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Call for Applications UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD

The Turkish Cultural Foundation is pleased to invite applications for nominations for the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

As a non-governmental organization in official relations with UNESCO, TCF is eligible to nominate up to three individuals, institutions and organizations for this award.
The UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD honors outstanding projects by individuals, institutions and organizations related to ESD. The UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD, which is funded by the Government of Japan, consists of three annual awards of USD 50,000 for each recipient. It was awarded for the first time by the Director-General of UNESCO in November 2015.

The Prize and award winners recognize the role of education in connecting the social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
The three Prize winners are selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the basis of recommendations made by an international independent Jury consisting of five experts. To learn more about the selection criteria, please visit here.

Past winners of the Prize are Asociación SERES from Guatemala/El Salvador; the Centre for Development of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education from Indonesia; rootAbility from Germany; the Centre for Community Regeneration and Development(CCREAD-Cameroon) from Cameroon; the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission from Japan; the National Union of Students (NUS-UK) from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Zikra for Popular Learning from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; the Hard Rain Project from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Sihlengeni Primary School from the Republic of Zimbabwe.

TCF will accept applications from individuals and entities in the United States and in Turkey. Only applications that comply with the Prize selection criteria will be evaluated for nomination. All applications must be received by TCF by March 30, 2018. Applications and supporting material must be sent to TCF_UNESCO@turkishculture.org

‘Cihannüma’ restore ediliyor

OSMANLI İmparatorluğu’nun basılmış ilk eserlerinden, Kâtip Çelebi’nin ‘Kitab-ı Cihannüma’sı, Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) ve Chester Beatty Kütüphanesi tarafından restore ediliyor.

Dr. Yalçın ve Dr. Serpil Ayaslı tarafından 2000 yılında Amerika’da kurulan Turkish Cultural Foundation (Türk Kültür Vakfı) İrlanda’nın başkenti Dublin’deki Chester Beatty Kütüphanesi koleksiyonunda bulunan ve Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda basılan ilk eserler arasında yer alan Kitab-ı Cihannüma’nın konservasyona tabi tutulup sergiye hazırlanması için destek sağladı.

Avrupa’nın önde gelen müzeleri arasında yer alan Chester Beatty Kütüphanesi, Chester Beatty (1875-1968) adındaki bir Amerikalı hayırsever ve koleksiyonerin bağışladığı, İslam dünyası, Doğu Asya ve Avrupa kökenli eserlerden oluşan zengin bir koleksiyona sahip. Kütüphane aynı zamanda dünya çapında bilim insanlarının araştırma yaptığı bir merkez özelliğinde.


Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun en ünlü tarih ve coğrafya bilimcileri arasında yer alan ve 1609-1657 tarihleri arasında yaşamış olan Kâtip Çelebi’nin (veya Hacı Halife olarak bilinen Mustafa bin Abdullah) yazdığı ‘Cihannüma’, 1732 yılında Osmanlı’nın ilk matbaasını kuran İbrahim Müteferrika (1674-1745) tarafından basıldı. Müteferrika tarafından 1729 -1742 yılları arasında basılan 17 kitabın 13 tanesi Chester Beatty Kütüphanesi’nin koleksiyonu arasında yer alıyor. Bu koleksiyona ait Cihannüma, sınırlı sayıda basılan eserin orijinalinde bulunan 13 astronomik ve 26 coğrafi haritası ile çok az bulunan eksiksiz nüshalarından biri olarak biliniyor. Kâtip Çelebi’nin bu iddialı eseri Osmanlı dünyasındaki coğrafi bilgi birikimini yansıtması ve Türkiye’de Türkçe olarak basılan ilk eserler arasında yer alması nedeniyle büyük tarihi öneme sahip.

Source: Hurriyet

The Turkish Cultural Foundation partners with the Chester Beatty Library in Ireland to conserve one of the earliest Turkish printed books

The Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) is pleased to announce a grant to and new partnership with the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland.

The partnership will ensure the preservation of one of the earliest printed books in Turkish: the Kitab-ı Cihannüma (Mirror of the World, 1732) by the Ottoman Turkish scholar Kâtip Çelebi and printed by Ibrahim Müteferrika.

Described by the Lonely Planet as 'not just the best museum in Dublin, but one of the best in Europe', the Chester Beatty Library is a museum and library that houses the world-class collection of Islamic, East Asian and European art assembled by the great American philanthropist and collector Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968).

Kâtip Çelebi is the pen name of Mustafa bin Abdullah (1609-1657), also later known as Haji Khalifa (Hacı Halife), who was an Ottoman historian and geographer and is regarded as one of the most productive authors of non-religious, scientific literature in the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. He began writing the Cihannüma in 1654, expanding on it over the years but unable to complete a second edition due to his untimely death.

