What to do, what to see in February in Istanbul?
Is February a good time to travel to Istanbul? Despite temperatures between 3 and 10 degrees, February in Istanbul is usually characterized by sunny and sometimes variable weather. At this time of year, the city offers visitors a romantic atmosphere in a mystical setting, with the advantage of being less populated by tourists. So, if your stay in Istanbul coincides with the winter season, come discover its architecture, history, and monuments, but also its local life while enjoying a rich cultural and sporting agenda with concerts, events, and exhibitions. On the program, artists from the Turkish scene will mainly be in concert to pace winter evenings, essential exhibitions such as “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!” which questions Byzantinism in popular culture, a calendar of the super league and Euroleague games to live a frenetic sporting experience and many other surprises throughout the month.
February 2 – Cem Özkan and DörtXDört: Singer and bassist best known for the release of his first album “Kendimce” in 2006, he is also recognized as a touring bassist for many artists and groups from around the world. He will be in exceptional concert with the Turkish rock band DörtxDört at IF Performance Hall Beşiktaş.
February 2, 25 – Taksim Trio: The band is one of the unmissable musical phenomena of Istanbul composed of three exceptional musicians. The three virtuosos, trained in the gypsy culture, naturally open to horizons beyond those of the Bosphorus. They will be in concert for two dates this month, first at the Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi İstanbul , then at the Mall of İstanbul MOİ Sahne İstanbul.
February 2 – Seyyah: The traditional Turkish and Balkan music group consists of 7 musicians including two Turks. Seyyah rhythms his concerts with guitar and kaval, violin, clarinet, darboukas, and singing. They will be in concert at Kadıköy Sahne İstanbul.
February 2, 5, 12, 19, 23 – Ayta Sözeri: The actress, singer of traditional Turkish music, and Turkish-German LGBT activist, will be performing on five dates to the delight of her fans, first at the Dada Salon Kabarett, then at the Hayal Kahvesi Atakent, at Jolly Joker Kartal İstMarina İstanbul, followed by the Jolly Joker Vadistanbul, and finally at the Dada Salon Kabarett.
February 3, 12 – Manuş Baba: Mustafa Özkan, better known by his stage name Manuş Baba, is a 35-year-old Turkish pop and arabesque singer who began his musical career with his group Güneşe Yolculuk in 2010. He has also enjoyed success in Turkey with several albums, including “Bu Havada Gidilmez”, “Dönersen Islık Çal” and “İki Gözümün Çiçeği”. He will be performing at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul, then at the Mall of İstanbul MOİ Sahne İstanbul.
February 4 – Sertab Erener: The Turkish pop singer is known in Europe for winning the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Every Way That I Can” and worldwide with the album “No Boundaries”. She will be in concert at the legendary Wolkswagen Arena İstanbul.
February 4, 16 – Ozbi: Onur Dursun, better known by his stage name Ozbi, is a Turkish rapper and composer known for his EP “Asi” (“rebel”) that could be heard during the Gezi Park protests. Ozbi was one of the artists on Şanışer’s single “Susamam” (“I can’t be quiet”) in September 2019. Each artist interpreted a verse dealing with a contemporary problem of Turkey, such as injustice, corruption, women’s rights, or cruelty to animals. This is the largest collaboration in the history of rap in Turkey in a number of performers. The artist will be in concert at Jolly Joker Kartal İstMarina İstanbul, then at Jolly Joker Kıyı İstanbul.
February 4, 13, 18, 19 – Yaşar: The artist has become one of the most acclaimed and renowned musicians in Turkey throughout his 20-year career. Yaşar’s first steps towards his current fame came with his first album “Divane”, which was released in 1996. After releasing his second album entitled “Esirinim” in 1998, Yaşar was acclaimed by critics in the late 1990s, with songs like “Kuşlar”. He will perform on four dates at Moda Kayıkhane, at Bostancı Gösteri Merkezi İstanbul, then at Jolly Joker Kıyı İstanbul, and finally at Jolly Joker Kartal İstMarina İstanbul.
