2012 Side International Culture and Art Festival

Since 2001, the Side International Culture and Art Festival has combined culture and arts with history and tourism with the aim not only of introducing the arts and musicians to hundred thousands of people that gather in and around Side during summer season, but also of introducing Side Antalya, Turkey to the world through the Festival.

This was the website for the Side 12th International Culture and Art Festival was held between 25th August and 30th September 2012.
Content is from the site's 2012 archived pages and other sources.




This year, organized by Side Municipality, the Side 12th International Culture and Art Festival will host the worldwide famous orchestras, musicians and dancers in Side, one of the oldest ancient cities and one of the most important harbor cities of the ancient world in Anatolia… Between 25th August and 30th September 2012, all the events will be presented free of charge in Side Ancient Theatre and the Temple of Apollo. 

Organized by Side Municipality aiming to fulfill its mission to protect historical values in Side and carry them to the future, the festival will start with the opening concert of Schloss Schönbrunn Orchestra in August, 25th. This year, taking place in the historical atmosphere, will make the artlovers meet with worldwide famous performers and pride of Turkey such as Türksoy Chamber Orchestra, Golden Trombone Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Massimo Mercelli and Luis Bacolov, ENBE Orchestra, Ayhan Sicimoğlu “Latin ALL Stars”, Ege University Turkish Folk Dance Ensemble, Daghestan Folk Dance Ensemble and Anadolu University Symphony Orchestra…


There is another prominent guest of the Side 12th International Culture and Art Festival this year: Side Festival Orchestra will be on the stage during the Closing Gala and will perform its first concert. This will be a great benefit in the name of a culture and arts festival in our country.

Promoted as a great example for tourism by the Union of Historical Towns, the 12th Side International Culture and Art Festival will be held between 25 August – 30 September 2012 offering days full of music and dance. As it was during the history of Side, all of the events are free of charge for all audiences.

The festival, organized by the Municipality of Side, starts with the opening concert of Schloss Schönbrunn Orchestra on August 25. The festival will take place in the historical center of Side this year: Festival goers will meet some of the world's most renowned and proud artists and groups such as the Dagestan Folk Dance Ensemble, Anadolu University Symphony Orchestra, "Latin ALL Stars", Ege University Turkish Folk Dances, Ayhan Sicimoglu, Turkish Symphony Orchestra, Golden Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Massimo Mercelli and Luis Bacolov Doubles, and the ENBE Orchestra

Anadolu Universitesi Orkestrasi


Beijing Senfoni Orkestrasi


An update: It's hard to believe it was eight years ago when I was last in Antalya, Turkey for the 2012 Side International Culture and Art Festival. I was planning on an extensive trip to Turkey in 2020, until the Covid 19 pandemic struck. Like many people, I had to cancel plane tickets, car rentals, hotels etc. What a mess. As I sheltered in place in NYC, it was really rather terrifying as the city went through the surge in the Spring. Now that Fall has approached restaurants and businesses are slowly opening. But I have some medical issues that make me more vulnerable, so I listen to my friends who are similarly cautious. Before the pandemic I was trying to convince my good friend Nathan, who is a respected NYC lawyer and former Queens Assistant District Attorney, to plan a trip to the festival this year, but that plan is on ice. He's adamantly opposed to flying or eating indoors and always wears a mask, even outdoors, so I'm comfortable modeling his behavior. He tells me it will be a while, maybe years before he can return to his previous nonchalant attitude. I'm hoping he's wrong, but I totally trust his judgement so a trip to Turkey is off the calendar for now. It doesn't look I will make it there in 2020. Perhaps once a vaccine has been developed that will make traveling safer, I will make the trip, hopefully with Nathan and both our families. I must admit I am really looking forward to that day.

