Saturday 31 October 2015

Final few weeks to see Mehmet Ergen’s critically-acclaimed play Clarion at the Arcola

Greg Higgs as The Daily Clarion's power-crazed editor Morris Honeyspoon.   Photo: Simon Annand

Following a sold-out run in April, Clarion – a dark comedy about the state of British media – is back for a short run at the Arcola theatre in Dalston.

Produced by the Arcola’s award-winning creative director Mehmet Ergen, this debut play by former journalist Mark Jagasia is a sharp and riotously witty observation about life inside a tabloid newspaper. Homing in on the issues of the day – immigration, nationalism and free speech – Jagasia and Ergen do for print media what Drop the Dead Donkey did to television.

The Daily Clarion is Britain’s worst newspaper. Power-crazed editor Morris Honeyspoon (brilliantly played by Critics’ Circle award-winner Greg Hicks) spends his weekends dressed as Julius Caesar, and rules his paper like a tyrant, revelling in its dysfunctional and deceitful ways. Honeyspoon’s rants about Britain are both absurd and frightening; he not only yearns for a return to the racist Britain of the 1950s, but has the means to influence a large segment of society.

Clare Higgins plays washed-out journalist Verity Stokes
Difficult times in Britain are matched by equally trying times at the paper, whose foreign owner is forever meddling. A scandal threatens to bring The Daily Clarion down and Honeyspoon is desperate to find the office mole. He is foiled by Verity Stokes (performed to perfection by three-time Olivier award-winner Clare Higgins), a once fêted foreign correspondent whose boozy, cynical ways have all but consumed her professional integrity.

The drama effortlessly takes tabloid ethics and office bullying in its stride, while serving up a tragic twist at the end. There are stereotypes aplenty, but Jagasia avoids caricature. The supporting cast of Peter Bourke, Jim Bywater, Jim Dunkley, Laura Smithers, and Ryan Wichert rise superbly to the task under the expert guidance of Ergen, who maintains a brisk pace to proceedings.

Before its world premiere in April, Ergen said: “Clarion shines a dazzling light on the dark heart of our national press. As soon as I received the script last year, I programmed a reading in our PlayWROUGHT festival of new writing. Those who were there know how special it was. I left determined to bring the play to a wider audience, and to direct a full production.” 

“…In the lead roles, two of the finest actors of their generation: Greg Hicks, acclaimed member of the RSC for almost 40 years, and three-time Olivier Award-winner Clare Higgins. An outstanding supporting cast. An exceptional and ambitious team of designers.”

Powerful, on point and painfully funny, Clarion will leave you highly entertained, but also pondering deeply on the toxic mix of free speech and tabloid journalism in today’s Britain.

Play: Clarion
Runs until: 14 November 2015
Start time: 7.30pm (Mon-Sat eve) and 3pm (Sat. matinee)
Address: Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL
Ticket prices:   £10-£19
Info & tickets:
Box Office:  020 7503 1646 


See Gariné by Tchouhadjian – the Ottoman Empire’s answer to Verdi – this weekend at the Arcola, 11 August 2015

ISIS behind Ankara bombing, confirms state prosecutor

The aftermath of the Oct. 10 Ankara suicide bombings that claimed 102 lives

Prosecutors in Turkey have confirmed what many have long suspected: that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) was behind Turkey’s worst terrorist attack. The ISIS leadership in Syria is believed to have ordered a Turkish cell from Gaziantep to carry out the twin suicide bombings in Ankara on 10 October.

In a written statement on Wednesday 28 October, the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office said evidence indicated the Ankara bombers staged the attack to create huge unrest in the run-up to the Nov. 1 General Election.

A week earlier, prosecutors had named one of the suicide bombers as Yunus Emre Alagöz, the brother of Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz who had carried out another suicide bombing in Suruç on 20th July that killed 33 people and wounded more than 100.

The investigation has yet to confirm the identity of the second Ankara bomber, thought to be Ömer Deniz Dündar. Their names have long been on lists of suspected Turkish ISIS militants.