February 4, 5 – Gülşen: With a rich and deep voice of easily recognizable contralto, it is one of the most popular names in Turkish pop music with its successful songs for many years. The beautiful singer, who always attracts attention with her striking style is characterized mainly by the sulfurous image she cultivates, she regularly attracts the wrath of feminists and religious fundamentalists. Gülşen will be in concert at Jolly Joker Vadistanbul, then at Jolly Joker Kıyı İstanbul.
February 4, 5, 11, 13, 16 – Cem Adrian: The Turkish singer, songwriter-performer, producer, and director known for his ability to sing from bass to soprano due to having vocal cords three times longer than those of a normal person, will be in concert on five dates in February. The artist with avant-garde sounds, pop, jazz, alternative rock has collaborated with Fazıl Say. He will be in concert at the Hayal Kahvesi Bahçeşehir, at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul, at Moda Kayıkhane, at the Aqua Florya Hayal Kahvesi İstanbul, and at the Maximum UNIQ Hall İstanbul.
February 4 – maNga: The Turkish rock and heavy metal band from Ankara, whose musical style mixes Western influences with a traditional Anatolian rock base, has quite diverse accents, from nude metal to punk revival to a certain alternative rock aspect. Join the legendary band at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul.
February 5, 11 – Candan Erçetin: A Turkish singer of Albanian origin, she also teaches music at Galatasaray French High School in Istanbul, where she herself is a former student. She is the one who composed a large part of her music, and sometimes also the lyrics. On January 28, 2014, the President of the French Republic, François Hollande decorated this popular and francophone singer with the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Candan Erçetin will be in concert at Jolly Joker Private İstanbul for two dates.
February 5 – Emel Sayın: The Turkish actress and singer of Albanian origin born on November 20, 1945, has a privileged career in the field of music as well as in Turkish cinema. She will be in concert at Bostancı Gösteri Merkezi İstanbul.
February 5 – Mirkelam: A popular Turkish musician and singer, made himself known to the public with his song “Her Gece” (“Every Night”) in 1995. We can enjoy his concert at Dorock XL Kadıköy.
February 5, 25 – Levent Yüksel: The Turkish pop singer and multi-instrumentalist has been active in the live music industry since 1993. In the early 1990s, Levent Yüksel was known as one of the best bass players in Turkey. It was in 1993 that he released his first album “Med Cezir” as a pop singer. We can find him at Jolly Joker Vadistanbul, then at Jolly Joker Kartal İstMarina İstanbul.
February 6 – Şam: Şamil Oymak (born 1997), better known by his stage name Şam, is a Turkish rapper and composer of Circassian origin. He continues his career with the main Turkish hip-hop collective Istanbul Trip and has already influenced the Turkish hip-hop scene despite his young age. It can be discovered in concert at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul.
February 8, 14 – Yıldız Tilbe: The Turkish pop singer of Kurdish-Zaza origin is one of the best-selling musical artists in Turkey. Best known for its oriental ballads and Turkish pop music of the 90s. She started her career in 1990 at a nightclub owned by Cengiz Özseker. In 1991, she met Sezen Aksu who asked the artist to become her backup singer. After accepting her offer, she moved to Istanbul and worked with Turkish star Sezen Aksu for some time. Yıldız Tilbe will be in concert at Jolly Joker Vadistanbul, then at WOW Istanbul Hotel.
February 9 – Leman Sam: The singer and songwriter can sing in multiple languages, including Greek, French, and Spanish. It is also known for its human rights and animal rights activities. She will give a concert at Caddebostan Kültür Merkezi İstanbul.
February 10 – Christian Blackshaw – Istanbul recitals: The pianist known for the passion and emotion he brings to the interpretation of his repertoire, combines a great understanding mixed with emotion, musicality, and humanity. He has performed in concert worldwide with major orchestras and festivals under the direction of conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Yuri Temirkanov, and Sir Neville Marriner. He will be in concert at Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi The Seed İstanbul.
February 11, 13 – Ahmet Aslan (Solo Konser): This Turkish native Zaza sings classical songs in Zazaki, Turkish and Kurdish. The artist studied at the Istanbul Technical University Conservatory between 1993 and 1996. He has lived in Germany since 1996. He can be seen in concert at Profilo KM Batı Ana Sahne İstanbul, then at the Mall of İstanbul MOİ Sahne İstanbul.
