
about art and architecture of the
period covered in the first volume is
essential to succeed in ASL II. While
talking about the pieces of art and
achitecture and philosophical approaches, both the teachers and the
second volume of the textbook often
refer to the precursors who lived in
earlier ages.
Mert Dilek (RC’14), who is taking
both courses this year, shared his
experience: “There are not any difficulties involved in taking the two
ASL courses simultaneously, because
I am really passionate about the
humanities. The week before school
started, I did some general reading
about the art and architecture of the
era until the Northern Renaissance.
Knowing that ASL II would start approximately with the Baroque, I especially focused on the Renaissance
period in my reading.” Students can
be puzzled from time to time in class
if they have no knowledge of the
earlier ages. In ASL II, you should
expect to hear phrases such as “the
hand in Creation of Adam,”“color palette of DaVinci,” or “composition of
The School of Athens” used frequently
to describe other artwork. Nevertheless, students who didn’t take ASL I
last year are as active in class as those
who did. Overall, if you would like to
take both ASL courses at the same
time or if you choose to take only
ASL II, you don’t need to be intimidated. Your plan is feasible.
Because of the Turkish university
entrance exams, ASL teachers had
not expected to have two sections
of the course this year. However, almost half of the students taking the
course are also studying for these exams. BC asked Sıla Küçükosmanoğlu
(RC’14) whether taking this course
as a “Türkiyeci” is difficult. She stated
that if she were not studying for YGS
and LYS, she could read the topics
in much more depth. Nevertheless,
she does not have much difficulty,
because homework is sparse, as the
course is generally based on classwork. She noted that the course is
actually not more difficult than Photography or Studio Art, but it is not
suitable for those who are looking
for in-class time to solve test questions.
Like ASL I, this course too will have a
field trip abroad. Although no destination encompasses everything, the
teachers agreed that Paris would be
an appropriate choice to see the artwork taught in class. As the famous
saying goes, “Paris is always a good
idea.” There are many destinations to
explore in Paris. In fact, the problem
with the city isn’t what to see; it’s
what not to see. The Pantheon, Eiffel
Tower, Notre Dame, Versailles, Picasso Museum, Rodin Museum, Moulin
Rouge, Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du
Luxembourg, Musée d’Orsay, Musée
d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris,
Sacré Cœur, Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore and, of course, The Louvre are
among the options to choose from.
Bear in mind that although The Louvre is a single destination, it would
take three days to see all the artwork
in it. Teachers are currently trying to
narrow down the list. The choices
will depend on the cost and the duration of the trip. They expect that
Paris will be much more expensive
than Italy; therefore, it’s not decided
yet whether the trip will last for 5 or
7 days. Once the duration is known,
the itinerary will be planned.
Students say that ASL II is making
them more cultivated. The course introduces the students into the worlds
of art, architecture, philosophy and
literature simultaneously; this is an
opportunity that many electives do
not offer. Nevertheless, if one isn’t
interested in the evolution of philosophical ideas, or if one would prefer
to solve test questions during class
rather than discuss Rembrandt’s
paintings with peers, ASL II may not
be the right choice. Willingness to
participate, coupled with a burning
desire to learn, is certainly essential
to succeed in this course.
Fleming’s Arts and Ideas, Volume 2
(Courtesy of
Founders Visited the Campus
Ezgi Yazıcı
The on-going Robert College 150th
Year celebrations have created quite
a scene on campus since the beginning of the school year. The recent
“Back 2 School Day” and the exhibition in Suna Kıraç Hall have been the
major pieces of these celebrations.
Appreciation probably comes with
nostalgia because, as I saw from a
big number of tweets, RC alumni
loved the celebrations more than
current RC students did.
If there is one thing that grabbed our
attention while running from class to
class in Gould Hall, it is unquestionably the cardboards of Mary Mills
Patrick, Dr. Cyrus Hamlin and Christopher Rhinelander Robert. Most of us
saw the cardboard of Mr. Robert for
the first time when Robert College’s
Twitter account posted this photo:
“Well this is a most special day for
RC: Sept.16, founders are visiting the
campus! #rc150thyear #ChristopherRobert”
The post quickly had the desired
effect and the 150th year hashtag
went viral. On the big cardboard
Photo Courtesy of RC Twitter Account
poster, under the heads of the “big and Mary Mills Patrick were, here are
three,” it says “Instagram Yourself short descriptions of the three:
#RC150thyear”. Of course, our social Dr. Cyrus Hamlin was the founder and
media-lover eyes detected the word the first president of Robert College
“instagram” faster than any word in when RC opened its doors to 4 stuthe area. And then, the fun of photo dents in 1863 in Bebek. He remained
shoots began.
the president until 1876. Christopher
For the readers who are not sure who R. Robert financially supported the
Christopher Robert, Dr. Cyrus Hamlin school, so Dr. Hamlin dedicated the
Lara Margaret Güneri
Mert Dilek
sectıon edıtors
Ali Girayhan Özbay
Ege Bıçaker
layout edıtor
Bita Koc
M. Miraç Süzgün
layout Assistants
Tunahan Ekincikli
Tuvana Kankallı
Ezgi Yazıcı
Publisher: Birmat Matbaacılık
RC adına sahibi ve yazı işlerinden
sorumlu müdürü: Güler Erdur
Bosphorus Chronicle is published
quarterly during the academic
year by Robert College students.
We welcome letters to the editor,
feedback, and articles by students.
However, we reserve the right to
edit all materials for reasons of appropriateness of length. Give your
submissions to the advisor or one
of the editors or send it to us via
e-mail. All photographs published
are taken by the writer unless otherwise credited.
How to contact us:
By mail: Robert College, Arnavutkoy
34345 Istanbul, Turkey.
By e-mail:
[email protected]
Yerel Süreli Yayın
116 Year-Old Tradition: RC Olympics
Ege Bıçaker
Gizem Ergün
Carolyn Callaghan
Moira Lang
Ali Girayhan Özbay
Berk Eroğlu
Bita Koç
Deniz Şahintürk
Ece Selin Timur
Ege Ersü
Ege Bıçaker
Ezgi Yazıcı
Ezgi Su Korkmaz
Gizem Ergün
Lara Margaret Güneri
Leyla Ok
Mert Dilek
M. Miraç Süzgün
Tunahan Ekincikli
Tuvana Kankallı
Zeynep Karababa
Photo Courtesy of RC Alumni Office - #RC150th Year Photographs
school in his name. Mary Mills PatHere, above, are a few selected ones:
rick was first a teacher, then the
You can check more by searching
principal of American College for
Girls (ACG). She was also the author
of successful works, such as her auCurrently you can find more than
tobiography Under Five Sultans and
100 photos on Instagram and
her book A Bosphorus Adventure.
countless tweets on Twitter with
this hashtag.
Dream of a school day in which there
are no classes, a day to spend running, competing, playing Frisbee
and tug-of-war, celebrating sports,
reclining on the grass and having a
chit-chat with your friends. A whole
day spent at the plateau which Robert College students barely have
time to visit. Student Council and
the Physical Education department
make that dream come true each
year in RC Olympics. Besides being
a social and a sports event, RC Olympics has been an important Robert
College tradition for 116 years.
RC’s aim is to raise not only academically successful but also well-rounded students. Sports are very important at RC, which brought basketball
to Turkey and raised many successful sportsmen and sportswomen.
Dağhan Irak, writer of the catalogue
for the RC’s 150th Year Exhibition,
states in the catalogue that founder
Cyrus Hamlin’s strong sentiments
about the necessity for physical education accounted for a disciplined
sports education at the school. In
those days, the only known sports
education in the Ottoman Empire
was part of a military education. RC
was the pioneer in many sports. The
school had the first school gymnasium in Europe and the first sports
club in the Ottoman Empire.
RC Olympics began as a Field Day. In
1897, just one year after the modern
Olympics were established, the Field
Day tradition started. Field Day was
a well-organized and comprehensive
event. The program of Field Day in
1920 lists races of 50, 100, 440, and
880 yards and one mile, as well as
shot put, high jump, pole vault and
discus throw.
When May 19th was declared Sports
and Youth Day in Turkey, the Field
Day’s date was changed so that the
RC family would have an active celebration of the holiday. The name
of the event has changed too. The
former name Field Day became RC
Olympics. In 1929, RC decided to allow all athletes from Turkey to compete in RC Olympics. This changed
the status of RC Olympics from a
school event to a competition among
schools. As Robert College started to
share the details of its physical education program with other schools,
sports clubs such as Galatasaray and
Fenerbahçe created their own sports
Overall, Field Day has altered its
program and its aim throughout
the years. It changed from a mini
Olympics within the school to a national competition, then again to a
school event. Quite fittingly, Dağhan
Irak calls Field Day “the archetype of
sport events in Turkey.”
Photo Courtesy of RC 150th Year Website (1897 - Field Day )
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
Back 2 School
Ezgi Su Korkmaz
As part of a series of events dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Robert College, this year Homecoming
Day was paired up with a brand new
event: Back 2 School. On the day
after Homecoming, on October 6,
some of Robert College’s most successful alumni returned to the campus to give speeches and presentations about their fields and interests
to other former RC students. Banu
Savaş from the Alumni & Development Office, answered Bosphorus
Chronicle’s questions about this exciting occasion.
The most curious point was how
such an event was formed and who
suggested it. “The event was suggested by one of our ACG’69 alumni,
Tony Hananel,” explains Ms. Savaş.
The inspiration for the event was an
event called Limmud that has been
done in Ulus Musevi Lisesi for years.
Ms. Savaş notes that the preparation process was very busy, lasting
around eight months, and a coordination group, made up mostly of RC
graduates, was formed to take part
in the planning of the event and to
determine the possible speakers.
The chosen alumni were contacted,
and the preparations continued
with the ones who were available
to give a speech as part of the event.
“We worked with alumni covering
a broad range of fields, spanning
literature to business, art to banking, sciences to sports,” explains Ms.
Savaş. “As we expected, the attendance for Back 2 School was great
and Homecoming this year was a
bit bigger than it usually is, but we
were prepared for this and now we
are happy with the success of both
events.” Back 2 School attracted
alumni from every age, ranging
from the most current alumni to
those who date back decades and
decades, Ms. Savaş adds.
Irmak Özçilingir (RC’15) and Berk
Özgen (RC’15) were two of the volunteers for the event. “The registration started at 10.30AM,” said Berk
Özgen, “but people started showing
up around 10 o’clock; it was exciting
to see the graduates of Robert College, especially the older ones. Some
people came with their children or
relatives.” Irmak Özçilingir added,
“When the registration started,
people took their name cards from
the four registration desks and then
there was an opening ceremony.”
Back 2 School consisted of many
speeches given by famous Robert
College alumni who are leading
figures in their fields, such as Ayşe
Kulin, Serdar Erener and Refik Erduran. After the welcome remarks
by headmaster Anthony Jones,
the keynote speech for the opening ceremony was given by Hüsnü
Özyeğin (RA’63). After the ceremony
the speeches began at noon, many
of them going on simultaneously,
which forced the attendants to
choose which ones to attend. A
speech usually lasted for 50 minutes,
and throughout the day there were
four sessions and a lunch break. The
day ended with a Happy Hour, which
lasted from 17:00 to 19:00.
When asked what struck them the
most about the graduates, Irmak responded: “their confidence.” She described them as very self-confident:
“You can tell from afar that they are
self-assured. It’s hard to describe but
you can sense it even from their postures.” Berk, on the other hand, had
a different observation: “It reminded
me of how we are, someday in the
future, going to be like that as well.
We’ll grow up and graduate and get
old and return to the school as different people. Imagine: in the 200th
anniversary we are going to be the
old generation! It will be different.”
Both commented on the strong
connection among the graduates.
Irmak said, “They seemed to be
very close friends still, and the years
haven’t really got in between them.”
Berk agreed, stating, “The adults appeared as close as we are with our
friends now. They were actually acting like they were still students at
Robert College, but maybe that was
an effect of nostalgia, of coming
back to school. The older ones were
naturally calmer but not colder.” Irmak explained, “It’s like you have a
close friend that you haven’t seen,
say, for twenty years, but when you
meet again, nothing has changed
and the years haven’t got in between you. At least that’s how it
seemed to me.” She joked, “I was a
bit jealous, I have to admit. I hope
the same thing happens for me and
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
my friends too, and we always stay
as close as we are now.”
In order to acquire a different point
of view, BC also interviewed some of
the widely-known alumni of Robert
College who gave speeches at Back2School: İbrahim Betil, Cem Kozlu,
Cüneyt Ülsever, and Gündüz Vassaf.
BC asked them: How was the atmosphere? Did it make them recall their
own high school years? Was there
any excitement?
“There was a lot of demand,” said
Mr. Ülsever, “there were people
listening from the corridor. It was
a comfortable and fun lesson.” Mr.
Vassaf stated: “It was an odd feeling.
You know that you are part of a family with everyone in the classroom,
but you don’t know most of those
that sit before you. Still, the dominant feeling was that we were able
to understand each other.”
“I was excited,” Mr. Ülsever told BC, “I
returned to the old days when I was
in school. I was excited by the fact
that there were people who were
between their thirties and sixties
and were listening to me as if they
were students.”
Mr. Kozlu added, “I constantly wondered if I was delivering my message
exactly. Was I challenging them, or
was I boring them?”
“I was very excited!” commented Mr.
Vassaf, “but I enjoy going through
‘first’ excitements. When you feel
something is getting ordinary, you
need to get off the train. Delaying
the unexcited is bad for your health!”
“It didn’t recall my school years
much, because I was in a different
campus,” Mr. Kozlu said, and while
Mr. Betil agreed, the other opinions
differed. Mr. Ülsever said, “Though I
wasn’t very familiar with this campus, once I entered I didn’t feel like
a stranger. Probably because of the
inner architecture of the campus;
it seemed recognizable to me. I
felt a nostalgic pleasure.” For Mr.
Vassaf the cause of the nostalgia
was different: “When I stepped
out of the cab, I saw Ömer (Madra)
and together we took a trip down
memory lane. When both of us saw
İbo (İbrahim Betil) at the same time,
the feeling solidified. But when we
lost each other in the crowd without
understanding how, I suddenly felt
alone and unfamiliar. While I was at
registration, I wasn’t an ‘old-student’
BC was also curious about their perception of other RC students. Had
they paid attention to the other
alumni in the audience? Is there a
common “profile”, so to speak? For
this question, the opinions differ
For Mr. Betil, the answer is no: “I
don’t think I can say there is a ‘common denominator’ in alumni before
and after me. I believe that is what
makes the education of Robert College special and fine. Robert College
provides society with different and
unique individuals because there is
a learning atmosphere where everyone’s specialties are respected
and allowed to be improved, rather
than creating the ‘standard’ person,
someone whose brain is ‘formatted’.” Mr. Kozlu stated: “All of the
people from Robert College community that I know, including my own
friends, are very different from each
other. RC doesn’t bring up a typical
person; it helps students find themselves, although there are some
common factors in this search such
as inquiry, scientific approach and
tendency to avoid dogmas.”
