"In Istanbul, Contemporary Art Blooms Amid a Thousand Minarets
By LEE SMITH
NURAN TERZIOGLU, a Turkish curator and gallery owner, is holding court in Cezayir, a restaurant in Beyoglu, Istanbul's pre-eminent arts neighborhood. A large group of writers and journalists is meeting in an adjoining room, while a few artists are lounging around in the cafe, a bright beige room with high ceiling fans and decorated only with prints of the great 15th-century miniaturist Siyah Kalem, or Black Pencil, one of the fathers of Ottoman, hence Turkish, art.
As the late summer afternoon turns to dusk, Ms. Terzioglu, 61, owner of the Apel Gallery, is talking about what it means to be a contemporary Turkish artist, caught between the modern city and the Istanbul of a thousand minarets. 'It's a tradition going back over 10,000 years,' she said, sipping from a glass of green mint liqueur. 'But definitely the signal moment was when Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror conquered the Byzantine city and ordered that the culture not be destroyed. Instead, the Ottomans added to it, in part by inviting the greatest artists from all over the empire to the palace.'"
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