Turkey Cultural Tour   
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
Who is Ataturk-Founder of Modern Turkey and Famous Personalities
 Mustafa Kemal ATATURK
Mustafa Kemal, founder of the Turkish Republic, was born in Saloniki on the l9th May 1881 of humble background. His father started out as a customs officer, later becoming a timber merchant. Following his sudden death he left behind a family having to fend for itself.
As a child Mustafa finished primary school in Saloniki, going on to secondary education at Rucholigè School. Despite opposition from his uncle, who had taken on the responsibility of looking after the widow and her two children following the death of his brother, Mustafa entered military school, completing his military training in Istanbul. He succeeded in entering the Military School (Harbiye) where he completed his studies with flying colours, after which he was accepted into the School of the General Staff. In December 1905 he was commissioned as General Staff Captain.
Throughout his studies Mustafa Kemal consistently proved himself a conscientious, aspiring and diligent student who liked to interest himself with particularly difficult and complex problems. Whilst at military school in Saloniki, he distinguished himself in mathematics and literature. At the same time, and due mainly to his own efforts he started to learn French, in which he made considerable progress. Yet another trait of character which began to show through in his early youth was Mustafa's ability to show initiative and exceptionally his ability to give orders, whilst at the same time maintaining a sense of fraternity with his comrades. In the School of the General Staff he pondered long and hard over the hardship caused by the dictatorial rule of Abdullamid, who from within his famous Yildiz Palace spread fear throughout the whole country. Just like his comrades at the school, Mustafa harboured the same feelings of disgust and rebelliousness towards the political regime of the Sultan. For this reason he did not hesitate for one moment about taking part in the secret underground activities going on at the General Staff School, directed towards the overthrow of the Yildiz Regime.
Between the years 1905 and 1918 Mustafa Kemal was deservedly awarded high ranking posts in the military chain of command. He became Chief of General Staff of the army that was sent out from Saloniki to put down the uprising of the l3th April 1909, a movement designed to return the country to Hamadic Absolutism and which had started with the non recognition of the Constitution that had been declared on the 23rd July 1908. Mustafa proved to have special qualities in the organisation and management of this army of oppression, known as the Army of the Movement. In 1910 he lead the Turkish Forces during military manoeuvres in the Province of Picardy in France. In 1911 he fought in Tripoli against the Italians, and in 1914 whilst serving as Military Attaché in Sofia, he successfully drew the governments attention to the catastrophic results connected with Turkey's entry into the war with Germany and its allies.
During World War I Mustafa fought against the Allied Forces at the Dardanelles, the Russians on the Mus Front, in the east and against the British in Syria and Iraq. During the war he visited Germany as Military Adviser, together with hereditary Prince Vahdettin. At the time of signing the Armistice Declaration on the 30th October 1918 Mustafa Kemal remained at the head of his troops, a command given to him by the German General Liman von Sanders. In the years between 1918 and 1923 Mustafa Kemal was at the forefront of the Turkish War of Independence and involved with the eradication of the antiquated institutions of the Osmanic Empire and in laying the foundations of the new Turkish State. He approached the National Congresses of Erzurum and Sivas to organise and lift the morale of the people in its determined opposition to the Forces of the Entente who were occupying Anatolia.
By the end of these conventions he had managed to convey the message that the idea and the ideals of outdated imperialism ought be dropped so that people within the national boundaries could make decisions in accordance with the principles and general guidelines of an effective national policy. After the occupation of Istanbul by the Forces of the Entente he laid the foundations for the new Turkish State when in 1920 he united the Great National Assembly in Ankara. With the government of the Great National Assembly, of which he was President, Mustafa Kemal fought the Forces of the Entente and the Sultan's army which had remained there in collaboration with the occupying forces. Finally, on the 9th September 1922 he succeeded in driving the Allied Forces back to Izmir, along with the other forces which had managed to penetrate the heartland of Anatolia. By this action he saved the country from invasion by foreign forces.
On the 24th July 1923 the States of the Entente were obliged to recognise the territorial integrity of Turkey in the Treaty of Lausanne. So it came to pass that in quite a spectacular fashion Mustafa Kemal had achieved the first step in his reform programme, the creation of a sovereign and independent state.
From 1923 to 1938 Mustafa Kemal's main work lay in leading the Turkish State and its people along the path in the direction of the outside civilised world. The ideal of an independent fatherland within national boundaries had already been achieved before 1922 and therefore the idea of a truly modern state, whose role relied on the sovereignty of its people, could be developed by the most rational means available during this period.
Following their separation, Sultanat was abolished in 1922, whilst Khalifat continued to exist. At the Proclamation of the Republic on the 29th October 1923 this emporia institution proved to be superfluous and it was likewise abolished. This also resulted in the disbandment of other theocratic institutions on which Khalifat was founded. By the same token all similar types of organisations and theological institutions which had regulated the role of the individual and society in general were closed. Finally by amendment to the constitution, the principle of (secularism) - that all so important factor in community life - was introduced as an anchor of the new democratic and republican constitution. As a result of this new direction, all laws, rules and regulations, institutions and methods of a theological nature that had been an influence on the dealings of state and social order were abolished and various political and social reforms introduced along Western lines, suitably adapted to meet national security and interests.
In brief are mentioned here some of the important reforms introduced under Kemal: the international calendar and time were adopted (1923).
in place of the traditional head garment, the fez, introduced under the rule of Sultan Nahmond II, the West's style of hat became obligatory (1925).
Swiss civil law was introduced adapted to the conditions and needs of the country (1926).
the Latin alphabet was adopted (1928).
The Civil Code, Penal Statute Book and the Trade Law Book were introduced.
The legal position of women and their place in society in the new republic was greatly improved (for example the active and passive voting right at national and local elections).
