Newsletter - June 2014

TCF Teacher Study Tours Begin

The first group of 23 teachers will arrive in Istanbul on June 29 to participate in the  2-week TCF Teacher Study Tour. This year, TCF is organizing two Teacher Study Tours for a total of 48 American teachers from across the United States.

TCF Fellow Receives Presidential Recognition

Dr.Evangelia Balta, Research Director at the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF), has been awarded the Culture and Art High Award of Turkey by  President Abdullah Gul. The award was presented to Dr.Balta for her contributions to the field of Ottoman Studies at a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace on June 11. TCF has supported the work of Dr. Balta, who is also a TCF Fellow, for many years and has helped established and sponsored the Ottoman Language Program under her direction at the NHRF for two years. Dr.Balta, a historian and descendant of Greek refugees of the Turkish-Greek population exchange, is the author of numerous books on Ottoman-Greek culture and language, especially on the Karamanli population. In her words, "I became a historian because I was interested in the history of my family, the history of the fatherland where they and their ancestors lived for centuries and which they left behind when they came to Greece. I have strived not only to establish Ottoman studies in Greece as a discipline and research subject, but mainly I have tried to build bridges of communication and cooperation between the two academic communities, the Greek and the Turkish."

Istanbulive6 Concludes

The sixth edition of Istanbulive, an annual celebration of Turkish music, and supported by TCF for multiple years, concluded on June 26, featuring numerous North America concerts by Mercan Dede and Istanbul Tribe. The concerts took place in Toronto, New York City, Chicago and Cleveland.


In June, the YESAM Seminar Series featured Dr.Efdal Sevincli on June 12 with a presentation titled "Karagoz in the Kitchen." YESAM Project Executive Banu Ozden also gave presentations on Turkish culinary heritage and presented the making of Turkish hard candy, akide sekeri, with the chefs of NAR Restaurant to visiting international groups.

Past YESAM seminar videos may be watched online on the TCF Video Gallery. Meanwhile, Turkish cooking traditions are highlighted every month with the YESAM Recipe of the Month, which features a recipe for Rose Jam for June, to celebrate the month of the Rose harvest in Turkey.

TCF Fellows Update

Mehmet Komurcu and Ahmet Ozdeniz (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellows - 2014), glassblowing masters at The Glass Furnace Foundation in Istanbul, will showcase Turkish glass art together with several Turkish glass artists at The Glass Factory Museum in Boda, Sweden as part of an exhibition at the museum, titled "Turkish Unlimited - Made in Istanbul." Glass artists Baris Can Aksakal and Hale Hendekcigil also received support under the TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship to participate in the exhibition. The exhibition will be on display at the Museum from June 14, 2014 to January 14, 2015.

Artist and designer James Thurman (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow - 2014) is participating  in the residency program at the Glass Furnace Foundation from May 15-July 17, 2014.

Léa Bouchoucha (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow - 2014), a journalist correspondent and graduate student at NYU, will participate in the Istanbul Project, organized by iei Media, on June 20-July 17, 2014.

TCF Istanbul Office Visitors

June has been a busy month for the TCF Istanbul office, which hosted several groups visiting Turkey. The groups were hosted for briefings, lectures on Turkish culinary heritage and food demonstrations at the TCF Culinary Arts Center-YESAM. The hosted delegations included members of the Foreign Press Club in Istanbul; students of the National Hellenic Research Foundation's Ottoman Language and Paleography Course, which is sponsored by a major grant from TCF; University of Massachusetts officers and alumni; students of the United World College; American Turkish Society's Young Society Leaders; and members of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans.


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