Annual Report 2013
TRUSTEES' 2013 ANNUAL REPORT Download PDF version.

We are pleased to share with you the 2013 Annual Report of the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF), and the progress we have made in our mission and programs in 2013.

In 2013, TCF allocated a total of $1,605,116.51 to grants, operational and program disbursements to pursue its mission.

Continuing to be the leading private grantmaker in the area of Turkish cultural preservation and promotion, in 2013, TCF provided a total of $476,394 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. Another significant funding area was in the field of Turkish language education, at a time when many American institutions cut such programs due to budgetary restraints. TCF grants helped sustain or introduce new Turkish language education programs at various educational institutions, ranging from secondary to the graduate school level. A grant to the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens for Turkish and Ottoman language instruction also was awarded in 2013.

We continued to spread knowledge about Turkey in the U.S. educational system and beyond through the Spotlight on Turkey program. The program runs a full calendar year and is organized in cooperation with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). Under the program, TCF and local WACA chapters organized 15 Teacher Workshops on Turkey with the participation of 400 teachers, creating a student impact of nearly 30,000. As part of the second phase of the program, in 2013, TCF took 54 American teachers on two Teacher Study Tours to Turkey, bringing the total number of the TCF Study Tours alumni to 479 educators from across the United States. In total, since this program’s inception in 2007, over 3,000 American teachers and an estimated 330,000 students benefited from the Spotlight on Turkey program.

Established in 2011 and 2010, respectively, the TCF Culinary Arts Center (YESAM) and the TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory(DATU) in İstanbul are maturing 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 the work of DATU is dedicated to helping cultural institutions conserve and restore historical artifacts. In 2013, DATU provided free analytical services to 19 museums in Turkey, the United States and Azerbaijan.

Under the TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art, the TCF Turkey branch organized a total of 36 lectures on Turkish culture, art and cuisine at the TCF İstanbul Office and the TCF Culinary Arts Center with a total participation of nearly 1,300. The lecture videos, made available on the TCF Video Gallery, crossed the 100 videos mark at the end of 2013 and were viewed nearly 5,600 times that year. In addition, TCF support helped TCF Resident Scholars, as well as TCF Fellows to participate in international conferences, workshops and other events and share their knowledge with audiences across the world.

The TCF online portals continued to be major publicly available resources to learn more about Turkish culture, music and cuisine. They were visited by over 2.9 million people from 212 countries and regions in 2013, spreading knowledge on Turkey’s cultural heritage.

The need to explore our shared human heritage and build bridges of friendship between people has grown stronger today, as the world becomes ever more divided. Celebrating art and culture and all that connects humanity has been our passion since we established the Turkish Cultural Foundation. This remains our strong commitment and we wish to thank everyone who participated in our work in the past

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


In 2013, TCF funds were distributed as follows:

  TCF Lectures $76,444
  Spotlight on Turkey National Educational Program $236,079
  TCF Culinary Arts Center - YESAM $55,614
  TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory-DATU $180,278
  Cultural Preservation & Documentation Grants $17,268
3. EDUCATION $271,338
  Scholarships & Fellowships $187,838
  Turkish Language and Culture $83,500
  Turkish Modern Art at SOFA $6,240
  TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship $20,000
  Turkish Culture, Music, Film and Dance $64,454
  Exhibitions $16,000
5. OPERATIONAL $661,401

2013 TOTAL: $1,605,116

The following chart provides an overview on how TCF funds were allocated in 2013. For a full listing of all Foundation grants, please visit here.



TCF Lectures

TCF aims to disseminate knowledge about the rich cultural, artistic and culinary heritage of Turkey through the TCF Lecture Series. Turkish and English lectures take place at the TCF İstanbul office from October through May and year-round at the TCF Culinary Arts Center-YESAM at the ARMAGGAN store in Nurosmaniye, Istanbul. TCF also sponsors the participation of its Resident Scholars and other experts in events worldwide, sharing their knowledge with diverse audiences.

In 2013, the TCF Lecture Series featured 36 lectures on various topics related to Turkish culture and cuisine. A total of 1,256 participants attended these events.

TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art - Istanbul

The TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art takes place at the TCF office in İstanbul.

The 2013 season featured 15 lectures, which were attended by 447 participants. These lectures are also recorded and made available online on the TCF Video Gallery. In 2013, the TCF lecture videos were viewed 5,566 times by people all over the world.

Hosted by Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, TCF Senior Scholar in Residence, the 2013 Lecture Series featured the following distinguished speakers and topics:

Jewelry in the Ottoman Palace-Reading history through Ottoman Jewelry
by Prof. Dr.Gül İrepoğlu, İstanbul University.

Reflection of Turkish Arts in Japan
by Günseli Kato, Artist.

Tios: The Only Ancient City on the Turkish Black Sea Coast
by Prof. Dr. Sümer Atasoy, Karabük University.

Alexander as Mehmed II: A Visual Documentation
by Prof. Dr. Serpil Bağcı, Hacettepe University.

Seljuk Carpets” by Belkıs Balpınar, Researcher, Artist.

The Image of the Turkish-Speaking Christians in Modern Greek Literature
by Dr. Evangelia Balta, National Hellenic Research Foundation.

Crossroad of Cultures: Ani; Georgian, Armenian, and Seljuks in the Russian border
by Prof. Dr. Hamza Gündoğdu, Sakarya University.

Legends of the Rise into the Sky
by Prof. Dr. Gönül Tekin, Harvard University, Ottoman Studies Foundation.

Conserving Turkey’s Globally Important Biodiversity
by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çağan Şekercioğlu, University of Utah.

The Gun of Sultan Mahmud I in Baltimore”
by Dr. Tim Stanley, Senior Curator, Department of Islamic Middle East at Victoria and Albert Museum.

Understanding the History of Archaeology in Anatolia with the Yapı Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Museum exhibitions
by Şennur Şentürk, Curator, Yapı Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Museum.

The Ottoman Heritage in Sweden and the Celsing Collection”
by Dr. Karin Adahl, Uppsala University.

The Bosphorus in the 19th Century”
by Dr. M. Sinan Genim, TAÇ Foundation.

The Lost Turkish Pavilion of Expo ‘58
by Dr. Johann Pillai, Director, Sidestreets
Educational and Cultural Initiatives.

Edirne Palace: Research, Excavation, and Restoration Studies
by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Özer, Bahçeşehir University.


    "Thank you for the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s generous support of The Textile Museum’s 2012-13 lecture series, An Empire of Beauty, that accompanied our current exhibition The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art. The lectures by Nurhan Atasoy and Recep Karadağ were among the highlights of the series and drew the highest attendance."
Bruce P.Baganz, President, Board of Trustees, The Textile Museum.

TCF Scholars' Lectures

TCF works to advance research and knowledge on Turkish culture and art through the contributions of its senior scholars in the form of presentations and lectures organized by TCF, as well as in cooperation with other organizations.

Reaching a nationwide television audience in Turkey, Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, TCF Senior Scholar in Residence, continued to be a regular contributor to “Tarihin Arka Odası - History’s Back Room,” a popular history talk show on Habertürk TV.

