Açıl Susam Açıl!

Geçen hafta Londra‘nın yeni yüzlerinden “Sesame“ı keşfetme şansım oldu. İngiltere’nin ünlü şeflerinden, Nopi adlı lokantanın ve OttoLenghi adlı meze barın sahibi, İsrailli Yotam Ottolenghi’nin yeni numarası burasıymış. Bu saydığım yerleri deneyip beğendiğim, ama çok pahalı bulduğum için fast food havasındaki, çok daha ucuz olduğu söylenen Sesame’ı denenecek yerler listeme almıştım.

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Sesame’ın dışarıdan görünüşü… (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Öğle yemeğinde sandviç-salata-suşi-çorba ekseninden sıkılan, farklı tatlar peşinde olanlar Sesame’ı eminim seveceklerdir. Burası Covent Garden adlı turist cennetinin ortasında, Londra‘nın göbeğinde bulunuyor. Fiyatlar uygun. Yemeklerin ambalajı ve konsepti, paket almak için ideal. Sloganı da “Akdeniz’in sokak mutfağı.” Orta Doğu lezzetlerinden bazılarını sunuyor.

Mönü daha çok tavuk ağırlıklı. Zahterli tavuk dikkatimi çekti, ama etin tadını merak ettiğim için tercihimi hafif acılı kuzu etinden yana kullandım. Bütün sıcak yemekler pitta ekmeğinin (bir çeşit pide, ama tabii ki bizimki kadar iyi değil 🙂 içinde, bir nevi dürüm havasında önünüze geliyor. Pitta’yı da ısıtmaları ayrıntı gibi görünebilir, ama önemliydi. Çünkü bazı yerlerde dürümlerin hamuru ısıtılmıyor ve böylece lezzet mahvoluyor.

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Açıl susam açıl…. (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Kuru cacık sosu ve bol yeşillikli çoban salata kuzu etine katık olmuş. Tadı gayet güzeldi. Ama çok şahaneydi diyemeyeceğim. Bir gündüz vakti aç karnına Covent Garden’a yolunuz düşer de pratik ne yesem derseniz buraya gidiniz. Pret, Eat ve benzeri sandviççilerin bütün mönüsünü ezberlemiş biz çalışan köleler (!) için burası birebir.

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Pide içinde hafif acılı kuzu kebabı… (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Sesame’da kuskus, sumak, tahin gibi tanıdık lezzetler denenebilir. Benim gözdelerimden maydonoz salatası tabule ve sevmeyeni sanırım olmayan humus, tatlı olarak helva da mönüde gözüme çarpanlardan. Ayrıca sarımsak ve kakuleli, acılı tavuk veya mango turşulu patlıcan ve yumurtalı sandviç de değişiklik isteyenlere gelsin 🙂

Sesame'den alabileceğiniz ilginç atıştırmalıklar... (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Sesame’den alabileceğiniz ilginç atıştırmalıklar… (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

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Humus ve tavuk şiş… (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

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Dürüm ve nohutlu salata… (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Dekorasyonda dikkatimi çeken öğeleri de sizler için fotoğrafladım:

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Tuvalette bile İstanbul var. (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

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Bu merdiveni çok sevdim, İstanbul-Karaköy’deki lisemin yer karolarını hatırlatıyor. (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

İstanbul posterleri de burayı şenlendimiş. (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

İstanbul posterleri de burayı şenlendirmiş. (Fotoğraf: Filiz Taylan Yüzak)

Sesame, evlere servis de yapıyor.

Adres: 23 Garrick Street, London WC2E 9BN

İnternet sitesi: www.sesamefood.co.uk

Açık olduğu saatler:

Pazartesi-Çarşamba 07.00-21.00

Perşembe-Cuma: 07.00-23.00

Cumartesi: 09.00-23.00

Pazar: 11.00-19.00

Reklamlar

İstanbul’da Yaz Talanı!

Beşiktaş’taki meşhur kaymakçı Pando’da bir kere kahvaltı etmiştim seneler önce… Üniversiteliydim, arkadaşlarım götürmüştü. O zaman çok ahım şahım bulmamıştım ama olsun, 119 yıldır hizmet veriyorken neden kapansındı ki? Beyoğlu’ndan sonra Beşiktaş’ı da tek tipleştirme ve ruhsuzlaştırma operasyonu başlamış anlaşılan. Karaköy’deki balıkçıları, üstelik toprak üstündeki ağaçlarla birlikte yıkmışlar geçen gece belediye ekipleri. Galataport’a otel olacakmış. İnsanın oteliniz kafasına yıkılsın diyesi geliyor. Akın Balık’ta daha iki yıldan kısa süre önce çatal bıçak şaklatmamış mıydık tencere-tava yerine, saat tam 21.00’de?

Pando da gitti...