“There is a sense of belonging that
gathers everyone in the same circle,”
Mr. Vassaf said, “And it is a feeling
that I don’t approve. At one side
there is ‘us, the college students’
and then there are ‘the others’. Also
in the breaks and lunch everyone
was together with people from their
own terms, mostly. If only everyone
could come together.” Mr. Ülsever
said: “I think there is a certain typology raised by Robert College. All
of the discussions in the class and
the questions that came up led me
to thinking that the education in
Robert College is still based on the
Anglo-Saxon culture.”
And what about the students Robert College will continue to raise?
Especially considering its effect on
the society after 150 years and the
current terms of Turkey?
“I believe Robert College will continue to raise inquiring, knowledgeable, attentive, excited and conscientious leaders,” Mr. Kozlu said. Mr.
Betil added, “I believe that Robert
College’s entrenched culture and
education philosophy will continue.”
“Students should always remember
that there is no end to knowledge,”
Mr. Ülsever advised. “‘I am now
mature and I know everything,’ is a
wrong way of thinking. There is always more to learn and it is important to be aware of that.”
“Activities apart from classes and
school are just as important as
academic success,” Mr. Betil stated,
“especially a Robert College student
should adopt the responsibility of
doing something for society and
take steps towards what they can
Mr. Kozlu’s message for Robert College students is as follows: “Always
see the bigger picture and comprehend it. Then choose the fewest
number of goals and focus. Start
the day early and do the hard things
first. Find your routine schedule according to your goals and apply it
with discipline and in long term. Be
prepared for every topic. Enjoy life
sensibly and respectfully and share
it with those around you. Watch
your health, do your sports and
don’t forget to be thankful.”
Mr. Vassaf added, “Adolescence is a
world of adapting to each other and
not differing. We lose a lot of time
while trying to find our gifts and
BC thanks Cem Kozlu, Cüneyt Ülsever, İbrahim Betil and Gündüz Vassaf
for their kind answers to our questions, and to the Alumni & Development Office for their assistance.
Robert College Then and Now
İrem Turgut
M. Miraç
Have you ever imagined what
Robert College was like many
years ago? The buildings, the students, the lifestyle? In order to
discover and understand RC then
and now, Bosphorus Chronicle
interviewed Nesrin Gülsoy, assistant of the Academic Director,
and Tulû Derbi, assistant of the
with Nesrin Gülsoy
BC: Where would you position
yourself in the history of RC?
Nesrin: I came to this school as a
student back in 1966 when it was
ACG and a girls’ school only; in
1972 we merged with Robert College from the Bebek campus. We
were the first graduates of RC in
1974 who had experienced three
full years of high school with the
boys, so I lived through that transition period which was interesting and nice.
BC: Was the transition hard?
Nesrin: Of course, it’s always hard
to adapt to a new situation, and
we were not used to having boys
on campus. We used to see them
from dance to dance; we used to
have dances that we looked forward to. Despite the difficulties, it
was worth having such a change
and nice to be able to live through
this period.
BC: Did you study here for seven
Nesrin: Eight years; two years of
prep, three years of orta and three
years of lise.
BC: Which system do you think
is better? The current one, or the
one that you experienced?
Nesrin: I think it’s better to have
an Orta school, because you have
better English with two years of
prep plus three years of Orta; with
the Orta school, you get to have
more of the school culture.
BC: For how many years have you
been at RC?
Nesrin: Eight years as a student,
from 1966 until 1974, and 25
years as a staff member; back
in 1988 I started working in the
computer center as a part-time
staff member. In 1996, I moved
to the Academic Director’s Office
with Michael Drons, who was the
director at the time, and since
then I’ve been working in this office.
BC: What was your first impression of the school?
Nesrin: RC looked gorgeous to me
in every way. My first exposure to
the school was when I took the
entrance exam, which happened
where the cafeteria is now –it
was the gym then. It was a large
area; there were a lot of students
taking the exam and the school
was giving its own exam then. We
did not have any SBS or anything
like that in those years; each
school was giving its own entrance exam. So I took the exam
with many kids and I was among
the first 44 on the main list who
made it to this school. Of course, I
felt very lucky.
BC: What about your impression
of the Plateau?
Nesrin: I did not see the Plateau
when I was here for the first time.
After registration, they took us on
a tour around the campus, and
when I saw the Plateau, I found it
and the beautiful view appealing.
BC: Compared to other schools
you’ve seen, in what ways is RC
Nesrin: In every way! I always
think RC is the best school giving
İrem Turgut (left), Nesrin Gülsoy (middle), Yasemin Kirişçioğlu (right)
the best education in Turkey. After ACG, I took entrance exams to
other schools but I did not like any
of the other schools after seeing
this campus, as you would imagine. It was so nice, so spacious, in
every way it was different from
the other schools in terms of its
facilities. They were located in the
town, whereas RC had a special
campus of its own which seemed
very nice. Of course the education
it gives is of the best quality; I
always think that RC educates its
students in a special way to think
and be creative in their own ways.
BC: Have you sensed any change
in students’ behavior as the years
go by?
Nesrin: Yes, of course. I always
wish it’s for the better but sometimes it’s for the worse. I mean,
attitude wise, some kids are more
impolite. There are changes and
you have a freer environment
now. You have classrooms with IT
facilities that were unimaginable
at the time I was a student here;
you have so many opportunities,
Photo Courtesy of RC 150th Year Website - Robert College during 1980s
like your laptops and research opportunities. Those are the good
changes. Of course there are
changes for the bad, like everywhere else.
BC: Do you mean the competition
to get into RC?
Nesrin: Yes, for example, the year
I took the university entrance
exam, there were 210,000 students taking the exam; now it’s
almost 2 million. There is quite a
big difference in terms of competition.
BC: Is there anything special that
makes you feel nostalgic at RC?
Nesrin: Being here is nostalgic.
Stepping my foot onto this campus, coming to the offices, coming to Marble Hall. For example,
I have pictures of my Orta graduation, taken in Marble Hall, that I
still look at with longing.
BC: What’s the best part of being
a student at RC?
Nesrin: I’m always proud to be
a graduate of the first-ranked
school in Turkey. As former classmates, we get together almost
every month. I still see some of
my teachers from those years. For
example, I still talk with and visit
my literature teacher, Münir Bey.
I do not know if you’ve heard of
him, but Münir Aysu is a legend at
RC. It’s nice to be here as a staff
member because many of the
staff are RC graduates and I feel
as if I’ve never been away from
the school.
BC: Were there any major changes
that you can name?
Nesrin: We used to have assemblies every Monday in the Assembly Hall where the library is now.
We would wear our burgundy
blazers and come together for a
visitor’s speech or a film showing. Of course, we did not have
as many students as we have
now, so it was serving a purpose.
Now it would not serve the same
purpose; therefore it had to be
changed. Still, it was a nice practice.
BC: What about the buildings?
Nesrin: When I was a student, we
did not have Feyyaz Berker Hall,
the theater or the gym; there
were tennis and basketball courts
over where these buildings are
now, and we used to play basketball and tennis. Ten years after I
graduated, they built those buildings. The students have many
better facilities like the labs, a
spacious gym and a theater now.
BC: How has dress code changed?
Nesrin: When we were Orta students we had uniforms; we used
to wear jumpers and shirts as our
prep uniform and skirts, shirts
and pullovers as Orta uniform,
but we had free dress code in the
Lise. Still, there was a code to it;
we did not wear just anything we
wanted to wear. We did not wear
anything that was unacceptable
to the school, but it was a free
dress code.
BC: What do you think about the
new sweatshirts?
Nesrin: I find them nice; they’re
great for school spirit. You can
just think of it as something that
serves to set the school spirit.
with Tulû Derbi
When you walk from Gould Hall to
Mitchell Hall for your next class,
you may always see students in
the headmaster’s room, talking
to Tulû Abla about their Calculus BC grades, RCIMUN or what
they have done during the spring
break. Their conversations seem
so sincere that you may think she
is like the mom of RC students.
If you’re one of these students,
you may smile and agree with us.
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
But if you do not know Tulû Abla
well, you probably ask yourself,
“What makes her so special that
in each break students or faculty
members come to talk to her?” We
advise you to read on if you want
to learn more about Tulû Abla’s
story, along with the history of
the past decade of RC.
BC: How would you describe yourself briefly?
Tulû: Honestly, I do not know
where to start, but briefly, I was
born and raised in Istanbul by my
dear parents. All my life I have
lived here in Istanbul. I studied
at Istanbul University’s Faculty of
Architecture, and then I became
an architect, but because of some
problems of injustice in the construction industry, I walked off
the job. Also in those years, it was
really hard for women to be architects in a society that was nearly
full of men in the construction industry. So, I quit my job and ventured into different professions.
And finally, at the beginning of
the school year of 2005-2006, I
came to Robert College as an assistant of the headmaster. I currently live with my parents, who
are 75 and 80 years old, and with
my three cats.
BC: Although you were educated
to be an architect, why did you
decide to work at Robert College
as the assistant of the headmaster?
Tulû: Well, this is really a long
story. When I graduated in 1989
from Faculty of Architecture of
Istanbul University, women were
not very welcome at construction sites, but I truly wanted to
work at one. During an interview,
the gentleman in charge of the
site told me that he was going to
send me to a site that had 3,000
workers. I was very discouraged
and decided to pursue my second
ideal in life: tourism. I worked
for a tourism company for eight
months, and then was transferred
to a fair and exhibition company,
where I worked for six and a half
years. I then tried something
absolutely different for the next
seven months: the textile export
business. And I hated it. Later on,
I went back to architecture for
three years, selling ready-made
kitchens and bathrooms. Then
the company decided to move the
headquarters to İnegöl, Bursa. After six months, I applied to the US
Consulate, where I worked as the
protocol assistant to the Consul
General for four and a half years.
A friend of mine, a graduate of
Robert College, mentioned to me
a job opening at RC. I applied for
the position of assistant of the
headmaster and was immediately accepted. Sincerely, it was,
by far, the best decision I ever
made. I enjoy spending time with
students a lot. They inspire me in
many areas of life and give me
energy and hope for the future.
They teach me things about life.
I feel very happy and fortunate to
be working with students at RC.
BC: How many years have you
been working at Robert College?
What makes RC so special that
you’re still working here?
Tulû: It has been eight years and
this is my ninth year. As I mentioned, it is the students that
make RC very special. We have the
best students in Turkey; I think I
can say the best students in the
world as well (at least that’s
how I feel). Working on projects
with them, doing CIP’s, going
to school-related trips… All of
these are very special.
BC: What were your first impressions of the school?
Tulû: That’s a good question. Actually, I have to tell you that it
was 1983 when I first set foot on
this campus. It was my senior year
at Üskudar American Academy,
and the Fine Arts Festival (FAF)
was taking place for the first time
here. A friend and I entered from
the Arnavutköy gate. I did not
know that the upper gate existed.
So when I first came here for an
interview, 20 years later, I came
through the lower gate again. It
was very nice to see the campus
once more, but it had changed a
lot. When I first came, the gym,
the theatre and Feyyaz Berker
Hall were not here. I think, if I
remember correctly, there were
basketball courts instead. It is
impressive now; I mean, it’s like
heaven on earth.
BC: How is RC different from other
Tulû: Well, the campus of RC is by
far the best you can ever imagine.
And I am including the universities in this comparison. Compared
to Boğaziçi University it is more
or less the same thing, but all
around the world high schools do
not have campuses like this. Universities, yes; but high schools, no
BC: How is RC different in terms of
Tulû: You get to choose your own
type of education. And you have
authority over your education. If
you want to study medicine you
Tulû Abla in Büyük Risk (Jeopardy)
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
take your courses accordingly,
and you prepare for your upper
education. This is unique to RC.
When I studied thirty years ago
we did not have that chance. An
RC education prepares students
for their lives afterward.
BC: Would you like to be an RC
Tulû: No, it is too competitive
for me. I do not like the level of
stress. I would be an average student, maybe lower than average.
Because of that, I would not want
to be here. It would be too much
for me.
BC: What changes have you
sensed in students’ behavior over
Tulû: There are changes, but nine
years is not a long time to say
things have changed drastically.
People claim that, although I have
not witnessed this, when students attended RC for eight years,
instead of five, things were a lot
better. Students were younger
and they were easily molded into
certain characters. But now the
students that come here are over
a certain age and they have their
personalities somewhat formed
and you cannot do much about it.
They are grown-ups, basically.
BC: Is there anything special that
makes you feel nostalgic at RC?
Tulû: I love my office, everything
in my office; all the furniture in
my office makes me nostalgic.
I love my carpet. Maybe the FAF
also makes me nostalgic, by reminding me of thirty years ago.
BC: For both students and teachers, you are not just a part of the
administration. You are a friend, a
sister or a mom for teachers, and
a counselor for students. What do
you think makes you so approachable that almost everyone has a
truly sincere and close relationship with you?
Tulû: This is very kind of you to
make such a claim. It is always
an honor for me when I can be of
some assistance to people who
need help. This makes me feel
worthwhile. I’ve always felt that
I had a mission in life, which is
M. Miraç Süzgün (left), Tulû Derbi (right)
to help beings in need, whether
they be humans, animals, or
BC: Do you interact with the students in terms of extracurriculars?
Tulû: Well, I have my own club:
KEY Club. I assist Rina Kapuya
with the make-up club as well.
I’ve also been the advisor for
RKANEP CIP’s for the past seven
years. Together with other advisors, I accompany students on
MUN trips as well. Last year I
chaperoned RC Singers in Verona,
together with Koray Demirkapı
and Deniz Baysal, and RC Debate
Club in Bratislava with Janet
Schaefer. I have also been working with the Animal Shelter CIP
group for the past three years.
BC: Nearly seven months ago, you
entered the contest “Büyük Risk”
(Jeopardy). Why and how did you
decide to join the contest?
