Newsletter - April 2013

TCF/WACA Select 2013 Turkey Study Tour Teachers

55 American middle and high school teachers have been selected by TCF and chapters of the World Affairs Councils of America in 14 cities/regions across the United States and will be participating in the 2013 TCF Teacher Study Tours. The 14-day study tours will take place in the summer of 2013.

TCF Selects 2013 Academic Fellows

TCF has awarded 16 scholars for its 2013 Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art. The TCF Fellowship is designed to support research and publications on Turkish culture and art with the goal of increasing knowledge of Turkey's cultural heritage. Since its launch in 2007, 68 scholars have been awarded this TCF academic fellowship.

Istanbul Synagogues on TCF Culture Portal

A new section was added to the TCF Turkish Culture Portal on Istanbul's Synagogues. Prepared by Dr.Sumiyo Okumura, TCF's Resident Art Historian, the section includes information and photos on 20 active synagogues in Istanbul.

TCF Istanbul Lectures

The TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art at the TCF Istanbul office featured Dr. Evangelia Balta, National Hellenic Research Institute, who spoke on "The Image of the Turkish-Speaking Christians in Modern Greek Literature” on April 2nd. On April 3rd, Dr.Hamza Gundogdu of Ataturk University spoke on “The Crossroads of Civilization: Ani - Georgian, Armenian and Seljuk at the Russian Border.” For more information on upcoming TCF lectures, please visit here. The TCF lectures can be viewed online at the TCF Video Gallery.

TCF/YESAM Lectures

In April, the TCF Culinary Arts Center (Yemek Sanatlari Merkezi - YESAM) in Istanbul hosts two lectures highlighting various aspects of Turkish cuisine. A lecture on “The Breads of Anatolia through the Ages” by Nedim Atilla took place on April 10. The lecture was followed by a tasting of the various types of bread in Anatolia where participants sampled 20 different breads baked by the chefs of Nar Lokanta. On April 24, YESAM will present a lecture by Mr.Atilla on “The Tastes of Seferipazar,” a Cittaslow certified Turkish city. Unless otherwise noted, YESAM lectures are presented in Turkish. An English summary of each lecture is provided on the YESAM website and the lectures can also be viewed online at the TCF Video Gallery.


Dr. Ozanay Omur, Senior Scholar at TCF-DATU, visited Mersin on invitation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s Directorate on Traditional Arts in order to assist the city in identifying cultural heritage items which can be promoted during the Mediterranean Olympics to take place in Mersin in June 2013. Dr.Recep Karadag, Senior Scholar at TCF-DATU, will present a paper on “Bringing back History in Natural Dyeing” at a conference at the Abant Izzet Baysal University in Bolu on April 25.

TCF Sponsors "Design: Istanbul-New York"

A major grant by TCF will underwrite a debut exhibition by Turkish designers at Wanted Design in New York City on May 17-20. Organized by the American Turkish Society, “Design: Istanbul-New York” will feature seven creations by Turkish designers Hande Akcayli and Murat Kocyigit of Mashallah, Ali Bakova, Umut Demirel, Tamer Nakisci, Koray Ozgen, Erin Turkoglu and Melodi Bozkurt, and Can Yalman. The designers were selected by an international jury of acclaimed design professionals and industry leaders. The event is also supported by Armaggan Art and Design Gallery.

TCF Grants Supports Modern Dance

TCF provided a second year grant to NY2Dance, a non-profit dance theatre company in the US, under the artistic direction of Nejla Y.Yatkin, an acclaimed Turkish American  dancer and choreographer. The TCF grant helps NY2Dance's 2013 performances at the Bates Dance Festival at Bates College in Maine, the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York, the Family Theater of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. and an international dance festival in Lima, Peru.

TCF Turkish American School Grant

The Turkish American Association of Minnesota was awarded the TCF Turkish American School Grant. TCF institutionalized this grant in 2005 to provide start-up funding for the establishment or  expansion of weekend schools for Turkish American children. Since its inception, 16 community schools received the TCF school grant, some for multiple years.

Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival Concludes

Sponsored by TCF since its inception, the 5th Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival took place on April 14 in Cary, North Carolina. Organized by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina, the festival celebrates poetry and honors the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. This year's festival again featured a poetry competition, which received 800 poems from 272 poets across the United States and the world. Every year, the festival focuses on one poet of international stature and selected Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish for this year's  festival.

Istanbulive5 Turkish Rock Showcase

Istanbulive, an annual celebration of Turkish contemporary music, took its storied showcase on the road with Istanbulive5. Sponsored by TCF since 2009, Istanbulive5 highlighted Turkish Rock, featuring leading Turkish rock bands Gripin, Manga, Mor ve Otesi and New York Gypsy All Stars with a special showcase at the SXSW festival in Austin, as well as concerts on the East Coast. In addition to full houses in Boston, DC and New York City, the SXSW showcase attracted legions of fans, industry experts, media and tastemakers. To top off the success of the event, Billboard Magazine picked Gripin as one of the Top 20 break-out acts based on social media metrics.

Turkish Classical Music Workshop Concludes

The Second Annual Turkish Music Institute Workshop organized by Makam New York took place on April 5-9, 2013. Sponsored by TCF for the second year, the intensive workshop provides musicians the opportunity to learn Turkish makam music from its finest practitioners. This year's workshop opened with a concert titled "Sounds of the Bosphorus" on April 4 at Symphony Space on Broadway.

Makam New York brought master musicians of Turkish classical music, Yurdal Tokcan (oud), Ross Daly (orchestration and composition), and Omer Erdoğdular (ney), and Ahmet Erdoğdular (singing and vocal improvisation), to New York City. The workshop was attended by 25 students, some of whom traveled from the East Coast, Canada, and even North Africa.