Only due to the efforts of this great man, which he maintained with exceptional strength of character and persistence, helped along by his ability to work methodically, was it possible to introduce all these reforms. Thanks to his great organising talent he led the country to considerable prosperity and down the path of civilisation and peace.
Kemal laid the foundations of a truly modern Turkey, a democratic, republican and independent state based on national sovereignty. Although these ideas originated from him and were paramount in the foundation of the new state they remain today an integral part of the republican government of our country. The foundation stone, or perhaps even the very soul of Ataturk's spiritual and intellectual philosophy, was the thought of universal peace and although the biggest part of his life was taken up by war, he always considered it a crime.
According to Ataturk war can only be just or justified if it is fought out of sheer necessity or for reasons of national defence, or pursued by a people awaiting their sovereignty, their very lives depending on it.
To live freely and be independent is both a holy right of the individual and of the nation, this right being stronger than power itself. Only by his own personal conviction was he able to frame the all inspiring guiding principle of the Republic of Turkey - "Peace in the country, peace in the world." This principle points with absolute clarity and determination the way forward for the country's future home and foreign policy.
From the ideas that Ataturk held the idea of civilisation should not be overlooked as it is no less important. In the course of his short life he never ceased repeating the fact that views which are based broadly on regional perspective's of the West or East, or on religious perspective's, be they Islam or Christian, often weaken the thoughts of civilisation, as they fail to manifest the small or special characteristics. Civilisation is something whole and exclusively human, a universal property. It therefore goes without saying, that the share every nation in the world has in civilisation is considerable.
In the view of this inspired reformer, mankind has a duty to constantly adapt himself to the needs that reason demand. His guide in life should be science. Following on from these basic beliefs Kemal took it upon himself to provide everyone in the country with an education, at the heart of which lay the creation of citizens having special qualities, or in other words, the sense and direction of the education he wanted to give to the people was very clear in that the Republic needed to produce generations of people whose thinking, beliefs and education were totally free. Not to mention his view of egoism being wholly incompatible with the idea of civilisation "Egoism, whether individual or national is to be condemned". He reminds us that all nations of the world form one large family and that whenever a disaster strikes one of its members, then it is felt by the rest - like the pain felt from a needle penetrating a part of the body and felt throughout the whole body.
With the intention of spreading his ideas within the educational sector, and supported by national campaigns, Kemal continued to put forward his form of humanitarian education, with the aim of producing an enlightened people free from prejudice and intolerance. The desired objective being simply to develop citizens of the world, free from desires such as envy, revenge and conspiracy. In a world inhabited by such communities it might be possible to find an instrument, an organisation that stands above individual states, or in other words: "a body of united nations", whose main purpose is to maintain peace.
In this respect Ataturk's ideas date from the time between the World Wars, particularly that before World War II but are nevertheless topical because in a way Ataturk had predicted the concept of the United Nations.
Furthermore, it was at a time when the ideological battle had reached its climax and for this reason such views were of a prophetic nature.
For a man who had set himself the task of building up a country based on the most convincing human achievements and under the banner of reason.
The Inauguration of the Monument to the "Unknown Soldier" held in Dumlupınar on the 30th August 1924
Mustafa Kemal was again dressed very well, his eyes sparkling and radiant with happiness over the "Great Victory" and accompanied by his wife Latife Hanim and wartime comrades. He talked to the crowd, his beloved people, saying; "A country may be conquered forcibly, but that in itself is not enough to govern its people. As long as its soul has not been conquered, its determination and resolution cannot be destroyed and it is a nation impossible to rule" …. "Undoubtable, the foundation laid will give to the new Turkish Republic and state its stability. The eternal life of the Turkish Republic has been crowned here. The Turkish blood shed on the battlefields and the souls of the martyrs in heaven will be the immortal guardians of our state and republic" …. "Gentlemen, the most important effect of this great victory is that the Turkish Nation has gained absolute control of its independence. If we remember the years of suffering under the reign of khans, monarchs, sultans and caliphs, we can now understand the importance of gaining independence." In connection with the nations independence Mustafa Kemal stated; "Gentlemen, the nation's independence is a power that breaks chains and burns crowns and thrones. Unions which were based on the slavery of nations, will always be condemned to decline."
On the Cal Plain, Ataturk expressed his opinion about the sultans and caliphs saying: "My friends, expelling from Turkey those who sat in their palaces relying on nothing other than (Turkishness), and who marched with our enemies against Anatolia and against (Turkishness) has proved an even greater mission than that of removing the enemy from our country. (!) Absolute control of the Turkish Nation, our country and ancestral heritage, could only be achieved following the closure of these superfluous and harmful offices.
Ataturk in expressing his opinion about technology and science stated; "Our country not only needs cultural development and wealth but also science, technology, civilisation, freedom of thought and a free ideology. Our honour, independence and existence must support us in the basic and important work necessary to achieve the interests of the nation.
The people who ruled Turkey for centuries thought of everything except Turkey itself! Our nation is unselfish in its desire for independence and land and this has been proven. Our nation is the guardian of reform. A nation encompassing such high values cannot therefore be led astray by others."
At midnight on Thursday the 3rd September 1936, during the Balkan Festival at the Beylerbeyi Palace, Ataturk honoured the gala with a visit. Yugoslavian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish delegations and folk groups took part. When Ataturk arrived all the groups sang together; "Welcome, Mustafa Kemal Pasa". General Kazim Dirik read out Ataturk's speech to the guests; "The fortunes of mankind must be realised by moving closer together, by loving each other and by meeting each other with pure feelings and thoughts. A symbol of this high human ideal is our being here together this night. For this reason, I express my great appreciation to our important guests."
Later, a Turkish child communicated Ataturk's notes to the guests. "A nation is able to carry out reforms in many ways and to succeed in them. The reformation of music however reflects the exceptional development of a nation.