In 2013, Dr. Atasoy also gave numerous lectures on Turkish culture in Turkey and Europe. She gave a talk about her book “Impressions of Ottoman Culture in Europe: 1453-1699” at the Muhtar Özkaya Public Library in Kadıköy in February 2013 and spoke at the “Garden, Tree and Flower Culture of Turks” panel and exhibition organized by Düzce University on the occasion of World Forest Day. In June, Dr. Atasoy was invited to Poland, where she spoke on her book “Impressions of Turkish Culture in Europe” at Warsaw University, and on “Ottoman Court Costume” at the Polish Institute of World Art Studies. In September, Dr. Atasoy was invited by the European Parliament to deliver a special lecture on “Impressions of Ottoman Culture in Europe,” in Brussels, Belgium. She also gave a talk on the book at the Turkish Historical Society in Ankara. Several delegations visiting the TCF İstanbul office from the United States also had the privilege of listening to Dr.Atasoy’s lectures, including a group from the Community College of Philadelphia and a delegation from Welcome Clubs International, based in Washington, D.C.

Prof. Dr. Recep Karadağ, Senior Scholar at the TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory-DATU, gave a talk titled “In the Sultan’s Studios: Recreating Ottoman Textiles” at The Textile Museum in Washington D.C., in January 2013. Dr. Karadağ presented his paper on “Periodic Comparison of two Caftans through non-destructive micro-analysis methods in the Topkapi Palace Museum” at the 9th International Conference for the History of Chemistry, held at the Museum of Gustavianum in Uppsala, Sweden in August. He presented a paper on “Non- destructive micro-analytical methods for the Conservation of Historical Textiles” at the 5th Vienna Intensive School on Conservation Science at the Vienna University of Technology in September. In October, he participated in the “DHA 32nd Dyes in History and Archaeology” conference in La Rochelle, France, and presented two papers: “Organic Lake Pigment Analysis of Koru Tumulus at Daskyleion in the Persian Perio” and “Silk Dyeing and Lake Pigments Obtained from the Helichrysum Arenarium and their Analysis.” In October, Dr. Karadağ and DATU Specialist Emine Torgan presented a paper on “Non-destructive and Micro Analysis Methods for Restoration of Carpets at the Azerbaijan National History Museum” at the “Problems of Restoration, Conservation and Preserving of Monuments of Material Culture” conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In Turkey, Dr. Karadağ presented a paper on “Bringing Back History in Natural Dyeing” at a conference at Abant İzzet Baysal University in Bolu in April and participated in a platform on “Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Assets of Turkey,” organized by the General Directorate of Foundations in İstanbul in December.


Spotlight on Turkey National Educational Program

Since 2007, TCF partners with the World Affairs Council of America (WACA) in organizing a national educational program titled Spotlight on Turkey. Sponsored by TCF, the program is organized by TCF, WACA, and WACA chapters across the United States.

Spotlight on Turkey consists of three stages and year-round programs that include Teacher Workshops on Turkey, Teacher Study Tours to Turkey, and educational/cultural programs for students and the general public, titled Portrait of Turkey.

In 2013, the program was undertaken by TCF and 14 local chapters of WACA in the following cities and regions: Connecticut, Dallas/Fort Worth (Texas), Denver (Colorado), Hawaii, Jacksonville (Florida), Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Peoria (Chicago), Santa Fe (New Mexico), Seattle (Washington), South Dakota, Washington, D.C. and Vermont.


    “On behalf of the Montana World Affairs Council, I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation for your generous assistance and support of the Portrait of Turkey community programs. The enthusiasm and commitment of our teachers who participated in the July study tour with TCF, coupled with the Council’s commitment to state-wide outreach, has made this one of the most succesful education programs that the Montana World Affairs Council has offered. The Portrait of Turkey program was an extraordinary opportunity to reach out to out communities around the state, engaging the greater public in learning about the culture, history, art, cuisine and most importantly, the people of Turkey.”
Aimee Ryan, Executive Director, Montana World Affairs Council

Teacher Workshops on Turkey

As part of the Spotlight on Turkey program, TCF sponsored and helped organize 14 Teacher Workshops on Turkey across the United States in 2013. Organized by the participating WACA councils, the workshops were attended by 277 teachers from 205 schools. The estimated student impact of the workshops nationwide was 25,000. The total number of teachers who have attended the TCF-WACA Teacher Workshops on Turkey since 2007 reached over 3,000 in 2013 with an estimated reach of 330,000 students across America.

Teacher Study Tours to Turkey

TCF organized and sponsored two Teacher Study Tours in the summer of 2013, which introduced 52 American educators to Turkey. Since the program’s inception in 2007, TCF has hosted 477 American educators on these educational tours in Turkey.


    “Having gone on several teacher study tours, I can say unequivocally that this has been my favorite trip. Turkey is a stunning, modern, multi-layered nation replete with delectable food, welcoming people, beautiful vistas and rich history. You will have an indelible experience on this 14-day whirlwind and will have copious stories to relay to your students. From the Hittites to the Persians, from the Greeks to the Romans and from the Ottomans to the Turks, you will be astonished at the multitude of contributions to world history that have been made on this treasured piece of land.”
Regina Zafonte, High School for Math, Science and Engineering, New York

    “My experiences in Turkey as a guest of the Turkish Cultural Foundation far exceeded any possible expectations I may have imagined. The natural beauty, historical significance, welcoming culture and the food were all amazing. As a history teacher I understood Turkey’s place in history, today I understand more than just its place, I understand is global impact over time and its importance in the modern delicate balance that is our world. I additionally came to understand and appreciate the phenomenal achievement of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as the voice of the people during the creation of the Republic of Turkey. Turkey has successfully created a secular government and open society that many Americans cannot fully appreciate or understand. I am now charged with the responsibility of communicating this gift of understanding and knowledge to my students so that in the future they will look upon Turkey not with skepticism and doubt, but with astonishment and respect. Thank you Turkish Cultural Foundation from the bottom of my heart.”
John Gallup, Arvada High School Colorado

    “I was surprised to learn how much Turkey had to offer in the classroom. You could teach all of the units in Human Geography using only Turkey as your case study and cover everything. You could also teach the entire course of World History using only Turkey and cover everything. Yet, we barely mention Turkey in our classrooms in the U.S. It’s a shame because the country has so much to offer our students. Turkey is complex, multi layered, complicated, and confusing. She is full of beautiful stories, religion, architecture, food, music and people. It’s the perfect country to introduce to your classroom because it represents everything that makes this world interesting. I am so grateful to TCF for introducing me to this beautiful place. I know my students will benefit from my experience on this study tour. I can’t wait to introduce them to Turkey.”
Karen Alexander, International Leadership of Texas School


Portrait of Turkey

The final tier of the Spotlight on Turkey Program features public educational and cultural programs called Portrait of Turkey. Organized by participating WACA chapters with support from a TCF grant, this program engages the teachers who return from the TCF Teacher Study Tours in creative ways and reaches out to their students and the general public to spread the word about Turkey and Turkish culture in communities nationwide.

The 14 participating WACA chapters in 2013 highlighted Turkey in a series of events, ranging from cultural fairs to Turkish cuisine events, from seminars and panels to film screenings. 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
2013 TCF Teacher Study Tours.

TCF also reached out to thousands of social sciences teachers and administrators at the 93rd National Council for Social Studies Conference in St. Louis on November 22-24. TCF promoted both Turkey and TCF educational initiatives and resources at the event, particularly the Spotlight on Turkey program. The TCF presentation also included the screening of Broad Horizons, a documentary on the TCF Teacher Study Tours. TCF was represented at the conference by St. Louis teachers who participated in the TCF tours and by members of the Turkish American community in the area.


