Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Zeynep Kardıçalı - iPad support to children with Autism

Zeynep Kardıçalı was only 17 when she left her hometown Istanbul, Turkey in order to move to the States to study Psychology at Michigan University.

During her education, she had been attracted deeply by child psychology, and consequently decided to get her masters degree on this field.

After completing her masters degree at Boston University, she moved to New York and started to work for New York Center for Autism Charter School.

Zeynep Kardıçalı now has four students with autism at school, and teaches them very intensely. The children who have hard times to communicate with people, now can communicate easily thanks to Zeynep and her great assistant.

Below you may find a demo of the application called Proloquo2go.

Here are my articles on Hurriyet USA and Hurriyet Turkey daily newspapers in Turkish.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Serdar Ilhan - Introduces Turkish culture to Americans

An Adman, graphic designer, promoter, manager and venue owner… Serdar Ilhan has moved to New York from Istanbul when he was 27. He simply was looking for some adventure as a young and brave man. Also, he was targeting to learn a new language. The year was 1989.

He had been unhappy about Turkey’s political situation then… “Those were the beautiful days actually.” he says and adds. “Now, I understand.” 

That young man who was looking for some adventure in the States became one of the most significant Turkish figures in New York in couple of years. He introduced Turkish culture to Americans. In brief, he became Turkey’s unofficial culture delegate in New York.

In the past 15 years he presented Turkish, Mediterranean and World Music at prestigious venues such as Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Florence Gould Hall. Serdar Ilhan is the owner of Drom, a venue that features live performances six nights a week, and besides the music, the clients enjoy Turkish and Mediterranean tapas at Drom.

Let’s go back to the beginning… Serdar Ilhan moved to New York with an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and graduate degree in Photography. He opened an advertising agency. In his first years he had ran the agency in a successful way. However, Serdar Ilhan who is never satisfied with his successes entered the organization business in order to promote Turkish culture in the States. And with no surprise, he achieved.

Let’s continue... Serdar Ilhan is one of the producers of the annual NY Gypsy Festival and the Istanbulive, which is the biggest Turkish concert event in the States so far. In addition to all achievements, he is the manager of New York Gypsy All Stars.

At this point I have to tell that, besides Turkish music his biggest passion is Gypsy Music.

“I’m not a Gypsy, but my brother is” he says in order to emphasize the fact that almost all the adventurous people are gypsies in their souls in some way. 

Here's my longer article on Hurriyet USA daily newspaper in Turkish.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ilhan Ersahin – A Turkish saxophone master in New York

Ilhan Ersahin, composer and saxophonist was born in Sweden in 1965. He is the son of a Turkish father and a Swedish mother. He began playing saxophone when he was 16. “I gave a lot of trouble to our neighbors” he says, “I was playing my saxophone without cease.” Before 16 he played squash in Swedish National Team.

Interesting story… Right?

16 doesn’t seem to be an early age to begin playing a music instrument but he has always been associated with music. After he started to play saxophone, he never stopped playing.

It has been more than 30 years. Not that short!

After reading Jack Kerouac’s masterpiece ‘On the Road’ Ersahin felt like Stockholm is not the city where he can follow his dreams. He always wanted to live in a ‘city of music’. Living in New York was his biggest dream. He applied to one of the best schools in the world; Berklee School of Music. The school was not in New York but he was able to carry out his first goal. At least he was in the States. After finishing school he moved to New York. Finally! He was young and had no idea what to do! He memorized the history of Jazz. He worked and performed in some clubs. His first solo album ‘Home’ was released in 1997, he has 16 albums right now with different bands. His new album Istanbul Sessions – Night Rider is going to be released very soon.

He has worked with significant artists such as U-Roy, Erik Truffaz, Jane Birkin, Gilberto Gil, Athena, Duman and Norah Jones. Norah Jones performed as the lead vocalist for two years in his band Wax Poetic.

İlhan Erşahin owns the New York jazz club “Nublu” and his own record label under the same name. He is married to a Brazilian and has a 12-year old daughter. His favorite cities are New York, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro where he performs mostly.

Since 2007 I have watched at least four of his performances in Istanbul or New York and enjoyed all of them. He has an incredible energy on the scene.

Ilhan Erşahin is able to speak English, Swedish, and Turkish fluently; he can speak some Portuguese as well.

It was a memorable experience to meet and interview İlhan Erşahin who is one of the most important and influential Turkish musicians and composers.

Here's my longer article on Hurriyet USA daily newspaper in Turkish.