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TCF Brings Turkish Contemporary Art to SOFA October 28, 2014

The Turkish Cultural Foundation and ARMAGGAN Art & Design Gallery will present seven Turkish contemporary artists at the 21st International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art-SOFA Fair in Chicago on November 7-9. This year's featured artists are Ipek Altunmaral, Gul Delemen, Meral Deger, Ipek Kotan, Cetin Pireci, Tan Taspolatoglu, and Canan Ustaoglu.

The prestigious three-day event brings together groundbreaking modern artists, sculptors, designers, curators and collectors from around the world for a series of exhibits, lectures, and discussions.

This is the eighth year that TCF has sponsored Turkish artists at SOFA and the third year that it has partnered with ARMAGGAN Art and Design Gallery in Istanbul to curate the selection. For artists featured by TCF at past SOFA fairs, please visit here.

Turkish Festival Season in Full Swing October 14, 2014

In October, Turkish Americans in Boston, Charlotte and Seattle will celebrate Turkish culture, music and cuisine at their annual Turkish festivals, sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

In Boston, Turkish culture will be celebrated through a series of events, beginning with the Turkish flag raising ceremony at the Massachussetts State Capital on Turkish Republic Day on October 29, and lasting through December 15. The 19th Boston Turkish Festival titled Colors of Anatolia is organized by the Turkish American Cultural Society of New England-TACSNE and will also feature the 9th Annual Documentary and Short Film Competition and film screenings.

The American Turkish Association of North Carolina will organize the 4th Annual Turkish Festival of Charlotte, featuring music workshops, concerts, and other cultural presentations at a day-long festival on October 25.

Turkfest Seattle, titled Faces of Anatolia, is part of a month of celebrations beginning on October 17 and lasting through November 23. The festivities are organized by the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington-TACAWA as part of the “Turkish Heritage Month,” proclaimed by the Governor of the State of Washington. It will feature Turkfest, the 1st Ahiska Turks Friendship Festival and the 2nd Seattle Turkish Film Festival.

The festivals follow the successful Turkish Heritage Month in Washington, DC, organized in September by the American Turkish Association of Washington-ATADC, which opened with a reception in the U.S. Congress, sponsored by the Turkish Coalition of America.

2014-2015 TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art October 1, 2014

The Turkish Cultural Foundation is pleased to present the following distinguished speakers and lectures in its 2014-2015 TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art in Istanbul. The lecture series will run from October 2014 through May 2015.

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures take place at the TCF Istanbul office. The lectures are open to the public and registration is required. Please check the TCF website for venue and registration information.

English Lectures:

October 16, 2014, 2:30 pm
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selim Kuru (University of Washington)
“Signatures of Sultans, Signs of Love: Uses of Turkish Language in the Ottoman Empire”

October 24, 2014, 2:30 pm
Brenna MacCrimmon (Musician, Researcher)
“Balkan Music and Turkish Culture”
Conference will be presented at the TCF Culinary Arts Center - YESAM

November 18, 2014, 4:00 pm
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yonca Erkan (Kadir Has University)
“1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention: Achievements and Global Challenges”

December 16, 2014, 2:30 pm
Prof. Dr. Savaş Arslan (Bahçeşehir University)
“Cinema in Turkey: A Multiple History”

January 13, 2015, 2:30 pm
Banu Özden (YESAM)
“Exploring Turkey's Culinary Heritage - A Look through the History, Traditions and Ingredients”

January 22, 2015, 2:30 pm
Atila Ege (World Heritage Travelers)
“UNESCO World Heritage and Turkey"

February 24, 2015, 2:30 pm
Prof. Dr. Suraiya Faroqhi (Istanbul Bilgi University)
“Artisans of Empire: Crafts and Craftspeople under the Ottomans”

