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Open Call for Spring 2015 Curriculum Development Grants

Eligibility: All U.S.-based K-12 Teachers; Deadline: Nov 15

Application Deadline for Spring 2015 Curriculum Development Grants: November 15

Notification: December 1

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for Spring 2015. Launched in Spring 2010, The American Turkish Society's Curriculum Development Grant Program aims to encourage the development of Turkey-related curriculum by offering funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects, and other classroom activities about Turkey. Grants range from between $250 to $2,500 and cover the costs of classroom materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project's scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. Preference is given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place.

Once selected, grantees will be free to develop and teach their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, be required to participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes. All lesson plans, handout materials, and classroom activities that are developed through the Curriculum Development Grant Program must be shared with The Society, and will be made available online to other U.S. educators interested in teaching curriculum on Turkey. The most qualified curriculum development grantees will also have the opportunity to participate in exchange program trips to Health and Education Foundation (SEV) schools in Istanbul, Izmir or Tarsus to dialogue with teachers and students in Turkey and to attend teacher workshops in support of their curriculum development.

Required Grant Application Materials

Please see the Curriculum Grant Development Application to learn more about the grants procedure & requirements once selected as well as the selection process for exchange program trips to Health and Education Foundation (SEV) schools in Turkey.

About Health and Education Foundation (SEV):



Health and Education Foundation (SEV), in Turkish "Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı,” is a partner organization of The American Turkish Society and the sponsor of the Curriculum Development Grant Program as well as the exchange trips organized for the benefit of selected Curriculum Development Grantee teachers. SEV was founded by the graduates of Üsküdar American Academy in Istanbul, American Collegiate institute in Izmir, and Tarsus American College in Tarsus, referred to as the "SEV American Schools," and Talas American Middle School in 1968. For more information concerning SEV and its affiliated institutions, see http://www.sev.org.tr/en.

All application materials should be sent to cdg@americanturkishsociety.org.


CDG Spring 2015 Application Form  (download)


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Job Opportunity & Internship Opportunity

Immediate opening for an External Relations Coordinator and a Social Media Intern

Join our team! We have an immediate opening for an energetic External Relations Coordinator. Please see here for job description and instructions on how to apply.

We are also looking for a Social Media Intern. For details on how to apply, please see here.




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Farewell Reception for Consul General M. Levent Bilgen

held on Tuesday, August 5 at Pera Soho Rooftop

The American Turkish Society held a farewell reception for the Honorable Consul General M. Levant Bilgen on Tuesday, August 5 with Board members, corporate members, and staff. We thank the Honorable Consul-General and Ayse Hanim for their service to the Turkish-American community, and wish them all the best as they begin a new chapter in Abu Dhabi.












For more photos, please visit our Facebook page.




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5th Young Photographers Award

Shortlisted Candidates to Be Announced in July

Due to the heavy volume of applications, the announcement of shortlisted candidates who pass the initial digital stage of selection will be made in July, and not June. The winner of The Young Photographers Award will receive a $5,000 award, and two honorable mentions will each receive a $2,500 reward. The awards are used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment.

Given by Haluk Soykan and administered by The Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society, the Young Photographers Award seeks to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. It is made possible by a grant from the Young Photographers Award Fund established by Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds.

All inquiries about the Young Photographers Award should be made to ypa@americanturkishsociety.org. For more information, please visit the official Young Photographers Award website.




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Su Ozer Receives the 2014 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

for 5-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music (July 12 - August 15)

The American Turkish Society's eighth Arif Mardin Music Fellowship has been awarded to Damla Su Ozer. She will be attending the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music taking place July 12 - August 15, 2014.

About Su Ozer

Su started playing the piano when she was five years old. She had her first “stage experience” when she was only in primary school with a performance group called “Koroporte” that stages original musicals using iconic classical music such as those by Mozart, Beethoven, and Mussorgsky. Currently she is continuing her studies in Robert College, where her passion for music is deeply supported by her music teachers, Koray Demirkapi and Deniz Baysal. On March 2014 she contended and won an award in 10th Annual Nardis Young Jazz Vocal Competition as the youngest competitor. Su wants to pursue her dreams to become not only a singer, but also a prolific songwriter and a producer while making beautiful memories with people who share her passion all around the world.

Watch Su Ozer sing here.

Launched by The Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin's successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

Past recipients of the Fellowship include Sirma Munyar (piano/vocal), Canberk Kargi (drums), Erol Balci (guitar), Olgun Acar (percussion), Emir Demirdag (percussion), Kerem Enhos (percussion), and Kemal Efe Eroglu.




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Extended Deadline - Applications accepted for Fall 2014 Curriculum Development Grants

Deadline: July 15. Apply and teach about Turkey in U.S. schools

Application Deadline for Fall 2014 Curriculum Development Grants: July 15

Notification: August 1

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for Fall 2014. Launched in Spring 2010, The American Turkish Society's Curriculum Development Grant Program aims to encourage the development of Turkey-related curriculum by offering funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects, and other classroom activities about Turkey. Grants range from between $250 to $2,500 and cover the costs of classroom materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project's scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. Preference is given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place.

Once selected, grantees will be free to develop and teach their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, be required to participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes. All lesson plans, handout materials, and classroom activities that are developed through the Curriculum Development Grant Program must be shared with The Society, and will be made available online to other U.S. educators interested in teaching curriculum on Turkey. The most qualified curriculum development grantees will also have the opportunity to participate in exchange program trips to Health and Education Foundation (SEV) schools in Istanbul, Izmir or Tarsus to dialogue with teachers and students in Turkey and to attend teacher workshops in support of their curriculum development.

Required Grant Application Materials

Please see the Curriculum Grant Development Application to learn more about the grants procedure & requirements once selected as well as the selection process for exchange program trips to Health and Education Foundation (SEV) schools in Turkey.

About Health and Education Foundation (SEV):



Health and Education Foundation (SEV), in Turkish "Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı,” is a partner organization of The American Turkish Society and the sponsor of the Curriculum Development Grant Program as well as the exchange trips organized for the benefit of selected Curriculum Development Grantee teachers. SEV was founded by the graduates of Üsküdar American Academy in Istanbul, American Collegiate institute in Izmir, and Tarsus American College in Tarsus, referred to as the "SEV American Schools," and Talas American Middle School in 1968. For more information concerning SEV and its affiliated institutions, see http://www.sev.org.tr/en.

All application materials should be sent to diana.shin@americanturkishsociety.org.


SEV logo (download)
Curriculum Development Grant Application (download)
cdg Strip (download)


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Condolences from The American Turkish Society

Changes to the New York Turkish Film Festival

We are deeply saddened by the coal mine tragedy in Soma, Turkey. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, and we hope for the safe return of all those who are missing.

Changes to the New York Turkish Film Festival

As we grieve for the over 270 miners who have lost their lives, we would like to announce two important changes for the opening weekend of our New York Turkish Film Festival. We will be dedicating our Opening Night Film, Butterfy's Dream (Kelebeğin Rüyası), set in a mining town in the Black Sea, as a moving tribute to private lives and hopes of miners and donating 100% of the ticket proceeds from this screening to the Turkish Philanthropy FundsSOMA Disaster Relief Fund.100% of all donations to the fund will be granted to organizations assisting victims of the disaster including giving scholarships to children of the miners who have lost their lives.

Additionally, we will be cancelling our Film Festival Reception on May 17. We would like to extend our sincere apologies to all of our guests for whom this may cause an inconvenience. The additional five dollars charged for the reception night films will be donated to the SOMA Disaster Relief Fund. We would also like to thank and acknowledge Film Festival Reception Sponsors Peri Ela Restaurant and Kalara Wines for their commitments to support the Film Festival Reception.


Peri Ela and Kalara Logos  (download)


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Deadline Extended for 2014 Young Photographers Award

Deadline Has Been Extended to June 1, 11:59 PM, Istanbul Time

The deadline for the 2014 has been extended to June 1, 11:59 PM, Istanbul time.