TCF and the Media

TCF and its programs received broad media coverage in 2013. In total, TCF was mentioned in mainstream U.S. and Turkish outlets more than 100 times, including an in-depth Washington Post article on the TCF Teacher Study Tours program. The Teacher Study Tours program and the teachers who traveled to Turkey were also featured in 12 other regional news articles and reached hundreds of thousands of readers in eight U.S. states.

In April, Food & Wine Magazine named NAR Restaurant as one of “100 Restaurants Worth a Pilgrimage” as the only one in Turkey. NAR Restaurant is located on the top floor of the ARMAGGAN store in Nuruosmaniye, İstanbul and is a partner of the TCF Culinary Arts Center- YESAM, located in the same building. YESAM benefits from the chefs of NAR Restaurant in the preparation of its food tastings which accompany the year-round YESAM culinary lectures program.

The TCF sponsored U.S.-Turkish Jazz Exchange at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. was covered by six U.S. and Turkish publications, including a feature story in the Washington Diplomat.

The TCF-ARMAGGAN Art and Design Gallery’s Turkish modern art showcase at the 20th Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) Fair in Chicago, was mentioned in eight Turkish publications.


Social Media

In 2013, TCF continued to grow its social media presence. The organization developed a robust content strategy that highlighted the rich cultural knowledge found on TCF Portals, as well as regular updates on TCF-sponsored events and programs, and presented it all in a way that encouraged engagement and increased the organization’s reach. Over the course of the year, the organization’s Facebook audience doubled in size while its Twitter audience grew by more than 75%.


TCF on the Web

TCF continues to expand and improve its award-winning websites. Its efforts to promote Turkish culture worldwide continued in 2013 with new content added to TCF portals on Turkish culture, music and cuisine.

In 2013, the TCF portals received 2,980,340 visitors from 212 countries and regions.

The Turkish Culture Portal was reconfigured as an open source platform in 2012 to allow interested individuals to share knowledge on Turkish culture. Web users have been adding new articles and images and suggesting corrections on existing content to the hundreds of topics featured on the portal.

Turkish Culture Portal

The Turkish Culture Portal highlights some of the distinct characteristics and qualities of Turkish culture and its contributions to human work and thought. The website is intended as a casual and entertaining walk through of topics related to Turkey’s rich culture. Its content will always be a work in progress, given the depth and the multiple dimensions of the subject.

Turkish Music Portal

The Turkish Music Portal is the first public educational website dedicated to Turkish music and was inaugurated in January 2006. It explores the history of Turkish music, reviews the instruments of Turkish classical and folk music, and introduces composers and performers of all types of Turkish music. Available in Turkish, English, French and German, the Turkish Music Portal also features the first online Turkish Music Dictionary, a project funded by TCF.

Turkish Cuisine Portal

Inaugurated in 2007 and available in English and Turkish, the Turkish Cuisine Portal is a rich resource featuring the many different aspects of Turkey’s diverse culinary culture, including history, sociology, beliefs, ingredients, techniques and recipes.


The TCF Culinary Arts Center (YESAM) portal features information on YESAM events, lectures, summaries and videos, monthly recipes and other information on Turkish cuisine.


The TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory (DATU) Portal contains a wealth of scientific knowledge on natural dyes and features an expansive database of plants, insects and other materials used in the generation of natural dyes. The Portal also provides information on the institutional work of DATU, as well as scientific articles published by the DATU research team.


Spearheading and supporting projects that preserve the cultural heritage of Turkey is one of the pillars of TCF. Progress was made on several existing TCF programs in this area and new projects came to fruition in 2013.

TCF Culinary Arts Center - YESAM

Located in Istanbul, on the 4th Floor of the ARMAGGAN store in Nuruosmaniye, the mission of the TCF Culinary Arts Center-Yemek Sanatları Merkezi-YESAM is to help preserve and enhance knowledge of Turkey’s past and present culinary traditions through research and education.

To this end, YESAM works to record foods, tangible and intangible food-related traditions in Turkey, as well as regions with which Turkey shares cultural and historical ties. It also works to develop educational models through theoretical and applied methods to pass Turkey’s culinary heritage to future generations and promotes Turkish cuisine to international gastronomical circles and the general public.

At the end of 2013, YESAM launched its Culinary Culture Tours program. The first culinary tour was organized to Ayvalık and timed for the olive harvest. Led by Nedim Atilla, culinary author, participants on the tour enjoyed the process of harvesting olives, observed the making of olive oil, sampled and learned about the cuisine of Ayvalık.


Spearheading and supporting projects that preserve the cultural heritage of Turkey is one of the pillars of TCF. Progress was made on several existing TCF programs in this area and new projects came to fruition in 2013.

TCF Culinary Arts Center - YESAM Lecture Series

A year-round lecture series on Turkish cuisine was launched at YESAM in 2012. In addition to presentations by Turkish culinary experts, the lecture program is accompanied by food tastings offered by NAR Restaurant. Throughout 2013, YESAM hosted a total of 21 lectures, which were attended by 809 participants. The YESAM lectures are also recorded and presented for online viewing on the TCF Video Gallery.

The 2013 TCF YESAM Lecture Series featured the following topics and distinguished speakers:

Nedim Atilla, Journalist and Food Culture Expert:
• Cuisine of İstanbul Armenians
• Olives from Anatolia
• Artichoke and Lamb Dishes
• From Rumeli Part III: Marking the 100th Anniversary of the Balkan Wars - Albanian Cuisine
• Breads of Anatolia
• Tastes of Slow City Seferihisar
• Honey
• Cuisine of Istanbul Rums
• Ilgaz Breeze- Mushrooms of Northern Turkey
• Remembering the Old Ramadans

Prof. Dr. Artun Ünsal, Culinary Author:
• White Cheese
• Pastırma

Deniz Gürsoy, Culinary Writer:
• Chocolate: Cure for Love

Dr. Özge Samancı, Yeditepe University - Food Historian, Gastronomy and Culinary
Arts Department:
• 19th Century Ottoman Cuisine from the Palace and Streets

Filiz Hösükoğlu, Food Culture Researcher and Author:
• Gaziantep Cuisine

Engin Akın, Food Culture Researcher and Author:
• A General Overview of Turkish Cuisine

Dr. Nihal Bursa, Expert and Collector of Paraphernalia on Turkish Coffee:
• Turkish Coffee: More than just a cup of frothy hot liquid

Aylin Öney Tan, Culinary Author:
• The Importance of Wheat in Anatolian Traditions

Asst. Prof. Ahmet Uhri, 9 Eylül University, Head of Archeology - Prehistory
• Roots of Anatolian Culinary Culture

Priscilla Mary Işın, Food Writer:
• Traditional Turkish Confectionary Part I - Sweets
• Traditional Turkish Confectionary Part II - Desserts

Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory - DATU

In 2010, TCF inaugurated the Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory - DATU in İstanbul under the sponsorship of the ARMAGGAN brand. The mission of DATU is to document, preserve and promote Turkey’s textile heritage through scientific research and field-based studies. DATU now holds the world’s most extensive collection of natural dye materials and has become one of the most advanced laboratories on natural dyes.

The work of DATU on natural dyes goes hand-in-hand with the research and field-based studies conducted by the DATU team on Turkey’s material culture. Led by Dr. Ozanay Omur, the DATU team conducts research on designs, motives and weaving techniques that accurately reflect regional and historical characteristics of Turkish textiles. Since its inception, DATU has undertaken comprehensive studies of Anatolian carpets, kilims and needlework - or oya.