The Ankara bombing bore a remarkable similarity to the Suruç attack: both involved suicide bombers who detonated their vests in the midst of a public gathering, and the materials used in the bombs are identical, indicating a single group behind them.

The moment the Oct 10. blasts went off, as people sang & danced at a peace rally in the heart of Ankara
Dozens of suspects have been arrested in the current investigation, which has led police office to uncover five depots used by Turkish ISIS cells. Among the items found were hundreds of explosives, a dozen suicide vests and 2.5 tons of ammonium nitrate used to make bombs. 

Turkey’s worst terrorist attack
Three weeks ago, two suicide bombers detonated their bomb-laden vests killing 102 people and injuring hundreds of others who had gathered for a huge peace rally in Ankara. It was Turkey’s deadliest ever terrorist attack.

The ‘Labour, Peace and Democracy’ rally had been organised by trade unions, professional groups and left wing activists, along with two of Turkey’s leading opposition parties, the centre left CHP and the Kurdish-focussed HDP. It was scheduled to take place in Sıhhiye Square, in the heart of the Turkish capital.

İzzettin Çevik cradles his wife after his sister & daughter are killed in the blast
Ankara Central Station, near to the square and just a few hundred metres from the headquarters of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MİT), was the designated meeting point. People had started to gather there from early morning. Some attendees sang songs, while others danced the halay or waved flags as they waited for more people to arrive and the rally to start.

At 10.04 the first bomb went off just outside the station, followed by a second blast nearby less than a minute later, causing carnage. As bystanders tried to help, police were accused of preventing ambulances reaching the wounded and using tear gas against those at the rally. The police claim they were simply trying to clear the area to ensure no further casualties from any further bombs that went off.

Turkey’s ‘terror cocktail’
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings. However suspicion quickly fell on ISIS due to the similarities with the Suruç attack.

Yet immediately after the bombing, AKP Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu used the phrase “terror cocktail” in a television interview, suggesting that the perpetrators were drawn from a wide spectrum of terror groups seeking to destabilise Turkey and prevent AKP from regaining power.

Davutoğlu hinted that ISIS was in collusion with the Kurdish terrorist group PKK and the armed Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). He added that the hand of Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Kurdish rebel force PYD could also be felt in the recent terror attacks on Turkish soil.

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu suggests a "terror cocktail" behind suicide bombings
The claims were dismissed as ludicrous by many commentators and opposition politicians, who pointed to the fact many of the factions the AKP leader mentioned were currently at war with each other.

Figen Yüksekdağ, co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said “terror cocktail” is ‘a political concept that pushes the limits of logic and insults people’s intelligence’.

The irrationality of Davutoğlu’s speculations about the perpetrators was side-stepped by pro-AKP media and commentators, who jumped on his theory and quickly promoted it more widely. Yeni Safak columnist Abdulkadir Selvi wrote: “Why do some think it is unnecessary to try to find PYD-PKK involvement alongside of [ISIS] in the Ankara bombing? Aren’t PYD-PKK involved in such affairs? They have deals with Assad, work with Iran. They are in accord with Russia. Now they are getting guns from the US.”

Huge lapse in Turkish security intelligence
Many believe the AKP government is seeking to tar its enemies with the same terror brush to avoid focus on its own failings. In a country where there is a huge police presence for all public gatherings, particularly those anti the government, the lack of security at the Ankara peace rally was highly noticeable.

People outside Ankara Central Station remember those killed, demand AKP government answer for its failings, 17 Oct 
Questions have also been asked how the two bombers could travel across the country, have breakfast in a nearby café and then detonate two deadly bombs under the nose of MİT, without the Turkish security forces knowing anything about their plans.

Many families whose sons or daughters have been radicalised have freely offered information to the Turkish authorities in the past. A major cell was known to exist in Adıyaman over two years ago, whose members are said to be behind a host of bombings in Turkey this year. The families claim little has been done to either prevent the radical Islamist groups from operating or to locate their children.


