TCF Newsletters Issue 3

Turkish Cultural Foundation's Fellowship Program

The Turkish Cultural Foundation has awarded 13 scholars with its Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art for 2009. The TCF Fellowship Program was launched in 2007 and offers fellowships for Ph.D. candidates working on a dissertation related to Turkish culture and art and for scholars to pursue post-doctoral studies in the same area. Since its launch, 23 scholars have been awarded the TCF Fellowship. The TCF Fellowship is designed to support scholarship and publications on Turkish culture and art with the goal to increase knowledge on Turkey’s cultural heritage in Turkey and around the world.

Turkish Cultural Foundation's sponsorship at SOFA 2009

The TCF is pleased to pioneer Turkish participation at SOFA through a Turkish booth, showcasing contemporary Turkish artists, aspiring and established, to art lovers, art galleries, and international artists at SOFA. In 2009, the Turkish Cultural Foundation's booth at the SOFA New York featured Turkish sculptors Meric Hizal, Yunus Tonkus, Seckin Pirim and Esma Pacal Turam. To learn more about SOFA 2009 New York, please visit here.

8th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival (March 27 - May 9, 2009)

This year's festival features a rich program of fifteen film highlighting contemporary Turkish cinema and Turkish filmmakers. The 2009 Boston Turkish Film Festival Excellence in Turkish Cinema Award recipient is acclaimed director Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The director will receive his award during the Award Ceremony preceding the screening of his latest film, Three Monkeys (Uc Maymun). The festival will also include a series of concerts, and a food tasting event.
The festival is sponsored in part by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.


President Obama Visited Turkey

President Barack Obama visited Turkey on April 6-7, where he addressed the Turkish Grand National Assembly and met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. During the visit, the President emphasized that Turkey was a key ally of the United States. For the President’s major policy speech at the Turkish Parliament, visit here.

Turkey Celebrates April 23rd Turkish National Sovereignty and Children's Day

The foundation of the Republic of Turkey was laid on April 23, 1920 with the inauguration of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) in Ankara. It was the first step toward a new state in Anatolia whose roots were laid by the Turkish National War of Liberation led by Mustafa Kemal, later to be given the name Atatürk – father of Turks. The Turkish national liberation struggle began on May 19, 1919 and culminated in the liberation of Anatolia from foreign occupation, the international recognition of modern Turkey’s borders by the Treaty of Lausanne, and the founding of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. With the opening of the Assembly, Ankara became the center of the Turkish national struggle and was declared as the capital of the new Turkish Republic on October 13, 1923. On the opening day of the Assembly, Mustafa Kemal was elected as its first president. His opening speech includes clues of what he envisioned this Assembly to achieve. Stating that “there will not be any superior power over the assembly,” he set the stage for the founding of the Republic of Turkey to replace the Ottoman monarchy. The Assembly, as the representative body of the Turkish people, established a national army and defeated the Allied Powers. Under the visionary leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, it created a secular, democratic Republic. On April 23, 1929, upon Atatürk’s proposal, the Turkish Grand National Assembly decreed April 23 as a national holiday, celebrating national sovereignty and dedicated it to Turkish children. Thus Turkey became the first country in the world which celebrates an official Children’s Day. Today this national holiday is celebrated in Turkey with children from all over the world in the spirit of peace and harmony.

Turkish-American Becomes Chairman of Coca Cola

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday that its board of directors has elected Muhtar Kent , a Turkish-American as its new chairman. Kent, 56, succeeds Neville Isdell, 65, who retired following the company's annual shareholder meeting yesterday. Kent was also re-elected as president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta, Georgia-based company. Mr. Kent joined the company in 1978 and held a variety of senior positions. Mr. Kent holds a bachelor of science degree in economics from Hull University, England, and a master of science degree in administrative sciences from London City University. Muhtar Kent is also the son of Ambassador Nezih Kent (1911-2002). Ambassador Kent was among the Turkish diplomats honored as “Righteous Among Nations” by Israel for his role in the rescue of Jews from the Holocaust. As Turkey’s Consul General to Marseilles between 1941 to 1944, Nezih Kent saved hundreds of Jews by claiming their safe release from Nazi forces as Turkish citizens and by providing Jews who had even a distant connection to Turkey with identification documents. On one occasion, he boarded a train destined for concentration camps and refused to disembark until the German officers allowed him to leave with some 70 Jews, who he asserted were citizens of Turkey.

Istanbul's Lush Life - Conde Nast Traveler

It's modern and Muslim, European and Asian, cutting-edge and conservative—and though at least two millennia old, thrillingly hip. Joan Juliet Buck succumbs to Istanbul's potent persuasions. Eleven-forty on a hot July night in the Dervis Café on the top of the first hill of Istanbul, halfway between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Melon and apricots in front of me, espresso at my elbow, and a strange fragrance from the tables behind me, where men suck on water pipes, narghiles. A server circulates with a brazier, handing out pieces of burning charcoal with little tongs to stoke the pipes. Every now and then the nearest narghile emits a tranquil gurgling of bubbles, its user a contented exhalation.

US State Department Launches Exchange Program for Turkish and American Youth

During her visit to Turkey, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a new exchange program called “Young Turkey/Young America: A New Relationship for a New Age.” According to the State Department which issued a Request for Grant for this program, the project aims to bring 20-30 emerging leaders (ages 20-35) from the two countries together to develop grassroots initiatives that will positively impact people’s lives and will result in stronger ties between the two nations.

International Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership Summit

Guided by the vision of “creating a world in which women will play an active role in all decision-making processes through production and free self-expression”, KAGIDER is holding the “1st Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit” on June 4-5, 2009 at The Marmara Hotel in Istanbul with the main sponsorship of Garanti Bank and support of the American Turkish Friendship Council (ATFC). “1st Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit” encourages women entrepreneurs to discover, participate and play a more significant role in the global arena. KAGIDER’s Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit aims to bring 300 women leaders and entrepreneurs from Turkey, Europe, the United States, the Middle East and North Africa to strengthen women’s economic and social position in society and to support women through highlighting their leadership qualities. The participants will be global, regional and political leaders, entrepreneurs, businesswomen, academics, and members of the media.

The Tulip: A Spring Blossom’s Curious History

You can be glad to get them for a couple of bucks on almost every corner, but tulips were not always that cheap and easy to get. This innocent spring flower looks back on a long and exciting career. Historians of today hold that the tulip emerged as a wild growing plant thousands of years ago spread in a “corridor” which stretches along the 40º latitude between Northern China and Southern Europe. The cultivation of the tulip started around 1000 AD in Persia and Turkey from that day, and this ever popular spring flower enchanted people and caused trouble the same time.

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