Newsletter - February 2016

Spotlight on Turkey 2016 Program

The 2016 season of the TCF-World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) Spotlight on Turkey is in full swing with the participating 10 WACA councils organizing the Teachers' Workshop on Turkey. Teachers participating in the workshops become eligible to apply for the 2016 TCF Teacher Study Tour to Turkey. This year TCF will host 30 American teachers on the tour which will take place in July. While priority will be given to teachers residing in the council areas listed below, councils may allow out of area teachers to participate in their programs and apply for the tour. For more information, contact the councils directly or send an e-mail to Please visit the TCF Education Portal to learn more about the Spotlight on Turkey program and to access lesson plans and other educational resources on Turkey. The selected Councils are: World Denver, COWorld Affairs Council, Washington, DCPacific and Asian Affairs Council, HIInternational Relations Council Kansas City, MOSanta Fe Council on International Relations, NMInternational Center of the Capital Region, Albany, NYDayton Council on World Affairs, OHCleveland Council on World Affairs, OHWorld Affairs Council of Tennessee, TNWorld Affairs Council of Seattle, WA.

Gordion Exhibition Opens

The Golden Age of King Midas, a world premier exhibition at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, opened on February 13. The exhibition, supported by a major TCF grant, will run through November 27, 2016.  The exhibition features a wide selection of objects on loan from Turkey unearthed in the main Gordion tumulus, as well as a number of important objects from the tumuli in Lydia and Lycia. These pieces will appear alongside select examples from the Penn Museum's own collections. Archaeologists from Penn have been excavating and conducting research at Gordion since 1950.


On February 11, YESAM hosted Aylin Doğan, food culture researcher and instructor, who presented a seminar on "Traditional Bread Baking Techniques of Anatolia: Pileki Bread.” This seminar discussed the history and making of pileki bread of the Black Sea’s Rize region. Pileki bread is a type of corn bread that is cooked in a container made out of pileki stone found in the mines of Rize. Past YESAM lectures are periodically uploaded for online viewing on the TCF Video Gallery. The latest additions are the lecture videos on the Tastes of the Ilgaz and Küre Mountains by Nedim Atilla and the lecture by Aylin Öney Tan on the Culinary Culture of the Antique City of Sagalassos (both presented in Turkish).

Turkish cooking traditions are highlighted every month with the YESAM Recipe of the Month, which features “KESTANELİ LAHANA SARMA” (CABBAGE ROLLS WITH HERBES, RICE AND CHESTNUTS).

TCF-YESAM Culinary Tours

YESAM took a group of food enthusiasts to a pine nut harvest tour in the Kozak and Bergama region on February 26-28. The group, guided by author and food culture researcher Nedim Atilla, had the opportunity to visit the vast pine forests of the region, observe the pine nut harvest and breaking of the pine cones, visit the antique cities of Pergamon and Perperene, and enjoy delicious meals at local eateries.

TCF Grant Underwrites Nazım Hikmet Poetry Festival

TCF provided a grant to support the 8th Annual Nazım Hikmet Poetry Festival organized by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina (ATA-NC). Supported by TCF since its inception, the festival will be held on April 10, 2016 at the Page Walker Arts & History Center in Cary, NC. Celebrating the life and poetry of Nazım Hikmet, regarded widely as the greatest Turkish contemporary poet, the festival also pays tribute to a different international poet each year.  This year's festival focus is the Turkish poet Rumi and the selected poet is Betty Adcock. Finalists of an international poetry competition which is organized alongside the Festival will read their poetry at event with other noted poets. Scrapbooks of past festivals' winning poems can be ordered here.

TCF Supports Exhibition of Anatolian Kilims

A TCF grant will support an exhibition of Van kilims by Hisar Anadolu Destek Derneği at the Turkish Consulate General in Zurich, Switzerland from March 16-22, 2016. The exhibition will feature kilims woven in ateliers set up in Van after the 2013 earthquakes, a project supported jointly by Armaggan and the TCF Cultural Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory-DATU. Several Van kilims of the Anatolian Kilims collection by Armaggan will be presented in the exhibition, which will also feature talks by experts on Turkish kilims and three of the local weavers.

TCF Grant Underwrites Turkish Story Time

Makam New York has received a TCF grant in support of its project Turkish Story Time. The project will bring children and their caregivers together to learn about Turkish culture by reading stories in Turkish, learning rhymes and riddles, being introduced to Turkish musical instruments, and working on literacy. The stories and materials will also be available on Makam New York's website, and the program will be video recorded and streamed online.


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