Tuesday 27 October 2015

Ask Yonca abla: Mother-in-law is making life unbearable

Stock photo © antikainen

Dear Yonca abla,

My mother-in-law has moved in with us. She lost her husband a few years back and was feeling vulnerable living on her own. She also has various health problems. My husband has two other siblings: one is married to an English lady and relations are a bit strained there. The other – a sister - is married to a Türkiyeli and living out there.

In small doses, my mother-in-law is lovely. But now she is here, she wants to interfere with everything: how we bring up the kids, how we cook dinner, the layout of the rooms, how I look…It is driving me round the bend! I have tried tactfully pushing back, but she gets upset and then starts to cry.

I’ve tried talking to my husband, but he doesn’t see most of what goes on as he is out at work. He thinks I should just “take a chill pill”. I feel like whacking him one too! Your advice is needed urgently! I don’t want to give an ultimatum and force an elderly woman out, but I can’t see how else this can turn out.


My dearest Emine,

I’m saddened to hear of the chaos going on in your home life. Having anyone stay with you long-term will unsettle the home eventually, let alone a mother-in-law. In small doses, of course any mother or mother-in-law is fine. Sadly, as your mother-in-law has nothing going on in her life, she will happily interfere in yours.

You must stand your ground and bring up your children and run your house as you please. But please do this tactfully because, as you are aware, it is a very delicate subject and it will most certainly come between your husband and you.

I suggest a candle-lit dinner to tell your hubby what’s going on. Gently explain why you feel it’s important you help get her re-housed and continue to support her from her own home. If you do not succeed, tell your husband he is crossing that fine line and you will not tolerate it!

Good luck!

Yonca abla

Got a problem? Email and she will try to answer.


Thursday 22 October 2015

Hussein Chalayan’s Gravity Fatigue sells out in advance of world premiere at Sadler’s Wells next week

Rehearsing for Hussein Chalayan's new dance theatre show Gravity Fatigue.     Photo: Manuel Vason

Tickets for all four shows of Hussein Chalayan’s new dance theatre production Gravity Fatigue have sold out. The show premieres at Sadler’s Wells – the world’s leading dance space – next Wednesday.

Chalayan, 45, returns to the venue that hosted his iconic Afterwords collection back in 2000, when a sitting room was transferred into fashion pieces: armchair covers became stunning dresses the models picked up and put on. A model stepped into the centre of a round coffee table that she hitched around her waist, cascading into a telescopic wooden skirt as she did so. Chairs were folded into suitcases and carried off by the models.

Chalayan's coffee-table skirt
Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director Alistair Spalding watched the “amazing” Afterwords show and instantly fell in love with the Chalayan’s theatrical style. After years of trying to create a dance project with him, he has finally succeeded.

Gravity Fatigue set to be ground-breaking
Two years in the making, Gravity Fatigue marks an important experiment for both Sadler’s Wells and the internationally renowned artist-cum-fashion designer. Normally dance productions are led by the choreographer with others invited to collaborate. Chalayan did not want to play second fiddle, so Spalding found a formula to allow the designer’s ideas and costume creations to shape the show’s concept, which is being performed by 13 dancers and is choreographed by award-winning Belgian Damien Jalet (Babel).

Lacking a dance background, Chalayan auditioned for the dancers in 2014 and has been working with them ever since. Unlike models, he has to cater for a wider range of body shapes: the costumes have to fit, look good on and also enable movement.

Supported by Spalding and Jalet, and music by Parisian outfit Mode-F, the fluid collaborative process has allowed Chalayan’s visual artistry to come alive through the medium of contemporary dance, which he describes as: “Design, movement – it’s almost like art in action.”

Like his fashion collections, this theatrical show will also be elegantly stripped bare: 'I don’t want this to be too dancey – too choreographed or busy,” he told the Telegraph.