Aziz Sancar (born 8 September 1946) is a Turkish molecular biologist specializing in DNA repaircell cycle checkpoints, and circadian clock.] In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul L. Modrich for their mechanistic studies of DNA repair.[6][7] He has made contributions on photolyase and nucleotide excision repair in bacteria that have changed his field.

Sancar is currently the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.[8] He is the co-founder of the Aziz & Gwen Sancar Foundation, which is a non-profit organization to promote Turkish culture and to support Turkish students in the United States.

Early life

Savur district of Mardin Province, Turkey

Aziz Sancar was born on 8 September 1946 to a lower middle class family in the Savur district of Mardin Province, southeastern Turkey. He spoke Arabic with his parents, and Turkish with his siblings. His oldest brother Kenan Sancar is a retired brigadier general in the Turkish Armed Forces. He is the second cousin of the politician Mithat Sancar, who was a member of parliament for Mardin from HDP.He was the seventh of eight children.

His parents were uneducated; however, they put great emphasis on his education.He was educated by idealistic teachers who received their education in the Village Institutes, he later stated that this was a great inspiration to him. Throughout his school life, Sancar had great academic success that was noted by his teachers. He wanted to study chemistry whilst at high school, but was persuaded to study medicine after five of his classmates also got into medicine along with him. As such, he studied medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of Istanbul University.


Istanbul University - Faculty of Medicine

Sancar received his primary education near his hometown of Savur. He then completed his MD degree in Istanbul University of Turkey in 1969 and completed his PhD degree on the photoreactivating enzyme of E. coli in 1977 at the University of Texas at Dallas in the laboratory of Claud Stan Rupert, now Professor Emeritus.


