The occasion is the third Turkish Cypriot Cultural Day that has been organised by the North Cyprus Turkish Representative Office since it opened in Budapest four years ago. The massed choir formed in November 2010 and it has come over specially from the eastern Mediterranean island for two appearances in Prague and Budapest, the latter in the Ritz-Carlton ballroom on 11 September.

The "polyphonic" part of the choir’s name is easily discernible, then. But what of the "Othello" part? As the head of the North Cyprus Turkish Representative Office, Ms Selda Çimen, explains, this is inspired by three factors: the play written by William Shakespeare, Guiseppe Verdi’s famous opera of the same name, and the Othello Castle in the city of Gazi Mağusa in North Cyprus.

Representative Selda Çimen of the North Cyprus Turkish Representative Office in Budapest

Representative Çimen welcomed to the concert the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Teberrüken Uluçay, and the Republic of Turkey’s Ambassador to Hungary, Ahmet Akif Oktay, plus other guests, diplomatic and otherwise, from brotherly countries.

Ms Çimen told the gathering: "North Cyprus Turkish Representative Office in Budapest ... carries on its works on improving the relations between our country and Hungary in the fields of trade, culture, education and sports, increasing the volume of tourism as well as contributing to the promotion of our country in Hungary."

She recalled that the first Turkish Cypriot Cultural Day in 2016 had featured a folk dance group from Northern Cyprus, with performances at the Yunus Emre Cultural Institute and at Petőfi Square. In 2017, at the second such event, there had been an exhibition of the most beautiful and exceptional pieces of Turkish Cypriot handicrafts brought from the country and exhibited for a week.

Representative Çimen said: "No doubt Hungarian people give utmost importance to culture and art, and one can always find all kind of art performances like concerts and exhibitions to attend. With this in mind, this year we wanted to introduce another significant piece of our culture and we invited the Othello Polyphonic Choir. Mr Erkan Dağlı and Mrs Rana Uluçay, the choir conductors as well as the founding members of the Othello Polyphonic Choir, were kind enough to accept our invitation."

"The choir was founded in November 2010 and is continuing its efforts by including in its repertoire polyphonic Turkish Cypriot folk songs along with the world choir literature. Since its foundation the choir is in continuous improvement and has been involved in many workshops and festivals."

Erkan Dağlı, Rana Uluçay and one other member conduct the choir and provide musical accompaniment, bringing the total number of performers to 29. After the choir has finished displaying its polyphonic powers, Dağlı takes to the microphone and concludes the performance with a series of songs that has the audience clapping and singing along.

Fearlessly into the 'forbidden' land:

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