Through its cooperation with and under the sponsorship of ARMAGGAN, DATU not only helps to preserve Turkey’s rich textile heritage, but also to revive it. TCF-DATU and ARMAGGAN joint projects support sustainable rural employment, which has created income opportunities for over 250 women across Turkey.

Topkapı Palace Museum

A notable project that took place under this partnership is the creation of two carpets for official residence of the President of the Republic of Turkey. The carpets were woven over a period of six months by weavers of the Çamlık Village in the town of Selçuk, İzmir with naturally dyed, hand- spun yarns from the Konya region.

In 2013, ARMAGGAN and TCF-DATU also collaborated in the production of an Anatolian kilim collection. More than 50 women were trained and employed as part of this project, which took place in partnership with the Osmaniye Public Education Center and the Karatepe Kilim Cooperative in the Osmaniye province, and the Van Kilim Works Atelier. In Van, the project was implemented in different neighborhoods, helping to create employment for women whose families have been severely impacted by the 2011 earthquakes. ARMAGGAN and TCF-DATU collaborated on the designs, natural dyeing and weaving process of the kilims, which were woven on traditional looms using wool, silk, and linen yarns. Dr. Omur also frequently met with women artisans who teach or study at Public Education Centers (Halk Eğitim Merkezleri) to advise on how to improve designs, local authenticity and quality for their creations.

Through scientific publications, the DATU research team shares the findings gained from analysis of historical textile and other objects with the scholarly community. By also making the publications available on the DATU portal, TCF shares its knowledge base with all interested parties and the general public. In 2013, the DATU team, led by Dr. Recep Karadağ, published four papers in internationally recognized journals; Dr. Karadağ also presented eight papers at international conferences. These articles and other information regarding the scientific work of DATU can be accessed on its portal.

DATU also produced a collection of 32 natural organic lake pigments. Made from dye insects and dye plants indigenous to Turkey, the collection is the largest and first of its kind. The DATU Pigment Collection is used in decorative arts, as well as in the restoration of paintings, frescos, miniatures, paper marbling and illumination art. The collection also includes certificates detailing the chemical and physical properties of each pigment, as well as its source.


Free Services to Museums:

In line with the TCF mission to preserve Turkey’s cultural heritage, DATU provides free analytical services to leading museums in Turkey and elsewhere, which helps identify, date, restore, and conserve historical artifacts and particularly textiles.

In 2013, DATU provided such services to 19 museums, conducting 323 dye analyses, 103 metal thread analyses, 10 color measurements and 36 microscopic measurements for a total of 472 analytical processes. The DATU analyses helped correctly date artifacts and offered guidance as to the best methods and procedures for restoration. TCF-DATU also provided scientific support to the subsequent restoration of many of the artifacts it analyzed, including the coloring of fabric to be used in the restoration. In line with international restoration standards, DATU customized and applied the dyeing process specifically for each fabric to be used in the restoration.

Many of these services were provided under a protocol signed in 2013 between TCF and the Istanbul Restoration and Conservation Laboratory, which designated DATU as a partner in the preservation and restoration work provided by this laboratory to museums and other state cultural institutions in Turkey.

The following institutions received DATU services in 2013:

Turkish and Islamic Art Museum
Harbiye Military Museum
Afyonkarahisar Museum
Samsun Museum

Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli Museum
İzmir Ethnographical Museum
Aydın Museum

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha Tomb
Topkapı Palace Museum Imperial Carriages Section
Tomb of Turhan Hatice Sultan
Topkapı Palace Museum Imperial Costumes Section
U.S. Weaving Art Museum
Rumeli Fortress Museum
Tomb of Nakşıdil Valide Sultan
Sadberk Hanım Museum
Bayazıd Mosque
Mihrimah Mosque
Azerbaijan History Museum
Archaeological Excavations in Kütahya

    “Since we began a formal relationship with TCF-DATU in early 2013, we have succesfully completed a number of important projects. Under a protocol, TCF-DATU allowed us to access its experts and technical capabilities and helped us to advance our knowledge and experience in the conservation, restoration, proper identification and dating, damage assessment and inventory of cultural and historical artifacts. We hope to continue this work in the years ahead and thank the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the DATU experts led by Prof. Karadağ and ARMAGGAN for their contributions.”
Ali Osman Avşar, Director, Istanbul Restoration and Conservation Laboratory, Ministry of Culture and Tourism

    “Thanks to the dye analyses and the dye applications provided by the TCF Cultural Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory-DATU on the Military Museum’s textile collection, the restoration and conservation of our textile holdings are proceeding in a more scientifically sound manner. We wish to express our appreciation for your support to the preservation of the historical artifacts which consitute our common heritage.”
Lt. Col. İsmail Hakkı Bayrak, Head of the Restoration and Conservation Section, Military Museum

Who's Who in Turkish Culture and Art

TCF continued to expand the Who’s Who in Turkish Culture and Art online database, which features living Turkish artists, artisans and experts. Accessible from the TCF Turkish Culture Portal, the database reached nearly 2,800 artist entries by the end of 2013. The goal of the project is to help identify and recognize practitioners of Turkish traditional and modern arts, and help to promote Turkish artists worldwide. The project also enables people of common interests to connect and collaborate on artistic and cultural projects. Who’s Who in Turkish Culture and Art is organized under various categories such as Visual Arts, Turkish Traditional Arts, Applied Arts, Literature, Music, Theater, Movie, Documentary and TV, Dance and Ballet, Academics, Fashion Design, Restoration and Conservation.

Eyüp Musiki Vakfı-Eyüp Music Foundation

In 2013, TCF continued to support the Eyüp Music Foundation, one of İstanbul’s oldest musical societies. TCF’s support provides music education to children who are unable to pursue it formally and underwrites the Foundation’s concert program.

In 2013, the TCF grant underwrote a tribute concert to celebrate Amir Ateş, a renowned composer of Turkish classical music. With support from the grant, the Foundation organized its second concert on the music of İstanbul titled, “Geçmişten Günümüze İstanbul’da Musiki (Music of İstanbul-Past to Present).

Çatalhöyük Archaeological Site

TCF has designated the archaeological site of Çatalhöyük as a grassroots education and donation project to raise awareness in the United States about the importance of this site to the history of Anatolia and mankind and to help raise funds for its preservation.

Çatalhöyük, a stop on the TCF Teacher Study Tours, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 2012, thanks in part to the multi-year grants provided by TCF, which helped the excavation team led by Dr. Ian Hodder of Stanford University to improve the site. As the only Neolithic site on the UNESCO list from the Middle East, Çatalhöyük holds universal value for our understanding of the way of life in early agricultural settlements.

Participants on the 2013 TCF Teacher Study Tours spearheaded student awareness projects on Çatalhöyük and raised funds for the site. TCF matched the donations raised by the teachers for Çatalhöyük in 2013 and will continue to do so until the end of 2014.

Turkish Music Dictionary and Turkish Folk Music Dictionary

TCF continued its support for a multi-year, multi-disciplinary research and documentation project on Turkish music. The project’s first phase to create an online Turkish Music Dictionary was completed and made available on the TCF Turkish Music Portal in 2011.

The second phase of the project is the creation of a Turkish Folk Music Dictionary, the first of its kind. The project is led by Turkish ethnomusicologist Dr. Melih Duygulu, who previously coordinated the TCF Turkish Music Portal project. Work continued on the project in 2013 with Dr. Duygulu’s team completing seven field research trips through the year, visiting Erzurum and the towns of Aşkale and Şenkaya; Konya; Kayseri and villages of the Sarıoğlan and Akkışla towns; Tokat and the towns and villages of Almus, Niksar and Reşadiye; Bolu and the town of Kıbrıscık; Çorum and the town of Alaca; and finally Şanlıurfa.