Aziz Sancar is an honorary member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

After graduating from Istanbul University, Sancar returned to Savur. Although he wanted to go to the United States, he was recommended to try out being a doctor and he worked as a doctor in the region for 1.5 years. He then won a scholarship from TÜBİTAK to pursue further education in biochemistry at Johns Hopkins University, but returned to Savur in 1973 as a doctor after spending 1.5 years there due to having social difficulties and inability to adapt to the American way of life. He only spoke French when he arrived in the US but learned English during his education at Johns Hopkins.

Soon after, he wrote to Rupert, who had been involved in the discovery of DNA repair and was at Johns Hopkins during Sancar's time there but had since moved to the University of Texas at Dallas. He was accepted and completed his PhD in molecular biology there. His interest had been stimulated by the recovery of bacteria, which had been exposed to deadly amounts of ultraviolet radiation, upon their illumination with blue light. In 1976, as part of his doctoral dissertation, he managed to replicate the gene for photolyase, an enzyme that repairs thymine dimers that result from ultraviolet damage.

After completing his PhD, Sancar had three rejected applications for postdoctoral positions and then took up work at Yale University as a laboratory technician.He worked at Yale for five years. Here, he started his field-changing work on nucleotide excision repair, another DNA mechanism that works in the dark. He elucidated the molecular details of this process, identifying uvrABC endonuclease and the genes that code for it, and furthermore discovering that these enzymes cut twice on the damaged strand of DNA, removing 12-13 nucleotides that include the damaged part.

Following his mechanistic elucidations of nucleotide exchange repair, he was accepted as a lecturer at the University of North Carolina, the only university that he got a positive response from out of the 50 he applied to. He has stated that his accent of English was detrimental to his career as a lecturer. At Chapel Hill, Sancar discovered the following steps of nucleotide excision repair in bacteria and worked on the more complex version of this repair mechanism in humans.

His longest-running study has involved photolyase and the mechanisms of photo-reactivation. In his inaugural article in the PNAS, Sancar captured the photolyase radicals he has chased for nearly 20 years, thus providing direct observation of the photocycle for thymine dimer repair.

Model of Photolyase based on 1QNF

Aziz Sancar was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005 as the first Turkish-American member. He is the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is married to Gwen Boles Sancar, who graduated the same year and who is also a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Together, they founded Carolina Türk Evi, a permanent Turkish Center in close proximity to the campus of UNC-CH, which provides graduate housing for four Turkish researchers at UNC-CH, short term guest services for Turkish visiting scholars, and a center for promoting Turkish-American interchange.

Research on circadian clock

Main article: Circadian clock

Sancar and his research team have discovered that two genes, Period and Cryptochrome, keep the circadian clocks of all human cells in proper rhythm, syncing them to the 24 hours of the day and seasons. Their findings were published in the Genes and Development journal in September 16, 2014. Sancar's research has provided a complete understanding of the workings of Circadian clocks in humans, which may be used to treat a wide range of different illnesses and disorders such as jet-lag and seasonal affective disorder, and may be useful in controlling and optimizing various cancer treatments.

Personal life

Sancar is married to Gwen Boles Sancar, with whom he met during his PhD in Dallas, where she was also studying molecular biology. They got married in 1978. In the immediate aftermath of being awarded the Nobel Prize, his ethnicity was questioned in social media. Sancar said he was "disturbed by some of the questions he received," particularly by questions about his ethnic background. When asked as to whether he is "a Turk or half-Arab" by the BBC, Aziz Sancar responded: "I told them that I neither speak Arabic nor Kurdish and that I was a Turk," he said. "I'm a Turk, that's it. Aziz Sancar's brother Tahir informed in an interview that their family descended from Oghuz Turks who once migrated from Central Asia. He also said that his brother's Nobel Prize was an honor for all of Turkey, including the Kurds. In an interview, Sancar stated that in his youth, he was nationalist but he didn't participate in activities.


He was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul L. Modrich for their mechanistic studies of DNA repair. He was granted Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in Molecular Biophysics in 1984.[30] Sancar is the second Turkish Nobel laureate after Orhan Pamuk, who is also an alumnus of Istanbul University.