About The Young Photographers Award

The Young Photographers Award is given annually since 2010 by Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. Administered by The Moon and Stars Project, the arts & cultural arm of The American Turkish Society, it is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In previous years, instead of an open call, photography department heads of select universities in Turkey nominated two students to participate in the Young Photographers Award. Starting in 2014, in order to give an opportunity to a wider range of Turkish photography talent, The Young Photographers Award will be administered through the format of an open call. The winner of The Young Photographers Award will be determined through a rigorous selection process, be the recipient of a $5,000 award, and have his/her submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. Two Honorable Mentions will also be selected, and each will be the recipient of a $2,500 award, in addition to having their submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. The awards are used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment purchases. Please see below for more information about the application and selection processes.

Application Process

The application procedure and criteria are as follows:

The applicant must be a student currently enrolled in a photography or visual art department at a university in Turkey. Students who are enrolled in departments other than photography or art are not eligible to apply.

The application deadline has been extended to June 1, 11:59 PM, Istanbul time, and the application form may be downloaded from either at the end of this announcement post or at Moon and Stars Project website.

The application package requires the following two documents:

1. A completed application form

2. A copy of an official university transcript

The two required documents must be sent together in a single email to ypa@americanturkishsociety.org for an application to be considered complete.

Selection Process

The winners will be selected by John Goodman from the U.S. and Sinem Yoruk, founder/director of Elipsis Gallery, through a two-stage selection process. The first stage will be through an electronic application procedure described above, and the second stage will be through the submission of physical photo prints. Shortlisted candidates who pass the digital selection stage and advance to the second stage will be notified in mid June. For more information about the selection process, please visit the Young Photographers Award or Moon and Stars Project websites.

Please see here for the Turkish version of the open call. The application (in Turkish) may be downloaded below.


2014_YPA_Application_Turkish  (download)


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SVA Open Studios featuring Our Resident Artist Gözde Onaran

Wednesday, July 2, 6 - 8 PM

Join us for an evening of open studios as participants share the work they have completed during the 5-week Residency at the School of Visual Arts. As part of this year's exhibit, Gozde Onaran, the 10th recipient of a scholarship jointly sponsored by The Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and The School of Visual Arts, will showcase the artwork that she has been doing as this year's summer resident.

This event is free and open to the public. See here for more information.

About Gözde Onaran

Istanbul-born artist Gözde Onaran honed her artistic talent while pursuing a MA in media ecology and film production at New York University from 1997 to 1999, and was a lecturer at both Kadir Has University and Istanbul Bilgi University from 2007 to 2010. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis as well as an editorial board member and film critic at Altyazı Monthly Cinema Magazine.

About The American Turkish Society-School of Visual Arts Summer Residency Scholarship Program

Now in its 10th year, the scholarship for SVA Summer Residency in Painting and Mixed Media is sponsored by Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and School of Visual Arts and Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society sponsors the following expenses: roundtrip airfare, accommodations, a stipend ($500), materials ($500), visa application expenses, one-month unlimited metro card, and transportation to and from the airport in New York.

Previous winners include Aret Gıcır (2013), Erman Özbaşaran (2012), Neslihan Eren (2011), Nazım Ünal Yılmaz (2010), Ayşe Nur Ipek (2009), Sinem Dişli (2008), Burcu Yağcıoğlu and Hayal Incedoğan (2007), Dilek Tina Winchester (2006) and Deniz Aygün (2004).




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Open Call for 2014 Young Photographers Award

Deadline: May 15, 11:59 PM

The open call for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is now available. Please see here for the Turkish version of the open call. The deadline for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is May 15, 11:59 PM. The application (in Turkish) may be downloaded below at the end of this announcement.

About The Young Photographers Award

The Young Photographers Award is given annually since 2010 by Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. Administered by The Moon and Stars Project, the arts & cultural arm of The American Turkish Society, it is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In previous years, instead of an open call, photography department heads of select universities in Turkey nominated two students to participate in the Young Photographers Award. Starting in 2014, in order to give an opportunity to a wider range of Turkish photography talent, The Young Photographers Award will be administered through the format of an open call. The winner of The Young Photographers Award will be determined through a rigorous selection process, be the recipient of a $5,000 award, and have his/her submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. Two Honorable Mentions will also be selected, and each will be the recipient of a $2,500 award, in addition to having their submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. The awards are used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment purchases. Please see below for more information about the application and selection processes.

Application Process

The application procedure and criteria are as follows:

The applicant must be a student currently enrolled in a photography or visual art department at a university in Turkey. Students who are enrolled in departments other than photography or art are not eligible to apply.

The application deadline is May 15, 11:59 PM, Istanbul time, and the application form may be downloaded from either at the end of this announcement post or at Moon and Stars Project website.

The application package requires the following two documents:

1. A completed application form

2. A copy of an official university transcript

The two required documents must be sent together in a single email to ypa@americanturkishsociety.org for an application to be considered complete.

Selection Process

The winners will be selected by John Goodman from the U.S. and Sinem Yoruk, founder/director of Elipsis Gallery, through a two-stage selection process. The first stage will be through an electronic application procedure described above, and the second stage will be through the submission of physical photo prints. Shortlisted candidates who pass the digital selection stage and advance to the second stage will be notified in early June. For more information about the selection process, please visit the Young Photographers Award or Moon and Stars Project websites.


2014 YPA Application Form (download)
2014 YPA Open Call Turkish (download)


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The American Turkish Society Announces ED Departure and Launches Search for Successor

The American Turkish Society has announced that Selen Ucak will step down as Executive Director at the end of June 2014 in order to pursue new opportunities in social enterprise and global development. The Society’s Board of Directors has established a search committee to identify a new executive director. You may see the job posting here.

During Selen’s tenure since 2006, The American Turkish Society has experienced significant growth and success. "On behalf of our entire Board of Directors, I thank Selen for her vision, leadership, and hard work that built The Society into the ambitious and energetic organization it is today,” said Chairman Murat Koprulu. "As we celebrate The Society’s 65th anniversary this year, we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition and building upon the foundation of quality we have established over the past eight years.”

“I am grateful for all of my past and current team members’ hard work as well as our committed volunteers, supporters, and board members,” remarked Selen Ucak, “The American Turkish Society is critical to U.S.-Turkey ties, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of its long and distinguished history.”


See job posting for Executive Director at The American Turkish Society and apply by April 11




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YSL 2014 Nominations Open

Call for 2013-2014 Nominations
Deadline: Wednesday, April 30

The American Turkish Society is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 class of Young Society Leaders. For more information about the Young Society Leaders program, please see here. Potential candidates for YSL will be selected based on the following criteria for a term of 3 years:


  • Young Society Leaders Gather in IstanbulHurriyet Daily News

  • He/she has a recognized record of extraordinary achievement and a proven track record of substantial leadership experience, typically this means 5-15 years of outstanding professional work experience and a clear indication of playing a substantial leadership role for the rest of his or her career;

  • He/she has demonstrated a commitment to strengthen American Turkish friendship at large through exceptional contributions;

  • He/she must have an impeccable record in the public eye and good standing in his/her community.
The Young Society Leaders will be identified through a nomination process and chosen by The Society's Selection Committee, including feedback from the existing classes. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, April 30, 2014, and new inductees will be announced in early September. To submit a nomination form, or for more information, please fill out the form below:

Fill out my online form.
Link to Nomination Form (Separate Window)
About Young Society Leaders




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Open Call for 2014 SVA Summer Residency Program

June 2 - July 3
Application deadline: April 1

This internationally renowned program offers artists an opportunity to work intensively in a private studio, receive individual critiques from faculty, and attend weekly lectures given by guest artists, critics, and gallery directors.

The selected participant has exclusive use of a small studio located in the School of Visual Arts Chelsea Building. Faculty visits the studios Mondays through Thursdays. Exposure to the New York art world complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public. The program is sponsored by Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and School of Visual Arts.”