February 11 – Flashback 90’lar Türkçe Pop Gecesi: Attend a 100% 1990 party with the greatest hits of a time full of nostalgia for lovers of Turkish pop. The concert will take place on the stage of Beyrut Performans.
February 12 – Hakan Altun: Born in Istanbul, he is a Turkish singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. After graduating in music arts, he continued his studies focusing on traditional Turkish music. He’s doing a concert at Jolly Joker Vadistanbul.
February 14 – Sıla: The Turkish pop artist adored in Turkey, is known for her meeting with singer Kenan Doğulu, for whom she was a vocalist and for whom she was also writing songs. The singer allowed him to release her first solo album in 2007. In parallel with this album project, she performed for the television series Sıla (2006-2008) with Sezen Aksu, and the series Yaban Gülü (2008). From that time on, she only did a series of projects and received numerous awards. Sıla will be in concert at Zorlu PSM – Turkcell Sahnesi İstanbul.
February 14, 19 – Erol Evgin: The singer and pop composer born in 1947, has released more than a dozen albums and 50 singles, and appeared in several television shows and films. He has collaborated with artists such as Sıla and Sezen Aksu. We will have the pleasure of meeting him at Jolly Joker Private İstanbul, then at Bostancı Gösteri Merkezi İstanbul during a second concert date.
February 14 – Mabel Matiz: Fatih Karaca, better known by his stage name Mabel Matiz, is a Turkish pop songwriter. He started releasing his own songs via Myspace in 2008. Turkish music producer Engin Akıncı noticed his songs and offered him an album that he released in 2011 with the label Esen Müzik. Except for two songs written by Birhan Keskin and Yalçın Tosun, all the others were written and composed by Mabel Matiz himself. He will be in concert at Wolkswagen Arena İstanbul.
February 17 – Hey! Douglas: Born November 17, 1984, in Ankara, Emin Yasin Vural, best known by his stage names Hey! Douglas or VEYasin, an Istanbul-based DJ and sound artist, will be performing at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul.
February 18 – Bajar: The Istanbul-based band, mixes popular urban musical forms with Middle Eastern melodies and Kurdish music, creating a hybrid musical style. They can be discovered in concert at The Wall Saloon and Performance İstanbul.
February 18 – Moğollar: (Literally in Turkish “the Mongols”) is one of the pioneering ethnic Turkish rock bands that combines traditional popular music with pop. In 1971, Moğollar won the Grand Prix for The Charles Cros Academy Record, a prestigious award previously won by groups such as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. The group will give a concert at Kadıköy Sahne İstanbul.
February 19 – Selda Bağcan: The Turkish artist (guitarist, songwriter, and singer) made himself known in Turkey in the 1960s for his committed songs, his positions, and activism which have caused him difficulties with the Turkish authorities throughout his career. Several titles by Selda Bağcan have been taken up in recent years by international artists such as the American rapper and producer Dr. Dre or Mos Def, star of American hip hop. The best-known title is “İnce İnce” and she will give a concert not to be missed at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul.
February 20 – Burry Soprano: Burak Aydoğduoğlu, known as stage Burry Soprano, is a Turkish rapper and songwriter born on May 31, 1997, who distinguished himself by his soothing and deep vocal style and his particular attention to grammar in the content of his songs. Soprano signed his first contract with MOB Entertainment in 2018. He will be in concert at the Hayal Kahvesi Bahçeşehir İstanbul.
February 20 – Can Ozan: Turkish musician and producer plays acoustic and electronic music. He has collaborated with artists such as Deniz Tekin, Zeynep Bastık, Nova Norda, Dolu Kadehi Ters Tut, Damla Eker, Umut Döven and Sedef Sebüktekin on various musical projects. He will be in concert at Dorock XL Kadıköy İstanbul.
February 24 – Şanışer ft Sokrat St: Sarp Palaur, better known by his stage name Şanışer, is a Turkish rapper and composer. He will be in concert with rapper Sokrat St at the Dorock XL Venue – Fitaş Sahnesi İstanbul.
