Newsletter No 9





As we just had our fondue evening a few days ago, it may be befitting to talk about “cheese” in this edition. A love of cheese is something shared by both Turkish and Swiss people.  One of my early memories in Turkey was that of my mother coming one day from “Pazar” (food market) with a large variety of cheeses. One in particular had fascinated me: it had the shape of braided hair. This cheese, from the Diyarbakır region, is called, not surprisingly “braided cheese” (örgü peyniri). According to Asya Ҫetinkaya’s book “Regional Cheeses”, written on the basis of over 6 years of research, over 260 varieties of cheeses exist in Turkey. However by eliminating those which have similar procedure of making, she came up with 193 distinct variety. It is true that variety cannot be reduced to difference in quality, because even for “beyaz peynir” (Turkish white cheese) that we consume plain at breakfast, as part of a börek for afternoon tea, or as a meze at dinner, there might be 30 different quality in a single shop.

In Switzerland, the website points to 450 varieties. While Swiss cheeses are well known around the world, apparently only 9 Turkish varieties have a trademark. For some photos and names of cheeses in Turkey feel free to browse these two sites:

In the meantime continue to enjoy convivial fondue evenings as winter is still with us, and we wish you a very Happy Valentine!


Please keep us posted on events and news that you would like to share at



Association Events

Association’s Annual Assemblée Générale – March 14 at 7pm

On this day, which is also the Doctors’ Day in Turkey, we will honor our doctor members. Celebrated for the first time in 1919, Doctors’ Day was initiated by medical school students as a reaction to the occupation of Istanbul by the allied forces. The specific date of March 14, also refers to the opening of the first western style medical school in 1827.

For future Association events :


Lecture: “Immigrant Cuisine of Eskişehir” by Osman Güldemir – February 11 at 2pm

YESAM, Cağaloğlu, Istanbul

Osman Güldemir is a Turkish writer and teacher of Turkish cuisine, he is and has been a tutor at food culture classes at different colleges and universities in Turkey. In November 2015 his book about the food culture of the Ottoman Empire 'Bir Osmanlı Yemek Yazması-Kitabüt Tabbahin' was published (Wikipedia).


Concert: Fazıl Say and Nicolas Alstaedt – February 26 at 5pm

Musikhaus Krompolz, Bern

Say will be performing with German/French cellist Alstaedt, the winner of Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2010. This concert is part of the duo’s tour in the States and in Europe during which they will also stop at Concertgebouw and Théatre des Champs-Elysées. The program includes Debussy as well as Say’s own composition “Dört Şehir”.

For more information


Conference: “Rethinking our reaction to migratory crisis” – March 16 at 7pm

Uni Bastions, Geneva

This conference in French will be given by Michael Moller, the director of United Nations in Geneva. It aims to highlight the complexities of such crisis which are often neglected in the media rhetoric. According to Mr. Moller, only a consciousness of these complexities can help find sustainable solutions to the issues in hand.

For more information


Fact Finding Mission Life Science to Turkey – March 28-31
Istanbul, Movenpick Hotel

Switzerland Global Enterprise is organizing a fact finding mission to Turkey for Swiss companies to get to know the local Life Science sector and make first steps towards a successful market entry.

For more information



Turkish Embassy to the UN

With the aim to improve Turkish representation in UN positions, the embassy prepared an information leaflet which can be found in the following link



Turkish flat bread (yufka) has been added to Unesco’s Intangible Heritage List

Making and sharing flat bread (lavash, katyrma, jupka or yufka) in communities of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey is a widely practiced tradition. It usually involves family members as well as neighbors, mostly in rural areas. Baked in an oven, metal plate or cauldron the bread is shared at regular meals, weddings, births, funerals and various holidays. Transmitted by participation and from master to apprentice, the practice expresses hospitality, solidarity and symbolizes common cultural roots reinforcing community belonging.


Turkey is the 2nd Biggest Donor in the World for Humanitarian Assistance

Based on recently published Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, Turkey contributed USD 3.2billion in assistance, ahead of UK, Germany and Switzerland.  Only the United States is ahead with USD 6.4 billion in donations. Turkey is also the biggest refugee-hosting country followed by Pakistan and Lebanon.


Our Fondue Evening was once again a wonderful gathering opportunity for our members

On January 25, we had our traditional fondue evening in the charming atmosphere of Brasserie des Halles de l’Ile. Turkey’s new ambassador to the UN Mr. Naci Koru and his wife and Consul General Hüseyin Barbaros Dicle and his wife also joined and honored us. We look forward to more jovial gatherings as the year progresses!


Federer does it again!


Our favourite Swiss player wins his 5th Australian Open and 18th Grand Slam title. In 5 sets and after nearly 5 hours, Federer had his first win over Nadal at a grand slam event since Wimbledon 2007. With this win, he also improved his global ranking and is once again in the top 10.  


Fazıl Say is awarded the Beethoven Prize

In its second year, the Beethoven Prize for Human Rights, Peace, Freedom, Combating Poverty and Inclusion went to Say. The Beethoven Academy was founded in March 2016 by Torsten Schreiber of the Wasmuth Society in Rolandeck and by Andreas Loesch, President of the Festival of Young Artists in Bayreuth. Its first projects included musical master classes in the occupied West Bank in October 2016.


Swiss baroque orchestra “Cappella Gabetta” performed in Istanbul

Founded in 2010 by cellist Sol Gabetta, the winner of Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2004, the ensemble performs on original instruments. The concert filled with baroque repertoire was enriched by mezzo-sopranos Vivica Genaux and Simone Kermes.


“My life as Zucchini” screened in Istanbul

The Oscar Academy nominated animated movie by Swiss director Claude Barras is highly melancholic but also funny. It tells the understated orphan experience of a 9 year old, following the death of his alcoholic mother.  The following review gives wonderful insight to this great movie, which, let’s hope will win its deserved prize


ARTS UPDATE sponsored by Cornucopia Magazine

The Sabancı Museum begins the new year with a major retrospective of Feyhaman Duran, one of Turkey’s best-loved painters.


Feyhaman Duran: Between Two Worlds
The first major retrospective of one of Turkey’s best-loved painters
Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Emirgan
January 12 – July 30

Never Let Me Go
Rania Stephan
Alt Art Space, Bomonti
Ending February 5

Edward Burtynsky: Aqua Shock
Borusan Contemporary, Rumelihisarı
Ending February 19

Istanbul International Film Festival

February 16-26

On Botany
Blok Art Space, Çukurcuma
January 21–March 15


Space Refugee
Halil Altındere
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY
January 7–February 11


Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities

Bettany Hughes
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