For information on the application and selection process, please click here. Please note that the scholarship is for advanced artists with an established studio presence, Please note that the scholarship is open to active professional artists residing in Turkey who are not represented by a gallery. As such, current undergraduate students are ineligible to apply. Applications from graduate students are welcome. Qualified applicants must have basic fluency in English sufficient for engaging in meaningful dialogue with other participants.




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We Have Moved!

Please note the change in our contact information

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Call for Applications: 2014 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

July 12- August 15, 2014
Application Deadline: March 1, 2014

Launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship funds one student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music. The fellowship covers all program expenses, plus a stipend of $500. Consideration for the fellowship is based on merit and potential to benefit from the program in current or future music career. In 2013, the seventh Arif Mardin Music Fellowship was awarded to Kemal Efe Eroglu , a 15-year old guitarist. Past recipients of the fellowship include: Sirma Munyar (piano/vocal), Canberk Kargi (drums), Erol Balci (guitar), Olgun Acar (percussion), Emire Demirdag (percussion), and Kerem Enhos (percussion).

Application Process

Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality, over the age of 15, with a minimum of six months experience playing their instrument (singing), are eligible to apply. Please note that preference will be given to applicants 18 years of age and younger.

The application for the is part of the online application to the Five-Week Program. Applicants should specify in their application that they would like to apply for the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship. Once the online application is received and processed, students will be emailed detailed information regarding the online Arif Mardin Music Fellowship application requirements and a link to submit their material to be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. Fellowship applicants are required to submit links of a maximum of three (3) YouTube performances and an essay highlighting their musical and academic achievements and how they will benefit from the program by March 1. The Arif Mardin Fellow will be selected by Berklee College of Music and notified by April 15.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 28th year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available anywhere. Every year, roughly 900 participants from across the U.S. and 70 different countries share this unique summer experience- all instruments, all contemporary styles, all levels of musical ability. At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, students are immersed in all aspects of performance. They play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve technique in weekly private lessons, and enjoy lectures/demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.




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Spring 2014 Curriculum Development Grant Recipients

The American Turkish Society, with support from its program partner SEV(Health and Education Foundation ), is pleased to present the following teachers with Curriculum Development Grants this upcoming spring:

  • Ms. Kristin Marciochi of Tumwater High School in Tumwater, Washington

    Kristin Marciochi proposes to create a 10th grade English Skills curriculum that revolves around the Turkish graphic novel, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, by Tony Cliff. The book, an action-packed story following the rebellious protagonist through 19th century Constantinople and the Turkish countryside, would serve as an introduction to the richness of Turkish history and culture for 30 10th grade students. There will also be a comparison component to the class by examining American folk traditions in juxtaposition with the Turkish folktale, The Hungry Coat.

  • Ms. Mary Redline of Parkland High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania

    Mary Redline, a Latin teacher at Parkland High School, proposes a curriculum on “Exploring the Roman Archaeology of Turkey,” with a particular focus on mosaics. Students will participate in a workshop in mosaic techniques, as well as research on a Turkish archaeological site. As part of the curriculum, students will also contact archaeologists currently excavating Roman Turkish sites.

  • Ms. Melissa Blair Tracy of Henry C. Conrad Schools of Science in Wilmington, Delaware

    Melissa Blair Tracy proposes an Advance Placement Human Geography class based upon the textbook by Choices Curriculum. The course will cover Turkey's modern history from the end of the Ottoman Empire, the War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the emergence of a multi-party democracy, and military coups.

  • Ms. Michelle Ramadan of Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts

    Michelle Ramadan proposes an Advance Placement Literature class based upon Ottoman and contemporary Turkish literature. Throughout the 5-week unit, students will read and discuss Ottoman and contemporary Turkish literature. There will be a weekly blogging component to the unit, and as a final outreach project, students will develop an original project to share their learning with the greater local community.




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OPEN CALL: Spring 2014 Curriculum Development Grants

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for 2014. The program, which was initiated by The Society in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey.

Thanks to generous support from the Health and Education Foundation (SEV: Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı), Fall 2013 grantee teachers will be visiting SEV Schools in Turkey where they will be able to dialogue with teachers concerning their work on curriculum development. Workshops will be arranged to facilitate this dialogue. Based on funding availability from SEV, this opportunity may also extend to 2014 grantees.

About the Program

Grants vary between $250 and $2,500 and cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project's scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. The Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible. Preference will be given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place. Once selected, grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The Society for future dissemination.

Application Process

Deadline: Wednesday, November 27
Notification: Friday, December 13

Please submit proposals including:

1. A 2-page summary of the proposed project detailing the tools, materials, and methods to be used; the objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications;
2. A project budget, including a detailed breakdown of costs and the grant amount requested;
3. The teacher's CV; and
4. A letter of support from the teacher's school.

Interested parties should send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org. For more information, please contact Dee Kayalar Polat, Director of Programs, at d.kayalar@americanturkishsociety.org.

About our Program Partner

As part of its partnership with The American Turkish Society for the Curriculum Development Grants program, Health and Education Foundation (SEV) is providing Fall 2013 grant recipients the chance to visit SEV schools in Turkey, dialogue with teachers, and attend workshops in Istanbul, Izmir and Tarsus in support of their curriculum development. Teachers will also be able to learn more about teaching opportunities at SEV schools. SEV is providing all travel and program expenses within Turkey for the visiting teachers.

SEV was established in 1968 by graduates of the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, Tarsus American College in Tarsus and Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul in order to protect the heritage of these schools which were established in the later part of the 19th century. Click here for more information about SEV and its affiliated institutions.

Big thanks to K-12 School Grants for their promotional support!




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Onay Kagan Kose receives 2013-2014 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship

The American Turkish Society is proud to announce that it has renewed its support for Onay Kagan Kose, the recipient of 2013-2014 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of the late Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and long-time chairman of The Society, supports talented musicians of Turkish descent in their studies at The Julliard School in New York City. The scholarship, which supports gifted musicians of Turkish descent in their studies at The Julliard School, seeks to carries on Mr. Ertegun's legacy of promoting talented artists and promoting cultural exchange between the United States and Turkey through education and the arts.

A member of the State Polyphonic Children’s Chorus and the Ankara State Opera Chorus Onay Kagan Kose, studied voice with Eralp Kiyici and Fugen Yigitgil at the Middle East Technical University and completed additional study at the Mozarteum in Austria. This past summer he attended the Georg Solti Academy and participated in master classes with Richard Bonynge. A master’s degree student of Dr. Robert C. White, Onay was seen last season in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen and WolfFerrari’s Le donne curiose at Juilliard.

The scholarship recipients are selected by The Juilliard School. Only the students accepted to Juilliard are eligible for consideration. For information on applying to Juilliard, please visit the School’s website at www.juilliard.edu.




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2013 Young Society Leaders

The American Turkish Society is proud to present the new class of Young Society Leaders, a group of accomplished professionals from the fields of business, law, medicine, journalism, academia and the arts, with a demonstrated record of leadership ability and commitment to serve the U.S.-Turkish society at large. The program, inaugurated in 2011, now welcoming its third class to this outstanding group, aims to nurture the next generation leaders and to positively impact issues that matter to American-Turkish Community.

The Young Society Leaders were identified through a nomination process and chosen by The Society's Selection Committee, including feedback from the previous classes. To submit an outstanding individual for next year's class, please use the nomination form.

For a full list of this year’s Young Society leaders, please click here.

For more information:

About Young Society Leaders

Press Release




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2013 Young Photographers Award Results

On behalf of Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society, we are pleased to announce that the winner of the fourth Young Photographers Award is Osman Demir of Mimar Sinan University, who will receive $5,000 for his award. In addition, honorable mentions will go to Cagin Coskunirmak of Akdeniz University and Melih Cevdet Teksen of Kocaeli University, who will each receive $2,500. The awards will be used to cover the recipients' tuition and/or photography equipment purchases.