Tulû: Actually, this was my second “Jeopardy” experience,
since I attended another one in
1996. The name was different
then: Riziko. It was broadcast in
TRT1 and presented by Serhat
Hacıpaşalıoğlu. I did not do well
on that one; I could not push the
button in time because I was too
excited. At home, I was always
answering most of the questions
correctly and doing better than
many of the participants. One
day, my mom asked, “Why don’t
you apply?” and I thought, “Why
not?” So I sent in my application.
Then, they called me for an interview and gave me a test, and
after passing that first step, I was
invited to the “Büyük Risk.”
BC: You answered almost all of
the questions correctly. What are
the things that helped you do so?
Were they your experiences or
your readings?
Tulû: Well, I read a lot books and
I have a fairly good memory. I try
to follow the current news and be
up-to-date. I used to read a lot
more when I was younger. I used
to read everything that I could lay
my hands on, even encyclopedias, if I could not find any books.
So, all of that reading helped me.
BC: How did you feel during the
contest, knowing that RC students would be watching you,?
Tulû: I did not think that way. In
fact, I was more excited to see
myself on TV. I was as relaxed as
I could be.
BC: Why did you risk all of your
money on the “opportunity of the
day” question?
Tulû: This was a promise that I
made to myself. I always got angry with people who risked only
a few hundred TL, so I said to myself, “If I get the ‘opportunity of
the day’ question, I will risk whatever I have in my possession.” Because the reason I applied was to
have fun and test myself; it was
not about winning the money. I
would do the same thing if I were
in the same position again.
BC: How did you feel when you
did not know the answer?
Tulû: As I said, my main purpose
was to have fun. My first thought
was: “Oh well, stupid of you…”
But I did not get stuck there because it was not the end of life.
BC: What are you going to do in
the future?
Tulû: I’m planning to continue to
work here until I get very bored,
which does not seem very likely
in the near future. My faraway
future plans include finding a job
as an architect and retirement in
İzmir (either Urla or Seferihisar,
Sığacık). If I can manage, I may
also study psychology, either in
Istanbul for my Master’s Degree,
or in İzmir for a BA degree.
Bosphorus Chronicle thanks Tulû
Derbi and Nesrin Gülsoy for taking their time to answer our questions. After having interviewed
these two friendly and welcoming members of the RC staff, it is
important to realize what RC used
to be and what it is now. A school
with such great education and
success for 150 years should not
be taken for granted. We advise
you to live your days at RC with
pride and appreciate this gift!
Berk Eroğlu
The “brand new” iPhones had become a reality this September. Numerous sources all over the internet
indicated that there would be two
different iPhone models, which is not
very usual if we think about the history of iPhone. However, they were
right and Apple surprised us with
splashy iPhone 5c’s and an updated
iPhone 5s.
Another new release that came out
this September was iOS 7. It was introduced in May; however, it wasn’t
available to download until September 16. iPhone users were so enthusiastic about the new software update
that the servers of Apple were locked
for a while, unable to handle so
many attempts to download the new
operating system.
People generally did not appreciate
iOS 7 and the new iPhone 5s and
iPhone 5c. Bosphorus Chronicle researched and found 7 common reasons why people did not like them.
1) iOS 7 may not work as efficiently as expected
Adding hundreds of new features
may seem exciting; however, the
reality does not match expectations.
Designing a new operating system
for a smartphone is a big burden
for developers and engineers.. Since
they try to add new features to
phones and make them capable of
doing more things, the phone will
need more memory (RAM) and a
better processor (AX processors) that
can run all the applications simultaneously. iPhone 4 users, be warned:
iOS 7 is designed primarily for iPhone
5s-5c and 5. So, if you do not want to
have a phone that crashes very often
and launches apps much slower than
before, then stay away from iOS 7.
2) iOS 7 had to be more secure;
however it has lots of problems.
You may have seen different videos about iOS 7’s security problems.
In the second week that iOS 7 was
made available to all Apple customers, hackers found different ways to
reach photos, email, messages and
contact lists in the phones of iOS 7
users. They did not need complicated
methods to crack iOS 7. In fact, if
you search the internet, you can find
some videos in which hackers reach
personal information from your
locked screen in less than 2 minutes
without any other electronic device
(such as computer etc.). Just after
these videos became popular over
the internet, Apple sent an explanation to press which acknowledged
the mistake in the operating system
and stated that they would try to fix
those mistakes with an update. The
update was released two weeks later,
and the day after that update, hackers found another way to reach personal data stored in iPhones. Apple
has not yet released a clarification regarding the situation. However, it is
apparent that hackers were continually able to find gaps in iOS 7 despite
the new update.
3) iOS 7 was named as a brand
new operating system, but the
change is only cosmetic.
If you have used different versions
of iOS, such as 5.0 and 6.0, you will
realize easily that iOS 7 does not have
any revolutionary differences from
previous versions. The only thing
you can change is the background
and sequence of the apps. There is
simply no way to make “your own”
screen. No matter how much you try
to personalize your iPhone, you will
still have a series of apps in the background. You will not be able to place
gadgets, change the background image of different pages, or choose a
4) You cannot downgrade your
phone back to iOS 6, so this is a
one way street!
Normally, when you update your
iPhone to a newer version, if you
do not like the new one, you can
downgrade it using iTunes on your
computer. However, if you connect
your iOS 7 i-device to iTunes, you will
not have a “downgrade” button because Apple developed a new code in
iTunes, making the downgrading option disappear if the software version
used on the iPhone is 7.0. It would be
wise to think twice before updating
your device to iOS 7, because you will
not be able to take it back once you
start the upgrade.
5) Plastic material and old hardware are used on iPhone 5c.
When Apple announced two different iPhone models, they introduced
iPhone 5s as a new flagship device
that would replace iPhone 5. iPhone
5c, on the other hand, was made because the market for cheap phones is
so wide that Apple could not simply
watch different companies selling
millions of more affordable phones.
iPhone 5c is the cheap version of
iPhone 5. The technical specs of the
phone actually confirm this point.
The processor on the iPhone 5c, A6,
is exactly the same as that of iPhone
5, which is 1.5 years old already. Its
camera is the same as that of iPhone
5, an 8mp iSight camera. Furthermore, Apple exchanged the aluminum and glass body for a hard plastic
one and simply colored that body to
make it more attractive for customers.
It is obvious that iPhone 5c is designed as a transition model: its
hardware is not good enough, its
body is not as premium as it is on
iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s (since it is
made of plastic), and even though it
is not better than iPhone 5, since it
is a brand new phone, it will be sold
at an expensive price that it actually
does not deserve. Therefore, if you
are planning to buy an iPhone 5c,
please think about it again because
iPhone 5c is not a durable phone.
In fact, reviewers believe that Apple
will stop updating iPhone 5c as soon
as they observe that it will not be
able to work with new iOS as efficiently as expected.
6) iPhone 5s was planned to be
an updated 5; however, it is not.
According to Apple, the three important features of iPhone 5s are
the new processor, the new camera
and the new fingerprint scanner. If
we have a look at iPhone 5s’s new
processor, we will see that it is the
first 64 bit processor in the industry.
Apple claims that the processor in
iPhone 5s has a computer processorlevel architecture in it. Customers
usually love having bigger numbers
in their new technological devices’
“How To Install iOS 7 Beta.” Kevin
Krause, 19 June 2013. Web. 16
Oct. 2013. <
Are They Worth the Fuss?: iOS 7 and the New iPhones Assessed
specs, so a 64 bit processor may
seem far better than a 32 bit one.
However, that is not the case in
processors. 32 and 64 bit processors
cannot run the same applications
because they have a different design
in their transistors. Therefore, if you
have a 32 bit app and want it to run
on iPhone 5s’s new processor, you
will not have a better performance
than you have on iPhone 5 and
iPhone 5c. If you want to run that
application efficiently, you need to
convert that application to 64 bit.
Therefore, you need to design that
application from the beginning to
make it support 64 bit. Since there
are hundreds of thousands of apps
in the App Store, this converting
process will take a very long time,
and for that very long time, your
iPhone 5s will not have a lot of difference from an iPhone 5.
If we look at the new camera, we see
that Apple added different features
like Slow Motion video and Burst
Mode. These modes on the camera
have been actually available on different Android Smartphones for
years. Reviews state that iPhone 5s’s
camera is not very good compared
to those of other smartphones, so if
your phone’s camera performance
matters, you need to have a look at
other smartphones like Nokia Lumia
1020, Sony Xperia Z1 and LG G2,
which are also cheaper than iPhone
The last new feature is the new fingerprint scanner. Apple explained to
the press that entering a passcode
every day may be irritating, and it
found a new way to easily unlock
your phone: your fingerprint. Again,
it is not a bad idea, but you need to
know that your iPhone 5s will be
storing your fingerprint on the processor and on an operating system
like iOS 7, which has lots of security
problems. It may not be a very good
idea. You would not want hackers to
reach your high resolution fingerprint, because they can use that fingerprint in different ways, such as in
banking transactions.
7) iPhone 5s-5c will not be the
newest iPhones for a long time.
The predicted update is very
Apple insisted on small touchscreens
for years and did not increase the size
of the display over 4 inches. However, it may change this year. Reliable sources on the internet indicate
that the new iPhone will have a new
5-inches display, a faster processor
and a new camera. These sources also
indicate that the new iPhone will be
shown in June 2014. iPhone 5s and
5c do not have a lot of new features
that attract attention; however, it
looks like iPhone 6 will have. If you
still want to buy an iPhone even after
reading the above critique, waiting
for the new iPhone 6 will be a better
idea. Unlike 5s or 5c, iPhone 6 should
actually be a new phone.
“Tim Cook Sends Email Highlighting iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 to Employees.” Juli Clover, 10 Sept. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
The College Dilemma
For most Robert College students,
making decisions about college can
be rather troubling. What will you
study? Where will you study? Will
you stay in Turkey, or go to the US?
Which is best for you? Where will
you be most comfortable? Trying to
find the answer, it can sometimes
be useful to see the perspectives
and concerns of our friends. Bosphorus Chronicle has talked to some
students who are studying for Turkish university entrance exams.
“I want to go to college in Turkey,
because I don’t want to stay away
from my family,” says Eymen Pınar
(RC’15). “I was a residential student
during prep year and it made me realize that I didn’t like being away
from my parents. I don’t want to
waste away the years we can spend
Whether or not one can tolerate the
separation from one’s parents is one
of the major issues regarding the
college dilemma. For some, spending your college life apart from parents can be tempting, whereas for
others it can be a dreadful experience. Some, like Eymen (RC’15), decide to give up the college-abroad
plan altogether because of that.
Some decide to go to summer school
to find out whether it will be a suit-
able option for them.
Similarly, Pınarnaz Eren (RC’15), a
residential student, prefers to go
to college in Turkey because she
doesn’t want to be apart from her
family and friends. She also says
that she’s afraid she might have
some adaptation issues and doesn’t
want to go through them. “I want
to be a lawyer,” says Pınarnaz. “This
has had an effect on my decision as
Studying law and medicine in the
US is not easy for international students. Both require a four-year undergraduate study beforehand and,
following it, passing an exam to get
into the graduate programs. Medicine has a very limited internation-
al student enrollment, and studying
law in a particular country enables
the person to be able to practice law
only in that country. Moreover, neither study path offers financial aid.
Ayşegül Ergün (RC’15) says that she
has always wanted to study in the
US but the thing that worries her
the most is the application process
itself--namely, not being able to
maintain the required GPA and not
getting financial aid. “That’s why
I’m also going to dershane,” says
Ayşegül. “But if I get financial aid, I
won’t take the examinations in Turkey.”
Financial aid, as Ayşegül suggests, is
another major issue. In the US, public schools have a price range of 40-
50 thousand dollars, whereas for
private ones it’s around 55-65 thousand dollars. This being the case,
most students need at least some
kind of partial aid to be able to go to
college in the US, and if they don’t
receive it, they simply can’t go.
Pınarnaz Eren says that her parents
encouraged her to choose another major when she wanted to study
English at college, and thus she
chose law and decided on staying in
Turkey. As in her example, parents
are also a big influence on the decision. Some encourage their kids to
pursue an education abroad, whereas some are totally against it.
Wardrobe Blues
Ece Selin Timur
Travelling is one of my favorite
things to do in life. It’s almost as if I
live for the feeling of anonymity in a
new city full of new, intriguing people to meet, and exotic tastes in indigenous coffee shops to discover.
I love getting used to a new place,
learning the street names and metro routes, bit by bit turning the place
I am into my latest home-awayfrom-home. Whether it is going to
the other side of the world via a 12hour flight, or just a road-trip to the
countryside on the backseat of my
mom’s car, the idea of reaching out
to somewhere new is enough to
give me butterflies.
The reason behind this love might be
my mother, who worked as a Purser
at Turkish Airlines for over twenty
years, or my father who is, to put it
plainly, a travel enthusiast. Perhaps
the itchy-foot runs in my blood.
Being a wanderer is not always easy
though; homesickness is not something uncommon among travellers.
Thankfully I don’t have that problem. If I could wake up in a different city every morning, I’d be exhilarated. My problem is different: I get
wardrobe blues.
Wardrobe blues is a term I coined
for the condition I suffer each time I
travel. I never miss my bed’s comfort
or even my parents on the run, but
the instant I unlock my luggage, it
hits me. No matter how big my suitcase is, or how many pairs of shorts
I have in my luggage, I still feel naked without the comfort zone of my
6-door giant wardrobe. I am initially quite calm; I hang up my clothes
in the tiny closet in my hotel room
and pretend that nothing is wrong.
However, as time passes, the condition only gets worse. After two days
or so, there are two fast-fix options
I dwell on; I either avoid changing
clothes or go shopping.
The first quick fix I go for is unfortunately as mindless as it sounds; I
take one pair of my black leggings
out and wear them devotedly, pairing them with anything and everything black. Not surprisingly, I end
up feeling self-conscious all day
long. The second option is not any
better. As soon as I get a chance to
hit the stores, I do so and search
for things I can wear. This quick fix
has two hard-hitting consequences. I can’t fit my stuff back into my
suitcase, and I end up buying tons
of ugly garments that I won’t even
wear. Last fall, my visit to Germany combined the two and, believe
me, it was ugly. I spent the whole
week in black, and as if that wasn’t
enough, I bought a black blazer, a
black cardigan and two black pullovers that I never wore again. Even
worse, I had to squeeze the blazer
and a pair of jeans into my backpack
because there was no room left in
my suitcase.
small variety of clothes is often
stressful for a fashion lover like me,
but the positive, eye-opening experiences I earn by travelling outweigh the clothing negatives.. Plus,
when I am in a different city, I can
get a taste of stores I have never
been to and get my hands on glamorous pieces that I wouldn’t be able
to find anywhere else. All in all, no
matter how frustrating it is to mixand-match the limited resources in
my luggage, I still can’t wait to get
on the road again.