In the meantime time I am doing a lot of cooking at home. It's actually a pleasure since my daughter gave me some stunning cast iron cookware for my birthday. She knows I love to cook. Now you may think that the 9" cast iron skillet and 12" braising pan she gave me is just your ordinary cast iron black or colored enameled cookware, but you would be mistaken. The cookware from Nest Homeware are like pieces of art due to the design of the handles, the smoothness of the cooking surface, and the color of the cookware itself when new. If you are curious check out their website, www.nesthomeware.com/. The thought that has gone into the design and production of these cast iron cookwares is like writing a piece of music. Visually the cooking surface is certainly notable. The skillets are machined smooth all the way up the sidewalls. The contrast to the textured appearance and feel of the exterior surfaces catches the eye, but it also greatly improves its cooking performance. Perhaps the most differentiated feature of these cast iron skillets is the unique handle. Apparently the designer was inspired by cherry branches, abstracted, of course. It is NOT a typical looking handle. First, it is longer than average, both in absolute dimensions and in proportion relative to the dish of the skillet basin. When the skillet is held, the handle creates a more even balance of weight, and it slows the transfer of heat to the handle when cooking. I was surprised that either a left or right handed person can easily and comfortably grip this ergonomic handle. Finally, when you see these new cast iron cookware they have a beautiful coppery glow to the smooth interior due to the pre seasoning process of using two rounds of organic flaxseed oil. Not only do the skillets have this unusual color which will eventually change, deepening and darkening over time as layers of seasoning build, finally reaching a rich black, a cook can use all the Nest Homeware cast iron products directly out of the box!

So until I can safely travel, I will listen to the Turksoy Chamber Orchestra, Golden Trombone Orchestra, and Beijing Symphony Orchestra among others on YouTube while whipping up a wagyu steak for dinner or fried eggs for breakfast.



Dear all,

Since the early ages, people have traveled for different purposes such as religion, wars, conquests, trade, migration and curiosity. However, cultural intentions have always been the leading causes of travel.

I would like to greet you as the mayor of Side, the ancient city of Side, such an exceptional historical site where you are welcome among the priceless values of the ancient civilizations.

First, Side was known for its historical heritage of the ancient anatolian civilizations, the destiny of it started to change when Suat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, the brother of the great Turkish writer Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı known as the fisherman of Halicarnassus, opened a small hotel in Side. He helped local fishermen develop fishing and taught about sorts of fish. He initiated tourism by encouraging the people of Side to transform their houses to the guesthouses. Therefore, most of the local people started to welcome tourists by preparing and offering one room of their houses to these tourists. In the beginning, they did not even demand money from the tourists and welcomed them as their guests.

After 1975, a small number of little hotels and business popped up. Since 1986, Side has become a spot of an international tourist attraction and the mass tourism has started.  Today Side, as being the first spot of touristical initiations of Turkish history,  has the capacity of 150.000 beds welcoming 30 % of all the tourists in Turkey. In addition, to have the privilege to offer various historical alternatives, Side has become to be well-known for the International Side Culture and Art Festival in corporating artistic performances in the historical open air venues of Side for the last 11 years.

In order to promote tourism throughout the whole year, “Cultural Tourism”, one of the touristical alternatives, plays a great important role as the the main solution for Turkey. Tourism did not start with holiday travels, but by people moving from one place to another to discover the unknown, to see the unseen and with the intuition to learn; it started for cultural purposes. Cultural tourism, in the broadest sense, is to witness and share the historical and national values of the visitors’ destination spot.

Therefore, it is a great pleasure to see the realization of what I had dreamed of twelve years ago by believing in the contribution of such an organization to the cultural tourism at Side and in Turkey and today this can be recognized from all parts of the world. Since the festival has become one of the main reasons to travel to Side for many people, Side has become a privileged town also by its festival. It also has become into prominence by its festival and a best evidence for this was on 10 April 2010, the Side International Culture and Art Festival was accredited as a member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) at the general assembly held in the city of Merano in Italy.

In addition to its worldwide popularity in tourism, now Side also attracts masses with its festival.  Until this year we have hosted Turkish and International renowned musicians and performers  and in the 12th year we will successfully fulfill this year’s programme adding value to its quality.

While it is of great importance to keep the track of their history for countries’ future, it is also important to prepare and realize it too. When the developed communities are examined, it is clearly seen that  civilizational attempts are made on purpose with the historical conciousness.

With the power of our historical values, we see our festival as the symbol of permanancy and an important heritage that will be left to the future generations.

Celebrating the 11th year and with the joy of getting prepared for the 12th year of Side International Culture and Art Festival, I would like to thank to the festival team and those who have devotedly contributed to the festival and also I would like to thank and present my compliments to the Prime Minister of Turkey, The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the governship of Antalya, the tourism investors of our region, of all the merchants and craftsmen in Side and their associations and the community of Side for their precious support and contributions which help us to continue to organize this festival.

