The Turkish branch of OGAE (Official Eurovision fanclub) has been planning what seems to be the most original and bustling schedule for fans, who will be arriving in Istanbul for the Eurovision Song Contest this May.
OGAE Turkey's president, Dr. Aykut Berber informed us with the plan, which is far more detailed than in recent years. Firstly, OGAE Turkey has come up with the idea of the Arkadash (Friend) project. According to this project, every group from a national branch of OGAE who will be coming to Istanbul, will have it's own host guide, a member of OGAE Turkey, who will assist and show the visitors the best Turkish hospitality. Upon landing in Istanbul, every OGAE member will receive from his or her Arkadash a special welcome pack.
Further more, a social schedule was arranged for OGAE members, during their time in this year's Eurovision capital. The Seal Cafe in the Taksim area will serve as a meeting point for the fans who wish to relax and meet each other, while listening to Eurovision music. OGAE members will also be celebrating at the Seal Cafe on May 13th afternoon, as the TR-GR-IL@Istanbul party kicks off. 'Istanbul can be considered as the second Jerusalem of the world as the city combines the Christian, Jewish and Islam culture all together in a peaceful way', says Dr.Berber and adds: 'This is a special party that is arranged by the collaboration of OGAE Turkey, OGAE Israel and OGAE Greece' (Other OGAE members are welcomed of course, just contact while in Istanbul). The Seal Cafe will also be the place to watch May 12th qualifying round, for those who will not attend the area.
Barbahce (Taksim area) will be the official nightclub for OGAE members visiting Istanbul. 'Taksim is the heart of Istanbul as some of you know, and since Istanbul is a very big city that you have to spend even more than an hour (in traffic) to reach the venue and the official hotel's Euroclub, Barbahce will be our dance point to meet and dance by night', says Dr.Berber. Monday night at the club will also feature Eurovision shows.
Another occasion which Dr. Berber strongly advises us not to miss is The Big Eurovision Night: Nightvision, planned for May 14th at the SAFRAN – LIMAN, with the panorama of the old city, in front of a spectacular St Sophia and Blue Mosque. In this party, fans will be able to meet past Turkish entrants to Eurovision (20% discount in entrance fee for OGAE members). To relax before Saturday's grand final, OGAE members will have the possibility to enjoy wine or beer while having a guided promenade in Beyoglu.
'Eurovision is to be celebrated by TV channels and people, as usual every year, but exceptionally, this year, OGAE Turkey would like to see all OGAE fans share the same joy all together', says Dr. Berber and this schedule seems to be promising it.