The show takes its cue from displacement, identity and invisibility – themes which have figured prominently throughout Chalayan’s career. Originally from Lefkoşa to Turkish Cypriot parents, he has first-hand experience of life in divided Cyprus, where the Turkish side lacks political recognition and so remains non-existent in the eyes of the international community, and where both communities fear transition.

How this plays out on the stage remains to be seen, but as with his past creative endeavours, it is sure to be nothing less than ground-breaking.

Hussein Chalayan at full stretch with his dancers.    Photo: Wallpaper, September 2015

About Hussein Chalayan MBE
Refusing to be pigeon-holed and regarded by his peers and media alike as a creative genius, Hussein Chalayan’s innovative work blurs the boundaries between fashion, art and design.

Born in Lefkoşa in 1970, he attended one the TRNC’s top state schools, Türk Maarif Koleji, before moving to London where he studied Fashion at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Bjork in Chalayan's Airnail jacket on her album cover
For his debut collection, The Tangent Flows in 1993, he buried iron fillings with his garments in a friend’s garden for three months so they could oxidise and decay, before being dug up and presented at his graduation show that was themed around burial and resurrection. The entire collection was bought by luxury boutique Browns and displayed in their central London store windows, ensuring the buzz about Chalayan continued way beyond fashion circles.

While totally unconventional, his aim is not to shock or rebel, but to explore and present new ideas. Each piece of work has its own narrative and his experimental, cerebral style often involves manipulating new technology and materials that are usually overlooked in the world of fashion.

One of his most renowned creations is the Airmail dress. Inspired by durable envelope paper, this one-size-fits-all garment was both washable and wearable. You could personalise it, and then fold it up and post like an airmail envelope. Chalayan produced a whole series of similar garments made of Tyvex-coated paper, including a jacket that avant-garde pop star Bjork wore on the cover of her 1995 album Post

A partnership with Swarovski that started in 2006 resulted in conceptual art installations for their Swarovski Crystal Palace, and produced some of the most ground-breaking showpieces in recent fashion history. Chalayan’s experiments with crystal led to the creation of the LED Dress in his 2007 Autumn/Winter Collection, which featured 15,600 LEDs layered behind the Swarovski crystal components and the extraordinary Lazer Dress for his Spring/Summer 2008 Collection.

Another pop star to seek out Chalayan’s talent was Lady Gaga. She turned up at the Grammy Awards in 2011 in a futuristic womb that he had designed for her. The singer was carried down the red carpet in her translucent ‘Egg’ where she incubated until it was time for her to perform Born This Way.

A long-time admirer of the Turkish Cypriot designer, Gaga was inspired by the womb-like futuristic pod that featured in his short film Place to Passage. The pod, travelling at speed across different landscapes, reflected Chalayan’s interests in technology, displacement and finding comfort in the nurturing environment of a womb.

Lady Gaga arrives at the Grammys in an 'egg' designed by Hussein Chalayan
In 1999 and again in 2000, he was crowned British Designer of the Year, and in 2006, the Queen awarded him an MBE. He has received numerous other awards and his work exhibited in several major solo shows, including Fashion Narratives at Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 2011, 1994-2010 at the Istanbul Modern, and From Fashion and Back which was exhibited in both London and Tokyo.

Production: Gravity Fatigue
Show dates:  Wednesday 28 to Saturday 31 October 2015
Venue: Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Show starts: 7.30pm
Tickets: £12-£38 (returns only, or seats with restricted view)
More info:   the box office on 020 7863 8000 or visit 
                   Hussein Chalayan: 

Monday 19 October 2015

Havva and Ebru through to Judges’ Houses after tense Six-Chair Challenge

Ebru (left) and Havva are through to Judges' Houses. Photos: Thames/Syco

Two Turkish singers are through to the Judges’ Houses on ITV’s The X Factor. Havva Rebke and Ebru Gürsoy are through to competition’s penultimate round, where the final 12 acts will be selected to go head-to-head in the live shows.

