- January 26, 2014
- Johannesburg, South Africa
A hearty welcome to all participants and guests to the 143rd edition of the Forum Song Contest in January 2021.
The theme for this edition is: Cappadocia - Where the Impossible Meets Earth.
This is our 4th visit to Turkey, and we have come here due to Turkey's victory in FSC #142 with Mustafa Avşaroğlu performing his composition "Listen To Your Heart".
Let us enjoy a reprise of that stunning performance:
Our Host location for this FSC-edition is Göreme, Turkey.
Göreme is a small town in the Nevşehir Province in Central Anatolia in Turkey. It also lies within the historical region of Cappadocia. It has a population of about 2000 people. The town is centered in the middle of an internationally popular region that is best known for its natural rock formations, often called "fairy chimneys". As the most attractive settlement of the region, Göreme is an unsurpassed example of the harmony of man and nature. People still live in the rock houses or use them as storerooms today, displaying an immense reverence for volcanic earth and history. The village of Göreme not only has rock houses, but also rock restaurants and rock hotels which all visitors find amazing. The natural boundaries of the city are drawn by the high rocks surrounding it and the fairy chimneys within; it's a place that offers unbelievable natural treasures. Göreme is most well known for tourism offerings such as Hot Air Baloon rides, ATV rentals and tours, and guided regional tour buses.
Cappadocia - Where the Impossible Meets Earth
Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and elsewhere. Other notables sites include Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.
Cappadocia is a historical region of Turkey, lying in Central Anatolia, in the heartland of Turkey. The area is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features. The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits.
The History of Cappadocia goes back to the late Bronze age, when it was the homeland of the Hittite Empire centred at Hattuza. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, the region fell under a sort of feudal aristocracy, which eventually came under the rule of the Persian Empire under King Darius, but retained its local rulers. After Alexander the Great ended the Persian Empire, the area became part of his empire, but under the rule of Persian aristocrats.
During the Roman era, the area became home to Christians retreating from Rome. Christianity prevailed as the primary religion in the region, which is evident from many rock churches that can still be seen today. The Christians remained until the Arab raids of the 6th and 7th centuries. During this time many fortifications were built, and the population receded into the caves. Finally, after 1071 various Turkish clans under Seljuk leadership began settling in the area, and most of the population converted to Islam, with the remainder becoming the Cappadocian Greek population.
By the 15th century Cappadocia had become part of the Ottoman Empire, where it remained for several centuries, and today it forms part of the modern state of Turkey. In the early 18th century, a new urban centre, Nevşehir was founded as regional capital, a role it serves until today. In 1985, the Göreme National Park and the Rock sites of Cappadocia was inscribed in the Unesco list of World Heritage Sites.
Today, the area is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features. Around Göreme, several rock-hewn churces and the fairy chimneys can be seen. Historical mansions and cave houses can also be seen, and there are underground cities at Kaymakli, Derinkuyu and Ozkonak, among others.
One of the most popular activities in Cappadocia is hot air ballooning to view the surrounding landscape and rock formations, available from Göreme. Trekking and hiking is also popular, and ATV's are available for hire as another great way of touring the surrounding area. The area also boasts several cave hotels for another other-worldy experience.
The Fairy Chimneys, the rock formations that have made Cappadocia one of the most popular destinations in Turkey emerged due to a geological process that began millions of years ago. Ancient volcanic eruptions blanketed the region in thick ash, which later solidified into a soft rock called ‘tuff’. When the natural forces of wind and water (erosion) did their work, only the harder elements were left behind to form the ‘fairy chimneys’ that can be seen today, stretching as far as 130 feet into the sky.
Our Host Venue for this magical FSC-Edition is the Göreme Open Air Museum.
The Göreme Open-Air Museum resembles a vast monastic complex composed of scores of refectory monasteries placed side-by-side, each with its own fantastic church. It is obviously the first sight to be visited by any traveler in Cappadocia, standing as it does in the very center of the region with easy access from all directions. It is only 15 minutes walk (1.5km, 1 mile) from Göreme village center. It contains the finest of the rock-cut churches, with beautiful frescoes (wall paintings) whose colors still retain all their original freshness. It also presents unique examples of rock hewn architecture and fresco technique. It is within the open spaces of this Open-Air Museum that we will enjoy the entries of this edition, surrounded by the extraordinary landscape and natural beauty.
Our gracious hosts for this edition are Demet Evgar and Çağatay Ulusoy.
Demet Evgar, born 18 May 1980, in Manisa, Turkey, is a Turkish actress known for her roles in feature films and TV series. She also pursues an active career as an actress in theatre where she had made her debut. She has founded theatre institutions such as "Pangar", "Hata Yapım Atölyesi", "Müşterek", "Multi Arts Production". She won "Best Comedy TV Series Actress" at the 37th Golden Butterfly Awards in 2010, and "Best Actress in Comedy" at the 23rd Sadri Alisik Theater And Cinema Awards in 2018. In 2018 she was chosen "Woman of the Year" by GQ Turkey.
Çağatay Ulusoy, born 23 September 1990 in Itsanbul, Turkey, is a Turkish actor and model who started his acting career in the TV series Adını Feriha Koydum (2011–2012) as Emir Sarrafoğlu. Since then, he has had further lead roles in Medcezir (2013–2015), a remake of the television series The O.C., in the TV series İçerde and since 2018 he plays the lead role in the first Turkish Netflix series The Protector. In 2016 year he became the face of "Colin's" in Turkey and with Victoria's Secret model Taylor Hill acted in the commercial Bize Uyar for the company.