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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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