Trying to live with a considerably
Transportation to RC
Leyla Ok
Berk Eroğlu
We all wake up early every weekday, some of us at 5:45 a.m., some
at 7:15. The purpose of waking up
early is to come to school, to Robert College. Some people use service buses, some come to school by
automobiles driven by their parents.
Maybe some take a cab or walk, if
their home is close to school. However, some of us come to school by
using public transportation. Because of RC’s central location, there
are many ways to get to campus by
public transportation.
One way to come to school is by the
ferry between Çengelköy and Arnavutköy. Yasemin Kirişçioğlu (RC’16)
takes this ferry, and she told us
about her journey every morning:
“We have an RC group which uses
the Çengelköy-Arnavutköy ferry every day. It leaves Çengelköy at 7:25
and arrives at Arnavutköy at 7:35.
Then I walk to the Arnavutköy gate
of the school. I feel great when I
do this five-minute morning walk.
At 7:40, a service bus from the gate
brings me to Gould Hall.” Coming by
ferry is a good way because of the
fresh air, and the ferry isn’t crowded,
but if you miss the ferry, it’s hard to
get to school on time.
A second way is to come by bus using the coastal road in Arnavutköy.
In front of the Arnavutköy gate there
is a bus stop named “Kolej” and all
the buses on the coastal road stop
there. Many people also use this bus
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
to come to school in the morning,
but even more people use it to go
back home. Even though it’s painful
to wait for an empty bus to come,
you can see lots of people after
school. But this method has some
disadvantages. The bus may stay
stuck in traffic for a long time and
with many people using the bus,
there aren’t enough vehicles. If you
are taking the bus at 15:30, probably you won’t find a place to sit,
and there is a chance that you may
not find any place on the bus. However, the bus makes many stops,
making it easy to transfer to other
public transportation vehicles. For
example, you can take the ferry or
the minibus from Beşiktaş and the
subway from Taksim. Usually there
isn’t much traffic after Beşiktaş. Going to Beşiktaş from Robert College
usually takes about 20 minutes, and
going to Taksim from Beşiktaş takes
approximately 15 minutes. After
Beşiktaş, your chances of sitting increase.
Zincirlikuyu metrobus station is very
close to RC because of the new road
that opened last year. The metrobus
is a great opportunity if you’re living
close to a metrobus station, because
even if it is crowded, it brings you to
Zincirlikuyu in 10 minutes. If you’re
living close to a metrobus station
on the Asian side, it makes it easy
to cross the Bosphorus Bridge because the metrobus has its own lane
and doesn’t enter the regular traffic,
which is especially bad on the weekday mornings.
ods to come to school. It might
sometimes be difficult, but it’s usually very practical.
There is a new metro that is going
to cover the Rumelihisarüstü-Akmerkez-Levent route. Akmerkez is
close to RC and with the new metro, the transportation between the
new stations, like Boğaziçi University or Kanyon, will be much easier.
Using public transportation to come
to school has many advantages.. It’s
cheap, fast and it can be fun. It is
useful to learn how to travel in the
city by trying to use different meth-
A Farewell From Robert College’s Mr. Hays
Bita Koc
A Shakespeare enthusiast, an art
history aficionado, a Turkish music lover or a jazz devotee knows
this man who resides in Mitchell
Hall’s third floor. Some call him
the serene king of the English
department, some refer to him
as the cool bass player and some
even call him their father! Yes,
you guessed it; it’s Michael Hays
we are talking about. The Bosphorus Chronicle staff decided to
give you a last yet unforgettable
glimpse of Mr. Hays.
BC: Sadly, this is your last year in
RC. We actually heard something
interesting, that you had a psychology major back in college. Is
that true?
Mr. Hays: Yes, I have a master’s
degree in counseling psychology. I was a family therapist for a
while. I was working as a teacher
and a therapist at the same time.
Two different jobs and then I applied to a school like RC in America for either the counseling job
or the teaching job. I got the
teaching job and I just stopped
doing therapy.
BC: That’s very interesting and
spontaneous of you – it seems
that teaching wasn’t in your
Mr. Hays: Yes, and what’s even
more interesting is that I actually
spent my whole life as a teacher
trying to get out of teaching.
I just didn’t think I should be a
teacher. Then in Egypt it was so
hard to teach, the students were
so unruly and they cared so little
about the teachers and class. It
was very difficult and humiliating especially for an experienced
teacher. Well, it would have been
humiliating for any teacher!
BC: It sounds like a very tough
environment for you that you
might have even questioned
your decision…
Mr. Hays: Yes, it was horrible. I
had to fight for teaching for 10
minutes out of 60-minute classes to get something done. There
were times when it was really
difficult to talk about things I
valued as a teacher or to teach
the kids in a way that mattered.
In the previous private school in
the US where I worked and in
RC, in these places, I finally felt
like I really teach to my capacity. And then I realized I like to
be a teacher. That’s what I really
BC: We are glad that you are! Going back to you being a psychology major, even though you are
an English teacher now, do you
still continue your passion for
Mr. Hays: Yes! I always read
about ideas and personality and
also brain studies: you know,
how we can perceive ourselves
as brains as opposed to minds.
BC: You also like to make remarks on psychology concepts
and draw connections in your
classes. For instance, it’s said
that you actually talk about Enneagram* tests in your classes
and we even heard that you are
a type 4, whose main deterministic characteristic is a fear of being ordinary.
Mr. Hays: That’s right. A person
with this kind of orientation
wants to make his life as interesting as possible and unique
and so the idea is to do interesting things instead of doing the
same thing over and over again.
These people also tend to try to
stand out. There are lots of ways
to stand out and one is to try to
make your life as interesting as
you can. To make your life almost
like an art project. You know, to
do exciting things. That’s all.
Actually, how I started teaching
in foreign countries is also related to this trait of mine. Once,
a friend of mine came and asked
me: “You want to teach English
as a Second Language, that way
you can travel and have some
adventure?” Eventually, I found
it boring to teach ESL but I found
it very exciting to work with
foreign students. It was good
to learn everything about their
culture. It was exciting.
BC: And what do you think about
RC student body’s Enneagram
profile, in terms of their dominant motivations and fears?
Mr. Hays: Really smart, good
kids. For the Enneagram, it’s a
whole selection of people, of
course, but a lot of RC students
are perfectionists. And a lot of
them are artistic types. Then a
lot of them are science and engineering type people who try to
understand the world in terms of
data and scientific systems
BC: Since this is your last year in
RC, even though this is a tough
choice, we would also love to
hear a favorite RC moment of
Mr. Hays: One time a bunch of
boys at the end of the school
year came in during my class
and lifted me up and threw me
up in the air. Like I was a football
coach or something and they
were saying my name! That was
I’ll tell you in general one of the
best things about the RC for me
has been getting to teach the
Shakespeare class and then also
to teach ASL (Art, Society, Literature) 1 and then to develop ASL
2 as a class. These are very, very
special times for me because I
love teaching Shakespeare as
Mr. Hays giving an on-stage performance with his double-bass
well as ASL classes.
I used to complain to my wife as
a teacher that I studied so many
things when I was in college
that I wanted to talk about. I
could never talk about them because I was teaching classes that
weren’t very interesting along
those lines. And then, suddenly
with ASL 1, ASL 2 and Shakespeare, I got to teach about everything that I ever learned. I
can talk about so many things
that I learned about when I was
young. Finally, I get to do it. It’s
BC: When you first came to here,
did Shakespeare and ASL classes
Mr. Hays: ASL existed.
BC: By the way, how long have
you been a teacher at RC?
Mr. Hays: I came here 6 years
BC: Keeping in mind that people
admire you and many can’t think
of RC without you, that’s not a
very long time!
Mr. Hays: Uff, well…(a little bit
embarrassed) I can’t imagine
BC: Seriously, some people even
come up to your office and call
you Father Hays!
Mr. Hays: (laughs) Well, that’s
BC: And how did your passion for
Shakespeare start out?
Mr. Hays: When I was in college,
I had a really good Shakespeare
professor. Unfortunately, right
after I had her class, she lost
her job. She didn’t get what we
call tenure. I guess she didn’t
write a book or something. But
she was a very good teacher.
And she meant a lot to me. I
really did well in the class; it
really connected to me. I saw
her maybe 15 years later in a
monastery. I saw that she was
becoming a nun. But an activist
in the city, working with poor
people. I asked, “Susan, is that
you?”And she looked at me and
kind of recognized me and I said:
“I’m Michael Hays, I had you for
Shakespeare.” She said, “You’re
the one who wrote that Hamlet
paper!” I didn’t think it was that
good of a paper.
Also, when I study Shakespeare
it comes very naturally to me
and I can understand his language.
BC: As students, we may often
find the language very hard to
Mr. Hays: Yeah, sure for some. It
just takes a while.
BC: So, do you agree that the
most unique thing about Shakespeare is his language?
Mr. Hays: Sure, I’ll tell you that
his language is so important. He
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
created a lot of words, thousands
of words, mainly by adding different ideas together for words.
However, also by changing the
use of words from, say, a verb
to a noun or noun to a verb or
making an adjective into a verb.
When we hear things like that it
makes our brains respond.
in its most poetic form, is never
as engaging as Shakespeare’s.
On the other hand, the important thing about Shakespeare is,
as one person put it, he kind of
created the modern human, like
we think about ourselves differently because of Shakespeare.
It’s just in a lot of ways that
make us complicated humans
who want to do one thing but do
another and are plagued by our
guilt and our past. What he did
was to show us in literature how
complicated human beings are
and nobody had ever done that.
There were other people like
theologians St. Paul and St. Augustine or like Rumi who wrote
religiously about the complexity
of humans, but when it comes to
actual literature and story telling nobody had done it before
Shakespeare. Like Hamlet with
his paralysis, not being able to
do the thing that he wants because he is inhibited by guilt
and fear. Even the most sophisticated writers in Shakespeare’s
time, his contemporaries like
Christopher Marlow and Ben
Johnson, never wrote about the
confusion that people feel in the
way Shakespeare did. Even in
his comedies people have these
confusions of identity, feeling
lost, not knowing who they are.
Who wrote about that? Nobody!
BC: So, we guess he is also your
favorite Shakespeare character?
BC: Maybe it is because of his
emphasis on human psychology
that you are interested in Shakespeare?
Mr. Hays: It’s fun to read the
works of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. They are poetic and interesting but the characters are
never as interesting as Shakespeare’s, and the language, even
BC: This one is going to be a clichéd question but what’s your
favorite Shakespeare play?
Mr. Hays: Not at all! Actually, I
think my favorite Shakespeare
play is King Lear.
Mr. Hays: No, actually my favorite character is Othello because
he loves this woman so much,
Desdemona, and is so thrilled
that she loves him. And when
that gets threatened, he feels
the sense of falling apart. His
own personality is chaotic with
the fear of losing the thing central to his life. And that’s his love
for his wife.
He is also a very complicated
character because he has so
many different impulses that the
one thing that he can be assured
of and amazed by is that his wife
loves him. When he feels that
it has changed, he knows that
chaos is looming large.
BC: Your ASL classes are also
known for their trips to Italy. So
far, what was your most remarkable ASL trip moment?
Mr. Hays: What’s remarkable are
the ordinary moments. Nothing
really sticks out but they are just
beautiful moments. All the kids
are just sitting in a cathedral,
resting because we were always
walking. But they were all just
sitting and looking. They were
also confident and they had a
sense of what they are looking
at. It’s not too foreign or strange
to them.
BC: In the RC family, you are
probably known most for your
serenity. Were you always this
peaceful, including your childhood and especially adolescence?
Mr. Hays: Yeah. My father says
that as an infant, all I did was
Mr. Hays playing guitar
poop and smile (he laughs). But
I don’t know if my friends would
call me serene or peaceful. I
want to be calm in class because
it helps kids to be calm. When
I was a young teacher I was really stressed because I taught in
very stressful schools, with very
difficult students, sometimes in
drug rehabilitation places where
the kids at any moment could
be violent or just schools where
there were really hard kids like
gangster kids. It’s important to
figure out one thing and that is I
cannot control other people. You
know you may hear administrators say you need to control the
students but the truth is if you
actually think about power nobody controls anybody. I say to
myself I can’t control students; I
can barely control myself. What
you have to do is to give them a
reason to behave. And then make
it really unpleasant if they don’t
behave and make them realize
that they are missing something
really good if they don’t behave.
It’s not easy. I hate nagging and
I hate talking louder. Who wants
to do that?
BC: Besides your serenity, you
are also equally, if not more,
known for your musical skills.
How did your journey in music
started out?
Mr. Hays: My first instrument
was folk guitar. I wanted to
learn Bob Dylan songs so I just
played ding-ding-dong-ding (he
is imitating guitar string voice)
then I started playing bass with
a friend. He was such a good
guitarist. Still is, one of the best
guitarists I’ve ever heard. Astonishing!
Then, I started playing bass and
then we started playing what
you may call jazz-rock fusion,
then also some punk stuff. Early
punk before punk started. We
were playing really aggressive,
wild music, shouting lyrics. And
then punk happened and I felt
like we started it (laughs). Then
a friend of mine said look what I
found in the music room and he
put an instrument on my lap and
told me that it was an Arabic ud.
I borrowed it and then bought
it from this guy. I took lessons
over the phone because there
were no ud instructors. Old fashion long distance call, no Skype.
I’d call him and say, “OK this is
what I am working on” and set
the phone down play, then pick
up the phone and ask, “How
did that sound?” And he says,
“You’re a little flat.”
Then, I met a guy, he was a political refugee and a brilliant ud
player and I watched his performance and after the concert
I went up to him and said, “Can
you teach me?” That’s how I
started taking ud lessons from
him. He wasn’t at that time but
he has become very famous. His
name is Rahim Alhaj. Amazing,
you can hear him on the Internet.
BC: You seem to be really enthu-
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
Mr. Hays in his early years
siastic and informed about Turkish music, probably even more
than most of us.
Mr. Hays: It’s so important for
young people to learn ud and
also kanun. There’s only one girl
here that plays kanun and one
or two boys who play ney. It’s
especially important in a place
like RC where kids become sort
of westernized but it’s clear that
everybody is proud of being
Turkish. After ud, I studied all
the makams also.
a workshop there for woodworking so I can work on guitar making, instrument making. Well,
it’s something that I studied a
little bit and I am going to continue studying. I’ve made one
guitar so far. I’ll work on making
different kinds of basses. My one
dream is to make a contrabass by
hand, myself. It’s a big job.