Ali Babutsa’s daughter, 21-year-old Havva made it through to the final six in the Girls category on the 4 October show. Mentored by pop star Rita Ora, Havva is in arguably the toughest group with many talented young female singers. While her vocals are not the strongest, Havva’s unique London sound and bubbly, infectious personality again proved a hit with the judges and audience.

Photo: Thames/Syco
Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw told the young Turkish Cypriot singer: "We see quite a lot on this show, someone who can sing but what we don’t see all the time is a star, and you Havva are a star".

Havva performed towards the end of the Six-Chair Challenge, by which point all six chairs were already full of acts seemingly headed into the next round. Havva Rebke did a funky cover of a classic Backstreet R&B track No Diggity with Nick Grimshaw, Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini urging Rita to give her a chair. Havva was duly swapped in, taking the seat of Charli Beard.

The cruel chair-swapping drama continued last night, when Ebru had to impress her mentor Simon Cowell to become one of his final six acts in the Over 25s. She was the final singer of the night, singing Beyoncé's If I Were A Boy. Having sung her heart out, the tears streamed down Ebru’s face as the judges complimented her voice.

He’d been in a mean mood all night, but mentor Simon Cowell was kinder with his comments to Ebru. He didn’t like her singing in the first part of her performance, putting it down to her nerves, but added, “There’s something about you which is kind of raw and I love that.”

With the audience screaming “swap, swap, chair, chair” Simon told Ebru, “I’m actually going to give you a chair,” and then ditched Zen Blythe.
Photo: Thames/Syco
With the dreaded Six-Chair Challenge over, The X Factor continues this Saturday and Sunday on ITV with the glamorous setting of Judges’ Houses. Havva heads to LA to Rita Ora’s home, while Ebru joins Simon Cowell in the South of France. Both singers will compete against five others in their group for a chance to be in their mentor’s final three and compete in the live finals of the prime time show.

T-VINE wishes Havva and Ebru every success.


ECHR rules in favour of Doğu Perinçek in Armenian ‘genocide’ case


A Turkish politician has won a landmark case against the Swiss authorities following an important freedom of speech ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday

The Court ruled that Doğu Perinçek was within his rights to reject the description of the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire a century ago as ‘genocide’, as it was not tantamount to inciting racial hatred. However, the court refused to be drawn on how the massacres should be described.

Why Switzerland convicted Doğu Perinçek
The leader of the Turkish Workers Party had found himself in the dock in Switzerland in 2005 for stating that the "Armenian genocide is a great international lie." The Swiss Armenian Association filed a criminal complaint against Perinçek, claiming his comments contravened Swiss anti-racism laws and incited hatred, which Perincek vigorously denied.

The veteran politician does not deny the massive suffering and loss of Armenian life during 1915-1918. However, he claims the circumstances did not amount to genocide.

His defence was not accepted by the Swiss courts. In 2007, they convicted Perinçek, asserting "his motives were of a racist tendency" and ordered him to pay a fine.

Perinçek refused and after exhausting the appeals process in Switzerland, he took his case to the ECHR claiming his right to freedom of speech had been infringed. In 2013, the European court found in his favour and overturned the Swiss court’s verdict.

This decision was appealed by the Swiss authorities. Both Turkey and Armenia also became parties to the case, aware of the legal implications the ECHR’s final ruling would have on the issue. Armenia was represented by barristers Amal Clooney and Geoffrey Robertson QC from London’s Doughty Street Chambers, the former ensuring widespread international media coverage of the case.

Why Turkey refutes Armenia’s genocide claims
Turkey has repeatedly resisted efforts for the deaths and forced deportations of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War I to be classed as ‘genocide’. They view Armenia’s claims of 1.5 million killed to be grossly inflated, stating the archives show less than half this number were killed.

The deaths occurred during an horrific four-year war, where invading powers were trying to carve up the rump of the Ottoman Empire. They had promised Armenians their own homeland if they revolted against Turkish rule. It was in this context, Turkey argues, that many innocent Armenians perished, alongside hundreds of thousands of Turks.

