You went to Armenia recently as a jury member of the Yerevan Children’s Films Festival, how did it go from your point of view?
It is an international festival, held for the seventh time. Films for children compete in this festival. Wonderful films were displayed. It had been a great experience for me. I watched very good films and met with people from the world who are knowledgeable about this subject. I am going to say “I wish we had one”, but it seems a little distant as we have no directors who do or want to film movies for children or producers who care about this matter yet. Unfortunately, we do not attach adequate care to children’s literature either and we come from behind in every field. I hope one day we will have such festivals in our country. And appreciate children’s areas more.
A city situated at the point where Central Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia meet; exactly at the center of Anatolia called the ‘Bridge of Tribes’… That is why this region was a trade and culture center for thousands of years. The name ‘Sivas’ is derived from ‘Sebastia’ that was used in ancient periods. ‘Sebastia’ means ‘respectable, honorable’ in Greek language. Even though there is no exact information about the first founders of Sivas. The meaning of ‘Sebastia’ indicates that this city was but by Pontus Empire and dedicated in honor of the Roman Emperor Augustus.
According to the stories told by locals, before Sivas was built, there were three springs flowing under the great trees. These springs were called Sipas Waters. In time, a settlement was established around these three sacred springs and Sipas became Sivas. Tales also say that the name ’Sivas’ was derived from an ancient tribe Sipasibs or from the word ‘Sebast’ meaning ‘three watermills’ in Persian language.
Having a part in all three regions of Central Anatolia, Black Sea and East Anatolia, Sivas became a significant center during the Seljuk period and was frequently visited by the merchants because it was situated at Mesopotamia, where caravans passed through. Sivas is the second biggest in Turkey, Konya being the first that hosts most of the Seljuk monuments; thus, it is possible to observe similarities between these two cities. Sivas is the second largest city in Turkey about its surface area. It has a severe climate with rare green areas; hence, cultivated products include cereal corps, sugar beet, potato etc.