Aziz Sancar donated his original Nobel Prize golden medal and certificate to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with a presidential ceremony on 19 May 2016, which is the 97th anniversary of Atatürk initiating the Turkish War of 

Yasar Kemal Turkish novelist
Yaşar Kemal, Yaşar also spelled Yashar, original name Kemal Sadik Gogceli (born 1922, Hemite, Tur.), Turkesh novelist of Kurdish descent best known for his stories of village life and for his outspoken advocacy on behalf of the dispossessed.
At age five Kemal saw his father murdered in a mosque and was himself blinded in one eye. He left secondary school after two years and worked at a variety of odd jobs. In 1950 he was arrested for his political activism, but he was ultimately acquitted. The following year Kemal moved to Istanbul and was hired as a reporter for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, where he worked in various capacities until 1963. During this time he published a novella, Teneke (1955; “The Tin Pan”), and the novel Ince Memed (1955; Memed, My Hawk). The latter, a popular tale about a bandit and folk hero, was translated into more than 20 languages and was made into a movie in 1984. Kemal wrote three more novels featuring Memed as the protagonist. In 1962 he joined the Turkish Labour Party, and in 1967 he founded Ant, a weekly political magazine informed by Marxist ideology. He was arrested again in 1971, and in 1996 a court sentenced him to a deferred jail term for alleged seditious statements about the Turkish government’s oppression of the Kurdish people.
Kemal’s other novels include the trilogy Ortadirek (1960; The Wind from the Plain), Yer demir, gök bakir (1963; Iron Earth, Copper Sky), Ölmez otu (1968; The Undying Grass), and Tanyeri horozları (2002; “The Cocks of Dawn”). He also published volumes of nonfiction—including Peri bacaları (1957; “The Fairy Chimneys”), a collection of reportage, and Baldaki tuz (1974; “The Salt in the Honey”), a book of political essays—as well as the children’s book Filler sultanı ile kırmızı sakallı topal karınca (1977; “The Sultan of the Elephants and the Red-Bearded Lame Ant”). In 2007 an operatic adaptation of Kemal’s Teneke premiered at La Scala, in Milan.
Muazzez Ilmiye Cıg, Assyriologist
 Muazzez İlmiye Çığ, (born Muazzez İlmiye İtil on 20 June 1914, Bursa, Turkey) is a Turkish archaeologist and Assyriologist who specializes in the study of Sumerian civilization. In 2006, at the age of 92, she received world-wide coverage in international media, upon publication of her 2005 book which described, among other topics, how her research into the history of the headscarf revealed that it did not originate in Judaism or Islam, but was worn five thousand years ago by Sumerian priestesses who initiated young men into sex.
Muazzez İlmiye İtil's parents were Crimean Tatars both of whose families had immigrated to Turkey, with her father's side settling in the town of Merzifon, and her mother's side in the northwestern city of Bursa, Turkey's fourth-largest, which was, at the time, a major regional administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. Muazzez Ilmiye was born in Bursa, a few weeks before the outbreak of World War I and, by the time of her fifth birthday in 1919, the Greek invasion of Izmir prompted her father, who was a teacher, to seek safety for the family by moving to the city of Çorum where young Muazzez completed her primary studies. She subsequently returned to Bursa and, by the time of her 17th birthday in 1931, graduated from its training facility for elementary school teachers.
Educational credentials
After nearly five years of educating children in another northwestern city, Eskişehir, she began studies in 1936 at Ankara University's Department of Hittitology, established the previous year by modern Turkey's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Among her teachers were two of the period's most eminent scholars of Hittite culture and history, Hans Gustav Güterbock and Benno Landsberger, both Hitler-era German-Jewish refugees, who spent World War II as professors in Turkey.
Uğur Mumcu
Turkish investigative journalist for the leading Kemalist broadsheet, Cumhuriyet. He was assassinated by a bomb placed in his car, outside his home.Uğur Mumcu was born on August 22nd, 1942. After his studies at the Ankara University Faculty of Law, he practiced as a lawyer for some time. Switching to journalism in 1974, Mumcu defended democracy and human rights in his writings, which he based entirely on concrete knowledge and facts, never betraying the principles of his profession. He regarded "the crime of our age" is to remain silent and indifferent about events of life.
"A murderer is a murderer, no matter if from the right or left."
