Global hit / Geo answer

The World
The World

Women’s role in the boardroom is the focus of today’s Geo Quiz. We’re looking for a Scandinavian country.

This country has a rule that says women must make up 40 percent of any company’s board of directors. That’s created some problems for male board members.

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Some of them have had to step aside to let women take their place. In the end, though, this Scandinavian country has succeeded in meeting the 40 percent mark.

That’s better than any other country.

Here in the United States, for instance, only around 15 percent of Fortune 500 board seats are filled by women.

So which European nation tops the rankings when it comes to women in the boardroom?

We’ll have the answer here…

The answer to our Geo Quiz, by the way. The country with the highest female representation on corporate boards is… Norway.

Finally today, our global hit comes from Istanbul, Turkey. It features a liquorice stick man — that’s what they call a clarinet player, you know. Here’s the World’s Alex Gallafent.

I was in Istanbul to report a bunch of other stories. But there was one musician I really wanted to hear before I left. His name is Selim Sesler.

One British newspaper dubbed Sesler ‘the Coltrane of the clarinet’. So, I found myself at this tiny – frankly, a little bit dingy – club just off Istanbul’s main shopping drag. When I got there, I found an office party in full swing – with a soundtrack from Abba.

Turns out I was early.

Finally, Selim Sesler and his band arrived. They started warming up. The musicians had the air of… mystical accountants. Suits. Ties. With ghostly sounds wafting from the stage and then, all of a sudden:

A tune called, ‘Butcher’s Air’ It also features on Selim Sesler’s album, Anatolian Wedding.

Selim Sesler lives in Istanbul. But he comes from Kesan, a village in northwestern Turkey. His family moved there from Greece in the population exchanges of 1923 – the year modern Turkey was founded.

Around 9 or 10, he started playing with the town’s master musicians. By 14 he was playing clarinet at local weddings.

?It’s like having a ‘little orchestra’. In a small room, if you have three, four or five people, you can make a great sound.?

?The clarinet is just like the human voice. If you’re going to play good clarinet – when it’s a REALLY good performance, sometimes the audience will CRY. It gives you the same feeling as the human voice.?

You’ll find Selim Sesler’s album on the shelves in Istanbul. But, playing in that small club, he seemed like a hidden treasure. Even if his name is getting bigger elsewhere in the world.

?Some foreigners came looking for me and they all went to kesan… But I’ve lived in Istanbul for 30 years… If they want to meet me, they have to come here.?

I think that counts as invitation.

For The World, I’m Alex Gallafent.

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