Ibrahim Müteferrika (c.1674-1745), who printed the Cihannüma, played a special role in the story of printing in the Islamic world. A Hungarian, whose early life remains something of a mystery, Müteferrika became a senior figure at the imperial Ottoman court. Today he is remembered as the founder of the first official Ottoman printing house in Turkey. In 1727 he secured an edict from Sultan Ahmed III permitting him to print works of a non-religious nature. Subsequently, between 1729 and 1742 his press published 17 books, of which the Chester Beatty Library holds 13.

Published in 1732 in Istanbul, the Chester Beatty Library's rare and complete copy of the Cihannüma has survived with all of its original 13 astronomical and 26 geographical maps intact. The ambitious text summarised Ottoman geographical knowledge of the time and is one of the earliest books printed in Turkey in Turkish.

Due to the importance of this volume, it was included in a recent Chester Beatty publication ‘Director's Choice', at which time it was apparent that the book required extensive conservation and the Library approached the Turkish Cultural Foundation for support.

The book was tightly bound in an unsympathetic 19th-century binding which placed a strain on the pages each time the volume was opened. Over the centuries, with repeated use, the green copper-based pigment used to frame the printed maps had gradually burnt through the paper, causing most of the folios to split along this line. The support provided by the Turkish Cultural Foundation will enable the conservators at the Chester Beatty to re-sew the carefully conserved pages, reinforce the structure of the book and rebind the volume in an Islamic style binding that will allow the volume to be safely handled and displayed.

Fionnuala Croke, Director, Chester Beatty Library said: We are delighted to partner with the Turkish Cultural Foundation on this project. This is one of the most impressive early printed books in the collection and the TCF's support of the conservation treatment will enable us to put the Cihannüma on display, playing an important role in deepening the understanding and appreciation of Turkish cultural heritage in Ireland.

Dr. Yalcin Ayasli, founder and Chairman of the Turkish Cultural Foundation stated: "We are pleased to provide support to the Chester Beatty Library in the preservation of this valuable publication. Kitab-ı Cihannüma carries historic significance as the sheds light on the scholarly accomplishments of Katip Celebi and his life-long efforts to spread scientific knowledge in the Ottoman Empire and beyond."

Rebirth of Turkey Red

Professor Suhandan Özay Demirkan gives and outline of the fascinating history of Turkey Red, a dyeing process that is now beign used again in Turkey, the outcome of extensive research.

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TCF Rediscovers Recipe of Turkey Red

July 21, 2017

Dyeing Turkey Red at DATU

The Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory succeeded in the rediscovery of Turkey Red (Türk Kırmızısı), a natural dyeing process lost for over 200 years.

A color/dyeing recipe invented by dyers in 16th century Ottoman Empire, Turkey Red, sometimes referred to as Edirne (Adrianople) Red (after the western border town of Edirne in Turkey), was a highly guarded trade secret handed from master dyer to apprentice. The technique was introduced to Europe in 1746 when two master dyers from Izmir were taken to France. From there, the technique spread to England where in 19th Century Glasgow six dyeing factories dyed textiles in Turkey Red.

With the spread of synthetic dyes and the diminishing application of natural dyes in the textile industry, the recipe for Turkey Red was lost. Despite many ongoing academic research projects worldwide, the recipe remained elusive.

TCF and ARMAGGAN partnered in an R&D project at the Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory to discover the recipe. The project included  extensive literature research, micro-analysis of historical samples and trials of the multiple dyeing steps. It took the research team led by Professor Recep Karadag over three years to establish the recipe of Turkey Red, which is now patented to the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

Turkey Red is created through a dyeing process of cotton fiber with dyes extracted from the root of Rubia tinctorum L. , a natural dye plant. The process includes nearly 40 dyeing steps with high coloring fastness and a special color tone. The dyeing requires a precise protocol of the application steps of the dye, which is a mixture of Rubia tinctorum L. madder dye and vegetable oil. 

“We regard the rediscovery and scientific documentation of Turkey Red as an important contribution to the preservation of our cultural heritage, as well as to science. The work on Turkey Red is one more important milestone in our long-standing efforts for the preservation and contemporary application of natural dyes. By perfecting natural dyes and making them fully usable in contemporary textile manufacturing and other consumer products, we aim to contribute to responsible productions that save our environment and protect human health,” said Dr.Yalcin Ayasli, Founder and Chairman of the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

To read an interview published on the Turkey Red project, please visit here.

DATU dyed Turkey Red

Historical samples of Turkey Red at Glasgow Museum

DATU Receives TÜRKAK Accreditation
TCF and ARMAGGAN Sign New Cooperation Protocol
October 21, 2016

The Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory (DATU) received accreditation by the Turkish Accreditation Agency (TÜRKAK)  under the TS EN ISO/IEC 17025 standards. With this accreditation DATU has become an internationally certified laboratory under the standards of the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

DATU was established in 2010 in Istanbul by the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) under the sponsorship of ARMAGGAN.