He pressed for the investigation of many cases of the murder, without looking their political identity, of those who were murdered for their convictions and from terrorist attacks. He provided concrete evidence about the relation between acts of terror and arms traffickers and about the national and international aspects of the steadily rising reactionary organizations. He shared with the people the results of his investigation that revealed the interconnections of the problem of Kurds and Southeast Turkey, arms trafficking, terrorism, corruption, foreign intelligence services, the Mafia and the attempted assassination of the Pope.
He served as the "Memory of the People", owing greatly to his understanding of journalism and feeling of responsibility that the identity of his sources of information would never be disclosed. Uğur Mumcu was a pioneer in investigative journalism in Turkey, and he was internationally renowned as "an expert on international terrorism". With his pen alone, he fought against imperialism, corruption, reactionary ideology and terrorism. Mumcu was awarded many times for his work.
Uğur Mumcu was assassinated by the explosion of a bomb that was fixed to his car on January 24th, 1993. During his lifetime he published 25 books analysing and discussing the topical problems of Turkey. After his murder, his family founded the "Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation" to continue spreading his thoughts and principles and to train young journalists who will share his understanding of journalism. The Foundation has compiled Mumcu's essays and research articles, which he composed between 1962 and 1993, in 40 books.
FAZIL SAY  a composer  and  he is a pianist
Born in 1970 in Ankara, Turkey, Fazıl Say studied piano and composition at the Ankara State Conservatory. At the age of seventeen he was awarded a scholarship that enabled him to study for five years with David Levine at the Robert Schumann Institute in Düsseldorf. From 1992 to 1995 he continued his studies at the Berlin Conservatory. In 1994 he was the winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, which gave a rapid start to his international career.
Fazıl Say is a regular guest with the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the St Petersburg Philharmonic , the BBC Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France and other leading orchestras across the globe. He has appeared at the Lucerne Festival, the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival , the Verbier Festival, the Montpellier Festival, the Beethoven Festival Bonn, and in all the world’s leading concert halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Musikverein, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and many others. In the 2003/04 season he made debuts at the Salzburg Festival, Lincoln Center Festival in New York, Harrod’s Piano Series in London and the World Piano Series in Tokyo . His chamber music partners include Yuri Bashmet and Shlomo Mintz. In 2004 he made a major tour of Europe and the USA with Maxim Vengerov, appearing at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Barbican Centre in London, and the Salzburg Festival. He will tour Europe and Asia with Akiko Suwanai in 2006.
Say’s passion for jazz and improvisation led him to found a ‘Worldjazz’ quartet with the Turkish ney virtuoso Kudsi Ergüner. During the summer of 2000 the quartet performed to a triumphal reception in St. Denis, Paris, Montpellier, at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Istanbul Jazz Festival and the Juan-les-Pins Festival. In 2005 he made a return visit to Montreux for a concert and workshop, appearing with Bobby McFerrin among others .
Fazıl Say is just as much a composer as he is a pianist. He wrote the work Black Hymns at the age of sixteen. In 1991 he premiered his Concerto for Piano and Violin with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and in 1996 his second piano concerto Silk Road was given its first performance in Boston. Fazil Say played the latter work more than a dozen times in the course of the 2003/04 season. His oratorio Nazim, based on poems by the famous Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet and commissioned by the Turkish Ministry of Culture, was premiered in Ankara in 2001 in the presence of Turkey’s President. Say gave the world premiere of his Piano Concerto no. 3 (commissioned by Radio France and Kurt Masur) in Paris with the Orchestre National de France under Eliahu Inbal in January 2002, to great public and critical acclaim. His oratorio Requiem for Metin Altiok was premiered in 2003 at the Istanbul Festival before an audience of 5000. In May 2005 he gave the premiere of his Fourth Piano Concerto, commissioned by ETH Zürich, in Lucerne. He has composed highly virtuosic adaptations for piano and orchestra of such works as Mozart’s Rondo alla turca and Paganini Jazz. The city of Vienna has commissioned a ballet for Mozart Year, which has been given its first performance there on February 1st, 2006. He is also writing a new solo piece for the 2006 Salzburg Festival, and an orchestral work is at the planning stage. In 2003 he was appointed ‘Artist in Residence’ by Radio France, a position he also holds at the 2005 Bremen Festival.
