Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum, Ankara Castle 30 May 2016

“There are no heroes in chess.”
Cory Evans

“There are more adventures on a chessboard than on all the seas of the world.”
Pierre Mac Orlan

A Surrealistic Monday

After their heart-touching themes of “Curricula Vitae” in 2013 and “Codes and Symbols” in 2014, we are at Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum in Ankara Castle, a Guinness record holder place with tens of chess sets, along with TEDx Ankara Citadel. Awaiting upcoming special moves, we have lined up across the opposite sides of the giant chessboard… As you will hear the details of the game from me in a moment, there are no heroes in this game and there will not be any… They are having their own adventure... As we learned in this place, there are no heroes in chess, but there are more adventures than all the seas of the world. Our adventurers are artists, cooks, engineers, diplomats, doctors, kids, and many others… They brought ‘Muse’, a mutual heartbeat from different lives, adding value to person and community, effort of increasing life quality, bright ideas to our giant chessboard.

Muse, the source of inspiration. Nine daughters of Zeus. Even the words of ‘music’ and ‘museum’ are originated from it. And there are muses all around the museum this morning. Some of us looked for inspiration in ourselves; some of us in dance and art; while some of us were looking for it in a place, or a child, or a little bird…

Our opening in chess: A spiritual journey with yoga instructor Seda Özsoy. An effort to reach enlightenment through moment of isolation. The way to become in the moment. Sometimes along a step, sometimes along a light-year. While growing roots to earth through our feet, and reaching to sky above our heads, at the moment of realizing self and contact in limbo, and while reaching out to spiritual one from earthly one, we say Namaste! The source of inspiration is within ourselves.

An another move by Can Atilla; “Is inspiration within ourselves?” Does the favor we asked from the creator with sincerity, faith, and prays come into our hearts or be heard unexpectedly? “Could an angel inspire a human?” Through his researches, our composer found out Islamic Sufism has these qualities; The Inspired Soul (al-Nafs al-mulhamah). Turns out, it is really possible to create a sincerely-wished miracle in a universe of all kind of broadcasts at several frequencies through a common resonance. From unteachable things to teachable things in art and creativity, this cooling and elegant hand fan in the hands of artist being converted from “inspiration” to “knowledge”.

And a move by the opponent! There are people among us who like to meet with their muses in special places. First, greeting muses at museums, art director Derya Bigalı makes her move and says, “Museums are the jewels and attraction centers of the cities. Muses offers the key to a beautiful life.” It brings creative places and cities with ability of bringing creative ideas to life, transformational effect of single inspiration on communities to halls through museums. We become lighter. Museum refines, nourishes, refreshes, and cures. Creativity, open-mindedness, and inspiration are located in museums

Another speaker meeting with muse in places is diplomat Mustafa Osman Turan. His dream was becoming an architect. When he was a kid, he and his friends would build houses with leftover woods and play together. He says, “I guess the dream of creating friendly and peaceful places has started back then.” Many years later, when he saw a sign on a chocolate factory in Brussel saying “Another world is being created here”, he unconsciously and unexpectedly found himself in that familiar feeling of his childhood games. He planned other worlds that teleports us to our feelings of past through energy and excitement coming out of the place’s influence and contact pattern. Through the desire and effort to reach his childhood and the innocent, friendly feelings of that time, and belief on playing and creating together helped him to create an extraordinary place where young ones come together. And muses are nested there as well.

Here is another speaker who is inspired through the place, father of three-year-old Akın, Mete Çakmakcı. An engineer and tech lover. Experienced all the necessities of becoming a team member, and creating environments for positive, clear and direct to point communication through his career and personal life. Extracted hints. He transferred all these experiences on construct an industrial level common adventure center. A place where different disciplines and opinions are met. In his personal life, he continues to move forward along with his son and the symbol of positive communication, “Akın’s adventure car”, by transforming routine into adventure, experiencing unformatted places, and creating places of trust and communication.

As we age, we long for our childhood days more and more. Sometimes we miss the games, sometimes the places, or flavors. We are looking for the delicious foods made by our moms and nanas with love and care. Here is a move by Master Chef Zeki Açıköz through the inspiration of this quest. He created an entertainment where local tastes are served in traditional manner. He sent talented, wise, and love-their-jobs cooks from all areas to villages, towns, aunties and grannies of rural areas. Recipes were received, and experiments were made. Unique tastes of past were brought to our days with joy. This time, inspiration was delivered to childhood, country, and old times’ dinner tables in a plate of delicious dish.

Looking at inspirational chess set in the museum, Refik Toksöz, an academician, architect, and engineer, remembered his own chess set; chess set with disabilities —wooden leg, hearing-impaired pieces—, they are moved easily on chessboard. But is it really like this in reality? Can these move be accomplished as easily as were on the chessboard? Or are there limitations all around? Refik Toksöz gives us a chance to experience the feeling of these limitations in his “empathy street” project. His source of inspiration was people with disabilities.

World gets better as we become more sympathetic towards others and try to solve their problems. Just as said by Üst-Zem kids Alper, Ediz, Efe Noyan, Ömer Akın and Fatih Efe, “Obstacles are not here to be stumbled on, they are here to be destroyed.” They have designed a walking stick to ease their moves by accompanying the feelings of vision impaired kids saying, “We have the disabilities because the way you designed the world, in our world you would have the disabilities.” They really won our hearts with this move. Participating in their disabled friends’ dreams, good thing we have these kids.