March 19, 2015, 2:30 pm
Panel “Mübadele: Population Exchange between Turkey and Greece”
Prof. Dr. Evangelia Balta (National Hellenic Research Foundation)
“The Cultural Aspects of the Livelihoods of the Exchanged Greek Refugees”
İpek Özel (Istanbul Bilgi University)
“The Eternal longing for the Roots: The Culture and Traditions of the Turkish- Cretan and Greek Immigrants after the Exchange”

April 14, 2015, 2:30 pm
Prof. Dr. Doğan Kuban (Istanbul Technical University)
“Perspectives on the Future of Istanbul”

May 26, 2015, 2:30 pm
Ali Rıza Tuna (Independent Researcher)
“Back to the Future: Reconstruction of Anatolian Carpets from Renaissance Paintings”


Turkish Lectures:

November 20, 2014, 5:00 pm
Prof. Dr. Ayla Ersoy (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University)
“18. ve 19. Yüzyıllarda Türk Resim Sanatı” (Turkish Painting in the 18th and 19th Centuries)
Conference will be presented at the TCF Culinary Arts Center - YESAM

December 18, 2014, 5:30 pm
Prof. Dr. Recep Karadağ (Marmara University and TCF Historical Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory-DATU)
“Geçmişin İzlerinden Günümüz Tekstillerinde Doğal Boyaların Hayat Bulması” (Understanding and Conserving the Past and Recreating Natural Dyes for Today)

February 19, 2015, 5:30 pm
Prof. Dr. Özdemir Nutku (Dokuz Eylül University)
“Cumhuriyet Dönemi Türk Tiyatrosu” (Turkish Theater in the Republic Period)

March 17, 2015, 5:30 pm
Prof. Dr. Gönül Tekin (Ottoman Studies Foundation)
“Harvard Üniversitesi - Koç Üniversitesi - TCF Osmanlı Yaz Okulu: Kuruluşu ve Günümüze kadar Faaliyetleri” (From Past to Present: The Activities of the Ottoman Summer School of Harvard University-Koc University - TCF)

April 16, 2015, 5:30 pm
Dr. Ayşe Yetişkin Kubilay (Kırklareli University)
“Avrupa'dan İstanbul'a bakmak: İstanbul'a gelen Yabancı Ressamlar ve Gravür Ustaları” (Looking at Istanbul from Europe: The Foreign Painters and Gravures Masters who came to Istanbul)

May 21, 2015, 5:30 pm
Halil Demirdelen (Museum of Anatolian Civilizations)
“Anadolu Uygarlıkları” (Anatolian Civilizations)


Who's Who in Turkish Culture and Art Reaches 3,000 Listings September. 1, 2014

The Turkish Cultural Foundation's (TCF)  "Who's Who in Turkish Culture and Art" online database passed 3,000 listings this month. The TCF Who's Who features living Turkish artists, artisans and experts in over 50 categories such as Visual, Traditional and Applied Arts, Conservation, Music, Dance, Fashion, Cinema and Theater. It was launched in 2008 and now is the most extensive online resource on Turkish culture professionals. Constantly updated, the database includes brief biographies and contact information for each individual, along with selected images of his or her work.

The TCF Who's Who aims to promote the artistic and cultural heritage of Turkey, while supporting the international reach of Turkish culture professionals. It is hosted on the TCF Culture Portal, which receives nearly 3 million visitors annually from across the world.

Individuals are selected for inclusion through a TCF managed process. We welcome nominations for listings directly via the Portal or by email to webmaster@turkishculture.org.


Harvard summer school offers Ottoman Turkish classes on Cunda Island August. 19, 2014

Harvard and Koç University’s summer school hosts local and foreign students for Ottoman Turkish classes every year on Turkey’s Cunda Island, off the Aegean coast

Since 1997, an institute on Ayvalık’s Cunda Island affiliated with Harvard University has drawn great interest from foreigners and locals who want to learn Ottoman Turkish during the summer.

The Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School hosts students from countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Norway and Greece every year between July 1 and Aug. 15.