Thousands of Armenians perished during forced deportations during WWI
Armenia and its Diaspora argue the deaths were planned and systematic, and so amount to a genocide. Many historians disagree and there has been no conclusive legal position on the issue. However, that has not stopped Armenians from constantly lobbying world leaders to recognise the killings as genocide, with some two dozen states formally doing so.

The ECHR’s ruling
On 15 October, the ECHR’s 17-judge Grand Chamber laid down its judgement in the case of Perinçek v. Switzerland. The Chamber is the ECHR’s highest court: its decisions are final and binding on all members of the Council of Europe.

In a majority 10-7 ruling, the Grand Chamber upheld the ECHR’s earlier decision that Perinçek's remarks "did not amount to advocacy of hatred or intolerance".

The judges noted that the Swiss courts appeared to have "censured [Perinçek] for having simply expressed an opinion divergent from those held in Switzerland", and that Perinçek's conviction had been "unnecessary" to protect the rights of the Armenian community.

The ECHR said it did not have the authority to rule on whether the Armenian killings amounted to genocide or not. It argued such matters were for the international criminal courts to decide.

The Court added that "the dignity" of the victims of the Ottoman massacres and the "dignity and identity of modern-day Armenians" is protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Rauf Denktaş backed Perinçek
Following the verdict, the Swiss authorities said they would review the ruling carefully to determine what changes were needed to their penal code.

Rauf Denktaş (left) with Doğu Perinçek in 2005
Doğu Perinçek hailed the decision as a “monumental victory” and acknowledged the role of the late TRNC President Rauf Denktaş, who had backed his campaign against Swiss censorship. The late Turkish Cypriot leader, a lawyer by profession, had joined Perinçek in Lausanne in 2005, where he publicly refused to kow-tow to Switzerland’s new genocide denial laws, telling Perinçek to stand firm as he would eventually be victorious.

Perinçek believes the landmark ruling will make it easier for people to challenge the Armenians over their 1915 claims

While some Armenians have slammed the decision, others have pointed to the seven dissenting judges who viewed the Armenian case more favourably, and that the ruling could be interpreted in favour of genocide recognition.


Sunday 18 October 2015

AK09 and Tano G collaboration puts an ambient spin on new hip hop EP Exhibit One


By Boulent Mustafa

AK09, aka Yılmaz Korkmaz, and Tano G have joined forces to create five original hip hop tracks whose sound is very much rooted in London.

Tano G’s atmospheric productions forms the perfect backdrop to AK09’s heartfelt lyrics about fighting temptation and your personal demons, the challenges of song-writing, and journeys to self-betterment.

The delivery is smooth, melodic and poetic: it’s hip hop without adhering to rigid forms and structures, creating a more delicate and accessible sound. 

Exhibit One track listing
v      Out of the dark
v      Broken Smile
v      Doin’ just fine
v      The Beast
v      My City

To AK09’s London-heavy lyrical mastery, Tano G adds ambient, electronic beats interspersed with keyboards, alto sax and trumpet. There’s little we can call ‘fresh’ in the music, but it is pleasing on the ear. Listen and buy via Bandcamp

About AK09
Born in London, AK09 is the first Turkish rapper to appear on primetime UK radio. He made his debut release, an EP called Ritimin Sesi 1, in 2001, going on to release two more EPs in the series.

His debut full-length album Underside was released in 2005, airing in both Germany and Turkey. The video for its single Kara Kabuslar, directed by Evrim Sanal, broke the mould with its Karagöz and Hacivat puppet theme filmed in the horrorcore style.
Over the past decade, he has remixed for Basement Jaxx and collaborated with the likes of Adrius Black and Kaya Freixo: their Turkish-tinged single Run was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.