February 25 – Pinhani: The band was founded on April 5, 2004, by two cousins, Sinan Kaynakçı and Zeynep Eylül Üçer, as a modern rock band in Turkey. Pinhani has released several albums and made the soundtracks of the Turkish television series Kavak Yelleri. Fans of the band can enjoy a concert at IF Performance Hall Beşiktaş.
February 26 – Aşkın Nuryengi: It is with his first album “Sevgiliye” released in 1990 that the artist becomes one of the most famous Turkish singers of the 90s. She will give a concert at the Aqua Florya Hayal Kahvesi İstanbul.
February 27 – Mikail Aslan: The internationally renowned singer from the Dersim region, lives in Germany with his musicians. In his album entitled “Pelgüzar” the artist performed popular Armenian songs from Dersim (officially known as Tunceli) – which disappeared from the region at the same time as the Armenian genocide population. Mikail Aslan will perform at the Mall of İstanbul MOİ Sahne İstanbul.
FESTIVALS & EXHIBITIONS
February 11-13 – 216 Street Fest – Food and Music at Bulvar216:
Once again, this year the 216 Street Fest – Food and Music in Ataşehir, on the Asian side of Istanbul, returns for a unique 3-day experience for lovers of good food. To the program, a festive spirit around gastronomy: unlimited culinary tastings, special cocktails, workshops, and music.
For more information, click here.
February 25-27 – 3rd New and Newest Music Festival hosted by ARTER:
ARTER, a subsidiary of the Vehbi Koç Foundation and a vibrant cultural center, will bring together major music industry names with their brand-new musical creations at its third edition of the New and Newest Music Festival. The festival, which will take place in Arter’s most luxurious arcade, will bring together artists who mix classical and electronic music to offer a unique experience to visitors. Don’t miss this event if you are a fan of electronic music.
For more information, click here.
Until March 6 – “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!” – Byzantium in Popular Culture – Pera Museum:
Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition at the Pera Museum called “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture, curated by Emir Alışık, navigates through the eclectic presence of Byzantium in popular culture. With the contribution of its advisors Brigitte Pitarakis, Elif Demirtiken, Felice Lifshitz, Haris Theodorelis-Rigas, Jeremy J. Swist, Marco Fasolio, Roland Betancourt, Sinan Ekim, Vedran Bileta, and Yağmur Karakaya, the exhibition explores multiple and conflicting meanings of Byzantinism and questions popular culture’s interaction with the Byzantine legacy by scrutinizing a selection of motifs representing Byzantium in popular culture.
Accompanied by a comprehensive exhibition catalogue, “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!” borrows its title from Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu’s novel Panorama I-II (1953–1954), where his protagonist exclaims these lines, being frustrated with postwar Turkish society. Karaosmanoğlu knew precisely what he meant by Byzantinism, referring to not only the social unrest and hostility among the nation’s citizens but also the superstitions raging among society at the time, for they found the chaos they were living in otherwise inexplicable. The exhibition has stripped Karaosmanoğlu’s exclamation of its connotations and has taken it at face value, as a genuine question, all the while aiming—among other things—to show that Constantinople/Istanbul is naturally—historically and geographically—Byzantinism’s home turf.
While the academic and archaeological “rediscovery” of Byzantium in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had in counterpart wide repercussions throughout a wide variety of artistic expressions like painting, architecture, drama, music, and literature, the fascination for Byzantium was amplified over time and blossomed into new directions—from unlikely music and literature genres and painting and film-making techniques to textile production and new narrative mediums like graphic novels.
As access to Byzantine heritage in Constantinople gradually intensified, access to material sources of inspiration for Byzantinism marked a shift from Ravenna to Constantinople. The urban framework of Byzantium’s capital city and its inhabitants are at the core of the contemporary renewed interest in it. These popular materials have broken the boundaries of historical re-enactment and historical fiction, forging the exploration of new ways to appropriate Byzantine forms, history, and materiality as a means to tell unique stories. Although Byzantine history is sometimes mobilized to kindle hostilities by the manipulation of historical facts, the Byzantine legacy is frequently utilized to reflect on complicated sociopolitical issues, too, and are both critically represented in “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”. Bringing together contemporary novels, metal music, comics and graphic novels, visual arts, video games, movies, and fashion, the exhibition reveals how Byzantinism is a far-stretching phenomenon to be encountered even in places one does not usually look.