Pando da gitti…

Niye İstanbul’a dönmüyorsun diye ısrarla soranlara sözüm: Niye döneyim, neresine döneyim İstanbul’un? Bir semtten geçerken her seferinde içim sızlasın diye mi? Bildiğim kentimden geriye yakında bir şey kalmayacak. İstanbulluyum diye övünmekten vazgeçmeye kaldı ramak. Bu duygusal işkenceye her gün tanık olmak kadar insanın içini acıtan az şey vardır herhalde. Artun Ünsal ustanın Cumhuriyet’te yayımlanan 21 Haziran 2015 tarihli yazısı “Pando’nun sütevi”nde dediği gibi, bir şehri şehir yapan insanların ve hatıraların sıcaklığıdır. Ne acı ki, 50 yaşını geçmiş insanların “bizim zamanımızda” diye başlayan yakınmalarını ben nispeten genç bir insan olduğum halde, 30lu yaşlarımın başında dile getirir oldum. Hatta rahmetli Alkazar ve Emek sinemalarını sayarsak 20’li yaşlarımın sonundan itibaren… Hepimizin anılarını çalmayı sonunda başardılar galiba. Dargınım, kırgınım. “En güzel günlerimiz henüz yaşamadıklarımız” belki ama geçmişimizi elimizden alırlarsa geleceği nasıl kurarız?

Bu gidişle eski günlerimizin hiçbir kanıtı kalmayacak elimizde. Anlatsak inanmazlar geçmişimize…

A Contribution To “My Migration Story To the UK”, a GuardianWitness Project

You probably heard of GuardianWitness, a relatively recent project of my beloved British newspaper, The Guardian. This page is created to cover the experiences, opinions and ideas of the paper’s readers. There is a different theme being regularly published and anyone can contribute a related media item (text, photo or video) under that topic. A bit like a multimedia forum, really. I wanted to share with you my own migration story to the UK, which was published on the project’s website 19 February 2015. The original link is here.

I am originally from Istanbul, Turkey. I first came to the UK in 2007 to study towards my Masters degree. The photo below was taken in September 2007 at Warwick Castle. Back then, I was about to begin my graduate programme at University of Warwick. It was a uni trip to the Castle and I was amazed by its grandeur and architecture.

(Fotoğraf: Özgür Yüzak)

One of my first photos taken in the UK, September 2007 (Photo credit: Özgür Yüzak)

After my Masters, I went to Turkey to change my visa to a work permit. I was able to come back to the UK in 2009 and started to look for a job. This time I came to London planning to settle here. I was happy to live in my country, I didn’t have any serious problems there. I just wanted to experience how life in a European country is. (Although the UK is the least European country in the EU!) It was hard due to the recession, but I have finally found a job and settled in London after a couple of months.

In six years, I settled here, became a permanent UK resident and saved some money. Recently, I have applied for UK citizenship as well. I would like to become a dual citizen. I love living here: the lifestyle is straightforward and stable, people are tolerant, very polite and friendly. Although London life can be hectic at times, I still love the buzz of the big city as an Istanbullite. I consider myself as a Londoner now.

The only problem here is that I don’t have any close friends originally from the UK. Nearly all my friends are foreigners like me. But apart from that, I feel like a part of this society, totally adapted to local culture and lifestyle. I feel proud and successful to be living here. I definitely recommend this experience of living abroad to anyone: one learns to stand on one’s own feet in every sense.

Notes on Panel Discussion: “What Is Jazz?”

                                                                                                                                                                         

Caner Beklim (Moderator): TRT Istanbul Radio Programmer

Murat Beser: Milliyet Music Writer

Tuncel Gulsoy:  Jazz Magazine Writer

Seda Binbasgil: Jazz Magazine Writer

Selen Gulun: Musician

This panel discussion organised by Akbank Art Centre on 11th October 2008, searched for the definition of jazz and what is included in this definition.

Gulsoy, being the first speaker, started his words by suggesting two books about jazz: “The Jazz Book from Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond” (Caz Kitabi) by Joachim E. Berendt and “Cazin Icinden” by Cuneyt Sermet. Jazz is a lifestyle, he stated, emphasising freedom.  Following the elitism problem in jazz brought forward in the previous panel discussion, he underlined the difference between the terms “intellectual” and “elite”; expressing that jazz is an intellectual music  genre, but must not be elitist, privileging upper classes.

Tunçel Gülsoy

Tunçel Gülsoy

Gulun shared Gulsoy’s opinion on jazz and freedom relationship. She defined jazz as the audio version of what has been lived and felt. Gulun also took attention that many music styles can be collected under the umbrella of jazz. As jazz is understandable even by the children from Afyon, as was told in the previous panel discussion, it is easy to share with other people, being a tool for dialogue.

