Yusuf Islam thanks Turkey for UK mosque

British singer Yusuf Islam shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Complex, in Ankara. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2017

Yusuf Islam thanks Turkey for UK mosque

ANKARA: British musician Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, met Turkey’s leader and thanked the country for its support for a mosque being built in Britain’s university town of Cambridge.
Islam, 68, recorded several major hits as Cat Stevens in the late 1960s and 1970s. He embraced Islam at the height of his fame in 1977.
“In a sense, Cambridge is the brain of the English community. For this reason, it’s very important to have a mosque that reflects British style and culture in the intellectual heart of Britain,” Islam told the state-run Anadolu news agency.
“It is great to see such support,” he added after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
The Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque in Cambridge will have room for up to 1,000 worshippers and is due to open in 2018, Anadolu said.
The Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate known as Diyanet contributed to the mosque’s construction in eastern England, the agency reported.
A smiling Islam was seen shaking Erdogan’s hand in a picture taken at the presidential palace and shared on the Turkish presidency’s website.
The two held a meeting which lasted one hour and 15 minutes, Anadolu reported.
In a tweet containing an image of the two men meeting, Erdogan said he thanked his “dear brother Yusuf” for visiting the palace and said “welcome to Turkey.”
Islam previously met with Erdogan, then prime minister, in August 2013 in a bid to get financial support for the Cambridge mosque.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Twitter he had met with Islam and others with the singer and discussed the support given by Diyanet.
Islam also praised Turkey’s “incredible” handling of the refugee crisis. Ankara says it is home to over 2.7 million Syrian refugees and 300,000 Iraqi refugees.
Late last month, US actress Lindsay Lohan met Erdogan at the palace where she gave her support for Turkey’s efforts hosting refugees.


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.