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Club Owners

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 14 December 2012

Global Gap is a series of five programmes where two people who do the same job, one from the UK and one from another country (for this week, Turkey), have a thought provoking conversation, to compare and contrast their working lives and the issues that arise in their jobs.

A predominately Muslim country, Turkey nevertheless straddles Western and Eastern culture - and the series this week focuses on the religious versus the secular, capturing the differences in attitudes and society between Turkey and UK through conversation and recordings in workplaces.

Episode 5 (of 5): Nightclub Owners
Blackpool nightclub owner Basil Newby shares his experiences with Suleyman Demir, millionaire owner of the famous Halikarnas nightclub in Turkey's fashionable Bodrum resort. Suleyman has good connections in Turkey, attracting stars on their mega yachts to the large open air Halikarnas, recently refurbished with white marble and palm trees.

Basil is equally famous in Blackpool with his drag queen show Funny Girls, who performed before the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance, and as the owner other big clubs in Blackpool. Basil often has celebrities from Coronation Street and Strictly Come Dancing, and Joan Collins opened Funny Girls to a huge crowd.

Both have had to resolve issues around bureaucracy and licensing, but in Turkey there is nothing like going to the top man. Suleyman sought permission from the former President before he used one of the largest laser beams in the world, reaching to the Greek Islands, and he was allowed to continue running the Halikarnas at night in 1984 even though there was a curfew following Turkish/Kurdish unrest.

Producer: Laura Parfitt
Reporter: Sara Parker
Executive Producer: Samir Shah
A Juniper production for BBC Radio 4.


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