In addition to “excavating” musical terms, the team collected bard chants, lyrics/poetic sayings, henna songs, lullabies, laments, religious/mystical music samples and singing techniques, dances and even local culinary traditions, through interviews and by their observation of local celebrations. The project’s field research phase sponsored by TCF will be completed in March
2014. The dictionary is scheduled to be published by Dr. Duygulu in late 2014. Meanwhile, a separate project will be undertaken by TCF to classify and edit over 60 hours of original video content and hundreds of images compiled during the research project, which will be shared with the general public over the TCF portals.



Scholarships and Fellowships

TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art

Since its founding in 2000, the Turkish Cultural Foundation has made significant contributions to advancing knowledge on Turkish culture and art, as well as Turkish language studies through its support of academic institutions and individual scholars. 68 scholars have been awarded the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art since its launch, including 16 scholars who received the Fellowship in 2013. In 2013, TCF also conducted a comprehensive evaluation of this Fellowship program to chart the future of TCF support of academic-level Turkish cultural studies.

    “The importance of TCF fellowships lies in that they provide assistance to young scholars at a crucial point in their careers, allowing them to really concentrate on seeing their first major research project to completion. The TCF’s support of internationally competitive work related to Ottoman and modern Turkish cultural history specifically will undoubtedly help increase the visibility of such research in the global context.”
Maximilian Hartmuth, Ph.D. in History and Art History, Sabancı University, Turkey 2011

Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Vienna, Austria

    “The Turkish Cultural Foundation Fellowship greatly facilitated my doctoral dissertation research and study. It provided me with adequate financial resources in order to travel and visit historical sites as well as conduct archival research, both of which were essential to the completion of my dissertation.”
Dimitrios Loupis, Ph.D. Candidate, Ottoman History, Center for Middle Eastern Studies & Department of History, Harvard Univesity, U.S.A

    “I am truly honored to be one of the recipients of the TCF Fellowship. Since the beginning of my higher research career, I have been devoted to investigate aspects of modern Turkish culture, which constitutes a rich source for academics from all over the world. The TCF fellowships provide an invaluable support for early career academics including myself, and encourage scholarly research in the areas of Turkish arts and culture.”
Can T. Yalçınkaya, Ph.D. in Media, Music and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Australia


Turkish Language and Culture Studies

Ottoman Studies Foundation Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School

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. The TCF grant supports the Ottoman Studies Foundation’s Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School (IOTSS) held every year at the Sevgi - Doğan Gönül Ottoman Research Building in Cunda, 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.

The 2013 school session took place from July 8 to August 16 and accepted 21 students from among 31 applicants who hailed from universities in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Greece, Italy and Turkey.

    “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. It is an extremely gratifying occasion when two charitable organizations with shared missions can work together to advance their causes.”
Prof. Dr. Gönül Tekin, President, Ottoman Studies Foundation

    “I had wanted to attend for some time the Ottoman Studies Foundation’s Summer School in Cunda based on its reputation as the premier program of its kind. I am pleased to say that it lived up to this reputation, and that my completing this program has enabled me to greatly improve my Ottoman reading skills in terms of both speed and accuracy, which has proved invaluable now that I am conducting my dissertation research at the Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (BOA). I am grateful for the fee waiver, and the Turkish Cultural Foundation grant which made it possible, as going to the Ottoman Summer School at Cunda has given me the tools necessary to be an effective researcher in my field.”
Alex Schweig (Class of 2013), Ph.D Candidate, University of Arizona

    “The knowledge of Ottoman I acquired over the summer continues to prove quite useful. Though the bulk of my research is on the 1940s and 50s, having a basic understanding of Ottoman has allowed me to better situate my work in historical context by bringing in some printed material from the late Ottoman and early Republican period. Moreover, in mid-century archives I continue to come across hand written notes and letters in Ottoman, and now I can at least figure out what they are about and if I should spend the time to really decipher them. Ottoman has also proved unexpectedly useful in my sort of tangential work on Turkish maps.”
Nick Danforth (Class of 2012), Ph.D Candidate, Georgetown University

National Hellenic Research Foundation
Ottoman Language and Paleography Course

TCF awarded a second year major grant to the Ottoman Studies program at the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens, Greece.

The TCF grant provides full funding to offer a course on Ottoman Language and Paleography at the Foundation. In its first year, the program enrolled 58 students. Offered in 2013 at two levels, 58 students successfully completed the two levels taught by Dimitris Loupis (TCF Fellow in Turkish Culture and Art -2010).

    “When I introduced the Program of Ottoman Studies at the National Hellenic Research Foundation a decade ago, I deemed it essential alongside research, holding workshops and publishing books, to hold a seminar course on Ottoman language and paleography. The program, without deviating from its research objectives, had also to take an educational role outside academic institutions and to provide an opportunity to all those wishing to become involved with the subject to acquire their first knowledge of Ottoman paleography. Thanks to the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s sponsorship this aim was achieved.”
Dr. Evangelia Balta, Research Director, National Hellenic Research Foundation

    “I consider the course on Ottoman language and paleography very interesting, because it puts me in contact with a culture, the architectural monuments of which have been the subject of my professional and research activities. I hope that soon I will be able to read the inscriptions on these monuments. I would also like to note that this program covers the needs of Greek scholars, who want to study the numerous archival documents as well as inscriptions on objects kept in Greek museums of Asia Minor Hellenism.”
Athina Christophidou, Architect, Honorary Director, Directorate for the Restoration of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments, Ministry of Culture of Greece

    “This course is very important for my research interests as a graduate student of Ottoman history. It is essential for those who do not know Modern Turkish and wish to learn Ottoman Turkish, as well as for those who already have a good command of Turkish. It should also be noted that it is the first seminar that offers a perfectly structured course with comprehensive bibliographies and use of tools such as the e-library with handbooks, methods, grammars and dictionaries that facilitate attendance and consolidation of taught material.”
Nikos Vaitsis, Educator, Graduate student of Ottoman history


University of Chicago - Ayaslı Lectureship

In 2000, the year TCF was founded, the Trustees established a fund for Turkish Language Instruction at the University of Chicago. The gift established and continues to support the Ayaslı 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.

    “The generous funding from the Ayaslı 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.”
Dr. Martha T. Roth, Dean of the Humanities Division at University of Chicago


Stanford University - Turkish Language Course

TCF awarded a third-year grant to Stanford University to support a full-time Lecturer position in Turkish Language and Literature at the University. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Burcu Karahan Richardson, the lecturer and a recipient of the TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art, offered a total of 10 courses on Turkish language and literature, including two in Ottoman Turkish, which was offered for the first time at Stanford. She also presented two academic events about Turkish literature and cinema and published three academic publications.

The courses taught under the program were Reading Turkish I and II, Advanced Turkish, Ottoman Turkish and two courses on Turkish literature. Total enrollment in the courses was 28 undergraduate and graduate students.