Fazıl Say’s first recording, a Mozart disc released in 1998, garnered rave reviews from the press. His discography includes Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and I Got Rhythm Variations with the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur, a Bach recital, and Stravinsky’s own arrangement of Le Sacre du Printemps for four hands (in which Say plays both parts). He has received numerous international awards for this recording, including the 2001 Echo-Preis Klassik and the 2001 German Music Critics’ Best Recording of the Year Award. He has performed the work live to ovations in concert halls around the world. Another of his recordings couples Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no.1 (with the St Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov) and Franz Liszt’s Piano Sonata.
His first recording under a new contract with Naïve, exclusively devoted to his own works, attracted international attention. The second, acclaimed worldwide as a significant Mozart release, presents three of that composer’s concertos with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra under Howard Griffiths. Fall 2005 a new CD was released with sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Highlights of his schedule for 2005/6 include appearances at the Salzburg, Verbier, and Lucerne Festivals and at Mozart festivals in Vienna, Zurich, and Warsaw, as well as tours of the USA, Germany, Japan, Israel, China, Italy (including appearances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), South Africa and many other countries.
In May 2005 he composed his first soundtrack, for the film Ultima Thule by the Swiss director Hans-Ulrich Schlumpf (who made Congress of Penguins).
In the summer of 2005 the Franco-German television channel Arte shot a full-length portrait of Fazil Say in Istanbul, Aspendos, Munich, and other places, which was broadcasted in early 2006.
In 2005 a DVD production of his work for chorus and orchestra Nazim was filmed in Aspendos.
European Union Piano Contest, 1991
Young Concert Solists Contest European First Award, 1994
Young Concert Solists Contest World First Award, 1995
Radio France/Beracasa Foundation Award, 1995
Paul A. Fish Foundation Award, 1995
Boston Metamorphosen Orchestra Solist Award, 1995
Maurice Clairmont Foundation Award, 1995
Telerama Award, 1998, 2001
RTL TV Award, 1998
Le Monde de la Musique Award, 2000
Diapason d’Or ( Golden Disc ) Award, 2000
Classica Award, 2000
Le Monde Award, 2000
Austria Radio-Tv Award 2001
Deutsche Phono Akademie ECHO Award, 2001
Yıldız Kenter
Style of Art : Actress
Branch of Art : Theater
Yıldız Kenter was born in Istanbul in 1928. After her graduation from the Ankara State Conservatory, she worked in the Ankara State Theatre for 11 years. She won a Rockefeller Scholarship and studied new techniques in acting and acting education at the American Theatre Wing, Neighborhood Play House and Actor’s Studio. Kenter was appointed to the Ankara State Conservatory as a lecturer. She left Ankara State Conservatory in 1959 and worked with Muhsin Ertuğrul for a year. She founded Kent Oyuncuları (Kent Actors) with her brother Müşfik Kenter and her husband Şükran Güngör. Later, they consistently played “Değişen Eğitim Metotları” and “Oyunculuk Metotolar” in the US and England. In 1962, Kenter was awarded as “the woman of the year” by the Theater Services. She was also awarded Altın Portakal three times. Kenter has acted in many plays in Russia, the US, England, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Canada, Yugoslavia and Cyprus in English and Turkish. She has performed more than 100 plays of famous dramatists such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht, Ionesco, Pinter, Albee, Tennessee Williams, Alan Ayckbourn, Arthur Miller, Brian Dreil, Neil Simon, Athol Dugard, Serfey Koovkin, Melih Cevdet Anday, Necati Cumalı, Güner Sümer, Adalet Ağaoğlu, Zeki Özturanlı, Güngör Dilmen and Muzaffer İzgü. Kenter had taught acting for 37 years. She received “the best actress” in the Ulvi Uraz Prize two times and Avni Dilligil award three times. she was honored as one of the most successful 100 women in the 21st century by the Central Organization of Women′s Associations in Finland. In 2010, she received the "Best Successful Actress of the Year" in the 15th Sadri Alışık Film and Theater Awards for the play "Kraliçe Lear" she acted with the Kent Oyuncuları.
1981, award "the state artist"
1984, award "Adalaide Ristori" by the Italian Cultural Union in Rome
1989, award "the best actress" for the role in the film “Hanım” in the Bastia Film Festival in Corsica
1991, award for the “the Melvin Jones” by Lions Club