The Young Photographers Award was established by Haluk Soykan in 2010 to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. The program is administered by the Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by the donors at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In addition, Moon and Stars Project makes an additional $1,000 contribution to the program to support exhibition expenses.

For more on the winner's and honorable mentions' photos, click here.




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Fall 2013 Curriculum Development Grant Recipients

The American Turkish Society, with support from its program partner SEV(Health and Education Foundation ), is pleased to present the following teachers with Curriculum Development Grants this upcoming fall:

  • Tom Thorpe and Betsey Coleman of Colorado Academy in Denver, Colorado: English teachers Tom Thorpe and Betsey Coleman will implement a curriculum composed of an anthology of Turkish literature using iPads and iBooks; an incorporation of Turkish films; having Middle East expert Barbara Petzen go in to discuss Turkish culture and history; and the creation of a collaborative video project on Turkish Miniature between students of the U.S. and Turkey.

  • Nancy Mazza of Clayton Public Schools in Clayton, New Jersey: ESL specialist Nancy Mazza’s six-week teaching unit for 4th & 5th graders intends to enable American students to compare and contrast Turkish culture to that of American culture. The curriculum is composed of Geography & History; Turkish architecture; Music & Religion; Literature; and Turkish cuisine.

  • Constance Vidor and Phyllis Trout of Friends Seminary in New York City: Librarian Constance Vidor & Art teacher Phyllis Trout will implement an architectural teaching unit for 10-12th graders that focuses on Hagia Sophia including the study of diverse periods of Turkish history, through a study of Hagia Sophia’s transformation from church to mosque to museum; and innovations brought to architecture by Turks.

  • Jill Schifter of Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, New Jersey: Art teacher Jill Schifter’s cross-curricular plan is comprised of art and history of Turkish calligraphy, Iznik tiles, Turkish mandalas, and Ebru marbling for 6-8th grade students.

  • Cynthia Helms of Centennial High School in Champaign, Illinois: Cynthia Helms will offer Turkish saz lessons for guitar students; a presentation on the history and culture of Turkish traditional music; and a concert of traditional Turkish music.

The Society's Curriculum Development Grant program, initiated in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. Grants range from $250 to $2,500 depending on the scope of the project, availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process.

To date, The Society has provided teaching grants focused on Turkey to 16 schools throughout the U.S. For a list of funded projects that have been completed, please click here.


Information on the next Grants cycle will be available on our website in September, 2013.

Teachers Workshops in Turkey

This year, the program is being expanded to include teacher workshops in Turkey for the grantees, offered through our program partner SEV (Health and Education Foundation). Grantees will have an opportunity to visit SEV schools in Istanbul, Izmir and/or Tarsus in support of their professional development. Teachers will also be able to learn more about teaching opportunities at the SEV schools. Only one person per grantee school will be eligible to attend.

SEV (Health and Education Foundation)



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Kemal Efe Eroglu receives the 2013 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

The American Turkish Society's seventh Arif Mardin Music Fellowship has been awarded to Kemal Efe Eroglu. He will be attending the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music taking place July 6 - August 9, 2013.

Kemal Efe is 15 years-old. He plays the guitar and his preferred style is pop/rock.

Reflecting on his experience, Efe said, "I didn't expect that I was going to learn this much. I think, in terms of musical improvement, I am at least one year ahead compared to what I could have learned on my own.[...] Thanks to The American Turkish Society for giving me the opportunity to do it."

Watch Kemal Efe play here. For a news article in Turkish about Kemal Efe and his guitar loving family, click here.

Launched by The Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin's successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

Past recipients of the Fellowship include Sirma Munyar (piano/vocal), Canberk Kargi (drums), Erol Balci (guitar), Olgun Acar (percussion), Emir Demirdag (percussion), and Kerem Enhos (percussion).




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OPEN CALL: Fall 2013 Curriculum Development Grants

Deadline: Tuesday, May 21

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for 2013. The program, which was initiated by The Society in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey.

Starting this year, grantee teachers will also be invited to visit SEV Schools in Turkey where they will be able to dialogue with teachers concerning their work on curriculum development. Workshops will be planned in Istanbul, Izmir and/or Tarsus for grantees interested in learning more about Turkey as well as opportunities for teaching there. Travel, housing and program expenses within Turkey will be met through funding from SEV (Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı)-the Health and Education Foundation.

Grants vary between $250 and $2,500 and cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project's scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. The Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible. Preference will be given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place. Once selected, grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The Society for future dissemination.

Application Process

Deadline: Tuesday, May 21
Notification: Tuesday, June 11

Please submit proposals including: 1. A 2-page summary of the proposed project detailing the tools, materials, and methods to be used; the objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications; 2. A project budget, including a detailed breakdown of costs and the grant amount requested; 3. The teacher's CV; and 4. A letter of support from the teacher's school.

Interested parties should send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org or 305 E. 47th Street, 8th Floor, NY, NY 10017.

About our Program Partner

As part of its partnership with The Society for the CDG program, SEV (Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı) will offer grant recipients the chance to visit SEV schools in Turkey, dialogue with teachers, and attend workshops in Istanbul, Izmir and/or Tarsus in support of their curriculum development. Teachers will also be able to learn more about teaching opportunities at the SEV schools. SEV will provide all travel and program expenses within Turkey for the visiting teachers. Grant recipients interested in pursuing this option should contact Whitman Shepard, SEV Education Coordinator, at wshepard@sev.org.tr for further information.

SEV was established in 1968 by graduates of the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, Tarsus American College in Tarsus and Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul in order to protect the heritage of these schools which were established in the later part of the 19th century. Click here for more information about SEV and its affiliated institutions.

Big thanks to K-12 School Grants for their promotional support!




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YSL 2013 Nominations Open

The American Turkish Society is currently accepting nominations for the 2013 class of Young Society Leaders. Potential candidates for YSL will be selected based on the following criteria for a term of 3 years:


  • He/she is 30-45 years of age at the time of nomination;

  • He/she has a recognized record of extraordinary achievement and a proven track record of substantial leadership experience, typically this means 5-15 years of outstanding professional work experience and a clear indication of playing a substantial leadership role for the rest of his or her career;

  • He/she has demonstrated a commitment to strengthen American Turkish friendship at large through exceptional contributions;

  • He/she must have an impeccable record in the public eye and good standing in his/her community.
The Young Society Leaders will be identified through a nomination process and chosen by The Society's Selection Committee, including feedback from the existing classes. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 31, 2013, and new inductees will be announced in early September. To submit a nomination form, or for more information, please follow the links below:

Nomination Form
About Young Society Leaders
YSLs 2012
YSLs 2011




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Spring 2013 Curriculum Development Grant Winner

The American Turkish Society is pleased to support international education specialist Catherine Perkins with a Curriculum Development Grant to create and implement a five-week teaching unit to introduce students to the arts and culture of Turkey. Ms. Perkins' curriculum will consist of interactive presentations on Turkey, dance and music classes and workshops on Turkish Ebru, shadow puppetry and Iznik tiles. The curriculum will be applied to 3rd through 12th graders in Dryden High School and Ithaca High School as well as "Activity Days for Kids" at the Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum. The program aims to introduce students in central New York to the rich and diverse culture of Turkey, enhance understanding of Turkey's historical and contemporary role in the world, and create teaching materials and resources related to Turkey for teachers to use through subsequent years.

To date, The Society has provided curriculum development grants for 15 teaching projects, each dedicated to exposing students to the rich and beautiful culture of Turkey. For a list of completed projects, please click here.

Application information for the next round of Curriculum Development Grants will be available in April, 2013.




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Call for Applications: 2013 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

July 6- August 9, 2013
Application Deadline: March 1, 2013

Launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship funds one student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music. The fellowship covers all program expenses, plus a stipend of $500. Consideration for the fellowship is based on merit and potential to benefit from the program in a current or future music career. In 2012, the sixth Arif Mardin Music Fellowship was awarded to Kerem Enhos, a percussionist from Ankara, Turkey.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 27th year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available–anywhere. Every year, roughly 1,000 participants from across the U.S. and 70 different countries share this unique summer experience–all instruments, all contemporary styles, all levels of musical ability.

