Solar Beach in Kilyos on the northern coast of Istanbul was the setting for an extraordinary International Year of Astronomy, 2009 event. Under the guidance of the Istanbul Kültür University (IKU), 100 people spent the 4th-9th July creating telescopes by hand – including grinding their own mirrors to different calibrations. On the tenth of July, the telescopes participated in the 3rd Amateur Astronomy Symposium. Then on July 11th, STARFEST2009, a giant star party, was held on the beach using the telescopes and many more donated by their manufacturers. The event was opened by an open air concert by Ajda Pekkan.
Following the week, it is hoped that the participants, more than half of which are teachers, will share their new telescopes with others.