Moreover, my wife and I will
continue to travel. We always
have a travel budget.
BC: Did your Turkish music enthusiasm started after coming
BC: As you are leaving RC, we are
curious about a piece of advice
that you received and thought of
as best one and thus give us too!
Mr. Hays: No, before. In fact I
came here to listen to and study
Turkish music. I was listening to
Turkish music in New Mexico.
Mr. Hays: Well, this one is from
an old black man: “Be who you is
because if you ain’t who you is,
you is who you ain’t”
BC: Is Turkish music that popular
in US?
Find out what you really value,
find out what you really want
to be and don’t fool yourself
thinking you can be happy doing
something else.
Mr. Hays: No, I just have weird
musical taste. I had just found a
music CD of the masters of Turkish music; I listened to it and
thought: “Got to go to Turkey!”
BC: What was your favorite place
in Turkey so far?
Mr. Hays: Karadeniz, we loved
it! Trabzon, didn’t love so much
because it was really “kalabalık”
but the hillsides “çok sakin”!
BC: What are your plans for future, after leaving RC?
Mr. Hays: My wife and I have a
little house in a little town in
the middle of New Mexico, very
small town —very small. So
we’ll retire there. We’re going to
be planting fruit trees. My wife
would have a green house. I have
BC: Thanks for this lovely interview!
Mr. Hays: It was my pleasure.
*Enneagram is a model of human personality that is principally used as a typology of
nine interconnected personality
** Referring to Alperen Akkoyunlu (RC’14) who came in
Mr. Hays’s office just during our
Escaping the Friend Zone
Lara Güneri
Have you ever tried really hard to
get close to a girl, close enough to
tell her that you like her, but one day
she turns around and tells you that
you’re such a great friend, or worse,
you’re just like a brother to her?
Or one day you woke up and realized that you see your best friend in
a totally new light? But it’s too scary
to just go ahead and say “I like you,”
because you’ve been friends since
elementary school and there is so
much to lose.
Well, you are unfortunately stuck in
a place that is frustrating and demeaning, and at times, inevitable:
the Friend Zone.
In a friend zone, the two people of
the opposite sex are just friends and
nothing more. It is a happy place
for the one who sees the other as
a friend, since it’s a place where s/
he can just hang out and talk about
anything. For the other one, the one
with the love interest, it is the worst
place to be in.
So why do some get stuck in the
friend zone?
* They get too close: It may seem
like the best way to know someone, but it will only lead to him/her
knowing you better as a friend.
* One is not attracted to the other:
this stinks but usually it is the case.
* One party thinks the other’s too
good for him: this will lead him/
her to play it low and never actually
make any moves.
* S/he plays the true friend card:
it works in the movies all the time.
The girl has a best friend who’s always there for her. She dates every
single guy and finally, at the end of
the movie, she sees her true love is
right in front of her. Unfortunately,
it rarely is the case in real life.
Let’s assume what’s done is done
and you are stuck in the friend zone.
Are you going to just deal with the
fact that the girl or boy you like is
dating someone and telling you all
about it because you’re their best
friend? Or are you going to just go
on being friends? Or are you going to
express your true feelings? Well, not
so fast; here are some steps that will
help you get out of the friend zone.
But don’t forget to observe his/her
reaction at each step to make sure s/
he is on the same page as you. You
may have to sacrifice your friendship
if you make a move when s/he is not
actually interested.
Step 1- Highlight your physical characteristics that appeal to him/her.
Don’t talk about how big your biceps are or how good-looking your
legs are --that’s too egocentric. Just
subtly highlight these characteristics with the way you dress or act. In
the past you may have let him/her
see you in your sloppy clothes or all
sweaty after the gym, but now you
have to look and smell your best at
all times.
Step 2- Stop the self-deprecating
humor. A lot of us say things like,
“I’m such a dork!” But this usually
leads to friendship, not romance.
Step 3- Stop all the guy/girl talk
in his/her presence. Avoid talking
about people you are dating or have
dated in the past. Don’t comment on
the looks of other boys or girls. To
change how you are perceived, you
need to treat him/her like any other
person you’re interested in.
Step 4- Don’t be the one whose
“walls fall down quickly.” You
shouldn’t be too available —with
your time or your emotions. We
tend to think that if we hang out
enough we’ll be noticed, but it rarely
works that way.
Step 5- Take him/her somewhere
that will shift perception. Rather
than going to the places you usually hang out, try a fancy restaurant.
Wherever you two go, make sure
you are alone; for your relationship
to grow, you must maximize the
time you spend alone. Also, don’t
ask him/her out at the last minute
like a friend would do. Plan a few
days earlier.
Step 6- Be a gentlemen (if you are
a boy). Act like a polite boyfriend
when she’s around; open the door
for her, start paying for meals and
drinks, etc. This will give her an idea
what it would be like if she were
dating you.
Step 7- Get physical. Start small—
put your hand on his back, rest your
head on his shoulder, give him a kiss
on the cheek to say hello or goodbye. If he returns the gesture, or puts
his arm around you, you’re getting
somewhere. Also, compliment him/
her frequently to show that you are
paying attention.
Step 8- Make him/her jealous. Don’t
abandon your friend --just get more
friends. Losing you a little bit might
lead to the realization that s/he
wants to get out of the friendship
zone, too.
Step 9- Make him/her fall for you.
As you’re going through the steps,
note the reaction. If s/he seems responsive to your behavior, then it’s
time to make your move. If, on the
other hand, s/he is unresponsive or
even pulls back, then take the hint
and give it up.
Following these steps might be
hard, but stepping out of your comfort zone is always helpful, as you
might now end up with your perfect
soul mate.
To Host or not to Host the Olympics: That is the Question
Ege Bıcaker
While many of us were basking in
the sun during the last days of summer, the lobbying for the Olympic
committee was being held in Buenos Aires. It was the night when
the city that was going to host the
2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics were going to be decided.
As the tension increased in Buenos
Aires, the Olympics became one of
the most talked topics among us.
Some supported Istanbul, some said
that hosting the Olympics would
be a complete disaster for the city.
Tweets with hashtags #istanbulolympics2020 and #Bridgetogether
flew in the air, all the texts on Facebook became about the Olympics
and Paralympics. Let’s see what
some of the comments were about.
The people against hosting the
Olympics in Istanbul had many arguments. Some said that the cost
of hosting the Olympics would
surpass its income. Some believed
that the new buildings built only
for the Olympics and Paralympics
would negatively affect nature. Others were concerned for the athletes.
Some exclaimed that the traffic jam
in Istanbul wouldn’t be appropriate for hosting the Olympics. The
athletes would be tired due to the
games and the problems in the infrastructure would create an even
bigger pressure on them. This is an
argument hard to ignore, especially
for some of us who spend hours and
hours on our journey to school. Another perspective was that Turkey
did not have enough interest in
sports. A country with better appreciation for sports would have been a
more appropriate host.
A pinpointed, yet underrated, issue was the approach to disabled
people in Turkey. From pavements
to stairs, from hotel rooms to restrooms, many of our facilities aren’t
designed for the disabled. We, as a
country, do not show enough interest in the Paralympics either. TRT
stopped broadcasting London Paralympics last year and it showed old
football matches instead. This incident became the target of criticisms.
On the other hand, hosting Olympics
and Paralympics could have been an
initiative to make improvements in
sports culture and to raise an awareness for impaired people in Turkey.
There were going to be more sports
facilities, if Istanbul was chosen.
More people would start to watch
different branches of sports. Maybe
with increasing audience interest,
more budgets would be allocated to
the sports beside basketball, football and volleyball. Furthermore,
the government would start to
make changes that would increase
the quality of life for impaired
people. Though these theories are
all plausible, there is the question
of whether external initiatives are
enough to cause long term change
or not.
Simon Barnes wrote that the committee should choose the country
that will benefit from the Olympics,
not the country that will contribute to Olympics. This perspective
indicates the humanitarian side of
the Olympics, it’s not only a sports
event but also an event to increase
diversity and tolerance for differences. Simon Barnes stated that the
Olympics could have minimized the
polarization between seculars and
Islamists by bringing border lines
Though our political views often
interfered with our points of view
about Olympics, as a sportswoman I
sincerely believed that Turkey could
benefit from hosting Olympics in
terms of sports culture. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go.
Hopefully, we can improve awareness of sports without the need of
an external motivation.
Did you know?
1) “In 490 BCE, Pheidippides, a Greek
soldier, ran from Marathon to Athens (about 25 miles) to inform the
Athenians about the outcome of
the battle with invading Persians.
In 1896, at the first modern Olympic
Games, a race of approximately the
same length was held in commemoration of Pheidippides (Interesting
Olympic Facts).”
2) “First place winners in the 1900
Paris Olympics received paintings
instead of gold medals because they
were considered to be more valuable
(Did you know…? 10 Fun Facts).”
3) “The five rings of the Olympic flag
symbolize Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas and are said
to be ‘linked together in friendship’
(Interesting Olympic Facts).”
4) “The last Olympic gold medals
that were made entirely out of gold
were awarded in 1912 (Interesting
Olympic Facts).”
5) Until 1994 the Olympics were
held every four years. Since then,
the Winter and Summer games have
alternated every two years (Did you
know…? 10 Fun Facts).
Work Cited
“Did you know…? 10 Fun Facts About the Olympics.” N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct.
“Interesting Olympic Facts.” N.p., n.d.
Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
“Times: Olimpiyatları İstanbul kazanmalıydı.” N.p., 9 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Oct.
2013. <>.
Olympics Istanbul 2020 bid unfazed by ‘ups and
downs’. N.p., n.d. Web. 21
Oct. 2013. <
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
Lost in an Alley
Gizem Ergün
Imagine that you are walking on a
crowded street. You are surrounded
by people who are doing similar
monotonous things such as eating,
chatting with others, shopping, etc.
They are not very interesting for you.
Then, you look around more and see
the buildings which look pretty much
the same. They are again not that
much interesting. You see an alley. You
begin to move away from the big and
crowded street to that alley because
alleys are home to the fascinating and
beautiful things.
One of the most interesting things
about alleys is the little unique shops
that you cannot find on the crowded
streets. Nowadays, the famous brands
have shops on different main streets.
You can see those famous brands everywhere but in alleys. Alleys have
those shops that sell rare items which
have unique design. These can be any-
thing: clothes, accessories, souvenirs.
As well as those unique shops, there
are also convenience stores that you
are not able to see in main streets
nowadays. Those stores are obviously
more intimate than big supermarkets.
Secondly, the alleys give you an idea
about the people living there. You
take a glimpse of people’s daily life
while looking at an alley and most of
the time those glimpses are intriguing. You see an old woman sitting in
front of her house alone. The house
where she hung her laundry in its
windows… She seems to be pleased
but you cannot know until you come
closer to talk to her. She’ll be pleased
to talk to you and share her life experience. This is something that you
cannot do in a crowded street because
those streets do not have that sincerity. Actually, you do not necessarily
need to talk with those people; you
can overhear what they are saying
and have a little idea about their concern or joy in that moment. For a very
short amount of time you can make a
connection with them in your mind.
Furthermore, alleys usually consist
of unusual buildings. They are mostly
old, low and even sometimes colorful.
They are close to each other; they look
intimate. Those buildings and houses
in alleys look more aesthetic than
the big modern buildings that look
very similar to each other, mostly
skyscrapers made of glass. The small
houses in the alleys convey the history, the experiences, and the mood in
that street. Alleys give you a glimpse
of the things that you are not able to
see elsewhere.
young minds.
Thankfully the fast food frenzy is
not the only contemporary food
movement: In the year 1986 Carlo
Petrini founded the International
Slow Food Movement. Slow Food
is a part of the bigger Slow Movement the philosophy of which is
summarized as “The only thing for
certain is that everything changes.
The rate of change increases. If you
want to hang on you better speed
up. That is the message of today. It
could however be useful to remind
everyone that our basic needs never
change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong.
The need for nearness and care, and
for a little love! This is given only
through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes,
we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will
find real renewal.” by Professor Guttorm Fløistad.
The Slow Movement aims to defend
biodiversity, provide taste education, and protect cuisine heritage locally. The Movement is already a hit
in the United States, United Kingdom, and several European countries. Since the movement aims to
preserve heirloom techniques and
tastes perhaps Turkey with its multicultural cuisine could benefit heaps
if the movement was implemented
throughout the country. There are
ways we can apply the principles
of the Movement at home such as
shopping locally, sharing our traditional recipes with people we know
through homemade treats and
spreading the word. The Movement
is a big step at protecting the local
treasures, the best message to take
home with us is also worded by the
followers of the movement: according to its Manifesto “Real culture is
here to be found. First of all, we can
begin by cultivating taste, rather
than impoverishing it, by stimulating progress, by encouraging international exchange programs, by
endorsing worthwhile projects, by
advocating historical food culture
and by defending old-fashioned
food traditions. Slow Food assures
us of a better quality lifestyle. With
a snail purposely chosen as its patron and symbol, it is an idea and a
way of life that needs much sure but
steady support.”
Shop Locally, Cook Local Treasures,
and Preserve Your Heritage.
Eating: Fast and Slow
Ece Selin Timur
Living in a cosmopolitan city makes
people live faster. We walk faster,
talk faster, and inevitably eat faster.
This lifestyle comes with its pros and
cons; one of the biggest cons being
our addiction to fast food as the big
city people. The faster life passes by,
the less time people have to have a
meal. At that point kicks in the fastfood restaurants ready to serve rapidly at affordable prices. It all runs
smoothly up until this point. What
could be wrong with people purchasing delicious food that is cheap,
without it taking much time?
Today more than one-third of adults
in the United States are obese. Turkey with the obesity rate of 17.2 percent is not better off either. Research
released by ScienceDaily points out
that “…countries with the highest
density of Subway restaurants such
as the United States and Canada
have a higher prevalence of obesity
than countries with a low density
like Norway and Japan.”
We all know that fast food is as addictive as hardcore drugs, but wait!
How did we all become “junk food
According to Discovery Health, there
are three prominent reasons, besides the nasty fact that fast food
chains add addictive chemicals to
meals, why so many people are
hooked up on French fries and hamburgers.
chain is random, every single bite
to be taken is well-calculated and
designed for optimal craving and
addiction to the product. There are
several ways these brands design
their products for peak consumption. For example, before releasing
a new product, fast food brands
hire volunteers to test-drive. These
volunteers taste, smell, and feel
the products, and then data is collected to reach the ideal levels of
every single ingredient, including
the addictive chemicals added. The
perfect levels of fat and salt send
pleasure signals to the brain and the
brain craves these signals over and
over again. One might think that
the shape of Cheetos potato chips
intended to look cool, yet the truth
is that Frito-Lay designed the chips
using a $40,000 tool that mimics
the act of chewing to reach the most
pleasurable form for the mouth.