    “The Turkish Language & Literature Lectureship directly supports Stanford’s mission to train future leaders who are well-grounded in global affairs. Turkey has been a crossroads for diverse communities through the ages. A solid knowledge of Ottoman and modern Turkish is particularly essential for understanding the historical and contemporary formations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe. Stanford students, who have taken the lecturer’s courses, have acquired valuable insights into the complex cultural, social and political dynamics that characterize our world today. Their knowledge of Turkish language and culture will provide unique advantages for their professional and personal aspirations after their graduation.”
Prof. Richard Saller, Vernon R. & Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities & Sciences, Stanford University

    “The interest in Turkish literature and langugage has increased greatly among Stanford students. It is no longer unusual to run into a student browsing a Turkish copy of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü or to overhear students conversing in Turkish about simit and poğaça.”
Dr. Burçak Keskin-Kozat, Associate Director, The Mediterranean Studies Forum, Stanford University


Turkish Language Education Grant

A 2013 TCF grant to Billings Middle School in Seattle, WA provided funding to institutionalize secondary level Turkish language education at the school. The project was spearheaded by Rebecca Timson, Dean of Faculty of the school and an alumnus (2007) of the TCF Teachers Study Tours to Turkey.


Turkish American Community Schools

In reflection of its commitment to support Turkish language and heritage education for Turkish American children, TCF established the Turkish American School Grant in 2005. Since then, TCF has awarded 26 grants to support the establishment or expansion of Turkish American community schools nationwide. In 2013, the Turkish American Association of Minnesota was awarded the TCF Turkish American School Grant.


Aid Foundation for Elementary Schools
(İlköğretim Okullarına Yardım Vakfı-İLKYAR)

TCF provided a major grant to İLKYAR Foundation, a Turkish NGO and recipient of previous TCF grants, which organizes educational programs and aid campaigns that benefit schools in rural areas of Turkey. The TCF grant supported a Math & Science summer camp for elementary school students and teachers from regional boarding schools in Turkey. 153 children and 41 teachers participated in the 2013 summer camp, which was run by 28 İLKYAR volunteers, numerous faculty members and staff. The camp took place on the campus of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara on June 17-22.


TCF continued to contribute to the promotion of Turkish art and culture by supporting cultural, music and film festivals, exhibitions, and performances across the United States. TCF also facilitated cultural and artistic exchanges between Turkey and the U.S. through its grants and fellowships to institutions, as well as individual artists.

Turkish Modern Art at SOFA

Having presented the works of 32 Turkish contemporary artists at the Sculpture Objects & Functional Art - SOFA fairs since 2007, TCF joined forces with the ARMAGGAN Art & Design Gallery in this project in 2012. In 2013, ARMAGGAN became the lead sponsor and organizer of the Turkish modern art display at SOFA, as part of its vision to support and promote Turkish artists and designers.

10 Turkish modern artists joined dozens of international artists and tens of thousands of art enthusiasts at the 20th SOFA Fair on October 31 - November 3, 2013 in Chicago. Aslı Kutluay, Ayşegül Kırmızı, Camekan, Derya Özparlak, Dilek Aydıncıoğlu, Dinçer Güngörür, Meral Değer, Nadia Arditti, Pembe Hilal Tüzüner and Semra Özümerzifon took part in the TCF-ARMAGGAN Art & Design Gallery’s exhibition at SOFA Chicago.

The SOFA Fair brings together groundbreaking modern artists, sculptors, designers, curators, and collectors from around the world for a series of exhibits, lectures, and discussions and is visited by tens of thousands of art lovers every year.

    “The TCF showcase of Turkish contemporary art at SOFA gives Turkish artists an incredible opportunity to present their work to a discerning international art audience. Participating in SOFA also enables Turkish artists to meet fellow artists from across the world.”
Şanel Şan, Curator, ARMAGGAN Art & Design Gallery

    “I am honored to have had the opportunity to be one of the presented artists for the 20th anniversary of SOFA Chicago show. This huge and imposing experience of connecting with a worldwide art audience was truly remarkable. SOFA will always remain one of the milestones in my professional career and life.”
Dilek Aydıncıoğlu

    “First of all I would like to express my personal gratitude to TCF for having invited me to participate to SOFA Chicago. Having the opportunity to meet other artists, show my work, and talk about it to a large number of visitors was very gratifying.”
Semra Özümerzifon

    “As an artist with a design discipline background, SOFA was a very important venue for me to exhibit my functional sculptures. I received important feedback from art lovers, collectors, other artists and designers. I would like to thank TCF and ARMAGGAN Art & Design Gallery for supporting us.”
Aslı Kutluay

    “I experienced the value attributed to arts at SOFA 2013, personally. The grandness of the exhibition, the variety and quality of the attending galleries and artists were amazingly impressive. I was especially taken with the incredible glass works and techniques used. I’d like to thank ARMAGGAN and TCF for enabling us to attend such an exhibition, especially in the United States. With such support I believe that more and more Turkish artists will be able to exist in global platforms.”
Pembe Hilal Tüzüner

    “I am happy to have had the chance to take part in SOFA-Chicago to exhibit my work. Participation in such an internationally important artistic platform improves my vision as an artist and encourages me towards new horizons. I am deeply grateful to the ARMAGGAN Gallery and to the Turkish Cultural Foundation for their valuable support.”
Meral Değer


TCF Cultural Exchange Fellowship

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. In 2013, TCF awarded 14 fellowships under its Cultural Exchange Fellowship Program, bringing the total number of Fellows under this program to 40 since the program’s inception.

2013 TCF Cultural Exchange Fellows

Refik Anadol, an Audio/Visual Artist and Designer, was awarded the fellowship to work on a large scale exhibition at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Doğan Arslanoğlu, a Photographer, participated in the Wassaic Residency Program in New York, USA, a multi medium residency that includes writers, musicians, and visual artists.
Halil Demirdelen, Archaeologist and Curator at the Anatolian Civilization Museum in Ankara, was invited to give a series of lectures and workshops on Anatolian civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, U.S.A.
Şirin Pancaroğlu Dervent, a Harpist, performed a solo recital at the 12th International Harp Festival and Workshop in Belgrade, Serbia, organized by the Harp Association of Serbia.
Ali Dolanbay, a Contemporary and Performing Artist, performed his work “Untitled Act New York” during the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, in collaboration with Panoply Performance Laboratory in New York, U.S.A.
Dr. Begümşen Ergenekon, Anthropologist and lecturer at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, presented her paper “Food, Health and Wellbeing in Urunlu Village, Turkey” at the 8th International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences in Porto, Portugal.
Deniz İkiz, a Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University, UK, presented a paper on “Global Heritage Cities: A New Perspective for the Adaptation of the Historic Urban Landscape Approach to the Globalised Urban Context” at the International Conference of Heritage, Cities and Sustainable Development in Paris, France.
Gülfidan Özmen, a Glass Artist, exhibited her glass art works at the “+1” Glass Show as part of the Glass Boston exhibition in Boston, U.S.A.
Ceylan Öztürk, a Sculptor and Visual Artist, undertook an Art Residency Program and exhibited her work at the Museum of Ideas in Lviv, Ukraine.
Leyla Postalcıoğlu, a Dancer and Choreographer, attended the Dance WEB Residency Program at the International Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria.
Elvan Serin, a Visual Artist, was accepted as the 2013 Ceramic Artist in Residence at the Künstlerhaus Stadttöpferei Neumünster, Germany.
Selin Vatansever Tezcan, a Film Producer, participated in the 23rd Cinequest International Film Festival in San Jose, U.S.A, with her feature production “El Yazısı.”
Zafer Yumlu, a Horn musician, taught Turkish music for the horn at the Dornbirner Horntage 2013 and at the Musikschule Dornbirn, Austria.
Zeynep Çelik, Professor of Architecture in the College of Architecture and Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology, U.S.A, presented her paper “The City, Ideology and Collective Memory” at the Conference on “Memory and Culture,” organized by the Cultural Research Association in Turkey.