As part of this partnership, DATU developed a dual mission. One part of this mission is to help preserve and promote Turkey’s textile heritage through research and development. Based on the technological capacity and scientific know-how it has created over the years, DATU provides free analytical services to museums assisting preservation and conservation efforts of artifacts worldwide. Another mission area of DATU, led by ARMAGGAN, is the redevelopment of the natural dye production process and the re-introduction of natural dyes and historical weaving traditions in contemporary textile production. Today, DATU holds the richest collection of natural dye materials and has become one of the world’s most advanced laboratories on natural dyes, making significant contributions to cultural preservation and documentation.

TCF and ARMAGGAN signed a protocol under which DATU will fully operate under the ARMAGGAN brand with a view to expand the analytical services of DATU to the commercial market. The TCF research work on natural dyes will continue to be conducted at the laboratory as the TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Project. The TCF research team will continue to provide pro-bono analytical services to museums and other cultural institutions at the laboratory and to develop special projects with ARMAGGAN and other institutions to preserve and develop Turkey’s cultural heritage.

TCF Releases 2015 Annual Report October 11, 2016

We are pleased to share with you the Annual Report of the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) and the progress we have made in our mission and programs in 2015.

In 2015, TCF allocated a total of $1,129,319 to grants and operational and program disbursements to pursue its mission.

The Spotlight on Turkey program continued to be one of TCF’s flagship programs. Organized in partnership with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), in 2015, TCF and local WACA chapters organized 12 Teacher Workshops on Turkey that reached 258 teachers with a student impact of over 19,000. As part of the  program, TCF hosted 48 American teachers on two Teacher Study Tours to Turkey, bringing the number of the TCF Study Tours alumni to 575 educators from across the United States. In total, since this program’s inception in 2007, 3,538 American teachers and over 367,000 students benefited from the Spotlight on Turkey program.

The TCF Culinary Arts Center (YESAM) and the TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory (DATU) in İstanbul have matured into leading resources on Turkey’s culinary and textile heritage. DATU and YESAM scholars work year-round to advance the cultural preservation and public education missions of TCF through research, publications, seminars and collaborations with other institutions. A significant part of DATU’s work is dedicated to helping cultural institutions conserve and restore historical artifacts.

Under the TCF Lecture Series, 19 lectures on Turkish culture, art and cuisine took place at the TCF İstanbul office and the TCF Culinary Arts Center with a total participation of 538. The lectures were also viewed over 6,000 times on the TCF Video Gallery by visitors from all over the world.

TCF continued to be a leading private grantmaker in the area of Turkish cultural preservation and promotion. In 2015, TCF provided a total of $184,308 in grants and fellowships to organizations and individuals. A major portion of the TCF grants underwrote cultural events, such as Turkish cultural and film festivals, workshops, exhibitions, concerts and other performances in the United States, which brought Turkish culture to tens of thousands of Americans.

Two TCF Fellowship programs help build artistic, cultural and scholarly exchanges across the globe. Combined, the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art and the TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship have provided funding to 176 culture professionals, including musicians, visual and performing artists, writers, curators, scholars and many others. In 2015, 35 individuals benefited from these fellowships to participate in a variety of cultural and artistic showcases, as well as academic events.

The TCF Portals, gateways to learn more about Turkish culture, music and cuisine, were visited by over 3.8 million people from 218 countries and regions in 2015, spreading knowledge about Turkey’s cultural heritage. A new website, the TCF Education Portal, was launched in 2015. It now lists over 100 free lesson plans, created by TCF Teacher Study Tour participants, for educators who wish to teach about Turkey.

We thank everyone who participated in our work and renew our commitment to explore and preserve our shared human heritage and to build cultural bridges across the world.

Yalçın Ayaslı, Sc.D. Founder and Chairman Board of Trustees
Serpil Ayaslı, Ph.D.Founder Board of Trustees

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2016 TCF Cultural Exchange Fellows August 19, 2016