2. Laziness Factor
The concept of fast food can be
traced back to America, 1912, when
the Automats started giving out
food from behind a glass counter,
in exchange for coins. Ever since
then the whole world is looking
for quicker fixes for their mouths
and tummies. Nowadays pizze-
1. Food Design
Nothing purchased from a fast food
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
rias serve home with the dial of a
phone, and drive-through systems
make grabbing a large milkshake
and some hotdogs easier than ever.
All of these improvements increase
the availability and convenience so
much that customers automatically
opt for fast food options.
3. Age of Start
A striking experiment tells us all
about how people are mentally
programmed to consume fast food
from a very young age. An experiment group consisting of children
between the ages of three and five
were presented the identical meal,
one served in McDonald’s packaging
and one served on a white plate;the
vast majority of children claimed
that the food served in McDonald’s
wrapping tasted better. But how
does that even happen? Most modern-day children grow up under the
influence of television, and fast food
companies are filling the screen up
with direct and indirect advertisements of their products. Another key
detail is that children meet fast food
at very young ages; surveys point
out that a significant rate of children
visits a fast food restaurant at least
once a week. These experiences all
carve the addiction of fast food into
Work Cited
“Adult Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 15 Oct.
2013. <
“Carlo Petrini: The Slow Food Gourmet Who
Started a Revolution.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 13
Oct. 2013. <
“Discovery Health.”‘Discovery Fit & Health Insider’
N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. <>.
“FAST FOOD”Web log post. Lots of Words. N.p., n.d.
Web. 11 Oct. 2013. <>.
“Is It Fast Food Or Lazy Food?” Web log post.
Http:// N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct.
2013. <>.
“Slow Food Manifesto.” N.p., n.d. Web. <http://>.
“Super-Sized Citizens: The Relationship Between a
Country’s Fast-Food Outlets and Its Obesity Rates.”
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2013. Web.
12 Oct. 2013. <
Arctic Monkeys - AM
Baha Aydın
As with every musician trying to
grasp the surging popularity and
attention coming alongside hardearned fame and fortune, the
Sheffield rooted band of renegade
teenagers had to undergo a proper,
steep change with regards to their
style, attitude, and most importantly, their sound. Arctic Monkeys
of the MySpace fame swept both
the British and the global youth off
their feet for a full decade. What we
have became familiar with as the
sweatpants wearing, eccentric, fastpaced, youthful teenagers recalling
their one night stands and halfremembered drunken ramblings
through scraped lyrics on their
high-school notebooks had gradually evolved into mature, classy after
parties where real men wearing Dior
Homme or Lanvin leather jackets
delved into their heartbreaks and
remorseful melodies.
Mistakenly referenced as the selftitled (According to Josh Homme
of Queens of the Stone Age, who
contributed to a couple of songs, it
actually stands for After Midnight)
“AM” is the peak of Arctic Monkey’s
sound and lyric capabilities. The album in its entirety serves as a rite
of passage for the groups lyricist
and lead singer Alex Turner. It is a
distinct departure from the random
ordeals and sexual encounters of a
mid-twenties boy, now the grownup man sits down and reflects upon
his life. The back vocals wham the
listener by yelling “R U Mine tomorrow, or just mine tonight?” Love is
no longer a side-thought, a word
uttered for the sheer purpose of
achieving goals; love is explored as
the epitome of life and the ultimate
Powerfully opening with the widely
popular single “Do I Wanna Know?”
, the reader is already made aware
that this is no longer a band that
slams chords up and down. Powerful, high-pitched back vocals
and a polished drum-kick machine
strengthen the emotional struggle
of Alex, and praise should definitely
go to the producer James Ford.
Originally a stand-alone single, “R U
Mine?” is perhaps the last reminiscent of the growling guitar strums
of Jamie Cook. “One for the Road”
features the synthesis of indie and
funk bass lines, and the initial quad
ends with the somewhat R&B driven love letter to the fiery redhead,
girlfriend of Alex, Arielle “Arabella”
Following the bearable, yet easily
discarded, “I Want it All” falling just
short of the three minute mark, we
can finally see that Alex is capable of
writing a non-furious ballad. In fact,
he has written two of them, and
the band has finally set the metronome to a two-digit number. “No.1
Party Anthem” combines the heartwarming feeling of a piano and an
acoustic guitar duo with the cynical
approach upon house parties and
newly met ladies. “Mad Sounds” is
the upon the surface the optimistic
one of the pair, yet it has the protagonist haunted by a past love, a
past regret, and hits u by an “Out of
nowhere ‘Ooh la la la’”
As with every album, the scapegoat
has to exist to draw out the negativity, and “Fireside” should immediately be skipped as it already served
its purpose. “Why’d You Only Call
Me When You’re High?” contests the
best song of the album spot with its
Album Artwork of AM
upbeat rhythm and well-executed
pace. “Snap Out of It” is a very ‘Black
Keys’ influenced song, yet very well
adopted by the Monkeys and incorporated into their style. The penultimate song, “Knee Socks” is where
Cook cuts the air with his shreds and
the O’Malley-Helders duo magnificently demonstrate how back vocals
should be done. Concluding the
album, a materialized last grasp “I
Wanna Be Yours” is the cry out of a
men lost in the ranks of love.
It has been a full decade since the
adolescent Alex and Jamie ever
picked up their Christmas gift guitars, and the sound of the British indie rock’s flag bearers has definitely
evolved into a point where its redundant to call them indie anymore.
After Midnight is the new meaning
of maturity, class, love and sound.
MGMT: Genre Definer? Men on a Mission? Confused Youngsters?
After basically springing out of what
seemed like a bottomless pit of indie infinity in 2007 with Oracular
Spectacular, MGMT proved to be one
of those bands that burst on to the
scene with an unexpected fluke and
manage to remain there. The market loved MGMT and its “weirdness”;
people started to fall in love with
the uneasy tune of Kids, or Time to
Pretend, or Electric Feel. The sudden
flowering of MGMT’s musical vision
put them in a harder position, partly
because they faced an unexplainable anticipation of “the next MGMT
album.” Another burden created by
this commercial success was to become a genre-defining band –or, in
other words, dictate the “electrical
pop-rock indie” sound. This was an
unfair task on two grounds: MGMT
had yet to discover what they could
do with their eerie tune, and there
was no such thing as “electrical pop-
rock indie.” MGMT was not Radiohead, and Kids was not Creep – at
least not yet.
Trying to grasp the astonishing success of their first studio album and
forcing a sudden moment of inspiration, the MGMT duo – Benjamin
Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden – participated in different
projects, like the superfluous, wellintended, and full-of-wishful-thinking second studio album Congratulations and the interesting Late
Night Tales, which frankly is a great
listen. As though these recordings
helped MGMT towards finding that
impossible sound, they were not the
greatest fruits of the band, and they
knew it too.
After EPs, singles, and countless
stage shows, MGMT released its anticipated self titled album in early
fall of 2013, which was a step towards achieving the aim set by Oracular Spectacular. Working with Dave
Fridmann MGMT produced MGMT:
an album of two cities. Goldwasser defines MGMT as an “experience
rather than an album”, and states:
“We wanted listeners to be simulat-
ed aurally & visually.” Now, the third
“experience” is not just audible, but
also very much optical. Goldwasser and VanWyngarden decided to
depend upon a cutting-edge technology called The Optimizer, which
simultaneously changes sound into
picture for a more compelling aura.
This helps us get to MGMT’s level
and hear their sound from their
ears, given their tunes are usually a
product of “under influence visions.”
The Optimizer is not available, but
it’s right around the corner, and the
aired sneak peek got a lot of positive
Moving on to the sound of MGMT,
there’s a problem with consistency,
and that’s the reason I defined it
as “an album of two cities.” Experimenting with sound, digging deeper into electrical sounds, finding alternative tunes, moving to the level
beyond weird are all virtues of a 21st
century band. Everyone’s out there
to become the next Radiohead, and
while this is not an easy task, the
commercial market and the ravenous listeners are looking for that next
great band. MGMT is a very possible
prospect from that aspect, and MGMT
was recorded to fulfill, or at least,
move a step closer to a genre-defining role. While tracks like Cool Song
No. 2, Your Life Is A Lie, and Plenty Of
Girls In The Sea seem to provide “different “ sounds, the album feels too
vague and lacks identification.
The root of the problem is the fact
that MGMT goes too hard on itself to
“find it.” They perceive finding that
impossible sound as a task only accomplishable by moving away from
their sound and diving into deeper
unknowns, whereas they should
have altered their frame, not their
essence. The sheer joy engraved in
the essence of the sound brought
MGMT the commercial success with
Oracular Spectacular, and while I’m
not suggesting them to produce
and sell the same thing over and
over again for the sake of pop, they
should stick to that essence. There
are inklings of that essence in this
album, especially in Alien Days and
Astro-Mancy, but that is not enough
for a band of MGMT’s stature. They
acknowledge their mission as trying to define their “weirdness” and
the vision of their genre, but they
cannot do so through inconsistent,
reactionary and confusing recordings. I see the potential makings of
a great band in MGMT, and remain
hopeful – so here’s to wish that
Ben & Andy will not crush under
the commercial success of the first
album but go on to find it. The only
thing they should remember is the
fact that MGMT’s Lotus Flower had
the hints of Pablo Honey, yet we all
knew it was nothing like it.
Come on Ben, our sound is obviously not
in the river, and we haven’t been to the
city dump yet. I’ve heard Thom Yorke
left some great tunes there.
Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
Cem Töre
In his interviews leading up to the
tenth studio album by Pearl Jam;
lead guitarist Mike McCready, who
is most famously known for his
2-minute guitar solo on the 90s
classic Alive but also is responsible
for masterpieces such as the angerfilled guitars of Go and a heavily
Hendrix-influenced solo that makes
Yellow Ledbetter a concert favorite
for years, compared Lightning Bolt’s
style to bands like REM, Dead Kennedys and Pink Floyd. Leading up
to the release of the album; every
review, every promotional video,
every interview pointed to a single
theme: Lightning Bolt was going to
be different.
If you are not a fan of spoilers,
too bad, because Lightning Bolt
is a carbon copy of every studio
record released by Pearl Jam postBinaural. After the incident the
band decided to take a year-long
break, and when they returned
they released the weakest album
in their discography, Riot Act. The
three albums released since then;
the self-titled Pearl Jam, Backspacer
and Lightning Bolt were frustratingly similar and lacked creativity,
even though they all promised to
be completely innovative. Pearl
Jam the album was supposed to be
a return to the Seattle roots of the
band, and was promoted as the Ten
or Vs. of this decade. Apart from a
few songs, namely Comatose, Come
Back and World Wide Suicide, the
album is easily forgettable and
yet it possibly is the best record
they have released in this millennium. Backspacer, to be fair, always
looked like another “eh” album in
the discography, but when it came
out it felt like a sequel to everything they did before. Backspacer
was so insignificant, the best way
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
to describe it is possibly personal
experience: As someone who calls
Pearl Jam his absolute favorite band
of all time, I have all their B-sides
and Christmas singles and bootlegs
on my iTunes playlist and I regularly
listen to them. The playlist currently
includes a measly two songs from
Lightning Bolt is made up of songs
that sound like B-sides to some
of their previous work. The first
single, Mind Your Manners is a bad
imitation of Grammy-winning Spin
the Black Circle, the album’s closer
Future Days is pretty much indistinguishable from Just Breathe, the
first single from the previous album
Backspacer, and Sleeping By Myself
is actually a cover of a song from
Vedder’s solo album Ukulele Songs
released two years earlier. Although
the feeling of disappointment
prevents me from actually complimenting the album, it has to be said
that Lightning Bolt definitely has
its bright spots. The two songs that
connect the usual fast paced songs
that open the album and the usual
slower ballads that close it, Infallible and Pendulum, definitely don’t
sound like anything Pearl Jam has
created before; the best comparison
would be a scenario where Stone
Gossard and Jack Irons descended
from heaven to introduce The Who
to the beauty of distorted guitars
and oriental drum grooves they
occasionally used in Yield (which
happens to be my favorite Pearl
Jam album and therefore one of my
favorite albums of all time). This is
definitely still Pearl Jam and classic
rock definitely influences these two
songs, but the sound is as unique
as it gets for Pearl Jam. Getaway,
Let the Records Play and Lightning
Bolt are straight-ahead rockers that
have become the trademark sound
of Pearl Jam, and 20 years of being
America’s greatest rock band has
perfected these songs.
The album isn’t special or unique;
but for better or worse, Lightning
Bolt simply sounds like and feels
like a Pearl Jam album, which has
never been anything but a compliment.
Album Artwork of Lightning Bolt
Kayo Dot - Hubardo
Mert Uşşaklı
Toby Driver is today’s “ underrated
Perhaps I’m overstating an understatement, but I’m ready to stand by
it. I’m so fervently eager to hop in to
the Toby Driver appreciation bandwagon that this album review might
as well be a simple promotion of his
sense of musicianship. Initially making name for himself as the leader of
the underground prog-metal band
“maudlin of the Well”, then channeling his musicianship skills into the
avant-garde metal band Kayo Dot,
innovation lies at the heart of Mr.
Driver. Though Mr. Driver’s fanbase
has been consistently limited over
the years, he never strived for popularity at the expense of his creative
outbursts. In this sense, “Hubardo”,
Kayo Dot’s latest record, is a celebra-
tion of Mr. Driver’s understanding of
Yet, I must first rewind. What is
Kayo Dot? More of a musical collective than a band, Kayo Dot has
been in the scene for over a decade
since their 2003 classic “Choirs of
the Eye”, released on John Zorn’z
avant-garde label “Tzadik”. Known
for their elongated, transcendental passages, perfect execution of
climaxes, arcane and complicated
song structures and heavy use of
all instrumentation known to men,
Kayo Dot’s music lacks any clear
definition. Only two things are certain: Kayo Dot does not appreciate
the casual listener and Mr. Driver’s
songwriting is more than strange
yet ingenious.
