Newsletter - April 2016


The premiere of “Tables of Istanbul”, a documentary on Turkish cuisine was produced by Asst. Prof. Zeynep Kılıç of the University of Alaska Anchorage, took place at YESAM on April 16. Supported with a major research grant by the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the documentary explores the various aspects of the cuisine of Turkey, while trying to answer questions of food and identity. Istanbul’s culinary culture and general food dynamics are presented through the eyes of a sociologist and through a variety of conversations with chefs, owners of food establishments, activists, and researchers.

On April 7, YESAM hosted Dr. Zeynep Delen Nircan, founder and director of Ege’de Atölye, for a lecture on the "Culinary Aspects of Olive Oil.” The seminar discussed the questions “why we cook?” and “why we cook with olive oil” using basic level chemistry. Dr. Nircan also addressed the specific reasons why we should cook with olive oil. Past YESAM lectures are periodically uploaded for online viewing in the TCF Video Gallery. The latest addition to the gallery is the March lecture by Bülent Varlık about Anatolian cuisine through the eyes of travelers.

In April, Banu Özden of TCF-YESAM hosted a group of young diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a lecture on “Exploring Turkey’s Culinary Heritage.”

Turkish cooking traditions are highlighted every month with the YESAM Recipe of the Month. This month features “Loquat Kebab” a seasonal specialty of Gaziantep, which was recognized in the gastronomy category of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in 2015.

TCF Grant Sponsors Turkish Night at Los Angeles Philharmonic

The 64th Annual International Benefit Ball of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will take place Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. Supported by a grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation, this year's theme will be “Turkey: A Night of Turkish Delights.” The event is being coordinated by the Turkish American Artists Bridge (TAAB) and will feature various Turkish musical and cultural performances.

TCF Grant Underwrites Nazım Hikmet Poetry Festival

TCF provided a grant to underwrite the 8th Annual Nazım Hikmet Poetry Festival organized by the American Turkish Association of North Carolina (ATA-NC). This year’s festival was held on April 10, 2016 at the Page Walker Arts & History Center in Cary, NC and celebrated the life and poetry of Nazım Hikmet, widely regarded as Turkey’s greatest contemporary poet. The festival also pays tribute to a different international poet each year. The focus of this year’s festival was Turkish poet Rumi and the selected poet was Betty Adcock. Finalists of the Poetry competition which precedes the festival read their poetry at the Festival alongside other noted poets. Scrapbooks of past festivals' winning poems can be ordered here.

Gordion Exhibition Continues

The Golden Age of King Midas, a world premier exhibition at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, is now on display through November 27, 2016. TCF provided a major grant to underwrite the exhibition. The exhibition features artifacts unearthed in the main tumulus in Gordion and lent to the exhibition by Turkey, as well as a number of important objects from the tumuli in Lydia and Lycia. These pieces will appear alongside select examples from the Penn Museum's own collections. Archaeologists from Penn have been excavating and conducting research at Gordion since 1950.

Turkish Story Time Program

Makam New York's program Turkish Story Time, which received a TCF grant, has begun weekly recordings in New York City. A first in New York, Turkish Story Time brings children and their caregivers together to learn about Turkish culture through reading stories in Turkish; learning songs, rhymes, and riddles; introducing instruments; and advancing literacy. The program will be recorded every Thursday at 4:00 pm at Book Culture on Columbus in New York City. Stories and materials are available on Makam New York's website, and the program will be video recorded and streamed online. The program is free and open to the public.

TCF Istanbul Lectures

Dr. Tülay Artan, Professor at Sabancı University in İstanbul, presented a lecture entitled “An impressive probate inventory of 1588: Ali Çelebi, antiquarianism and collecting in the Ottoman world” at the TCF İstanbul office on April 12. In May, Prof. Dr. Fatma Yürekli of Mimar Sinan University will give a lecture entitled “Birinci Dünya Savaşı Döneminde Osmanlının Tarihi Eserleri Koruma Gayretleri” (Ottoman efforts to preserve historical artifacts during the World War I) at the TCF Istanbul Office on May 26. The lecture will be held in Turkish. For more information on upcoming TCF Lecture Series in Turkish Culture and Art, visit here. All TCF İstanbul lectures are recorded and may be watched online on the TCF Video Gallery.

TCF Fellows Update

Ümit Şimşek (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow-2016), a musician, bağlama artist, and educator, gave a concert with the Middle Eastern Ensemble at the University of Texas at Austin, Bates Recital Hall  in Austin, USA on April 23.

Dr. Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow-2013) a composer, singer, performer, and scholar, held the world premiere concert of his orchestral work “Harabat / The Intoxicated” at the Carnegie Hall in New York, USA on April 1. He also his opera, “Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch,” at the National Sawdust  in New York, USA on April 8.

İpek Kotan (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow-2014), a ceramic artist, attended the Ceramic Art London 2016 to exhibit her work on April 8-10, 2016.

Ali Dolanbay (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow-2013) joined the group exhibition “BUFFET D'ART” at the Meinblau Projektraum in Berlin, Germany on April 1-10.

Carol Szymanski (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow-2014) held her solo exhibition "A Distance As Close It Can Be" at the Elga Wimmer PCC in New York on April 1-31.

Mansur Bildik (TCF Cultural Exchange Fellow-2016) gave a recital and taught a master class titled “Mozart Allaturca” at the University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music, College of Fine Arts in Austin, TX on April 2.