For more information, click here.
January 14-February 27 – « Coulisse » – Mixer :
Mixer hosts the exhibition “Coulisse,” curated by Eda Öztürk and comprising the works of Betül Aksu, Bilal Yılmazel, Burak Delier, Ceren Su Çelik, Dilek Winchester, Ece Eldek, Gökçe Hiçyılmaz, Ömer İpekçi & Francesco Romero & Francesca Gotti, and Tayfun Gülnar between January 14 and February 27, 2022.
Departing from Eda Öztürk’s ongoing doctoral research on the sociology of art in France, centered around the art scene in Istanbul, the exhibition focuses on the reflections of the concept of “liquid modernity,” a term that is coined by Zygmunt Bauman and embedded in the conceptual framework of this research, on both the art scene and the societal level.
Through the concept of “liquid modernity,” Bauman expresses modernity’s transition from a “solid” phase into a “liquid” phase. This period, in which we live, is characterized by the “liquefaction” of all forms of thought, action and association that are solid, with clearly demarcated borders and settled around a center. In parallel with the uncertain and precarious conditions of liquid modernity, social actors’ temporal-spatial experience, interactions in daily life, identity construction, and labor processes have also been transformed. In addition to being a descriptive concept for the contemporary era, the state of “being liquid” refers to the ability of actors to easily switch positions in order to adapt to these conditions in the face of altering circumstances in both the social area and the scene of art. The exhibition brings together artists working in multiple medias ranging from painting, sculpture, installation, video to photography, new media and scent. Coulisse aims to lay ground for a critical dialogue on the new forms of relationalities in the areas where the boundaries of dualistic categories such as human/non-human animal, human/machine, conscious/unconscious, public/private and art/market are intertwined and fluidized.
For more information, click here.
February 2, 9, 16, 23 – Yoga facing the Bosphorus at Halim Paşa Yalısı with Duygu Erokan:
This activity is intended for yoga lovers and those who want to discover this practice in a sumptuous setting. Relax your soul and body with yoga lessons with spectacular views of the Bosphorus in one of the most beautiful mansions dating from the Ottoman Empire, Sait Halim Paşa Yalısı. The course is aimed at all levels of yoga in the Harem Garden Hall between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM with an experienced teacher, Duygu Erokan who gives the Vinyasa Yoga.
Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mats.
For more information, click here.
The atmosphere of the stadiums in Turkey is often explosive while remaining good-natured. A trip to Istanbul is often a good opportunity to attend a match to get a closer look and feel the atmosphere that emanates from the Turkish stadiums. Here are the matches of the Turkish championship that are played in Istanbul in February 2022.
February 6, 2022: Fenerbahçe VS İstanbul BB at Şükrü Saraçoğlu stadium
February 6, 2022: Beşiktaş VS Antalyaspor At Vodafone Park stadium
February 13, 2022: Kasımpaşa VS Alanyaspor at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stadium
February 13, 2022: Galatasaray VS Kayserispor at NEF stadium
February 13, 2022: İstanbul BB VS Gazişehir Gaziantep at Fatih Terim stadium
February 20, 2022: Beşiktaş VS Altay at Vodafone Park stadium
February 20, 2022: Fenerbahçe VS Hatayspor at Şükrü Saraçoğlu stadium
The Euroleague de basket-ball 2021-2022 is the 22nd edition of the Euroleague masculine and the 65th edition of the most prestigious cup of European clubs. We share the dates of all the scheduled games of the current season of Euroleague 2021/2022 that will be played in Istanbul in February:
February 1, 2022: Fenerbahçe VS Lyon-Villeurbanne au Ülker Sports Arena
February 4, 2022: Anadolu Efes VS Lyon-Villeurbanne au Sinan Erdem Dome
February 8, 2022: Fenerbahçe VS Real Madrid au Ülker Sports Arena
February 11, 2022: Fenerbahçe VS Bayern-Munich au Ülker Sports Arena
February 24, 2022: Anadolu Efes VS Maccabi au Sinan Erdem Dome
For other activities that we propose to you in February 2022, click here.