1994, award "the Olağanüstü Yorum" (extraordinary interpretation) for the role of Forsa in the theater “Konken Partisi”
1995, honorary prize from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism
1995, award "Mevlana Brotherhood and Peace" for her contribution to the Turkish Theater Art.
1996, “the best actress” for the role of Jülide in the theater “Ramiz and Jülide” by the Magazine Journalists Society
1997, honorary prize for her contribution to the Turkish Theater Art by the International Istanbul Festival
1998, award "the women artist of the year" by the Ankara Sanat Kurumu (the Ankara Art Association)
1998, honorary prize for her contribution to Muhsin Ertuğrul Yaşam Boyu Tiyatro Sanatı
1998, "Big Culture and Art Prize" for the role of Madam Arcadina in the theater “Martı”
1999, Afife Tiyatro Award "the best actress"
1951, Vatan İçin
1964, Ağaçlar Ayakta Ölür
1971, Anneler ve Kızları
1966, Pembe Kadın
1966, Isyancılar
1967, Yaşlı Gözler
1972, Fatma Bacı
1973, Ablam
1974, Kızım Ayşe
1977, Çöl Faresi
1988, Hanım
2000, Güle Güle
2001, Büyük Adam Küçük Aşk
2002, şk ve Gurur (TV series)
2005, Saklambaç (TV series)
2005, Sen Ne Dilersen
2007, Balıketi (TV)
2007, Beyaz Melek
Nasreddin Hodja
Nasreddin Hodja is Turkey's (and perhaps all of Islam's) best-known trickster. His legendary wit and droll trickery were possibly based on the exploits and words of a historical imam. Nasreddin reputedly was born in 1208 in the village of Horto near Sivrihisar. In 1237 he moved to Aksehir, where he died in the Islamic year 683 (1284 or 1285). As many as 350 anecdotes have been attributed to the Hodja, as he most often is called. Hodja is a title meaning teacher or scholar. He frequently is compared with the northern European trickster Till Eulenspiegel.
The many spelling variations for Nasreddin include: NasreArchiddin, Nasrettin, Nasrudin, Nasr-id-deen, Nasr-eddin, Nasirud-din, Nasr-ud-Din, Nasr-Eddin, and Nasr-Ed-Dine.
The many spelling variations for Hodja include: Hodja, Hodscha, Hoca, Chotza, Khodja, and Khoja
Everyone Is Right
Once when Nasreddin Hodja was serving as qadi, one of his neighbors came to him with a complaint against a fellow neighbor.
The Hodja listened to the charges carefully, then concluded, "Yes, dear neighbor, you are quite right."
Then the other neighbor came to him. The Hodja listened to his defense carefully, then concluded, "Yes, dear neighbor, you are quite right."
The Hodja's wife, having listened in on the entire proceeding, said to him, "Husband, both men cannot be right."
The Hodja answered, "Yes, dear wife, you are quite right."
Faith Moves Mountains
The Hodja was boasting about the power of his faith.
"If your faith is so strong, then pray for that mountain to come to you," said a skeptic, pointing to a mountain in the distance.
The Hodja prayed fervently, but the mountain did not move. He prayed more, but the mountain remained unmoved.
Finally the Hodja got up from his knees and began walking toward the mountain. "I am a humble man," he said, "and the faith of Islam is a practical one. If the mountain will not come to the Hodja, then the Hodja will go to the mountain."
The Smell of Soup and the Sound of Money
A beggar was given a piece of bread, but nothing to put on it. Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a nearby inn and asked for a handout. The innkeeper turned him away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor.
Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of stealing soup.
"I took no soup," said the beggar. "I was only smelling the vapor."
"Then you must pay for the smell," answered the innkeeper.
The poor beggar had no money, so the angry innkeeper dragged him before the qadi.
Now Nasreddin Hodja was at that time serving as qadi, and he heard the innkeeper's complaint and the beggar's explanation.
"So you demand payment for the smell of your soup?" summarized the Hodja after the hearing.
"Yes!" insisted the innkeeper.
"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja, "and I will pay for the smell of your soup with the sound of money."
Thus saying, the Hodja drew two coins from his pocket, rang them together loudly, put them back into his pocket, and sent the beggar and the innkeeper each on his own way.
Nazim Hikmet(1902~1963?)
NAZIM HIKMET, popularly known and critically acclaimed in Turkey as the first and foremost modern Turkish poet, is known around the world as one of the greatest international poets of the twentieth century, and his poetry has been translated into more than fifty languages.
Turkey Cultural Tour
Zincirlidere Cd.Sisli-Istanbul/Turkey
• Tel: +90 532 3163653 • Tel: +90 212 2893252 • Fax: +90 212 2893252
• tours@turkeyculturaltour.com, • http://www.turkeyculturaltour.com
Turkey Cultural Tour
Zincirlidere Cd.Sisli-Istanbul/Turkey
• Tel: +90 532 3163653 • Tel: +90 212 2893252 • Fax: +90 212 2893252
• tours@turkeyculturaltour.com, • http://www.turkeyculturaltour.com