The founder of the school, Prof.Dr.Gönül Tekin said the classes first opened in 1997 and had been run in collaboration with Koç University since 2002. She said that although there were other schools in Turkey teaching Ottoman, their school drew more interest as it is affiliated with the prestigious Harvard University. It is also popular for its picturesque location near the Turkish town of Ayvalık, and with the Greek island of Lesvos visible on the horizon.

Prof.Tekin said people who already speak Ottoman were also choosing the school to conduct field research.

“Especially those who want to conduct research in the fields of history, history of arts and architecture.

Archive documents are available here. At first, we had around 10 students every year, but it has been around 20-22 over the last five years. The school is in great demand but we have a limited capacity and we can only accept up to 22 students at most … Most of our students come from abroad,” she said.

One of the institute’s instructors, Greek citizen Evangelia Balta, said she taught the Karaman, Turkish and Greek languages at the school. “The Ottoman Empire had many different languages. A number of nations lived in the empire and each nation used the writing of its own language. The Orthodox Greeks wrote Turkish with the Greek alphabet,” Balta said.

“The students here write are generally writing theses at universities or doing master’s degrees. Then they become academics or researchers,” she added.

Another instructor, Selim Kuru, an associate professor at Washington University’s Near East Languages and Civilizations Department, said students at the Cunda institute took five hours of classes every day over six weeks, polishing their ability to read and interpret Ottoman languages.

“It is a very important education for master’s and doctorate students to improve both their modern Turkish and Ottoman Turkish skills. Ottoman Turkish classes are very rare in Europe and U.S. students generally come on scholarships. We also help some students thanks to the support of the Turkish Cultural Foundation and Koç University … This year we started accepting students from Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Arizona, Chicago, North Carolina and Georgetown universities,” Kuru added.

An Iranian student Anna Boreschan said she was attending the school because of her interest in Ottoman literature.

Another university student, Ashly Die Mak from the U.S., said her doctorate thesis was on Ottoman tents. “I am not only learning detailed information about the huge sizes of Ottoman tents but also understanding how they were used as venues for various occasions,” Mak said, adding that her goal was to become a museum curator.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

Teacher Study Tours to Turkey

In partnership with the World Affairs Council of America (WACA), every year, TCF takes American middle school and high-school teachers to Turkey on the TCF Teacher Study Tours. Through this program, teachers enhance their classroom curriculum while exploring Turkey. Upon their return, the teachers integrate their gained knowledge into their curricula and share their experiences with their local communities through TCF-funded cultural programs on Turkey, organized by local World Affairs Councils.

As of the summer of 2014 and since the program was initiated in 2007, TCF Study Tours have taken 527 American teachers to Turkey. Two tours have taken place in the summer of 2014 for a total of 48 American teachers.

SOFA 2014 Call for Artist Applications July. 10, 2014

TCF is pleased to partner with ARMAGGAN Art and Design Gallery to showcase Turkish contemporary art at the Sculpture Objects and Functional Art - SOFA Chicago fair on November 6-9, 2014.

Having presented the works of Turkish contemporary artists at SOFA since 2007, TCF joined forces in 2012 with ARMAGGAN Art and Design Gallery, which will curate and organize the Turkish display at SOFA Chicago 2014.

Turkish artists who are interested in participating in the Turkish modern art display at 2014 SOFA Chicago are invited to send their applications to armaggangallery@gmail.com by August 4, 2014. Artists will be selected on the basis of the works that they will submit with their application.

For more information on how to apply, please visit ARMAGGAN Gallery's website.

American Teachers Embark on Journey through Turkey June. 30, 2014

The first group of a total of 48 American middle and high school teachers arrived in Istanbul  and began their 14-day journey through Turkey on the Turkish Cultural Foundation's Teacher Study Tours. The teachers were selected from among participants in the Teacher Workshops on Turkey organized under the Spotlight on Turkey 2014 program, by 10 local chapters of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) and TCF. The second group will be visiting Turkey on July 14-27. This year’s teachers hail from the states of Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia. Three Turkish teachers and one Turkish American educator will accompany the tours as volunteers with a view to further facilitate exchanges between Turkish and American educators.