At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, students are immersed in all aspects of performance. They play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve their technique in weekly private lessons, and enjoy lectures/demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists. The Five-Week Program, with its range of study options, world-class instructors, and state-of-the-art facilities, is an invaluable summer experience for young and aspiring musicians.

The application process:

Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality, over the age of 15, with a minimum of six months experience playing their instrument (singing), are eligible to apply. Please note that preference will be given to applicants 18 years of age and younger.

To be considered for this fellowship, applicants must first apply online to the Five-Week Summer Performance Program and submit the $50 application fee. Once the online application is received and processed, students will be emailed detailed information regarding the online Arif Mardin Music Fellowship application requirements and a link to submit their material to be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. Fellowship applicants are required to submit links of a maximum of three (3) YouTube performances and an essay highlighting their musical and academic achievements and how they will benefit from the program. Be sure to specify in your essay that you are applying to the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship. The deadline to apply for the Arif Mardin Fellowship is March 1. The Arif Mardin Fellow will be selected and notified by Berklee College of Music on April 15.

If you have any questions about scholarships to the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, please contact Berklee's Scholarship Office directly at scholarships@berklee.edu or 617 747-8681.

Five-Week Summer Performance Program
Online Application
Arif Mardin Music Fellowship



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[Call for Proposals] Spring 2013 Curriculum Development Grants

Application Deadline extended to December 28

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for 2013. The program, which was initiated by The Society in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey.

Grants vary between $250 and $2,500 and cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project's scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible. Preference will be given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place. Once selected, grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The American Turkish Society for future dissemination.

Application Process

Application deadline: Friday, December 28
Notification: Friday, January 11

Please submit proposals including: 1. A 2-page summary of the proposed project detailing the tools, materials, and methods to be used; the objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications; 2. A project budget, including a detailed breakdown of costs and the grant amount requested; 3. The teacher's CV; and 4. A letter of support from the teacher's school.

Interested parties should send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org or 305 E. 47th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

For questions and additional information, please email Doga Kayalar, Program Director, d.kayalar@americanturkishsociety.org or call 212.583.7614.

Additional Grant Alerts for K-12 Education



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Onay Kagan Kose receives 2012-2013 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship

The American Turkish Society is proud to announce that the 2012-2013 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Onay Kagan Kose. The scholarship, launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of the late Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and long-time chairman of The Society, supports talented musicians of Turkish descent in their studies at The Julliard School in New York City.

A member of the State Polyphonic Children’s Chorus and the Ankara State Opera Chorus Onay Kagan Kose, studied voice with Eralp Kiyici and Fugen Yigitgil at the Middle East Technical University and completed additional study at the Mozarteum in Austria. Winner of Second Prize in the Siemens International Opera Competition, he is a graduate diploma student of Cynthia Hoffman at The Juillard School.

The scholarship recipients are selected by The Juilliard School. Only the students accepted to Juilliard are eligible for consideration. For information on applying to Juilliard, please visit the School’s website at www.juilliard.edu.




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2012 Young Society Leaders

The American Turkish Society is proud to present the new class of Young Society Leaders, a group of accomplished professionals from the fields of business, law, medicine, journalism, academia and the arts, with a demonstrated record of leadership ability and commitment to serve the U.S.-Turkish society at large. The program, inaugurated last year with another outstanding group, aims to nurture the next generation leaders and to positively impact issues that matter to American-Turkish Community.

The Young Society Leaders were identified through a nomination process and chosen by The Society's Selection Committee, including feedback from the inaugural class. To submit an outstanding individual for next year's class, please use the nomination form.

For a full list of this year’s Young Society leaders, please click here.

For more information:

About Young Society Leaders

Press Release




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Fall 2012 Curriculum Development Grant Winners

The American Turkish Society is pleased to present the following teachers with Curriculum Development Grants this upcoming fall:

Ms. Rebecca Zeren of Trinity School in Menlo Park, California
Rebecca Zeren, librarian, proposes to create a comprehensive curriculum that teaches different facets of Turkish culture to all grade levels. Specific topics of focus include geography, literature, food, history, material culture, religion, language, poetry and science. Ms. Zeren will work with subject teachers in other areas and grades so that the lessons learned can become permanent and continue into future years.

Ms. Rebecca Timson of Billings Middle School in Seattle, Washington, for her proposal "Turkish Villages: Myth, Memory and Modern Life"
Ms. Timson's teaching unit is a cross-curricular project focused on the study of the role of villages in Turkey in the face of rapid growth of urban cities. The 8th grade-level unit will consist of 5 classes: 1) Global Studies class where students will engage in a comparative study of rural/urban issues 2) Media Expression class where students will view films from Turkey on the return-to-village theme 3) Civics Applied Math Lab where the focus will be land use in Turkey's villages and impact on village architecture and infrastructure 4) Literature class where students will read memoirs on the topic, and 5) Language Design/Studio class where students will participate in an architecture workshop presented as a language immersion experience.

Ms. Isil Kokoc Unaydin of Washington Market School in Tribeca, New York City
This curriculum, which is composed of a music unit with Grammy winning Oran Etkin; Turkish shadow puppetry with educator and dance theater artist Heather Lee and "Ebru" painting with artist Jenna Bauer aims to instill interest in Turkey at a very early age. The curriculum, which is designed for kids ages 2-5, will be useful to other preschool educators interested in incorporating Turkey into their activities.

Ms. Dawn Streets of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Ms. Streets will collaborate with other teachers in her school to conduct a social studies teaching unit for 7th grade students that focuses on the history, geography, culture and global role of Turkey. The project involves student presentations to be shared with at least one other school and posted on the County Social Studies Wiki for use by other teachers.

The Society will also offer grants for book purchases related to Turkey to Ms. Mary Burch of Lompoc Unified School District in Lompoc, California.

About The Society’s Curriculum Development Grants

The Society's Curriculum Development Grant program, initiated in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. Grants range from $250 to $2,500 depending on the scope of the project, availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process.

Information on the next Grants cycle will be available on our website in September, 2012.




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Kerem Enhos receives the 2012 Arif Mardin Fellowship

The American Turkish Society's sixth Arif Mardin Music Fellowship has been awarded to Kerem Enhos, an 18-year-old percussionist from Ankara, Turkey. Kerem will be attending the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music taking place July 7 - August 10, 2012.

After an early interest in piano, Kerem taught himself to play drums starting around the age of 12 by listening to successful percussion players like Vinnie Colauita, Chris Dave and Gavin Harrison. After mastering his skills with private training, he played in numerous festivals in his hometown of Ankara. On behalf of The American Turkish Society, we congratulate Kerem and wish him success this summer at Berklee College of Music.

Watch Kerem drum here, here, and here.

Past recipients of the Fellowship include Sirma Munyar (piano/vocal), Canberk Kargi (drums), Erol Balci (guitar), Olgun Acar (percussion) and Emir Demirdag (percussion).




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Artist Erman Ozbasaran wins scholarship to attend SVA Summer Residency

May 29-June 29, 2012


WINNING ARTIST
Erman Ozbasaran

Honorable Mentions
Ahmet Albayrak
Mertim Gokalp

CONGRATULATIONS to the Selected Artist

The participating artist will have exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts’ Chelsea Building and an opportunity to receive faculty critiques and participate in special lectures and gallery tours. Exposure to the New York art scene complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

The studio of the scholarship winner is provided by School of Visual Arts.

Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and Turkish Tourism and Culture Office in New York will sponsor the expenses listed below:

  • Round trip air fare
  • Accommodations
  • Stipend ($500)
  • Materials ($500)
  • Visa application expenses
  • One-month unlimited Metro Card
  • Transportation to and from the airport in New York City

We would like to thank all the artists who sent an application and showed interest in our program.