    “With the financial and moral support of the Turkish Cultural Foundation, I have made my debut in U.S. with a broad success. There was great interest in my show by the media and the public. The Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly printed a full page review after the opening of the exhibition. “art ltd,” a leading art magazine published a spread about my artworks and future projects. As an indicator of the success of the exhibition, Young Gallery decided to extend the dates of my show for two more months. I would like to thank TCF for the Cultural Exchange Fellowship which I have been awarded.”
Refik Anadol, Audio/Visual Artist and Designer

    “I attended The Wassaic Artist Residency in New York. The work that I produced during my time at the Wassaic Artist Residency in New York helped me artistically to adapt to changes in social environment, pace of living, and location, which will help me to take successive steps in providing a more honest output through photographic work. My work during this residency will be on view at the residency in August 2014. Thank you for this opportunity and I am grateful for this program, and the help it brings to many creative people.”
Doğan Aslanoğlu, Photographer

    “Through my participation in GlassBoston, I found a perfect opportunity to work with glass artists like Peter Houk and Pablo Soto to create my glass works through collaboration. Meeting and watching other artists’ demos generated a great deal of knowledge for my future lectures at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and impacted my technical knowledge in glass. I would like to thank the Turkish Cultural Foundation for supporting my participation in GlassBoston and +1: Glass Show!”
Gülfidan Özmen, Glass Artist


Turkish Culture, Music, Film and Dance

In 2013, TCF supported leading Turkish cultural festivals in Boston and Seattle, organized, respectively, by the Turkish American Cultural Society of New England, and the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington (TACAWA). Thousands of Americans experienced Turkish music, art, culture and cuisine at these festivals.

The 18th Boston Turkish Arts and Culture Festival took place under the theme “Colors of Anatolia” and included art exhibits, workshops, performances, culinary events and a short film competition. The festival began on Turkish Republic Day, October 29th, and ran through December 15. The events took place at leading Boston institutions, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard University and the Boston Public Library, and were attended by over 83,300 participants.

The 13th Turkish Cultural Festival in Seattle-Turkfest took place on October 19-20 at the Seattle Center under the theme “Mosaic of Histories,” featuring cultural performances, children activities, cooking demonstrations and seminars. It was attended by an estimated 8,000 people.

TCF also provided a grant to support the third annual International Children’s Friendship Festival in Seattle, organized by the TACAWA. The celebration, which was held on April 23rd, Turkish National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, has developed into an international event in Seattle. This year’s festival featured children’s performances representing 23 countries and Seattle ethnic communities.

Promoting Turkish cinema in the United States remained on the cultural agenda of TCF in 2013. The Foundation once again became the main sponsor of the 12th Boston Turkish Film & Music Festival, co-presented with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. A major TCF grant to the Moon and Stars Project of the American Turkish Society (ATS) continued to support the expansion of Turkish film festivals in the United States. As a result of TCF cooperation and funding, Turkish cinema was brought to diverse audiences at the 2nd Seattle Turkish Film Festival, the 7th Turkish Film Series in Milwaukee, and the 2nd Annual Turkish Film Festival in Chicago.


    “Americans of Turkish origin play a significant role in the ethnic diversity of Boston
by incorporating their rich cultural heritage through their annual Boston Turkish Arts and Culture Festival and Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival organized by the Turkish American Cultural Society of New England with the continuous support of the Turkish Cultural Foundation.”
Alejandra St. Guillen, Director, Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians

    “The Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival brings together people to celebrate and share the riches of Turkish culture and heritage through the universal language of cinema. The Turkish Cultural Foundation’s consistent support plays a significant role in these fine efforts of the Turkish American Cultural Society of New England.”
Carter Long, Katherine Stone White Curator of Film and Video, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Makam New York

A TCF grant to Makam New York helped underwrite the Second Annual Turkish Music Institute Workshop. The workshop was held in New York City on April 5-9, 2013. Sponsored by TCF for the second year, this intensive workshop provides musicians the opportunity to learn Turkish makam music from its finest practitioners. This year’s workshop opened with a concert titled “Sounds of the Bosphorus” on April 4 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Symphony Space on Broadway. The sold-out concert was attended by over 300 people, who were treated to a rich repertoire representing Turkey’s musical heritage through various forms and composers of diverse backgrounds.

Makam New York brought master musicians of Turkish classical music, Yurdal Tokcan (oud), Ross Daly (orchestration and composition), and Ömer Erdoğdular (ney), and Ahmet Erdoğdular (singing and vocal improvisation), to New York City. The five-day workshop was attended by 24 students, some of whom traveled from the East Coast of the U.S., Canada, and even North Africa.

    “Makam New York’s Turkish Music Institute annual workshop owes its existence in part to the support and funding of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. The project established an exceptional artistic institution and a North American center for teaching and performance of makam traditions. TCF supported us from the beginning and participated in our effort to promote and showcase a unique and rich musical tradition; provide musical education at subsidized cost to the widest student body by master teachers of the tradition; and encourage cultural and artistic diversity.”
Ahmet Erdoğdular, President, Makam New York

    “I want to thank TCF and Makam New York for putting on such a wonderful and valuable program for Turkish musicians in America. It is a big opportunity for us to learn from you and other master musicians, and I already feel like I gained so much from the experience.”
Adem Merter Birson, Oudist, Ph.D. candidate in Musicology, Cornell University


Nazım Hikmet Poetry Festival

A major TCF grant underwrote the 5th Nazım Hikmet Poetry Festival and Competition organized by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina. TCF has underwritten this event since its inception. The Festival was held on April 14, 2013 at the Page Walker Arts & History Center in Cary.

The festival brought together poets, scholars and the community in celebration of poetry and honoring the Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet. About 150 poetry lovers attended the 2013 festival, which marked the largest attendance ever. The heart of the festival is the poetry competition, which is open to poets from all around the world. The competition received over 800 poems from 272 poets from the United States and other countries. Every year the festival focuses on a poet with international stature. The featured poet for 2013 was Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet. A key highlight of the festival was the initiation of the Turkish poetry translation project. As a result, works by three Turkish poets were translated. Erdag Goknar, translator of Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red, joined the festival with his original translations of Nazım Hikmet’s Kurtuluş Savaşı Destanı and his quatrains. Murat Nemet-Nejat, who is an established translator of contemporary Turkish poets, contributed four translations of Birhan Keskin poems. Finally, the collaboration between a former finalist of the Hikmet competition, Jeffrey Kahrs and the Turkish poet Hatice Örün, resulted in three Gülten Akın translations. The Festival also published a scrapbook with Fady Joudah’s talk, poems by the winners and the Turkish poetry translations, which is available through Amazon.



TCF provided a second year grant to NY2Dance, a non-profit dance theatre company in the U.S., under the artistic direction of Nejla Y.Yatkın, an acclaimed Turkish American dancer and choreographer. The TCF grant underwrote NY2Dance’s 2013 performances of “Oasis” at the Bates Dance Festival at Bates College in Maine, the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York, the Family Theater of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the International Contemporary Dance Festival in Lima, Peru.