Hubardo is a celebration of Kayo
Dot’s 10th anniversary. A concept
double album with 100 minutes of
playtime, “Hubardo”s content ranges from choir assisted drone-ballads
to absolute bananas mathcore death
metal. To be frank, it’s the most arduous listen I’ve ever had. Yet, like
every Toby Driver production, it’s
more than rewarding. “Crown-InThe-Muck” begins with Mr. Driver’s
esoteric guitar patterns and evolves
into an orchestrated, morbid prog
jam eventually concluding in the
most brutal way possible as a horn
section accompanies blastbeats and
sorrowful screams vocals. “Vision
Adjustment To Another Wavelength”
starts off as a loud, hectic mathcore
piece and suddenly transitions into a
flute jam with tribal percussion. On
the other end of the loudness spectrum, Kayo Dot presents “The First
Matter” and “The Second Operation”,
serene and transcendental epics
with the latter hitting the 13-minute
mark. The tranquility obtained via
“The Second Operation” is smashed
into pieces with the loudest track on
the record, the 2013 Brutal & Loud
Champion “Floodgate”, which satisfactorily transitions into the fanfavourite “And He Built Him A Boat”.
A 7-minute storyteller with postrock guitars and a beautiful choir,
this track once again reminds us of
how Toby Driver treats his music as
sonic adventures rather than mere
appetizers. The record ends with the
14-minute prog piece “Wait of the
World” which, with its jazzy intro
and repetitive piano licks, carries the
already exhausted listener to a safe
exit out of the realm of Hubardo.
themes leaking from “Dream House”
to the titular third track, or between
“Vertigo” and “Pecan Tree”, to demonstrate two examples. It is easy
to find such similarities across the
album. However, Sunbather manages to establish a unity across the
album without boring the listener
due to the shoegaze-y and droning aspect of the music which is the
main compositional element used
by Deafheaven except in a couple
songs . This unity is necessary to
keep the eclectic nature of the music from converting the record into a
Compositionally and lyrically, Sunbather is excellent. It manages perfectly to get the listener in a sentimental mood in line with the vague
concept of the album, invoking a
longing that is yet poised and pleasant through the aforementioned
bizarre combination of black metal
and major scales. Lyrics, although
mostly incomprehensible unless
read due to the brutal and snarling
vocalization technique, are very fitting. While many songs involving
brutal vocals talk about grotesque
topics, Sunbather’s lyrics parallel the
feelings which the melodic qualities
of the album invoke, resulting in
lines such as “I watched you lay on
a towel in grass that exceeded the
height of your legs/I gazed into reflective eyes/I cried against an ocean
of light” taken from the album’s title
track. Hence, lyrics complement the
music perfectly in sentiment .The
duality expressed by the black metal
and sentimental lyrics combination
is similar to the effect achieved in
the instrumental composition.
Sunbather manages to capture the
spirit of 21st century songwriting perfectly. It truly is a piece that
could not have been made earlier.
Granted, it has been hyped in some
certain circles on the internet but
without doubt it deserves the attention it is getting. The intensity,
Album artwork of Hubardo
by Rachel Wolf
The previous paragraph, believe it or
not, is only a brief summary of what
“Hubardo” is, but it serves a rightful purpose. Even if what Kayo Dot
does is too much for our fragile ears,
“Hubardo” compels us to stand in
awe of all the minute details and intense, arduous songwriting literally
packed within its 100 minutes. “For
whats sake?” you might ask. Not
much. The recording of “Hubardo”,
just like the previous EP “Gamma
Knife” and the 2009 maudlin of the
Well record “Part the Second” has
been almost entirely funded by the
fanbase, through donations and
pre-orders. Mr. Driver’s artistry is
unique, and he promises to preserve
his idiosyncracy in expense of popular accessibility. “Hubardo” might
be a stretch of what Toby Driver can
manage, but I’d cordially invite anyone to take a peek at maudlin of the
Well’s “Part the Second” to realize
what artistic beauty and perfection
can pass off unnoticed.
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Ali Girayhan Özbay
Upon the first look onto Sunbather’s
cover with the pink-orange gradient
background and the heavily stylized,
slick-looking letters one could think
it is a baroque pop album loosely
centered on the theme of summer
with soft female vocals and pleasant harmonies. Believe it or not,
Sunbather most closely fits the definition of black metal, although its
eclectic nature makes it difficult to
classify it into any genre. The closest
comparison would be with a mix of
Burzum or Sunn O style brutal vocals
and droning, My Bloody Valentineesque shoegaze textures, even the
occasional interludes carrying the
resemblance of post-rock; all done
in major scales so it sounds both familiar yet revolutionary in a unique
manner. While many projects aim-
ing to combine different styles of
music fail for one reason or another,
Deafheaven have managed to integrate the styles perfectly. Sunbather
is already a cult classic, and one of
the best albums of the decade and
the year so far.
There is no filler in Sunbather. Every song dissolves into the next
seamlessly and the pace is very
well executed. The songs are all
interconnected-one could even argue that the album could be one
single, long track in the way Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s classic
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas
Into Heaven could be. Listening to
the album from start to finish as a
single, coherent unit is essential.
Granted, this has been said for many
albums however so few manage
to integrate the whole piece into
the said coherent unit. Sunbather,
however, manages this perfectly
without falling to repetition. One
can easily hear the compositional
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
the scale and surprisingly enough,
its accessibility for those who’d not
normally listen to heavy music make
it great. While it will never be a popular hit, it is one of those albums you
can ramble on about to your grandkids one day, if your grandkids have
an interest in 2010s underground
black metal scene for some reason.
Album artwork of Sunbather
by Nick Steinhardt
Movie Review: Café de Flore
İdil Korkut
Last year, I saw Café de Flore with
my mother. I recently rewatched it
and that reinforced my previous reaction; it was perfect. The 2011 film
was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
and starred Vanessa Paradis, Kevin
Parent, Hélène Florent.
It is an unusual love story about
people who live in different periods of time but are connected to
each other in a mysterious way. A
recently divorced DJ, his ex-wife and
an ambitious mother determined on
providing her son a long and healthy
life who has down syndrome have
a common point: It takes place in
1969’s and these days’ France. The
intriguing plot is coupled with extraordinary filming. As previously
stated, the scenario is pretty good
but without successful filming, it
would not be special. Foreshadowing is commonly used to make the
viewers think, but here it is used in
a different manner through symbols scattered throughout the film.
Symbols make you think about
what is going to happen next but
never let you know this before the
ending. You do not stop paying attention or get bored, even if you are
confused. The movie gives you more
and more irrelevant symbols step by
step and you suddenly connect all of
them to each other at the end of the
movie. I loved the director’s way of
explaining the events in the story
so much that it compelled me to
watch C.R.A.Z.Y. too, another movie
of Jean-Marc Vallée.
The soundtrack complements the
film very well, too. The soundtrack
of the movie is awesome. Even if
you do not know these songs, they
catch your attention and keep you
in movie with those very impressive
and artistic scenes.
Overall, it was one of the most striking movies I’ve ever seen. It has a
mystic and creepy side too. It was a
mix of love, devotion and obsession.
I would highly recommend it.
13th Istanbul Biennial: Mom, Am I a Barbarian?
Ece Selin Timur
The 13th Istanbul Biennial started on
September 14 and ended on October
20. This was a rather early date to
close the doors to the Biennial, since
the planned date was November 10.
According to the officials the reason
behind the early ending was that this
year the Biennial was free of charge
and therefore the IKSV had to cut
The shorter display period did not
hinder the amount of attention
the Biennial brought. This year the
spectators of the Biennial reached
an astonishing number of 400 thousand, whereas the last Biennial only
brought around 110,000 viewers.
The 13th Biennial has an interesting
story about how it took place. The
team of curators administered by
Fulya Erdemci first planned to dis-
play all of the works in public places,
which would tie into the theme of
exploring what it means to be a citizen. Unfortunately this idea was not
implemented and the Biennial was
held indoors.
These indoor areas included: Antrepo
no.3, Galata Greek Primary School,
ARTER, SALT Beyoglu, and 5533. Each
of these venues was packed with
heaps of works with works of numerous international and local artists,
such as Bianchi, Maider López, and
İnci Eviner.
What really should be stressed about
the event are the themes handled.
Public domains and the notion of
civilization were the bigger ideas of
the Biennial. ‘Mom, am I barbarian?’
the title of the 13th Istanbul Biennial,
is a quote from Lale Müldür’s book of
the same name. The word barbarian
comes from Ancient Greece, where it
meant “stranger.” Later on this word
started to bear the meaning of uncivilized and violent. “From another
angle, the language of barbarians, of
those who are marginalized, illegal,
and aspire to debunk or change the
system: the recluse, outcast, bandit,
anarchist, revolutionary, or artist.”
( Starting off
with this idea The 13th Istanbul Biennial asks what it means to be a good
citizen in Istanbul.
According to the curators art can never be completely isolated from social
and political dynamics. Since Istanbul
is a cosmopolitan city, transformation
of language, housing, culture can be
seen. The exhibition carry hints of
what is going on throughout the
city. The framework of the Biennial
therefore mainly relies on the urban
transformation of Istanbul, and its
hostility. The Biennial explores the
struggles of this painful process and
asks for transparency and mutual
empathy for it to run smoother. According to Bige Özer’s Foreword to
the Biennial Guidebook “Istanbul can
give a lot to the biennial, and the biennial to Istanbul.”
Perhaps the best way to get a sense
of the Biennial is to explore some of
the works. Looking at works of some
artists in a deeper manner will hopefully allow a better understanding.
Carla Filipe is an artist who explores
the Portuguese history and its contemporary remains, in her works. In
the installation “If there is no culture
there is nothing” she presents pieces
from a bookstore selling antiquated
books whose pages were devoured
by bookworms. These books are
century-old and extremely valuable
in the form of heritage yet they are
not valued at all by the society therefore are bound to be obliterated with
time. With this piece Filipe commu-
nicates the message that if culture
is not protected it will leave nothing
David Moreno was born in 1957 in
Los Angeles and he currently lives
and works in New York. Moreno, another installation artist whose work
was exhibited in Antrepo No.3 produced his piece “Silence” between the
years 1995 and 2012, while working
on movement of sound. The piece is
made up of paper horns attached to
images of significant figures of culture who have past away. Through
theses horns attached to the figures’
mouths Moreno figuratively raises
their now silenced voices, and underlines their muteness.
quality and depth of works and its
popularity among the spectators. It
is best to save the last word for the
curator or the 13th Istanbul Biennial
who made it all possible through tenacious efforts: Leyla Erdemci. She
summarizes the entire event with
the words: “This exhibition is not an
apparatus for immediate change,
but rather a process that will foster
thought; and above all else, a way
to experience new subjectivities implied by the ‘barbarian’.
All and all the Biennial was a huge
success, both in the means of the
American Horror Story
Ezgi Yazıcı
Don’t feel dissuaded upon seeing
Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and
Brad Falchuk’s names on this intense
horror television series, because
American Horror Story is a much
older project on these creators’
table. So far, the show preserved a
successful line with its two finished
seasons: “American Horror Story:
Murder House” and “American Horror Story: Asylum” with ten episodes
each. In each season the writers created a whole new set of time, location, theme and characters while
keeping the horror and thriller the
common element. Each season is
created like a separate mini-series,
which prevents repetition, thus fail-
ure in the scenario.
First season “Murder House” is set
in the present and deals with the
Harmon family, which moves into a
house that is haunted by its previous
owners. The second season ,“Asylum” takes place in the mid 1960s
and follows the stories of criminally
insane patients, the nuns and doctors of Briarcliff Mental Institution.
AHS: Asylum has a more twisted and
frightening atmosphere than the
mainstream haunted house concept
in the first season. Production and
design were very well executed to
a degree that you could even smell
the dampness and feel the gloom
of the setting while watching. From
solid characters to gross-out scenes,
it is justifiable to say that Season 2
surpassed Season 1.
Episodes of American Horror Story
does not make the audience scream,
cause sleeping difficulties or
nightmares like usual horror movies sometimes do, but it certainly
makes you hold your breath from
time to time. The gross-out scenes
full of blood and flesh on the operation table create an intense environment as well as terrifying scenes.
There are two more important and
successful aspects of this TV show
that should be pointed out. One of
them is the opening credits: In every season (Murder House, Asylum,
Coven) the credits get more twisted
and sicker to a point that they overshadow the episodes themselves.
No matter what mood you start
watching an episode, the credits
capture your attention right in the
first second through the combination of mad scenes and sounds. The
other is the exploration of important, yet fragile themes that the cast
and crew handle such as sexuality,
slavery, Down syndrome, religion
vs. science, insanity, homosexuality,
sadism. These ensure that the show
has more elements to it than a simple horror movie. The themes and
ideas mentioned in the episodes are
what make the show successful.
Season three, named “American
Horror Story: Coven”, premiered on
October 9, 2013. This time the story
is set in present time and is about
the almost extinct descendants of
the 300 years old Salem Witches.
We will be able to observe how
well this theme will be handled,
especially when compared to the
success of the previous two seasons. So far only two of ten episodes
have aired so it’s still early to comment on the season’s success. Even
though the newcomer Emma Roberts’ performance is criticized a lot,
the audience literally drools with at
the amazing performance of Emmy-
nominated Jessica Lange (starring
in all the seasons in different roles)
as Fione Goode and the newcomer
of the set Kathy Bates, starring as
Delphine LaLaurie. Leaving the horror and sickness of the show aside
(the first two episodes were not at
all scary), Jessica Lange by herself is
an enough reason to start watching
the show.
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
January 2008 Issue
Spartacus: End of the Legend
Ege Ersü
“Let us teach them that all who draw
breath are of equal worth! And those
who seek to place heel upon throat
of liberty shall fall to cry of freedom!”
With a breath-taking finale, the
third season of Spartacus “War of the
Damned” came to an end in April.
The Spartacus fans were blown away
with the shocking and unpredictable
ending. It’s a fact that there is not a
single fan who will not miss watching
this epic series.
Before review of the finale, which is
full of spoilers, here is some information for people who are planning
to watch the series from the start.
Spartacus is not a series that only
contain disturbing scenes, it actually
tells the history of the Third Servile
War during 73-71 BC. The Romans
want to rule Thrace. They attack vil-
lages and ruin everything. The series
begins with Glaber, the commander
of the Roman forces attacking a Thracian village. He captures a Thracian
warrior, taking him away from his
country and his wife. The warrior is
to be left in the arena of Capua as a
slave and then be executed. When
he achieves the impossible and wins
the fight, his days as a gladiator begins under the house of Batiatus. He
is reborn in the arena, turns into a
legend and is named Spartacus. His
fate leads him to a rebellion out of
vengeance and finally a war against
the Roman Empire to end slavery.
Spartacus is suitable for an audience
who won’t be disturbed by violence,
gore and some explicit sex scenes.