The teachers began their journey in Istanbul and visit Gelibolu (Gallipoli) and Troy, Canakkale, Bursa, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Konya and Catalhoyuk, Cappadocia and Ankara. Throughout the tour, teachers will have the chance to visit and learn about world-famous cultural, archaeological, architectural and natural sites of Turkey and meet with experts, educators and representatives of Turkish civil society.

The study tours are the second tier of Spotlight on Turkey, a national educational program organized by TCF, WACA and participating WACA chapters and funded by a major TCF grant. The program consists of three stages; Teacher Workshops on Turkey, Teacher Study Tours and Portrait of Turkey cultural events for students and the general public. With the addition of this year's teachers, 527 American teachers will have visited Turkey as part of this program.

You can follow the teachers’ journey on the TCF Study Tour Blog and on Facebook and Twitter. For Comments by former participants on the TCF Teacher Study Tours and a Trailer of "Broad Horizons," a documentary on the 2010 TCF Teacher Study Tours, please visit the TCF website. To order a free copy of Broad Horizons, please send an email to washington@turkishculture.org.

YESAM Lecture Tour in the U.S. Exploring Turkey's Culinary Heritage Mar. 28, 2014

Banu Ozden, Project Executive of the Turkish Cultural Foundation's Culinary Arts Center (YESAM) in Istanbul will be speaking about Turkey's culinary heritage on a lecture tour organized by American Friends of Turkey (AFOT).

The first lecture will take place at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh on April 1, organized jointly by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina and AFOT, followed by a lecture to students at the Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 7. Ms.Ozden will then be the featured speaker at a Turkish luncheon jointly hosted by Les Dames d'Escoffier and AFOT at Cafe Divan in Washington, D.C. on April 12.  Ms.Ozden will also represent YESAM at the Roger Smith Food and Tech Conference on April 3-5 in New York, where she will present a lecture titled "From Stone Press to Continue System: The Technology that shaped the Extraction of Olive Oil in Anatolia through the Ages."

For more information on Turkish cuisine, visit the TCF Turkish Cuisine Portal.

TCF-WACA Portrait of Turkey Programs Conclude Mar. 15, 2014

From cultural fairs to Turkish cuisine events, from seminars and panels to films screenings, 14 chapters of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) highlighted Turkey in a series of events under the Portrait of Turkey segment of the TCF-WACA 2013 Spotlight on Turkey national educational program.

The final event of the series, a cooking demonstration and Turkish food tasting in Washington, DC held by the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC at the Turkish Cultural Foundation's office, rounded up the 2013 Spotlight on Turkey program, with events taking place in Minnesota, Hawaii, Peoria (IL), Santa Fe, Brookings (SD), Hartford, Dallas/Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Montana, New Hampshire, Denver and Seattle by the respective World Affairs councils in those regions. Nearly 1,200 people directly participated in the events, and over 1,000 people were reached by the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council’s Turkey exhibits at a community cultural fair. The events featured experts on Turkey, diplomats, scholars and teachers who participated in the TCF Teacher Study Tours organized every year under the Spotlight on Turkey program.

The 2014 Spotlight on Turkey program is currently underway with 10 participating World Affairs Councils completing their Teacher Workshop on Turkey - Phase I of the program. Teachers participating in the workshops are eligible to apply for the 2014 TCF Teacher Study Tours which will take place in June and July, and take 50 American teachers on two tours to Turkey.

TCF Support for Turkish Language Education University of Chicago Feb. 24, 2014

In the first year of the founding of TCF, the Trustees of the Turkish Cultural Foundation established the Ayasli Fund for Turkish Language Instruction at the University of Chicago with a $ 350,000 grant. The gift was instrumental to establish and support a Lectureship in Turkish Language Instruction at the University.

