Those interested in learning about Turkey, its languages and culture should look no further than the Yunus Emre Institute (YEI) in London. Since opening its doors on Maple Street, Fitzrovia, in 2010, the YEI has been busy building cultural bridges between Britain and Turkey through sponsoring concerts, curating exhibitions, housing a well-stocked Turkish library, and running Turkish language courses.
The growing interest in all things Turkish has led to YEI diversifying its courses. Today, you can not only learn Turkish, but also Ottoman Turkish, calligraphy, Turkish arts and traditional Turkish musical instruments.
With the onset of the new academic year, YEI still has a few places left on its courses for ney, Turkish language and calligraphy. But hurry – registration ends at the end of this month, as classes start immediately after.
Turkish Language Courses
The YEI’s new term for Turkish classes begins on Wednesday 28th September 2016, with classes for all levels beginner through to advanced. Students who enrol for the first time need to book an appointment for a Placement Test to determine their proficiency in Turkish.
Classes a held weekly, two hours in the evening (6.30-8.30pm) mid-week and run for 15 weeks. A certificate is awarded to all who successfully complete the course.
Course fees for the year are £140, which includes all course materials. Beginner classes are already full. However, by applying now you can get on priority listing on the waiting list for the next round.
This 8-week course introduces you to the highest form of Islamic art ‘Hüsnühat’ – the practice of beautiful writing. It is also a practical introduction to Islamic/Arabic writing, providing participants a step-by-step guide to writing the Arabic alphabet.
The course is run by Gulnaz Fatima Mahboob, a qualified teacher and Islamic Calligrapher (hattat), authorised and classically trained in Istanbul by the renowned Master Calligrapher Hasan Celebi (read more about her here).
Students will be shown how to construct each letter through basic strokes and learn the traditional practice, tools and materials used for hüsnühat. They will be given an insight into the traditional methods of hüsnühat, with the emphasis placed on physical hand instruction and demonstrations.
They will be encouraged to explore and experiment, learning to cut and prepare a traditional reed qalam (calligraphy pen), analyse the measurements for the Arabic letters, practice the pen angles from thick to thin strokes, and progress through shapes to write out the alphabet.
The course is open to people of all abilities and background including those who have an interest in writing. No knowledge of written or spoken Arabic is required. Participants with prior experience of calligraphy can attend.
Courses are held weekly on Saturday afternoons from 1-4pm. The fee of £230.00 includes course materials. Participants can choose one of two start dates:
Autumn course: Saturday 1st October – Saturday 19th November 2016
Spring course: Saturday 8th April – Saturday 27th May 2017
The Turkish ney is an end-blown reed flute and an Ottoman variation on the ancient ney that was played by Persians and others in the Middle East. This, the Turkish tanbur lute and Turkish kemençe fiddle are instruments most commonly associated with Turkish Classical music. The ney is also used during the Mevlevi Sufi ceremonies.
Murat Ferhat Yegül runs the ney courses at the YEI, offering both beginner and intermediate courses. Students receive group and individual instruction, and can buy their own ney or borrow one for the duration of their course. For group classes, students will play using uniformly tuned neys to ensure that everyone is playing in harmony with a standard ney. Students can use their own neys in individual classes.
About Murat Ferhat Yegül: he graduated from the Ney Department of Classical Turkish Music Conservatory at Selcuk University in Konya in 2005. He learnt the ney under the expert instruction of master ney players Sadrettin Ozcimi, Suleyman Yardim and Emrah Hatipoglu. Prior to this, he studied Western Music in the Trombone Department of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts at Bilkent University, Ankara (1996-2000). Yegül is a ney maker and before moving to the UK, was a lecturer in the Music Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, at Erciyes University, Kayseri. In currently teaches the ney at SOAS, University of London, and at YEI.
See a performance of the ney by Murat Ferhat Yegül on Youtube here:
Those interested in taking up the course should register by Friday 30th September. The first class, on Saturday 1st October, is an introductory session and is free of charge, allowing prospective students a taster of the course and this special instrument.
The YEI’s ney course run weekly on Saturdays: 12 midday-2.30pm for beginners, and 3.30pm-6pm for intermediates. All classes are in English, with students given a choice of course materials in either English or Turkish. The course fee is £120, covering two terms, each lasting eight weeks.
Autumn term: Saturday 1st October – Saturday 19th November 2016
Spring term: Saturday 8th April – Saturday 27th May 2017
Venue: Yunus Emre Institute – London, 10 Maple Street London, W1T 5HA
More info and registration: for a course application form and terms email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mrs. Emel Albayrak on 0207 387 3036