For inquiries: grants@maspny.org

For more information, please click here here.




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Artist Erman Ozbasaran wins scholarship to attend SVA Summer Residency

May 29-June 29, 2012


WINNING ARTIST
Erman Ozbasaran

Honorable Mentions
Ahmet Albayrak
Mertim Gokalp

CONGRATULATIONS to the Selected Artist

The participating artist will have exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts’ Chelsea Building and an opportunity to receive faculty critiques and participate in special lectures and gallery tours. Exposure to the New York art scene complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

The studio of the scholarship winner is provided by School of Visual Arts.

Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and Turkish Tourism and Culture Office in New York will sponsor the expenses listed below:

  • Round trip air fare
  • Accommodations
  • Stipend ($500)
  • Materials ($500)
  • Visa application expenses
  • One-month unlimited Metro Card
  • Transportation to and from the airport in New York City

We would like to thank all the artists who sent an application and showed interest in our program.

For inquiries: grants@maspny.org

For more information, please click here here




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Applications accepted for Fall 2012 Curriculum Development Grants

Supporting teaching about Turkey in U.S. schools
NEW APPLICATION DEADLINE: MONDAY, JUNE 18

Curriculum Development Grants of The American Turkish Society, initiated in the spring of 2010, offer funds to elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. Our aim with this grant program is to increase knowledge about Turkey among teachers and students and stimulate interest in teaching and learning about Turkey.

Grants will cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other costs incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of grants will range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the scope of the project, availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. Preference will be given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible.

Once selected, the grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. However, they will participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The American Turkish Society for future dissemination.

Application process:

Fall 2012 Semester:

NEW Application deadline: Monday, June 18, 2012

Notification: Monday, July 2, 2012

Please submit proposals including:
1) A 2-page summary with project description, including tools, materials, and methods to be used; objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications.
2) Project budget with detailed breakdown of costs and grant amount requested
3) CV of teacher
4) Letter of support from school

Interested parties may send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org or 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017.




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Nominations for Young Society Leaders now accepted

Call for nominations 2012-2013

DEADLINE: AUGUST 15, 2012

The Young Society Leaders (YSL) is a program of The American Turkish Society that convenes a select, diverse group of the American-Turkish community's most outstanding young leaders, in their 30s and 40s, accomplished in their respective fields of business, law, medicine, journalism, academia and the arts.

Please use the form below to inform us of a young leader in the American-Turkish community who may be a good fit for this program. Self-nominations are also accepted:

About the Young Society Leaders
List of 2011 Young Society Leaders
Link to Nomination Form (separate window)

YSL 2012 Info (download)
Press Release YSL 2012 (download)


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Applications Now Open: 2012 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

A five-week summer performance program
July 7 - Aug. 10, 2012
Deadline for applications: Mar. 1

Launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship funds one student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music. The fellowship covers all program expenses, plus a stipend of $500. Consideration for the fellowship is based on merit and potential to benefit from the program in a current or future music career. In 2011, the fifth Arif Mardin Music Fellowship was awarded to Emir Demirdag, a 20-year-old percussionist from Mersin, Turkey.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 26th year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available–anywhere. Every year, roughly 1,000 participants from across the U.S. and 70 different countries share this unique summer experience–all instruments, all contemporary styles, all levels of musical ability. The Five-Week Program, with its range of study options, world-class instructors, and state-of-the-art facilities, is a summer program that could only be offered at Berklee.

At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, you will be immersed in all aspects of performance. Your classes, workshops, and rehearsals will focus on this important side of your musicianship. You will play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve your technique in weekly private lessons, and enjoy lectures/demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.

The application process:

Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality, over the age of 15, with a minimum of six months experience playing their instrument (singing), are eligible to apply. Please note that preference will be given to applicants 18 years of age and younger.

The application for the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship is part of the online application to the Five-Week Program.

Submit an application, mp3 recording/link, and a 500-word statement in English outlining your interest in the program and how you will benefit from it, as well as any distinctions in your musical career such as performances and awards by March 1. Be sure to specify in your essay that you are applying to the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship.

The fellowship recipient will be chosen by Berklee College of Music and will be notified by April 15.




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IN MEMORIAM: Kaya Tuncer

Our Cherished Board Member

We mourn the loss of a beloved member of our Board of Directors, Kaya Tuncer, Chairman of ESBAS (The Aegean Free Zone) located in Izmir, Turkey. A pioneering Turkish-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. Tuncer was an ardent contributor to education and U.S.-Turkish friendship, especially with his foundation, and our partner, Global Friendship Through Space Education, which brought youths from around the world to Space Camp Turkey.

Mr. and Mrs. Tuncer, together with their family and friends, generously funded scholarships to sponsor children from New York City to attend Space Camp Turkey each summer. Their generosity has not only brought Turkey and the U.S. closer, but also provided life-changing opportunities for American youth. The American Turkish Society has also contributed to this effort, thanks to the support of our members and friends.

If you would like to make a fully tax-deductible donation to this worthwhile initiative, please follow this link. In honor of Mr. Tuncer's dedication to education and U.S.-Turkish friendship, The Society will match all donations in an effort to provide even more children with the opportunity to attend Space Camp Turkey this summer.

In Memory of Kaya Tuncer (in Turkish)
In Memory of Kaya Tuncer (in English)

Biz Bize - In Memory of Kaya Tuncer (download)


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Open Call for SVA Summer Residency Program

May 29-June 29, 2012
Application Deadline: March 28

This internationally renowned program offers artists an opportunity to work intensively in a private studio, receive individual critiques from faculty, and attend weekly lectures given by guest artists, critics, and gallery directors.

The selected participant has exclusive use of a small studio located in the School of Visual Arts Chelsea Building. Faculty visits the studios Mondays through Thursdays. Exposure to the New York art world complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.The program is sponsored by Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and School of Visual Arts.”

For information on the application and selection process, please click here.




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Spring 2012 Curriculum Development Grant Recipients

Supporting teaching about Turkey in U.S. schools

The American Turkish Society is pleased to present the following teachers with Curriculum Development Grants this upcoming spring:

  • "Protecting the Future of the Past: Historic Preservation in Istanbul" by Dr. Wendy J. Darby of The Birch Wathen Lenox School in New York, NY

    Dr. Darby, a Middle East History teacher, proposes to create a teaching unit for high-school seniors on restoration practices of late-Ottoman structures in Istanbul and traditional influences on various aspects of modern Turkish culture such as fashion, television, music, food, and art.
  • "Turkish Art of Weaving" by Ms. Pamela Saturday and Ms. Susan Brown, art teachers from PS 290 in New York, NY

    Ms. Saturday and Ms. Brown hope to inspire interest in Turkey by running workshops where students and parents design small cushions (minders). These designs will be sent to Priene Hali, an organization in Gullubahce, Turkey providing local Turkish women with employment in rug making, who will weave and send back the designs for display at PS 290. The class will be supplemented by an introductory presentation on Turkey by Turkish-born artist Peter Hristoff.
  • "Turkey Curriculum" by Ms. Kay Hones, library media teacher at RL Stevenson Elementary School in San Francisco, CA

    This curriculum will expose 3rd and 4th graders to general information on Turkey, Turkish folktales, science and garden projects focused on animal & plant life in Turkey, and culminate with student presentations for International Children's Day.

The grants awarded to the projects outlined above support the teaching resources necessary, such as presenters, books, videos, arts supplies and other tools to be used in the classroom with students.

For more detailed information on the Curriculum Development Grants application process, click here. Information on the next Grants cycle will be available on our website in February 2012.




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Update on The Society's Earthquake Relief Efforts

Relief, Rebuilding, and Preparedness in Van and Beyond

The American Turkish Society expresses its gratitude to all of its individual and corporate supporters for their generous donations to the Earthquake Fund, started in the aftermath of the October 23rd earthquake in Van, Turkey, which caused significant destruction and claimed the lives of well over 600. The Fund has raised a total of $39,965, with $25,790 coming from direct donations and $14,175 from ticket proceeds of the benefit concert presented by Moon and Stars Project, The Society's arts & culture outfit, on November 13th.