The Lectureship is now held by Dr.Kagan Arik, a scholar with a long teaching experience in Modern Turkish Language and Literature, and a background in Central Asian Turkic Studies. In addition to teaching elementary, intermediate and advanced Turkish, Dr.Arik also has been offering courses on Uzbek language and Turkic and Central Asian cultural studies, under the program.

In the last three academic years alone, 208 college and graduate students enrolled in the courses taught by Dr.Arik. According to Dr.Martha T.Roth, Dean of the Humanities Division at University of Chicago, “The generous funding from the Ayasli Fund for Turkish Language Instruction allows the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago to continue to attract and support the most ambitious and gifted scholars.”

TCF Supports Turkish Language Education
Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School
Feb. 10, 2014

The Sevgi-Doğan Gönül Ottoman
Research Building in Cunda

In 2010, TCF awarded a five-year grant at the total value of $120,000 to the Ottoman Studies Foundation, a U.S. non-profit organization established in 1996 by Sinasi and Gonul Tekin and dedicated to promoting Ottoman and Turkish studies.

The TCF grant supports the Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School (IOTSS) conducted every year since 1997 by the Ottoman Studies Foundation in Cunda (Ayvalik), Turkey. The school provides proficiency-based instruction in reading and translating Ottoman Turkish texts in both manuscript and printed forms. The IOTSS is the only study abroad program that offers training in advanced level Ottoman Turkish paleography and language. The TCF grant provides funding for the leading scholars who teach at the school, as well as scholarships to students.  

Prof.Dr.Gonul Tekin, President of the Ottoman Studies Foundation, stated that “Over 300 graduate level students have enrolled in the program, many of whom are now professors working in various universities and academic positions. The IOTSS helps create an international community of scholars who continue learning from each other, helping each other, and developing their work on Turkish history and culture after the summer program ends. The support of TCF has, in this sense, been an important component of the continuous creation of knowledge about the Ottoman Empire. It has contributed to the formation of a vibrant international community of scholars whose research has been made possible, or at least transformed, thanks to the education and experience provided at the IOTSS,” and added that “It is an extremely gratifying occasion when two charitable organizations with shared missions can work together to advance their causes.”

The 2014 school runs from July 7 to August 15 and is open to everyone interested in continuing their study of Ottoman and Turkish for the purpose of academic research with priority given to qualified doctoral students.  Please visit here for more information on how to apply.

Turkish Cultural Foundation Fellowship in Turkish Art and Culture Feb. 10, 2014

TCF is now accepting applications for its Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art.

Since 2008, the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art has provided funding to young and established scholars with a view to expand academic interest in Turkish cultural studies, as well as to increase the publications in this field. Since its inception, TCF awarded this fellowship to 68 scholars from all over the world at a total funding of more than $800,000.00.

In 2013, TCF conducted a survey about the scholarship to assess whether the program has indeed served its mission. Based on the feedback received, it is clear that the fellowship has served as an important resource for scholars at a time when funding for academic research had significantly diminished, and that it helped to sustain interest and advance scholarship in this field.

Going forward, TCF decided to shift the focus of the Fellowship on the dissemination of knowledge on Turkey’s cultural heritage. Relaunched under this new format, the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art will be awarded for outstanding papers published in the area of Turkish cultural and social studies, as well as to support participation of scholars in leading conferences in this subject area.

For detailed eligibility and application information, please visit the TCF website.

Turkish Conductor at Carnegie Hall Jan. 25, 2014

Ms. Sera Tokay, a female Turkish conductor, will direct the Philarmonie de Chambre Lutèce's upcoming concert at the Carnegie Hall. The concert will take place on January 28.

Created by Ms. Tokay in 2011, the chamber orchestra is comprised of young French musicians who recently performed in Geneva at the invitation of the Igor Stravinsky Foundation.

Ms. Tokay was born in Istanbul to a family with Russian origins. She has been influenced by Janos Fürst, Vsevolod Polonsky, Alain Voirpy and H. Klopfenstein. Her seven-year apprenticeship under Polonsky was especially influential in her development. She later pursued a philosophical curriculum to better reflect on music.