“Chess contains game, art, and science in it. The one embracing the qualities of an artist, actor, and a scientist would be unbeatable.”
Tigran Petrosian

Just like an invincible Amazon warrior move; Tighereda Kulessa. From childhood to motherhood, she had a tough fight to survive. As life challenged her, she resisted. Neither family nor community repression could stop her. She survived by dancing. She travelled around the world, volunteered all around, and helped the ones in need. As she called people to dance, she welcomed the beauties to her life. She has liberalized her life through dancing. A unique, shining, and inspired soul as she dances. A citizen of world. A dance of life to be respected and admired.

From invincible Tighereda’s life dance to a manager’s move! To Faruk Eczacıbaşı’s “Dices and Fairies”… By considering qualities of creative people, logic and learning styles, new options in education, he has planned creative places, projects, and competitions where timid and liberal muses are welcomed. In order to minimize the effects of God rolling the dices, he devoted himself to work restlessly and to increase knowledge –a source that never lessens… Through this inspiration, he is a manager who made his move by believing that there is a way to balance God’s dice roll, and it is new industry’s task to teach fishing as a whole system instead of giving a fish or teaching how to fish.

He should have migrated to warmer places just like a stork. It was not a large migratory bird, it was a little, local bird that pulled the rug of earth under Melih Özbek’s feet. A delayed meeting of his city’s habitual robin, made him question the life; asking to himself “If I overlooked at this, what else I am missing in life,” he started to track things that went unnoticed with a camera. His move of devoting himself to photographing the World shows how worthy he is to do this.

Ophthalmologist Pınar Aydın O’Dwyer wants to take us to journey in her brain through her move. Passages of her brain look like hallways of an art gallery. Colorful paintings, portraits of famous and infamous characters, muses in drawings… Long, deep looks… Even painters with scientific findings. Aydın O’Dwyer built a colorful bridge between artful aesthetical part of life and career based technical part of life. Her muse is on her hand along with the mirror directed at us in the whirlpool moments of life stages from nothing to birth and questionings of “Where am I? What am I doing? I got all the earrings and necklaces, tried all the colors, and now what?”

Jazz musician, composer, and arranger Janusz Szprot makes his polyphonic move along with Dolce Jazz Vocal Group. Here are three elements motivating the vocal group of Duygu, Damla, and Merve to work together; resonance in another way singing when other melodies are added, stories in the songs, and their interest on different colors of music. They are offering a “polyphonic story”. Beside polyphonic, there are other complementary elements for their performance; era focused accessories, gloves, hairclips, castanets, dance, choreography, and a little Dolce touch for songs. Suddenly, the chessboard fills up with joy, everyone but everyone is smiling, accompanying, Tighereda is on the stage, right by the group, increasing the enthusiasm with her passion for dance.

A move made by years long experience and love: devoted forty years of his life to educate kids in villages, academician Hüseyin Vural. Planted seeds with love, grew them with love. First they flowered, then they turned into trees. And they caressed other kids’ hairs with their leaves and branches as well. The source of inspiration for this layer by layer effect was Hüseyin the shepherd. As understood, being shepherd was not the only thing this kid cared about, he was a part time muse, too. He whispered his desire of doing something for kids’ education to our teacher’s soul. Since then, our teacher devoted his life to educate village kids and provide opportunities for unfortunate kids. He sent books, in return he received thousands of letters; letters that are marvelous, full of love, colorful from the artists of future. “We have to do something for kids to relief our worries. Voluntariness... Each one of us has something to do for our loved ones and increasing those kids’ contributions to this world,” says our teacher and shows the transparent box on his hand; Those kids were just like the dried flowers that were sent with care from all around Turkey in those letters... Those heartwarming newly learned handwritings, letters falling from their lines are in the best place of our hearts... Love was right there with in its most physical form... A timid, little, and hanging off the line ‘m’, a jokester ‘u’, a mischievously smiling ‘s’, and a joyful ‘e’.

We moved forward with muses, adventurers who lifted us through their adventures just like we were on a chessboard in the museum: From the depth of the place to depth of the look, from depth of the art to depth of soul, from empathy to analysis of self through bird’s eye, to reveal your own secret in the mirror... Moves decorated by muses of logic, thoughts, creativity, science, art, and literature… All different stories. People who created their own heavens and offered them to others have shared their muses of their personal journeys. Everyone was unique; just like the pieces on the chess board, they did not have heroes, but they sure head seas of adventures. None of us is the same person who entered to this hall. We were thrown, shaken, reminded, and moved by the adventures. Stories brought us closer.

The world changed, we transformed. We have witnessed kindness, beauty, determination, invincibility, voluntariness, intelligence, and discipline; we are awakened, and we have gained strength.

A handful of people to provide us this experience. The core team members consisted of Berrin, Arzu, Ebru, Defne, Meltem, Tayfun, Şükran, and Yalın. They are TEDx volunteers with full commitment who came together to make this world better, more beautiful, more quality, more creative, more productive, friendlier place; all in short a better place to live. Wishing you to reproduce, generate and share, with our sincere thanks.

Created and hosted by Berrin Benli, TEDxAnkara Citadel’s “Muse” event was started on 30 May 2016 by Mayor of Altındağ Veysel Tiryaki’s speech, and was ended by TEDxReset Curator Ali Üstündağ’s recap of the day. Through Ebru Dilan’s, me, narration of this year’s event, TEDx Ankara Citadel made its way into history. Three ‘Muses’ fell from the sky… One for adventurers, one for our team, and one for our readers… May the muses be with you.

Ebru Dilan
30.05.2016, Ankara

Download PDF