A.Kadir Uçar
Mayor of Side

Antik Tiyatro




From Art Director

A Festival that rises out of the history,

The era we live in speeds up our lives every day. We all need to keep up with the pace of this new age in order to adapt ourselves to it. While organizing a festival what I really believe is the importance of future planning. We should proceed and improve our values we already own by following the developments in technology, science, culture and arts. The social, cultural and political effects, culture and art creates on tourism today, plays an important role especially on international economic and political relationships.

With the awareness of this significance, still being the honored mayor of Side, Mr. A. Kadir Uçar initiated Side International Culture and Art Festival 12 years ago here upon this consciousness. To initiate, to continue and every year to bring it one step forward could only be possible by his supportive and reliable team. Today, Side International Culture and Art Festival progress rapidly thanks to its team working peacefully and with team spirit in order to achieve its aim. Within the geography of our country, Side Ancient City sheltering many qualities in it is full of excitement to host local and international tourists. The festival will have the audiences realize summer night dreams under the stars in the middle of history will also contribute to the promotion of the country.  Almost 7% of international capital is invested in tourism sector. Around the world and in our country, tourism is regarded as crucially important and as tourism tendencies gain varieties, new places and new types of tourism start to attract people’s attention. Due to being one of the important various touristic attractions, our festival with its quality programme is highly spoken of in Turkey and around the world. Common tourism policy created by means of our festival, leads to improve intercultural rapprochement and multiculturalism. Spreading gradually, cultural tourism has become more effective than ordinary tourism to provide cross-national cooperation. What remain in the memories of the guests in a certain touristic spot are the quality artistic events they attend. The reason why the guests are trying to arrange their holidays in Side the same period as the festival is the best example for this. In the light of foregoing, I am excited to be with you during the realization of another festival. I would like to thank all individual contributors, institutions and foundations, local-national press and our honored Mayor and wish you will enjoy the festival.

Remzi Buharalı

Art Director

Win Up


Alena Baeva




During the ancient history, the performances and entertaining events that were displayed to the audiences in the Ancient Theatre were always free of charge and open to public. Just like today, the events are all free of charge courtesy of the Municipality of Side at the International Culture and Art Festival.

As Side was one of the most important harbor cities of Minor Asia during the Ancient, Roman and Hellenistic eras, it was always adorned with glorious architectural monuments by these civilizations. Where Side is located today was named as Pamphylia in the ancient times. Today, the region hosts Antalya, Aksu, Ancient Sillyon, Aspendos and Alanya.

The Pamphylians founded admirable cities and left monumental architectural masterpieces to Side, Aspendos, and their capital city Perge. Thanks to archeological excavations, Side and other Pamphylian Ancient Cities have been presented to the cultural tourism and have been indicated as one of the cities that have the most invaluable archeological heritage of the world.

Recognized as the largest theatre of Ancient Pamphylia Region, Side Ancient Theatre is the only example with its plan and structure in Anatolia. In the 2nd century AD, it was constructed on colossal vaults and it had the perfect acoustic. As Side was built on a flat area, it was constructed like the Roman Empire Theatres and its upper seating area was heightened as the surface enabled and the lower parts lay on an arched foundation. Due to this, when compared to the ancient theatres leaning against a hill in Ancient Greek theatre architecture of Eastern Mediterranean, Side Theatre has less sloped. It was built for a seating capacity of 15.000-20.000 people.

The Ancient Theatre consists of three main parts: Seating Rows, Orchestra and Stage Building. The audience was seated in the area called Cavea or Auditorium in accordance with their social status. Between the Auditorium and the Stage there was a space called Orchestra where the choir and the musicians of Ancient Greek Theatres appeared. The word orchestra derives from a Greek word meaning “a dancing place”. The Orchestra is a little larger than a semi-circle according to the Hellenistic tradition. In later times, it was surrounded by a thick wall which prevented the front seat audience from the clear sight of the stage. This wall was covered with a waterproof pink plaster preventing the orchestra area to fill with water as from time to time it was used to perform the reenactment of the naval wars on stage and for other sports. Undoubtedly, this arena was also used for ferocious animal fights. During these shows, these animals were fighting each other or against gladiators. Even armless people, criminals, slaves and prisoners were left helpless in front of these animals to a cruel audience full of joy and excitement.