Ms. Tokay serves as musical director and principal conductor of the Sisli Symphony Orchestra in Istanbul and was invited by the Afghan Minister of Culture to found a school of music in Kabul. In 2010, Ms. Tokay was invited to conduct an exceptional concert at the Collège de France. She created Lutèce Philharmonica in 2011.

Ms. Tokay's upcoming Carnegie performance comes just months after a renewed international debate on the lack of female conductors. She joins Inci Ozdil became the first female conductor in Turkey. Among the 22 top U.S. orchestras, there was only one female conductor during the 2012-13 season.

For tickets and additional information, please visit: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2014/1/28/0800/PM/Philharmonie-de-Chambre-Lutece/

TCF Announces Matching Grant For Catalhoyuk Jan. 14, 2014

The Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) has announced today a matching grant challenge in support of research and preservation efforts at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk (Çatalhöyük) in Turkey.

The Catalhoyuk excavation received significant multi-year funding from TCF under the TCF Turkish Cultural Heritage Programs. TCF funding helped build a shelter to protect the excavation site, establish walkways, panels and signage to enhance the site’s visitor experience, and provide training to conservation students and members of the local community.

Catalhoyuk was inscribed on the World Heritage Sites List by UNESCO in 2012 in part due to the diligent efforts of the international excavation team led by Stanford University archeologist Dr. Ian Hodder and improvements to the site as those funded by TCF. The only Neolithic site on the UNESCO list from the Middle East, Catalhoyuk carries universal value for our understanding of the way of life in early agricultural settlements. Inhabited by up to 8,000 people between 7,400 and 6,000 BCE, Catalhoyuk holds, in its streetless settlement of house clusters, numerous wall paintings - including what was recently discovered to likely be the world’s oldest known landscape map.

A regular stop on the TCF Teacher Study Tours for many years, in 2013, Catalhoyuk was designated as a special donation and awareness project by TCF. The visiting American teachers on the 2013 tours made personal donations for the Catalhoyuk project and one teacher, Terry Buehner, a history teacher at Burlington High School and Vermont History Teacher of the Year (2011), led a school-wide campaign to raise funds and awareness about Catalhoyuk.

TCF will match these and other raised funds for the Catalhoyuk Research Project until the end of 2014. The ultimate aim of the Catalhoyuk Research Project is to leave behind a well-planned heritage site that enhances the visitors’ knowledge in numerous ways, including a conservation laboratory, a museum to hold the artifacts and a model house to enable visitors to experience Neolithic homes without damaging the ancient structures.

We invite all teachers to explore Catalhoyuk with their students via its informative website and other educational resources. All donations made to TCF as part of this campaign must be marked Ref: Catalhoyuk and sent to the TCF Washington office by the end of the year.

TCF Online Lectures Reach 100 Jan. 07, 2014

The Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) is pleased to share the uploading of the 100th lecture video on the TCF Video Gallery this week.

Available for online viewing, the lecture videos feature renowned experts on a wide variety of Turkish cultural topics, including art, music, history, architecture, cuisine and many more.

The videos are recordings of lectures organized as part of the TCF Lecture Series on Turkish Art and Culture at the TCF Istanbul office since 2007 and lectures on Turkish culinary culture at the TCF Culinary Arts Center-YESAM since 2012.


Produced by TCF in-house, the TCF Lecture Videos offer nearly 85 hours of narrated content, enriched by over 7,000 images relating to Turkish culture. The lectures themselves were attended by nearly 4,100 participants over the years, while the lecture videos have since been watched in their entirety 15,840 times and viewed over 118,000 times by visitors from 94 countries across the world. The top 3 most watched TCF lecture videos are Turkish Coffee House Culture by Dr.Cemal Kafadar of Harvard University (in English), Life in Istanbul in 1582 by Dr.Nurhan Atasoy of Istanbul University, and The Chinese Porcelain Collection at the Topkapi Palace Museum (in Turkish) by Ayse Erdogdu of the Topkapi Palace Museum.


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