Binbasgil preferred a more academic style than the other speakers. She mentioned two distinctive characteristics of jazz: improvisation and swing. But she also added that jazz can also exist without these components. For instance, neither all the improvised music pieces are jazz; nor all jazz pieces include improvisation or a component of surprise. Swing also follows the same rule: swing songs are defined as jazz, but jazz can also exist without swing: the free jazz movement of 1960s is a good example to clarify this. Another point Binbasgil underlined is that jazz is USA’s folk music, not ours. This is an obstacle for Turkish people to embrace jazz. The culture and history of the said societies are different. Additionally, jazz was a product of counter-culture once upon a time: Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, being one of the most powerful songs in the music history; which protests lynch and massacre of black people in Southern USA; illustrates the then protest spirit of jazz. Not accepted by major record labels, an indie one released this song. Another example that Binbasgil gave was Max Roach’s “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite”: this song from 1960s is ornamented by Abbey Lincoln’s screams to take attention to slavery, racism and Black Consciousness Movement.  “Song for Che” by Charlie Haden is another example, being from the 1970s. But then jazz has been commercialised, by the white musicians who inherited this music from its black creators. Binbasgil also pointed out that jazz is made visible by these white musicians.

Beser entered the discussion from a different angle: where jazz stands politically and socially. He mentioned the famous theory of Marxism, “the base determines the superstructure.” Beser stated that this is also valid for jazz, seen as a product of American bourgeois, while being the music of African proletariat. This class reductionist approach indicates the backward evolution that today’s jazz struggles with: the elites see themselves as “privileged” since they enjoy. This is a sign of disconnection with the society and is rather reactionist: Beser thinks that the rising reaction also spreaded to jazz. Jazz today is tried to become stereotyped and a genre to listen solely in jazz clubs. Opposing this elitist circle, Beser put forth the idea of a jazz club where students could afford to be its audience. He suggested two books like Gulsoy: “Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice in Music” (Dogaclama) by Derek Bailey and “Story of Jazz: Bop and Beyond” (Tarih Boyunca Caz) by Franck Bergerot. He also recommended the biography of Miles Davis. Beser also emphasised the necessity to define jazz again and again in every different phase since jazz changes according to the political field.

Murat Beşer

Murat Beşer

Tuncag, this time being part of the audience, also contributed to the discussion, to answer why jazz cannot be fully embraced in Turkey: firstly, the polyphonic harmonic structure of jazz is different from the Turkish monophonic structure. Besides, Turkish people want to hear a human voice; they get bored during the long solos. Another reason is the education level of people.

Hülya Tunçağ

Notes on Panel Discussion “Listening To and Playing Jazz Music Today”

Hulya Tuncag (Moderator): Jazz Programmer22.10.2008

Orhan Kahyaoglu: Journalist

Ayse Tutuncu: Musician

Hakan Atala: Archivist and Lale Record Store Owner

Kerim Selcuk: AK Music Distribution

Although jazz has been born as music of the streets, being created by poor people; the perception of jazz today has been evolved into an elitist one, especially in Turkey. Hence this panel discussion organised by Akbank Art Centre on 9th October 2008, went into this opposition, which is the source of endless discussions.

Kahyaoglu firstly started to talk, touching on Adorno’s jazz criticism; “Über Jazz” (On Jazz), published in 1936. Then jazz meant swing, being the popular music of the 1930s. Kahyaoglu also noted that jazz has been sophisticated after the bebop period (1940s). He underlined that the status of jazz as music of the streets takes its roots from the Mediterranean culture, leaning on “openness to coincidences” and this can also be seen in Istanbul.

Tuncag in her turn explained one of her memories to enlighten the discussion: when she went to Afyonkarahisar Jazz Festival, she was asked to explain jazz to school children in a village’s primary school. The children were very poor, but also ready to listen to her. While she was thinking how to illustrate jazz to them, she drew a Louisiana map on the black board, and explained them how jazz was created by the poor workers in the cotton fields. Then she drew an Afyon map and tried to connect the both regions and their people, comparing the similar climates and working conditions of the slaves. Then she played work songs of that time. Tuncag took attention to the fact that jazz, being perceived as the field of interest of the elites, can be embraced even by poor village children, if they are given the opportunity to hear it.

Hülya Tunçağ

Hülya Tunçağ

Tutuncu also shared a memory of her about Alanya Jazz Festival: she played in the Kizilkule Square, in an open-air concert. The audience and the atmosphere were naturally very different from the ones that she is used to: children who ride their bikes, middle-aged and even old village women were in the Square to listen to her. Her conclusion was similar to Tuncag’s anti-elitist one: she is sure that jazz can be brought even to Anatolia. So the opposite approach (defending that the Anatolians would not understand jazz, because it is so complicated) is totally wrong. Moreover, she questioned the concept of “understanding jazz”. She emphasised that even one does not “understand” jazz, it can make one feel or remember something: a sense or a memory… Besides, she underlined that this is also valid for all the arts: one does not have to understand an artwork, but he can definitely enjoy it.

Ayşe Tütüncü

Ayşe Tütüncü

The panel was enriched with the questions and comments from the audience: these indicated technology-arts relationship: illegal downloading, pirate albums and sales levels of jazz albums.

Selcuk and Atala indicated that sales of jazz albums are very low, but it is not a situation peculiar to Turkey. They stated that their job is difficult because it is not profitable, but they do it because they love it.