Annual Report 2009

Trustees' 2009 Annual Report

In 2009, the Turkish Cultural Foundation allocated a total of $ 1.844.889 in grants and direct disbursements to pursue its mission.

These funds were distributed as follows:

The following chart provides an overview on how TCF funds were allocated in 2009.
For a full listing of all Foundation grants please visit the TCF website.


Turkish Community Schools

The Turkish Cultural Foundation continued supporting schools by the Turkish American community that offer weekend education to Turkish American children. Grants were provided to support the schools of the Turkish American Association of Northe Texas, the Turkish American Association of Central Ohio and the Turkish American Association of North Carolina.

Scholarships and Study Tour Grants

Scholarships and fellowships to support study, research and publications on Turkish culture were provided to a number of Turkish and American non-govemental organizations, including the Glass Fuace Foundation in Istanbul. The Turkish Cultural Foundation grant allowed the Glass Fuace Foundation to hire and to educate an apprentice for the Glass Fuace Foundation’s production and supported the participation of seven Turkish students (2008-09) in the inteational summer glass workshops of the Foundation. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6)

Through a TCF grant to the ILKYAR - Aid Foundation for Elementary Schools, 120 students and teachers from underprivileged regions of Turkey had the opportunity to participate in the Math camp organized at the Middle East Technical University last summer. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5)

TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art

In its second year, the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art was awarded to 13 scholars. The program aims to provide support to students, researchers and scholars who conduct research and publish on the art and culture of Turkey, with a special emphasis on studies related to the preservation of Turkey’s artistic and cultural heritage. The mission of the Turkish Cultural Foundation Fellowship Program is to recognize and assist scholars, whose academic achievements and research reflect the commitment of the Turkish Cultural Foundation to disseminating knowledge about Turkey’s cultural heritage. Since the Fellowship program was established in 2008, a total of 11 post-doctorate and 12 Ph.D. dissertation fellowships were awarded by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.


Turkish Festivals, Theater and Exhibitions

The Turkish Cultural Foundation continued to provide major grants in support of events promoting Turkish culture and art in the United States. The Foundation underwrote as primary sponsor leading Turkish cultural festivals in the United States in 2009, namely in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Monterey and Washington, DC. A TCF grant also enabled the organization of the first ever Turkish Cuisine Week, organized by the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC as part of the Washington Turkish Festival. TCF grants also supported the performance by the world renowned Turkish Mehter – Military Band – at the Chicago Music Festival and a classical Turkish music concert at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York. The Turkish Cultural Foundation also supported promoting Turkish folk dance in the United States through grants given to the San Antonio Turkish American Association and the American Turkish Association of North Carolina. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6, photo7)

Supporting the promotion of Turkish cinema in the United States remained on the cultural agenda of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. The Foundation supported the screening of Turkish films at Filmfest DC, and through its partnership with the Moon and Stars Project in New York, acclaimed Turkish films were screened at Turkish film festivals in New York, Madison, Milwaukee and Seattle.

TCF also provided sponsorships to the New York and Los Angeles premieres of “Journey of Faith,” a documentary film produced with support by the Turkish Cultural Foundation, which follows the trails of early Christianity in Turkey. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4)

Additionally, the Turkish Cultural Foundation sponsored an exhibition about Gordion at the University of Pennsylvania Museum titled “His Golden Touch: The Gordion Drawings by Piet de Jong,” related educational programs. TCF has also underwritten a related lecture on “Archeologists and Travelers in the Ottoman Empire” to be organized at the University of Pennsylvania in April 2010. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6)

For the second year, the Turkish Cultural Foundation provided a grant to the Turkish American Art Society of New York that supported the New York premiere of Hisseli Harikalar Kumpanyasi, which was performed to an audience of nearly 3000 at the Beacon Theater. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4,photo5, photo6)


In 2009, the Turkish Cultural Foundation continued to support the participation of Turkish artists at the Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Exposition – SOFA in New York and Chicago by sponsoring Turkish Cultural Foundation booths, publishing a catalogue and inviting established and aspiring Turkish artists to present their work to art lovers and gallery owners. The Turkish Cultural Foundation booth at SOFA Chicago featured Turkish artists Ebru Yilmaz, Ebru Dosekci, Emel Vardar and Suleyman Saim Tekcan, while SOFA New York introduced Turkish sculptors Meric Hizal, Seckin Pirim and Esma Pacal Turam to sophisticated audiences. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6, photo7)

