Annual Report 2007

Trustees' 2007 Annual Report

In 2007, the Turkish Cultural Foundation allocated a total of $ 2,595,193 in grants and direct disbursements to pursue its mission.

For a listing of all Foundation grants please visit grants page.

These funds were distributed as follows:





1. EDUCATION

The Turkish Cultural Foundation continued offering its “Turkish community schools” grant in 2007 and assisted the founding and expansion of three schools to serve children of the Turkish American community. Grants for this project were awarded to the American Turkish Student’s Cultural Association at Portland State University, the American Turkish Association of North Carolina and the Turkish American Friendship Society of US in Philadelphia

Scholarships and fellowship to support study, research and publications on Turkish culture were provided to a number of Turkish and American non governmental organizations, including the Glass Furnace Foundation (photo1, photo2, photo3), the American Research Institute in Turkey and the Turkish American Women’s Scholarship Fund.

The Foundation continued to support exchanges between young Americans and Turkey and provided funding to study abroad programs in Turkey provided through Georgetown University at the McGhee Center (photo) for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya and Northwestern University at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul.


2. CULTURAL PROMOTION

Promoting Turkish culture in the United States through partnerships with other organizations has continued to be an important mission for the Foundation in 2007. The Foundation underwrote as primary sponsor leading Turkish cultural festivals in the United States in 2007, namely in Houston, Seattle, New York and Chicago. Supporting the promotion of Turkish cinema in the United States remained on the cultural agenda of the Foundation and through its partnership with the Moon and Stars Project (photo), acclaimed Turkish films were screened at a variety of Turkish film festivals around the United States. This year, a special grant was given to Moon and Stars Project to screen a retrospective on famed Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz at the Lincoln Center Film Society. Celebrations of Turkish culture at various American universities and museums also received sponsorships by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

Last year, the Turkish Cultural Foundation began to support the participation of Turkish artists at the Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Exposition – SOFA (photo1, photo2, photo3) as well as the Istanbul Design Week (photo) by opening Turkish Cultural Foundation booths and inviting established and aspiring Turkish artists to present their work to audiences. 

Answering the great interest in America about Mevlana Celaladdin Rumi, the Turkish Cultural Foundation underwrote a number of cultural programs in conjunction with American art institutions related to the 800th year anniversary of this great Turkish mystic and poet. One of these projects was organized by the Philadelphia Society for Art, Literature and Music.

Our efforts to promote Turkish culture worldwide continued with the completion of the Turkish, German, French and English versions of the Turkish Music Portal (photo) and the launch of the Turkish version of the Turkish Cuisine website. Efforts to improve and expand the Turkish Culture Portal, which remains the most visited website on Turkish culture on the internet, is also continuing.

3. PUBLIC EDUCATION / OUTREACH

The Turkish Cultural Foundation continued its activities in the area of public education and supporting such efforts of like minded organizations.

A major grant was provided to the Turkish Coalition of America, a non profit educational organization that strives to increase public awareness on issues that concern US-Turkish relations and Turkish Americans. Other public educational programs were initiated with the World Affairs Councils of America on a nation-wide scale with the cooperation of 12 local WAC councils for educational outreaches to teachers and the general public with a view to increase knowledge on Turkish culture, history and its people.

The Foundation also supported media organizations that promote Turkey in the United States and strive to increase communication in the Turkish American community, such as USA Turkish Times and Turkish American Hour.

4. PEOPLE TO PEOPLE CULTURAL EXCHANGES

As part of its partnership program with the World Affairs Councils of America, the Turkish Cultural Foundation organized two teachers study tours to Turkey in the Summer of 2007 and introduced 49 educators from 12 US cities to Turkey through a 16 day intensive tour. (photo1, photo2, photo3)

In 2007. the Foundation organized two cultural tours to Turkey in Spring and Fall 2007.  Adding Southeastern Turkey to its itinerary, participants received an in-depth exposure to the historical, cultural and natural beauties of Turkey. (photo1, photo2)

5. CULTURAL PRESERVATION / DOCUMENTATION

Spearheading and supporting projects to preserve the cultural heritage of Turkey is one of the pillars of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. The Foundation served this mission by continuing to support scientific research and documentation of the civilizations of Anatolia and Turkey’s archeological, architectural and artistic heritage through projects realized in 2007.

The Iron Age Settlements in Anatolia database inventory project undertaken by the Turkey Archeological Settlements Project, TAY Project, a Turkish ngo, received continued support from the Turkish Cultural Foundation and the hard copy version of the Inventory was completed. A similar project to prepare an inventory of all Seljuk era archeological sites and monuments has been launched in cooperation with the Foundation for the Advancement of Cultural Awareness, another Turkish ngo, as a multi-year integrated research project. (photo)

The Turkish Cultural Foundation funded a major restoration project of 118 antique at the Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi in Istanbul for exhibition during the International Oriental Carpets Conference. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4)

As part of its “Turkish Cultural Heritage” program, the Turkish Cultural Foundation completed the filming for an archival collection of plays of the traditional Karagoz Turkish Traditional Shadow Theatre. The DVD collection has been released in 2008. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4)

A grant was also provided one of the oldest musical societies in Istanbul, the Eyup Musiki Cemiyet, to expand their facilities to teach young children and adults Turkish classical music in this and lower income neighborhood of historical Istanbul. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4)

Preserving Turkish cultural heritage was also supported outside the borders of Turkey though a small grant to establish an internet cultural radio to preserve the ancient Turkic culture and language of the Chuvash people.

6. OPERATIONAL

The Turkish Cultural Foundation now operates offices in Boston, Washington, DC and Istanbul with a growing staff, as well as interns and volunteers, implementing the mission and undertaking the international work of the Foundation. (photo1, photo2)