The 63-meter-long Stage Building rises behind the Orchestra on a spacious podium, most probably built as the same height as the Auditoruim. The front part of the Stage Building was richly adorned with columns, statues and niches. The place where the performers were standing on was called Proskenion. Behind the Proskenion, there used to be the back wall called Scaenae frons which formed the ornately decorated background of the theatre stage. This stage wall was called as Skene in Ancient Greek. The lower part of this wall was covered with reliefs describing mythological events. The passageways from the Stage to the Orchestra were called Parodos. Parodos were covered with vaults and crossed with Auditiorium. With two chapels on both edges of the Auditorium and where the priests would be seated we

re clearly shown on the inscriptions that Side Ancient Theatre was used as an open air basilica during 5th-6th centuries. Until the restorations in the area are completed, the reliefs of the Stage Building have been moved to the Agora.

The Agora behind the stage wall and Auditorium on the two-storey vaulted construction were leaning against the main avenue and this was enabling the citizens to enter the theatre easily and quickly.The horizontal aisle separating the lower and upper seating rows of Auditorium was called Diazoma in Ancient Greek. The Diazoma of Side Ancient Theatre has a width of 3.30 meters. 29 seating rows at the lower part of Diazoma and 22 at the upper part can still be enjoyed by the visitors today. The steps rise through Diazoma from the outer gallery of the lower part. From the interior galleries, the steps rise to the upper parts of the theatre.

During the ancient history, the performances and entertaining events that were displayed to the audiences in the Ancient Theatre were always free of charge and open to public. Just like today, the events are all free of charge courtesy of the Municipality of Side at the International Culture and Art Festival.



 On the southwestern part of the Ancient Side peninsula are located two glorious temples dedicated to the protectors of the city, Athena and Apollo, dating back to the 2nd century AD.

Apollo is one of the most important and the most qualified deity figures of Ancient Greek and Roman Mythologies. Ideally he is depicted as a young athletic male figure, without any traces of facial hair. He is the god of the light and the sun, symbolizing truth and prophecy, having the power of cure and healing, god of music, poetry and arts, protective against plague and cureless sorrows. He is the son of “god of gods” Zeus and Leto. His twin sister in mythology is Artemis (Diane) who is depicted as “naive and pure young huntress goddess”.

The temples of Side were cited as the wealthiest and the most beautiful ones of Pamphylia. These Corinthian style temples are totally made of marble with a line of columns around. On each narrow part, there are six columns while there are ten on the wider ones. In the 5th century AD next to the temples, a huge church was built and the temples were left inside the courtyard of it. Although they were considerably destroyed, their plans and structures have been identified.  The friezes of the Temple of Apollo on the eastern part were depicted with the reliefs of the snake haired mythological figure Medusa capable of stoning the ones looking at her eyes. The temple had a partly restoration in 1992. The beautiful sunset and the rise of the full moon can be viewed from this very same spot.




Events Prior to the Festival


23 August

Winup Bandh2



24 August

Winup Bandh2


Temple of Apollo





25 August

Vienna Schloss Schönbrunn Orchestrah2


Ancient Theatre

28 August

Massimo Mercelli & Luis Bacalovh2

Massimo Mercelli, Flute – Luis Bacolov, Piano

Temple of Apollo

30 August

Golden Trombone Orchestrah2


Temple of Apollo



02 September

Türksoy Chamber Orchestrah2

Anvar AKBAROV, Conductor

Temple of Apollo

05 September

Antalya State Symphony Orchestra / Premier Concerth2

Antonio Pirolli, Conductor  - Louise Innes, Mezzo-soprano

Bülent Bezdüz, Tenor  - Mischa Schelomianski, Bass

Ancient Theatre

09 September

Enbe Orchestrah2


Temple of Apollo

13 September

Beijing Symphony Orchestrah2

Tan Lihua, Conductor - Li Biao, Percussion

Ancient Theatre

15 September

Ege University Traditional Turkish Music State Conservatoryh2

Department of Turkish Folk Dances

Temple of Apollo

18 September

Anadolu University Symphony Orchestrah2

Cem’i Can Deliorman, Conductor - Cihat Aşkın, Violin

Ancient Theatre

21 September


Daghestan Folk Dance Group

Temple of Apollo

24 September

Antalya Devlet Senfoni Orkestrasıh2

& Serkan Çağrı, Clarinet - Orhan Şallıel, Conductor

Ancient Theatre

27 September

Ayhan Sicimoğlu & Latin All Starsh2


Temple of Apollo

30 September

Side Festival Orchestrah2

Krzysztof Penderecki, Conductor
Alena Baeva, Violin

Ancient Theatre



Serkan Cagri