Artist/Scholar Residencies and Fellowships

To further the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s goal of showcasing Turkish artists for inteational audiences, the Turkish Cultural Foundation provided funding for Turkish artists to perform, take up residencies and participate in inteational fairs and conferences.
Under this program area, the Turkish Cultural Foundation became a sponsor of the Houston and New York concerts of inteationally acclaimed Turkish pianist Idil Biret. TCF also provided funding to support the participation of harpist Sirin Pancaroglu and flutist Elif Yurdakul in the Inteational Rio de Janeiro Harp Festival. Additionally, the trio of harpist Sirin Pancaroglu, oud player Yurdal Tokcan and kamancha player Derya Turkan received TCF’s support to perform two inteational concerts. The first, entitled “Sultan’s Harps” was part of the Turkish Season which took place during the festival “Printemps des Arts” in Nantes, France and the second, a production of Radio France, was broadcast live on French National Radio from the Petit Palais in Paris. (photo1, photo2, photo3)

TCF underwrote the participation Dr. Ilgim Veryeri-Alaca, a painter and educator, at the Transcultural Exchanges conference in Boston to provide a lecture on inteational artist residencies in Turkey. TCF also sponsored a residency for Turkish artist Emre Huner at Apexart in New York.

In addition to supporting established artists to represent Turkey abroad, the Foundation seeks to encourage aspiring artists through educational opportunities. A Turkish dancer, Ilkay Turkoglu, received aid from the Turkish Cultural Foundation complementing funds from provided by European and Austrian foundations and enabling her to participate in the danceWEB Scholarship Program 2009 for Contemporary Dance in Vienna, Austria. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6)

In line with the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s commitment to support research and education about Turkish art and culture, the Foundation underwrote a multi-year research project by its Senior Scholar in Residence, Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy. Prof. Atasoy’s research for her upcoming publication “Turkish Culture in Europe” took her to museums, castles, mansions and libraries across Europe.

The Foundation also provided support to lectures on Turkish carpets, textiles and art by Dr. Sumiyo Okumura, Resident Art Historian at TCF, in the US and Japan.

As part of the Foundation’s mission to preserve and enhance Turkish art forms, the Foundation has provided a major grant to glass artist Gulin Algul in support of her ongoing work to improve the application of marbling – ebru, traditionally used on paper, to glass.

Theatrical arts were supported by the Turkish Cultural Foundation, when actor Koray Bulent Tarhan and actress Zeynep Ozyurt Tarhan received support for their participation in a conference entitled “Applied Improvisation Network - AIN 2009” which took place in Portland, Oregon. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6)

TCF Lecture Series

Under the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Lecture Series in Istanbul, a total of 7 English lectures and 12 Turkish lectures were organized under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy. The lectures on various aspects of Turkish culture are designed for members of the consular corps and the English-speaking expatriate community in Istanbul. (photo1,photo2, photo3)

TCF on the Worldwide Web

The Turkish Cultural Foundation continues to expand and improve its award-winning websites. Our efforts to promote Turkish culture worldwide continued with the regular updating of the content of its portals on Turkish culture, music and cuisine. In 2009, the Turkish Music Portal received, for the second time, the Golden Spider Award. In 2009, the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s websites received over 2 million of visitors from 200 countries. (photo)

Who’s Who in Turkish Art and Culture

The Foundation’s "Who’s Who in Turkish Art and Culture" online database of artists, artisans and scholars in Turkish art and culture reached over 1000 entries in 2009. Under development by Dr. Sumiyo Okumura, this online database, accessible on our Turkish Culture Portal, aims to help promote Turkish artists worldwide, while making it easy for people of common cultural interests to find each other and collaborate on projects that celebrate Turkish cultural heritage.

Turkish Culture Shop

In 2009, TCF also inaugurated Turkish Culture Shop, an initiative to promote Turkey’s diverse cultural and artistic products and a sampling of Turkish food items. Turkish Culture Shop helps to promote and support artists and manufacturers of fine Turkish products, while providing interested buyers access to products which comply with the high standards of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. All profits benefit the work of the Foundation.


The Turkish Cultural Foundation continued its activities in the area of public education and supported similar efforts of like-minded organizations.

TCF-World Affairs Councils of America Program

TCF continued its widely acclaimed educational program in cooperation with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) on a nation-wide scale, joining hands with 14 local World Affairs Council chapters in 2009. In its third year, this collaboration created a nationwide educational outreach program focusing on teacher education on Turkey, as well as a program on Turkey for the general public with the aim to enhance general understanding about Turkish society, culture and history. As part of this program, 14 participating World Affairs Councils around the United States organized teachers’ workshops on Turkey with the participation of 626 teachers. The Foundation also collaborated with the World Affairs Councils in selecting 83 teachers for the teachers’ study tours to Turkey (see below) and organized a series of public educational programs entitled “Portrait of Turkey”. Since the beginning of this joint TCF-WACA program in 2007, a total of 1449 American teachers have participated in the teachers' workshops on Turkey, while the public programs organized with the help of returning teachers have reached thousands of Americans through cultural events ranging from book club readings to cultural displays.

Turkish American Media

Providing support to Turkish American community-based media with a goal to increase communication in the Turkish American community and promote Turkey, the Turkish Cultural Foundation continued to support the “Turkish American Hour" on Fairfax (Virginia) Public Access TV channel and “Bonbon” , a magazine for Turkish American children produced in Washington, DC.