We would like to extend special thanks to:

  • Corporate Member Chadbourne & Parke LLP for their $10,000 contribution.
  • Corporate Member Herrick, Feinstein LLP for making a donation and encouraging employees to make additional contributions to the campaign.
  • Our long-time supporter Dr. Mehmet Oz for his personal contribution and video appeal to his viewers.
  • All supporters of the November 13 benefit concert, especially our sponsors Turkish Cultural Foundation, The Marmara Manhattan, and Ramerica International, whose contributions enabled ticket revenues to be donated to the Earthquake Fund.

The Earthquake Fund will support the following efforts in Turkey through Turkish Philanthropy Funds:

The Turkish Red Crescent Society, a humanitarian organization that provides relief to the vulnerable and those in need by mobilizing the power and resources of the community to protect human dignity anytime, anywhere, and support the enhancement of the community’s capacity to cope with disasters. The first KIZILAY Teams started their works in the earthquake area almost two hours after the quake. The relief items have been deployed from the logistics centers of the KIZILAY spread all over Turkey. 121 KIZILAY staff and dozens of Volunteers are working uninterruptedly in the disaster area in order to meet the needs of the victims.
Project to be supported: Container houses for victims of the earthquake.

AKUT Search and Rescue Association, initially designed for mountaineering search and rescue, became well-known for its rapid, organized response to the Marmara quake in 1999, an effort that saved many hundreds of lives and showed that AKUT's disciplined approach to citizen volunteering was effective across a broad range of terrains. AKUT's response to the October 2011 Van earthquake has also been remarkable.
Project to be supported: Equipment to be used during search and rescue efforts.

If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to these and other earthquake relief efforts, you may continue to do so through the Van Earthquake Relief Fund of Turkish Philanthropy Funds.

Thank You


Update on The Society's Earthquake Relief Efforts (download)


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The American Turkish Society Announces 2011 Young Society Leaders

The American Turkish Society is pleased to present the inaugural class of Young Society Leaders. The Young Society leaders is a group of accomplished professionals from the fields of business, law, medicine, journalism, academia and the arts, with a demonstrated record of leadership ability and commitment to serve the U.S.-Turkish society at large. This new initiative aims to nurture next-generation leaders and to positively impact issues that matter to American-Turkish Community.

Pınar Abay, ING Bank Türkiye; Daron Acemoğlu, MIT; Haluk Akakçe, Artist; Ersin Akarlılar, Mavi Jeans; Murat Aktıhanoğlu, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator; Cenk Angın, GittiGidiyor; Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Milliyet; Elif Bilgi Zapparoli, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Turkey; Yıldız Blackstone, LUCA LUCA; Ian Bremmer, Eurasia Group; Eric Clurfain, MetLife Alico; Ramazan Demir, Turk Telekom; Emre Demirel, Turkven Private Equity; Aslı Demirgüç-Kunt, World Bank; Özlem Denizmen, Dogus Holding; Serkan Elden, PineBridge Investments; Lexy Funk, Brooklyn Industries; Ayla Göksel, ACEV/Husnu Ozyegin Foundation; Lane Greene, The Economist; Mehmet Güvendi, McKinsey and Company; Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, Harvard University School of Public Health; Lyndsay Howard, International Bank of Azerbaijan; Ayşegül İldeniz, Intel; Güneş İlkgelen, International Finance Corporation; Jay Karahan, Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law Number 8; Aslı Karahan-Ay, UBS Investment Bank; Mehmet Kırdar, JP Morgan Securities LLC; Sedef Köktentürk, Goldman Sachs International; Ferda Kolatan, su11 architecture+design; Evren Kopelman, CPA, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC; Carl Kress, U.S. Trade & Development Agency; Ümit Kumcuoğlu, Kare Yatirim; Daniel Lubetzky, KIND Healthy Snacks, KIND Movement, PeaceWorks, Inc.; Demet Mutlu, Trendyol.com; Kaan Nazlı, Medley Global Advisors; Kıvanç Onan, Paypal; Seval Öz, Google; Murat Özyeğin, Fiba Group; Ahu Özyurt, CNN Turk; Melek Pulatkonak, Microsoft Turkey; Anthony Richter, Open Society Institute; Sefa Sağlam, Neue Galerie New York; Ege Tanor, Entrepreneur/Financier; Sıtkı Timuçin, End-to-End Analytics; Heidi Ueberroth, National Basketball Association; Hamdi Ulukaya, Agro Farma Inc./ Chobani Yogurt; Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks; Joshua Walker, German Marshall Fund of the United States; Ayşe Yüksel, Esq., Chadbourne & Parke LLP; Leila Zubi, Esq., Zubi & Rosner LLP


About the Young Society Leaders (download)
Press Release (English)  (download)
Press Release (Turkce)  (download)
List of 2011 Young Society Leaders (download)
YSLs in the Media - November (download)


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Fall 2011 Curriculum Development Grant Recipients

Supporting teaching about Turkey in U.S. schools

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is proud to support the following innovative lesson plans with Fall 2011 Curriculum Development Grants to enhance teaching and learning about Turkey in American schools.

  • "Make a Museum - Turkey" by Lisa Kucera, Social Studies teacher at Hickman Mills School District in Kansas City, MO
    Ms. Kucera and her students will build a simulated "museum" experience where each participant becomes an expert on a historical era or civilization in Anatolia, gathers information about their chosen topic, and designs a museum/exhibit of artifacts. The aim is to encourage learning about Turkey among students through role-playing as archaeologists and museum curators.
  • "Around the World in 180 Days" by Bryan Wagner, Music teacher at Lucretia Marcigliano (PS/IS 237) Campus in Brooklyn, NY
    Mr. Wagner's project involves teaching a common music curriculum that will benefit three specialized schools. The Turkish Music and Dance Unit, funded by The American Turkish Society, will focus on teaching Turkish dance, music, history, geography, and culture through workshops and performances led by professional musician Tom Chess.
  • "Exploring New Worlds," by Linda Seymour, English teacher at Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, NC
    This project involves workshops in the areas of Turkish poetry, dance, music, and art. Each workshop will give students an opportunity to perform and create their own works, which will then be submitted to local media and relevant arts magazines and shows to share knowledge and experiences about Turkey.
  • "Interviewing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk," by Leah Siepel, Global History teacher at Flushing International High School in Queens, NY
    Ms. Siepel's project introduces the life and leadership of Ataturk to 9th and 10th graders. In this month-long project, students will write interview scripts, role play, and perform film "talk shows," which will then be shown in the high school's history classes.
  • "International Art: Focus on Turkey," by Sergio Morua Martinez, Art teacher at Achievement First East New York Middle School in Brooklyn, NY
    This fall, Mr. Morua Martinez will pilot the "International Art" program, the first of its kind in the AF Charter School network. The Society will fund the "Focus on Turkey" component, which will introduce students to Turkish history and Islamic art, specifically through the hands-on creation of ceramic tiles.

The grants awarded to the projects outlined above support the teaching resources necessary, such as presenters, books, videos, arts supplies and other tools to be used in the classroom with students. Special thanks to Cornucopia Magazine for their offer of complimentary issues to our winners for use in their classrooms and school libraries.

For more detailed information on the Curriculum Development Grants application process, click here. Information on the next Grants cycle will be available on our website in September 2011.




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Tuncay Cetin wins 2011 Young Photographers Award

Honorable mentions: Emir Ozsahin & Mahmut Koyas

On behalf of The American Turkish Society and the Moon and Stars Project , we are pleased to announce that the winner of the second Young Photographers Award is Tuncay Cetin from Akdeniz University, who will receive $5,000 for his award. In addition, honorable mentions will go to Emir Ozsahin of Bilgi University and Mahmut Koyas of Okan University, who will each receive $2,500. The awards will be used to cover the recipients' tuition and/or photography equipment purchases.

