In August 2012 the 4th International Tourism Cartoon Competition 2013 in cooperation with Anadolu University, the Association of Tourism Writers and Journalists and Anatolia, a journal for Tourism research was announced.
I took part in it and to my surprise received an invitation for the Award Ceremony on April 5th 2013, a few weeks ago! Everything taken care of, flight and hosting etc. on the expenses of the organizers. An all-in stay in Istanbul till the 7th included. I had won a prize (or a mention, I didn’t know)!
Of course my wife Anne went with me. We arrived , after some ticket problems on the Zaventem Airport, late that evening at the very own aparthotel of the Anadolu university nearby Aksaray. A local, friendly older man helped us to find the place and walked with us trough the crowdy streets of the city. After a heartwarming meeting with the colleagues-pricewinners we went to bed. English was, once again, the language that gave us the possibility to communicate!
On the next day, after a guided walk under supervision of Prof. Nazmi Kozak and our friends Mehmet and Ahmet, vice-president and president of the Turkish Cartoon Association, and cultural visits to the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet Mosk and meals in typical restaurants (the best Sultanahmet meatballs we ever ate), we were droven to the Museum of Contempory Arts near the Bosporus.
On arrival we started with tea, coffee and refreshments, waiting for the official part of the evening where we met some of our friends from the Eskisihir organization. And then, the big final.
One by one we were invited on stage in the auditorium where a dozen of photographers, cameramen and journalists together with an big audience waited for us. Every pricewinner was announced by his name and country (sometimes pronounced in quit a pleasant way…). So I received the third of the three Awards, together with my friends Klaus Pitter (Austria) and Ahmet Aykanat (Turkey). Five other colleagues (Macedonia, Serbia,Montenegro, Croatia, Indonesia) got mentions and the Atila Ozer award went to a Bulgarian duo, Chavdar & Alla.
A lot of pics later and after a few drinks we went , again, to a marvelous restaurant where we had dinner!
On Saturday we visited other parts of the city (and a typical restaurant again) and went together to the new” Karikatur ve Mizah Müzesi” , the Cartoon museum. It took time to get there because it lies on the top of the highest hill of the city. But what a view!
Later that day, after a colourfull visit to the Big Bazar and the Egyptian shops , a luxurious dinner/banquet in the Nar restaurant on the 5th floor of the Lokanta building was offered by the ministry of Culture. Quiet an experience. Succulent food and exquisite wines.
On Sunday, most of the guests had to catch a plane, even our guide prof. Kozak, left us that afternoon. So we went in the company of our Austrian friend Pitter, to the Contempory Art Museum for a longer visit and to the Cisterna Basilica, the ancient , underground waterreservoir of the city. Very impressing and …huge.
And to end our stay, we had a marvellous dinner on the seaside in the Kumkapi quarter. Mmmmmm.
Yes, I will take part in other Turkish contests. You never know, I could win again…
Norbert Van Yperzeele
The prize winning cartoons by Klaus Pitter, Ahmet Aykanat and Norbert