AK09 is the founder of the UK Turkish Hiphop Movement (UKTHM), which has been nurturing UK based Turkish hip hop talent since its formation in 2003 and organising live events, including London’s first international Turkish rap concert. Commissioned by the Prince’s Trust, UKTHM has also led music projects focused on drug abuse and gang culture, helping young people get off the streets and into a creative environment.

AK09 has voiced his concerns about the lack of good role models in the Turkish and Muslims communities, which he feels are needed to help them broaden their horizons.

He has performed live across Turkey and Britain. His work has been recognised by The Prince’s Trust, with AK09 receiving a Fellowship Award in 2003. He was also a runner up in Capital FM’s 2002 Battle of the Bands.


Friday 16 October 2015

Mustafa Hulusi’s Flyposting exhibition

Mustafa Hulusi's posters depicting the barks of Cypriot olive trees, randomly flyposted across London

Conceptual artist Mustafa Hulusi has long been fêted in art circles. On a par with his better known Turkish Cypriot peers Tracey Emin and Hussein Chalayan, his art certainly deserves much wider recognition.

Hulusi's trippy Expander posters.
Photo: Terri Pearson
Born in London in 1971 and a graduate of Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art, Hulusi produces evocative paintings, videos, installations, and photographs. His work is featured in a number of collections including the Tate, the Zabludowicz Collection, UBS, the British Council, and the Saatchi Collection.

Among his recent solo exhibitions are Propagating Ambient at the Page Gallery in Seoul, and The Golden Age at the Max Wigram Gallery in London

In 2005 he took part in Leaps of Faith, an international art exhibition staged in Cyprus’ Buffer Zone and across the divided city of Lefkoşa. Two years later, Hulusi, together with Haris Epaminonda, represented Cyprus at the Venice Biennale.

Hulusi’s art regularly draws on his Cypriot and Turkish roots, as well as pop culture, advertising, and Western historical and contemporary living. Each presents its own distinctive visual language, which he uses to explore popular perceptions.
Photo: Terri Pearson

Curated by Sotiris Kyriacou, this new month-long Flyposting exhibition at the Cass Bank Gallery brings together a selection of Hulusi’s works from 1998 through to the present day.

Mimicking the world of advertising, Hulusi uses flyposting – both legal and illegal forms of outdoor promotion – to display his art in the form of inkjet and litho-printed posters, some as large as 48-sheets, across London. They include repetitive geometric patterns from his trippy Expander series, which were on a billboard around the corner from Aziziye Mosque in Stoke Newington. He also uses different typefaces to write Mustafa Hulusi in big and bold letters, which were initially displayed above derelict inner city shops and among concert posters in Soho, playing on our fascination with all things celebrity: anyone whose name is displayed like this must be worthy of our attention.

Gallery walls have replaced the streets of London, offering a smoother setting to the paste-smeared and slightly tatty outdoor posters. They are, nevertheless, equally captivating: a huge decaying pomegranate greets you as you walk into the gallery, the fruit’s perishable nature reflecting the equally vulnerable qualities of the outdoor advertising from which they were borne.

Turkish military sign-turned-poster on an inner London wall
Posters bearing Hulusi’s name adorn one wall, while another displays a delicate kitsch-like white rose. Around the corner you find close-ups of the aged bark of a Cypriot olive tree. This eclectic mix, where pop art meets high art, is both familiar and abstract.

In a small dark room, there is a slide show documenting these and many more images of Hulusi’s flyposters as they were first displayed on London’s streets. They include one of a military sign about a ‘Forbidden Zone’ – a common sight for anyone visiting North Cyprus.

Sponsored by Jack Arts, the Flyposting exhibition is free and runs until the end of this month.

Exhibition: Flyposting
Runs until: Friday 30 October 2015
Venue: The Cass Bank Gallery (part of the London Metropolitan University building), 59-63 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7PF (nearest tube Aldgate East, exit 4)
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 - 6pm
Entrance: Free
More info: 
About Mustafa Hulusi  
Mustafa Hulusi's Pomegranate opens his Flyposting exhibition