The series consists of three seasons:
Blood and Sand, Vengeance and War
of The Damned. There is also a miniseries called Gods of The Arena which
is a prequel. It should be watched
right after Blood and Sand. It’s about
Batiatus’s gladiator school before
Spartacus, when Gannicus was the
champion of Capua and Oenomaus
had just become the doctore (train-
er). Watching this mini-series is highly recommended in order to learn
more about Gannicus, who becomes
one of the main characters later on.
*This article contains spoilers after
this point.*
Viewers who checked Wikipedia
about this war knew how the series
were going to end. There were still
some people who were hoping that
Starz would wander off from history
and depict Spartacus killing Crassus
and winning the war. However, Starz
showed us what really happened in
that war. People witnessed the feeling of defeat and tragedy through
the loss of their favorite characters in
different scenes, including Spartacus
himself. Sıla İnel (RC’17) exclaimed:
“When you start this series, it is impossible to get out of it. It drags you
into it and you start to live with those
characters. Watching all of them die
in one episode is really dramatic.
Seeing Gannicus crucified, Spartacus
killed by the three spears thrown at
him, Naevia getting killed by Caesar
and also the others dying for the sake
of freedom... I am glad that they did
not break their tie with history and
showed us this emotional episode.
I’m sad that it’s over. “ There were also some comments
made about the actor, Liam Mcintyre.
During the first season Spartacus was
played by Andy Whitfield, but unfortunately he got cancer and passed
away. The whole cast was affected
by that tragedy,and were forced to
find another actor who to play the
part of Spartacus. Safa Aktaş (RC’17)
shared: “It was impossible for me to
get used to the new Spartacus. First
of all, I could not understand the feelings from his face. He was not a great
actor like Andy from the first season.
Through Andy’s acting skills we felt
all the tragedies that happened to
Spartacus in our own hearts and we
were also filled with the desire of
vengeance. But when Spartacus got
his revenge from those who darkened his life, we did not become
cheerful about it because it was not
Andy who got his revenge; it was as
if another character got vengeance.
But even after Andy’s death, Starz
managed it really well and he tried
to fill his space with the other main
characters such as Crixus and Gannicus. I am sure at the end of the finale
everyone would have been crying on
the floor if Andy was the one playing
Spartacus, who was dying.”
Some fans, however, were not satisfied with only three seasons. They
believe a series like Spartacus should
not have ended so quickly; it should
have remained a legend. Bora Kıyıcı
(RC’ 17) stated “This series is a legend. It never loses its thrill and in
every episode something important
happens. Seeing this legend end was
a traumatic and I think it did not have
to end this quickly. I think they still
had material to make a few more
seasons out of the story. For example,
Crixus’s march against Rome was only
half an hour. The producers could
have even made a whole season out
of it, if it were a Turkish series. It’s really sad to say goodbye to a legend
like this, but I am glad that I met
those characters and went with them
from the house of Batiatus to the glorious battlefields.”
a lot of predictions; however nobody
was able to make a perfect prediction.
I personally believe that when compared to the rest of the series, the
last couple of episodes passed by
very quickly. Since the beginning, the
event chain was always filled with
many unexpected twists and events,
but the audience was always able to
follow and keep up with what was
going on. Some even argued that
things were happening so slowly
that they got bored. However, on
these last episodes events were passing quickly and as a viewer I felt like
I didn’t have enough time to process
before something else happened. I
wish I could have had more time with
Breaking Bad. However, I believe that
everything happening so quickly was
one of the reasons why the end of the
series was this fascinating.
If I analyze what happened in the finale in a chronological order:
In the previous episode, Walt had
changed his mind about giving himself over to the police when he saw
that once again, everything he had
done was credited to someone else.
With his plan where he threatened
Gretchen and Elliot he showed that
he had completely turned into a criminal mastermind, or as Gilligan might
say “Scarface”. When Walt told them
he hired two of the best snipers in
New Mexico, I believed him as much
as Gretchen and Elliot did. I actually
thought he would pay $200,000 to
assure that Walt Jr. gets the money.
Seeing Badger and Skinny Pete, holding laser pens reminded me of how
smart both the character, Walt and
the creator of the show, Gilligan are.
Then there came, Jesse’s ‘carpentry
scene’ where the audience thought
that he was finally happy until it all
turned out to be a dream. It was an
intense moment for Jesse fans because seeing him peaceful is what we
all have been waiting for.
Even though it has been predicted
multiple times that someone was
going to poison Lydia through her
chamomile tea, witnessing that actually happen was satisfying.
Walt’s machine gun was probably one
thing no one could imagine happening.
Walt’s confrontation with Skyler
brought closure to their relationship.
It was perfectly shot so that we could
see that they were in different worlds
and state of minds at the time. Also,
the moment when Walt looked at
Walt Jr., you could see that he was
saying goodbye.
The final part: Throughout this last
part, I was incredibly nervous, excited, worried and upset at the same
time. Until the last moment I waited
for something to go wrong, but it
didn’t. Walt and Jesse avenged themselves. Walt died right next to his one
true passion: chemistry. “Baby Blue”
was playing on the background as the
camera was zooming out slowly. With
Walt’s help, Jesse drove to freedom.
In the end, every loose end got tied,
everyone was at peaceful and content place. Even though I was not
surprised or amazed throughout the
episode, I felt at peace and it was
such a satisfying end that I and many
other viewers had a chance of closure.
Saying goodbye to my beloved show
was hard but everything turned out
the way I wanted it to be.
Breaking Bad: Baby Blue
Tuvana Kankallı
He was diagnosed with terminal
lung cancer the day after his fiftieth
birthday. His family was what he was
worried about the moment he found
about his medical condition. Walter,
aka Hartwell White, was a fifty year
old high school chemistry teacher
who had a pregnant wife, and an adolescent son with cerebral palsy. He
was barely able to provide a decent
life for his family, and learning that
he was going to die made him realize
that he could not leave his family in
this situation. One day, while he was
out with his brother-in-law, Hank
Schrader, who worked for the DEA, he
ran into a former student of his. Jesse
Pinkman was in the drug business.
However, he had recently lost his
partner. As a successful chemist with
a Ph.D. on crystallography he made
an offer to Jesse, saying “You know
the business, I know the chemistry.
I’m thinking maybe you and I could
partner up.” This is how Walter White
broke bad and became “Heisenberg.”
The pilot episode of “Breaking Bad”
was originally broadcasted on AMC
on January 20, 2008. The pilot did not
get a lot of viewers. After the series
finale aired, however, Breaking Bad
was the #1 TV show on IMDb’s “Highest Rated TV Series” list with a rating
of 9.5/10.
Discussions on why Breaking Bad was
successful has been held hundreds of
times. Some of the more popular arguments are as following:
The show:
* Has a very complicated plot. Yet,
somehow Vince Gilligan (the creator
of the show) has always been able to
tie all of the loose ends perfectly.
* Has an amazing soundtrack.
Throughout five seasons music was
chosen carefully and was connected
to the events. During the finale, for
example, they played “Baby Blue” by
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue
“Badfinger” to symbolize the attachment and love between Walt and his
* Is realistic. Instead of a flawless protagonist, there is a protagonist who
transforms into a ‘villain’ - as some
might say- and the viewer is never
sure about whether to root for him
or not.
* Is unpredictable, with some exceptions; you never know what’s about to
happen. A line Jesse said in the episode ‘Rabid Dog’ explains this about
the show very well: “Whatever you
think is supposed to happen, the exact reverse of that is gonna happen.”
A fellow RC student, Nazlı Yurdakul
(RC’16) gave one simple answer
when she was asked about the show:
“The. Best. TV. Show. Ever.” Also she
told that she was really touched by
the last episode. Another BB fan, Ipek
Omercikli (RC’16) said: “For five seasons, Breaking Bad always reached
out to the viewer and foreshadowed
what’s going to happen next, using
special shooting techniques. How
Breaking Bad was shot is what distinguishes it from other shows.”
Overall, Breaking Bad is a show that
everyone should watch the pilot, at
least. Once you get into the world of
Breaking Bad, you’ll be as allured as
Alice in Wonderland was and you’ll
never want it to come to an end.
The Final Episode Review:
[SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this article contains spoilers about the finale
of the show.]
The finale of Breaking Bad was outstanding and by far the best episode
of the show. In forums, fan sites and
many other communities, there were
Bosphorus Chronıcle
Art in Istanbul: Anish Kapoor
Zeynep Karababa
The fall began and exhibitions,
the biennial and museums started
opening. Lots of famous artists’
works are on display this year in different places all over Istanbul, but
probably one of the most interesting and anticipated exhibition is
Anish Kapoor’s. On billboards and on
the news we saw a lot of advertisements about Anish Kapoor’s exhibition.
Anish Kapoor is an Indian-born
British sculptor. Queen Elizabeth
II appreciated Anish Kapoor’s contribution to art by honoring him
with a knighthood (which means
that he’s actually Sir Anish Kapoor,
RA). He creates massive works and
combines dark colors with British
modernity and Indian brightness.
Commenting on his Indian heritage
he said “I am Indian, and I’m proud
of it. Indian life is mythologically
rich and powerful.”
Anish Kapoor’s first exhibition in
Turkey is currently on display in
Sakıp Sabancı Museum. In the museum’s garden and gallery there
are lots of huge and astonishing
sculptures. While you observe the
works you can’t help but feel curious and anxious. All of his works
have a different, bewildering style
stemming from his use of different
stones like onyx, marble, alabaster,
granite and sandstone which are
apparently collected from different
countries. Anish Kapoor aimed to
give a message to the art-lovers, by
giving these stones, that are generally used by classical sculptors, a
modern twist. About the stones’ importance, he said, “We can remember a few things, when we look at
the works. As an artist, I think that I
have no words to say. So I’m not going to preach the world as follows.
On stone, in general, I’m interested
in that inner space. The stone has
Everybody is curious about how
these huge stones were brought to
Istanbul. It was a really hard task for
the employees of Sakıp Sabancı Museum. They preferred the motorway
to bring the sculptures and used
many cranes. Also Anish Kapoor
changed the architectural design of
the museum with some of his works
such as “Yellow”. It is made of 6m2
disk of glass wool but it is not a flat
wall. When you walk next to it, you
notice that it is concave, and it feels
like you fall into the void.
If you are interested in art and want
to see these incredible works, you
can visit the exhibition at Sakıp
Sabancı Museum until January 5.
Photo Courtesy of Zeynep Özel
Flux: Sılsıla Collective’s Recent Work
Mert Dilek
Performance art, which originated
in the 1960s, is a nontraditional art
form often with political or topical
themes. It typically features a live
presentation to an audience or onlookers (as on a street) and draws on
such arts as poetry, music, dance, or
painting. Although many members
of the Robert College community
may be unaware of it, the contemporary art aficionados of RC have
long been getting their hands dirty,
involved in numerous performance
art projects and experimental artistic
For over two years now, Art Excellence, the highly selective and advanced art club of Robert College
and a part of the Silsila collective, has
been preparing for a performance
art project. Formed in 2011, Silsila
is an Istanbul-based performance art
and social sculpture collective, under
the direction of RC art teacher Jeffrey
Baykal-Rollins. Its purpose is to be an
intermedia platform for launching
collaborative art projects that function as social interventions, often
outside the confines of traditional
art and academic venues.
On May 23rd, 2013, in the dawn,
Silsila performed as a group of 20
performers its silent, one-hour collaborative work called “Flux” in Venice’s Piazza San Marco. This Italian
piazza contains massive 18th century tile patterns that are based upon
traditional Turkish carpet designs.
Directed by Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins,
choreographed by Cuban-born,
New York-based performance artist
and social choreographer Ernesto
Pujol, and co-curated by Nazlı Ercan (RC’13) and Mert Dilek (RC’14),
“Flux” consisted of a series of movements through the geometry of
these patterns. Each performer wore
a garment covered in drawings and
calligraphy comprised entirely of
digital information from their own
personal stories and imagery. Essentially, the performers served as “living books”, visible histories of their
personal and cultural bodies, and
moved through the map of a carpet
long-gone, celebrating the vibrant
relationship between the two sister
cities of Istanbul and Venice.
“Flux” was the result of two years
of collective research and engagement in a series of exercises producing hundreds of pages of visual and
written material, documenting from
each performer’s perspective their
own cultural lineage and the long
exchange of ideas between the two
cities of Istanbul and Venice. The
word “flux” comes from the Latin
“fluxus” and corresponds to flow,
change, merge, mix, combine, and
On August 4th, a modified version
of the performance was repeated
at Istanbul Modern Art Museum’s
temporary, site-specific architectural installation “Sky Spotting Stop”
as part of a project partnered with
New York City’s Museum of Modern
Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1. Audiences sat within the installation and
experienced a performative meditation and a cultural reflection that engaged aspects of contemporary life
Photo by Zeynep Özel
in Istanbul, with its lingering past
and pending future. The site of Istanbul Modern itself embodied a history of cultural exchange, continuing
today in the form of contemporary
ideas, images, and objects. The museum’s windows look out across the
water toward another, much older
museum, Topkapı Palace, which
houses, amongst numerous rare artifacts, the world’s largest collection
of centuries-old talismanic shirts
(tılsımlı gömlekler). Along with the
tile patterns from Venice, these garments had served as the other main
inspiration for the elaborate drawings that were not only worn but also
performed in.
Prior to the performance in Istanbul,
Ernesto Pujol reflected upon and described the project as follows: “Can
the place where we were born, can
the city where we grew up, where
we live, love and work be experienced anew? Can we revisit the familiar; can we rediscover the known?
More than a dozen performers will
walk the city; young performers will
perform in the city in silence. They
will map it with their walks; they will
trace it with their bodies. They will
walk silently through its neighborhoods, crisscross its topography, finally congregating before the water,
at Istanbul Modern. They will wear
history and histories. They will gesture and stand in formation as a living exhibition along the white walls
of the museum’s galleries, taking
Modernism (which seeks to be everywhere and nowhere) by the hand
and grounding it, rooting it. They will
fill the patternless with the patterns
of documented global lives. And just
as humbly as they appeared, they
will vanish, they will disappear into
the Bosphorus, a site-specific performance come and gone.”
Both of the performances drew not
only from the rich heritage of performance art, but also from the French
tradition of the urban flaneur and
the German improvisational tradition of tanztheater best exemplified
by the choreographer Pina Bausch.
The Bosphorus Chronicle congratulates the Sılsıla Collective and wishes
further success in its upcoming projects.
Photo courtesy of Pelin Güre
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue

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