The Turkish Cultural Foundation has awarded 9 fellowships under its 2016 Cultural Exchange Fellowship Second Term Program. In 2016, total 15 fellowships have been awarded under the TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship Program. The TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship was launched in 2012 to encourage cultural and artistic exchanges between Turkey and the world by supporting artists and other culture professionals. The Fellowship has been awarded to 104 individuals from Turkey and all over the world to date.
2016 Cultural Exchange Second Term Fellows
Ekin Akalın (Turkey), an associate researcher at the Istanbul French Institute of Anatolian Studies, will conduct an inventorial study of the Ottoman collection at the Pierre Loti House in Rochefort from September 5 - 9, 2016.
Pelin Başar (Turkey), a ney player, will perform with the Mehmet Polat Trio on their U.S. concert tour in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Phoenix between August 11th and September 11th, 2016. She will also give several educational workshops and master classes.
Naz Cuguoğlu (Turkey), a freelance curator, art writer and cultural researcher, will curate the artistic exchange project "Asymmetric Kin," collaborating with the Coop Curatorial Collective in Nashville from October 1 to November 1, 2016.
Grant Garmezy (USA), a glass artist, gave an advance sculpting class at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul from July 12 - 23, 2016.
İpek Kotan (Turkey), a ceramist, will participate in the residency program at the European Ceramic Workcentre in Oisterwijk to make large scale works from September 5 to November 5, 2016.
Zeyno Pekünlü (Turkey), a painter and contemporary artist, will show her work in the exhibition "The world precedes the eye," an affiliate project of the Singapore Biennial from October 24 - 30, 2016. She will also give a workshop at Lasalle College of the Art.
Mehmet Polat (Turkey), an oud player and composer, will perform with the Mehmet Polat Trio on their U.S. concert tour in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Phoenix between August 11th and September 11th, 2016. He will also give several educational workshops and master classes.
Victor Sams (Dutch Antilles), a ngoni & percussion player, will perform with the Mehmet Polat Trio on their U.S. concert tour in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Phoenix between August 11th and September 11th, 2016. He will also give several educational workshops and master classes.
Ayşe Gül Süter (Turkey), will exhibit her work at the Coop gallery in conjunction with other collaborative works as part of the Asymmetric Kin Project from October 1 to November 1, 2016. She will also give a formal public presentation about her work and visit local universities and artist studios.
Remembering a Tradition: Karagöz June 9, 2016

“Traditional Turkish Shadow Theatre: Karagöz” brings to life a beloved family entertainment tradition, which was once part of social life during the month of Ramadan and on special occasions that bring together families, friends and neighbors.

Created as part of the TCF Cultural Heritage Projects, “Turkish Traditional Shadow Theater: Karagöz” presents 20 traditional Karagöz plays in a 5-DVD box format. The plays were performed exlusively for this cultural preservation project by renowned Karagöz master puppeteer and puppet maker Metin Özlen.

The collection includes a booklet with information about Turkish Shadow Theater with a foreword by theatrical historian, the late Prof. Dr. Metin And with summaries of the plays, photos of the puppets and the backstage and production team.

Identifying Karagöz shadow puppet theater as one of the vanishing traditional Turkish performing arts, TCF produced the collection to pay tribute to all the Karagöz puppeteers, present, past, and future who have kept this art alive. Shortly after “Turkish Traditional Shadow Theater: Karagöz,” was released in 2007, Karagöz shadow puppet theater was inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage of Turkey on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

For orders from the U.S. and Canada, please visit http://turkishcultureshop.org. For orders from Turkey, please send an email to webmaster@turkishculture.org.

2016 TCF Cultural Exchange Fellows April 4, 2016

The Turkish Cultural Foundation has awarded 4 fellowships under its 2016 Cultural Exchange Fellowship Program's first term. The TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship Program was launched in 2012 to encourage cultural and artistic exchanges between Turkey and the world by supporting artists and art/culture professionals. The Fellowship has been awarded to 93 individuals from Turkey and all over the world to date.
2016 TCF Cultural Exchange Fellows
Nurduran Duman (Turkey), a poet and writer, will present her work and represent Turkey at the UNESCO European Literature Night which will be held in Edinburgh on May 13, 2016 and the European Poetry Night which will be held in London on May 14, 2016.
Lerna Babikyan (Turkey), dancer, performer, choreographer and dance pedagogue, was accepted into the Escola Estudio Raizvanguarda dance residency program in Portugal from August 29 to September 30, 2016.
Mansur Bildik (Austria), a musician and bağlama/saz artist, will lead a workshop on Turkish folk music at the University of Texas, Austin from March 28 to April 4, 2016. He will also give a concert “Mozart Allaturca” at the University's Butler School of Music on April 2, 2016.
Ümit Şimşek (Turkey), a musician, bağlama artist and educator, will lead a workshop on Turkish folk music at the University of Texas. He will also perform with University's Middle Eastern Ensemble at Bates Recital Hall on April 23, 2016.
2016 TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art Call for Applications January 4, 2016

TCF is now accepting applications for its Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art. The Fellowship is awarded to support the publication of outstanding papers/articles in the area of Turkish cultural and social studies, as well as to support the participation of scholars in leading conferences in this subject area. Since its launch, 87 scholars have been awarded the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art.

Applications for the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art will be accepted on a year-round basis.

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


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