Cultural Tours

Since its first cultural tour in 2006, the Turkish Cultural Foundation has hosted 108 Americans from different walks of life on cultural tours to Turkey. The fifth Cultural Tour took place in fall 2009, hosting 30 influential Americans from govement, business groups, academia and non-profit organizations on an exclusive cultural jouey through Turkey. Throughout this program, participants received an in-depth exposure to the historical, cultural and natural beauties of Turkey.

Teacher Study Tours

In its third year, as part of its partnership program with the World Affairs Councils of America, the Turkish Cultural Foundation organized and sponsored three Teachers Study Tours in the summer of 2009 and introduced 83 educators from 14 US regions to Turkey through 12-day intensive tours, highlighting Turkish society, culture, history and education. In total, the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Teacher Study Tours introduced 215 American teachers to Turkey. (photo1, photo2)

Study Tours and International Events

The Turkish Cultural Foundation continued to provide grants to American schools and universities for faculty-led study tours to Turkey. A TCF grant allowed eight students from Billings Middle School in Seattle to participate in the World Water Forum held in Istanbul, led by a participant teacher of the TCF teachers study tour. The Forty-Ninth State Foundation in Alaska, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, Woodbury University and Haverford College received grants for faculty-led study tours to Turkey. (photo1, photo2, photo3)

The Turkish Cultural Foundation also provided special programs and expertise to many professional and educational groups visiting Turkey, including for participants in the 1st Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit organized in Istanbul.


Spearheading and supporting projects to preserve the cultural heritage of Turkey is one of the pillars of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. The Turkish Cultural Foundation served this mission by continuing to support scientific research and documentation about the civilizations of Anatolia and Turkey’s archeological, architectural and artistic heritage through the following projects it realized and supported in 2009:

The Seljuk Era Cultural and Architectural Sites Inventory/Database Project, a multi-year integrated research project, undertaken by the Foundation for the Advancement of Turkish Cultural Awareness, a Turkish non-govemental organization, was completed in 2009 with funding and expert support by the Turkish Cultural Foundation. (photo1, photo2)

For a second year, the Turkish Cultural Foundation provided a major matching grant to the Global Heritage Fund, to combine efforts in support of the excavation and preservation project at the ancient archeological site of Catalhoyuk. A Neolithic site in Central Turkey, Catalhoyuk dates back some 9000 years. The site is home to the world’s earliest mural art and is central to our understanding about the origins of civilization.

The Turkish Cultural Foundation also provided funding to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara for the publication of both the English and Turkish versions of Anatolia Before You/Senden Once Anadolu, a 16-volume series of educational books for children about Anatolian civilizations. Narrated by a fictive child from each period, the books explain the environment, animals, family, food, clothing, culture and general lifestyle of each civilization found in Anatolia. (photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6, photo7)

Just as the Foundation supports new artistic work by living Turkish artists, it also nurtures Turkish musicians in situ. In 2009, the Turkish Cultural Foundation continued providing grants for one of the oldest musical societies in Istanbul, the Eyup Music Foundation, to expand their facilities to teach young children and adults Turkish classical music in the lower income neighborhood of Eyup in historical Istanbul.

Contributing to the successful transmission of Turkey’s unique musical heritage to the next generation, TCF continued to support research and documentation on Turkish music. A grant has been awarded to Turkish ethnomusicologist Dr. Melih Duygulu, coordinator of the Turkish Music Portal of TCF, for the collection of materials and a multi-discipline field research with a view to produce a Turkish Folk Music Dictionary.

The Foundation also sponsored a leading art gallery in Ankara. The TCF grant allowed Gallery Nev to catalogue its vast archive on mode art, as well as to create a space within the gallery for their research. The archive consists of resources for comparative studies of art, modeity and modeism of different cultures, including handwritten letters by late artists, rare books and prints, essays and clippings from foreign newspapers and art jouals, catalogues of inteational exhibitions, as well as professional images of art works hidden from the public eye in private collections for scholars, students and the public at large.

Image Archive of Turkish Art

In 2009, the Turkish Cultural Foundation inaugurated an online Image Archive of Turkish Art with around 12,000 digitalized slides pertaining to Turkish art. The Archive was created from the professional collection of Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, Art Historian and Senior Scholar of the Turkish Cultural Foundation. It contains images of artifacts from museums, art institutions and private collections take by Dr. Atasoy throughout her professional career and date back to 1955. The Image Archive of Turkish Art is accessible to students, scholars and researchers worldwide and is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest to research Turkish art.


The Turkish Cultural Foundation operates from offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Istanbul and newly opened Detroit and Sonoma locations with a growing team of professionals, intes and volunteers, who implement the mission and undertake the inteational work of the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

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