    “Nejla Y. Yatkın’s “Oasis,” which had its official U.S. premiere on Friday evening at the Bates Dance Festival, gives the impression of a piece of art that has been honed until every millimeter and nanosecond is full of intent and commitment, without sacrificing its raw emotional impact... Nary a note, beat or instrumentation wavered from the sense of inevitability that a good music-dance marriage should have, and the mood for each piece was gorgeously matched to its message...”Oasis” is what every choreographer hopes for with a multimedia dance piece: seamless integration of each element.
Portland Press Herald Review by Jennifer Brewer, July 13, 2013, excerpts.



For the fifth year, TCF sponsored Istanbulive, a celebration of Turkish contemporary music in the U.S. After several years of presenting Turkish contemporary music to New Yorkers, Istanbulive5 was designed as a traveling Turkish Rock showcase, which took place from March 7-22, 2013 and featured the leading Turkish rock bands Gripin, Mor ve Ötesi and New York Gypsy All Stars. The groups performed at the first Turkish Rock showcase at the SXSW festival in Austin, and to full houses in Boston, D.C. and New York City, reaching over 1,400 fans, music experts, media and tastemakers. To top off the success of the events, Billboard Magazine picked Gripin as one of the Top 20 break-out acts based on social media metrics. The festival was produced by New York based Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede Productions.


American Turkish Association of Southern California - ATA-SC

TCF awarded a grant to the American Turkish Association of Southern California ATA-SC San Diego to underwrite a performance by the award-winning HOY-TUR Turkish Folk Dance Troupe, which took place on October 20.

TCF also awarded a grant to the American Turkish Association of Southern California, ATA- SC to underwrite a commemorative event celebrating the life and achievements of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on November 10, 2013. The event was attended by over 200 participants and took place in Carson, California where plans are underway to build an Ataturk monument in the Carson Sculpture Garden.

TCF provided a grant to Turkish Radio Hour based in San Francisco and broadcasting on San Francisco community radio every Saturday, through ATA-SC. Produced by a volunteer Turkish American team, the program features information on Turkey, Turkish culture and art, business and scientific interests. It can be listened to live online and from its archives.


U.S. - Turkish Jazz Exchange

TCF sponsored a series of performances in Washington, D.C. by five emerging Turkish jazz musicians as part of the first U.S.-Turkish Jazz Exchange hosted by the Meridian International Center. The performances by Serkan Alagök, Berk Kurdoğlu, Yunus Emre Muti, Emre Toprak and Cemre Yılmaz under the direction of Emre Kartarı took place at the Meridian International Center, the Turkish Embassy Residence, D.C. public schools, Busboys and Poets, and the 11th Annual Washington Turkish Festival, where the group performed with the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, as well as jam sessions at the Sitar Arts Center and Howard University. The students also enjoyed special briefings at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives, as we as other cultural excursions.


Art for All People

TCF provided a grant to Art for All People, a California based organization, to organize an intercultural collaborative art exhibition, artist talks and children’s programs highlighting the philosophy and teachings of 13th century mystic Rumi. The events took place in March and April 2013 and were attended by over 300 participants.



TCF continued to provide major funding to American museums and art institutions to promote Turkey’s traditional and contemporary arts. Tens of thousands of people visited these exhibitions in 2013, advancing TCF’s mission to promote Turkey’s artistic and cultural heritage and contemporary arts.


Design: Istanbul-New York

TCF provided a major grant to the American Turkish Society to support a debut exhibition by Turkish designers at Wanted Design in New York City’s landmark Terminal Stores Building on May 17-20, 2013. “Design: Istanbul-New York” showcased seven creations by Turkish designers Hande Akçaylı and Murat Koçyiğit of Mashallah, Ali Bakova, Umut Demirel, Tamer Nakışçı, Koray Özgen, Erin Türkoğlu and Melodi Bozkurt, and Can Yalman. Design items included Pleat Box ceramic light by Hande Akçaylı and Murat Koçyiğit; Extra Wine Set made of carafe and wine glass by Ali Bakova; Attractive mirror & magnet combination by Umut Demirel; Relax porcelain tableware by Tamer Nakışçı; Tuluat wool rug by Koray Özgen; Novela Vessels ceramic tabletop pieces by Erin Türkoğlu and Melodi Bozkurt of Muzz Design; and Tearend Tea Cup & Saucer by Can Yalman.

A lively conversation on “Design Entrepreneurship” between renowned style editor Melissa Feldman and creator of Turkey’s first luxury design brand Gaye Çevikel, and a collaborative performance on the art of cocktails presented by Chef Dilara Erbay and designer mixologists of Brooklyn, Guinea Pig Group, were organized in tandem with the exhibition. The events and exhibition, which was also supported by ARMAGGAN Art and Design Gallery, attracted nearly 10,000 visitors.

    “On behalf of The American Turkish Society, we would like to thank you for your participation and support of Design İstanbul-New York at the third edition of Wanted Design international design fair. The event, which marked the first time that Turkish design was represented collectively during New York’s official design week, attracted 3,000 visitors on its invitation only opening night and nearly 10,000 visitors during its four-day duration. Celebrity designers Karim Rashid, Tom Dixon, and Jerry Helling were some of the names who visited the Turkish Booth during opening night. The event received wide attention in social media and coverage on blogs and print publications. We could not have done any of this without your generous support and participation.”
Murat Köprülü, Chairman, American Turkish Society


Turkish Ceramics Exhibition

For the second year in a row, TCF provided a major grant to support an exhibition by Turkish ceramic artists during the Annual Conference of the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts-NCECA. This year’s NCECA conference took place in Houston on March 20-23, 2013. The exhibition was showcased at the Canal Street Gallery and was curated by Işık Gençoğlu of Istanbul Concept, Organized under the theme “Balance: Stories of Anatolian Territory - II,” more than thirty works by thirty Turkish ceramic artists were featured in the exhibition. The featured artists were: Adil Kerem Sarıkaya, Aydan Birdevrim, Beril Anılanmert, Bingül Başarır, Burcu Karabey, Deniz Onur Erman, Dilek Aydıncıoğlu, Elhan Ergin, Elif Aydoğdu Ağatekin, Enver Güner, Ezgi Hakan V. Martinez, Güngör Güner, Hande Bilten, Hasan Şahbaz, Hüseyin Özçelik, K. Deniz Pireci, Kemal Tizgöl, Leman Kalay, M. Tüzüm Kızılcan, Mehmet Kutlu, Mustafa Tunçalp, Mutlu Başkaya, Öder Ünsal, Ödül Işıtman, Ömür Tokgöz, Reyhan Gürses, Tuğrul Emre Feyzoğlu, Türker Özdoğan, and Zehra Çobanlı.

    “The early art of Anatolia continues to inspire contemporary ceramic artists in Turkey today. Their works help preserve and develop our shared artistic and cultural heritage, span geographies and time, conveying an aesthetic that brings people closer together and gives meaning to our existence. We therefore take great pleasure to present the contemporary face of Turkish Ceramic Art, with its deep roots in history, to American art-lovers, artists, ceramic art teachers and students.”
Mutlu Başkaya, featured Ceramic Artist, excerpts from the Balance exhibition catalog.

    “What an AMAZING exhibition at Canal St Gallery!!! I want to see much more exchange between Turkish and Houston artists. The exhibition was so strong, yet each individual sculptor could have stood and carried the show alone. BRAVO!”
Maureen Seeba, Artist.



Turkish Cultural Foundation

Turkish Culture Portal

Turkish Music Portal

Turkish Cuisine Portal

TCF Cultural Heritage Preservation and Natural Dyes Laboratory

TCF Culinary Arts Center (YESAM)




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