The Young Photographers Award was established by Elisa and Haluk Soykan in 2010 to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. The program is administered by the Moon and Stars Project and The American Turkish Society; and was made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by the donors, Elisa and Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In addition, Moon and Stars Project makes an additional $1,000 contribution to the program to support exhibition expenses.

The winners were selected by Anne Havinga, Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs, and Karen Haas, The Lane Collection Curator of Photographs, both from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their statement on the winners can be found here.

We congratulate Tuncay Cetin, Emir Ozsahin and Mahmut Koyas, and all other participants and wish them continued success in their future endeavors. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the teaching staff of the following departments for nominating candidates from their respective institutions:

  • Akdeniz University Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Photography
  • Bahcesehir University Faculty of Communications, Department of Photography and Video
  • Bilgi University Photography and Video Department
  • Dokuz Eylul University Department of Photography
  • Halic University Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Kocaeli University Department of Photography
  • Marmara University Department of Photography
  • Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Photography
  • Okan University Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Photography
  • Sabanci University Visual Arts and Visual Communications Design
  • Yeditepe University Department of Visual Communication Design
  • Yildiz Technical University Department of Photography and Video

Information for next year's Young Photographer Award will appear on our website in March 2012.


2011 Young Photographers Award Selection (download)
2011 Young Photographers Award Press Kit (download)


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Neslihan Eren wins SVA Summer Residency scholarship

Painting and Mixed Media
May 31- July 1, 2011


WINNING ARTIST
Neslihan Eren

Honorable Mentions
Eda Gecikmez
Fulden Aran

CONGRATULATIONS to the Selected Artist

The participating artist will have exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts’ Chelsea Building and an opportunity to receive faculty critiques and participate in special lectures and gallery tours. Exposure to the New York art scene complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

The studio of the scholarship winner is provided by the School of Visual Arts.

The American Turkish Society, Moon and Stars Project, Marmara Manhattan and Turkish Tourism and Culture Office in New York will sponsor the expenses listed below:

  • Round trip air fare
  • Accommodations
  • Stipend ($500)
  • Materials ($500)
  • Visa application expenses
  • One-month unlimited Metro Card
  • Transportation to and from the airport in New York City

We would like to thank all the artists who sent an application and showed interest in our program.

For inquiries: grants@moonandstarsproject.org

For more information on the program sponsors:

School of Visual Arts Summer Residency Program
The American Turkish Society
Moon and Stars Project
The Marmara Manhattan
Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in New York



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Emir Demirdag receives 2011 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

The American Turkish Society's fifth Arif Mardin Music Fellowship has been awarded to Emir Demirdag, a 19-year-old percussionist from Mersin, Turkey. Emir will be attending the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music taking place July 9 - August 12, 2011.

Throughout his high school career, Emir, who taught himself to play the drums with only the aid of instructional DVDs and books, enjoyed remarkable local and national success in Turkey. He is the recipient of his high school's "Best Music Student" and "Most Promising Musician" awards, and has won numerous titles from local talent shows. Most significantly, out of 2,500 bands, Emir's band qualified for the semi-final of the nationwide "Fanta Stage Music Contest for Amateur Rock Musicians." On behalf of The American Turkish Society, we congratulate Emir and wish him success this summer at Berklee College of Music.

Past recipients of the Fellowship include Sirma Munyar (piano/vocal), Canberk Kargi (drums), Erol Balci (guitar) and Olgun Acar (percussion).

Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music
About Arif Mardin
About the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship



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Teachers: Application time EXTENDED for Fall 2011 Curriculum Development Grants


New deadline: June 3, 2011

Curriculum Development Grants of The American Turkish Society, initiated in the spring of 2010, offer funds to elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. Our aim with this grant program is to increase knowledge about Turkey among teachers and students and stimulate interest in teaching and learning about Turkey.

Grants will cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other costs incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of grants will range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the scope of the project, availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. Preference will be given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible.

Once selected, the grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. However, they will participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The American Turkish Society for future dissemination.

Application process:

Fall 2011 Semester:

Extended application deadline: Friday, June 3, 2011

Notification: July 15, 2011

Please submit proposals including:
1) A 2-page summary with project description, including tools, materials, and methods to be used; objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications.
2) Project budget with detailed breakdown of costs and grant amount requested
3) CV of teacher
4) Letter of support from school

Interested parties may send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org or 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017.




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The Passing of our Beloved Board Member and a Pioneer Shirin Devrim Trainer

We mourn the loss of an irreplaceable member of our Board of Directors, Shirin (Sirin) Devrim Trainer, renowned theater actress and author. For over a decade, Mrs. Trainer contributed generously and actively to our mission to promote Turkey in the United States based on her extensive experience as an artist and lecturer. She was also instrumental in our Earthquake Relief Campaign in 1999, identifying some of our Turkish NGO partners as well as raising funds by doing a one-woman show about her life and reminiscences.

Mrs. Shirin Devrim Trainer was a pioneering Turkish woman, artist, leader and philanthropist. We will do our best to continue her legacy. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

A guest book for condolences and reminiscences is available here.

Tiyatro, efsanevi ismi Şirin Devrim’i kaybetti
Bakan Günay'dan Devrim için başsağlığı mesajı

Shirin Devrim Trainer - Biography (download)


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2011 Young Photographers Award

2011 Young Photographers Award

Moon and Stars Project and The American Turkish Society proudly announce the Young Photographer’s Award established in 2010 in the United States by Elisa and Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students studying photography in Turkey. The program is jointly administered by Moon and Stars Project and The American Turkish Society.

The award is $10,000. The Moon and Stars Project will contribute an additional $1,000 to partially sponsor the joint exhibition to be held at an art gallery in Istanbul featuring the work of interested candidates for the award. The first prize winner will receive $5,000 and second and third mentions will be awarded $2,500 each. The awards will be used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment purchases.

The candidates for the award will be selected by the relevant departments of the schools they attend. The final selection will be made by the Photography Department of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The winner will be announced in May 2011.

We hope both the award and the program will grow with the support of other individuals and institutions in the coming years.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following institutions who have kindly agreed to support the program with their participation:

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Akdeniz University Fine Arts Faculty Department of Photography
Bahcesehir University Department of Photography and Video
Dokuz Eylul University Department of Photography
Halic University Fine Arts Faculty
Kocaeli University Department of Photography
Marmara University Department of Photography
Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts Department of Photography
Okan University Fine Arts Faculty Department of Photography
Sabanci University Department of Visual Arts and Visual Communications Design
Yildiz Technical University Department of Photography

For more information on the award administrators, please visit www.moonandstarsproject.org and www.americanturkishsociety.org. For information on last year’s program and award recipient, please visit here.




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Apply Now: 2011 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

Five-week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music
July 9–August 12, 2011
Application Deadline: March 15

Launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship funds one student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music. The fellowship covers all program expenses, plus a stipend of $500. Consideration for the fellowship is based on merit and potential to benefit from the program in current or future music career. In 2010, the fourth Arif Mardin Music Fellowship was awarded to Olgun Acar, a 24-year-old percussionist from Izmir, Turkey.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 23rd year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available–anywhere. Every year, roughly 900 participants from across the U.S. and 70 different countries share this unique summer experience–all instruments, all contemporary styles, all levels of musical ability. The Five-Week Program, with its range of study options, world-class instructors, and state-of-the-art facilities, is a summer program that could only be offered at Berklee.

At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, you will be immersed in all aspects of performance. Your classes, workshops, and rehearsals will focus on this important side of your musicianship. You will play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve your technique in weekly private lessons, and enjoy lectures/demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.

The application process:

Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality, over the age of 15, with a minimum of six months experience playing their instrument (singing), are eligible to apply. Please note that preference will be given to applicants 18 years of age and younger.

The application for the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship is part of the online application to the Five-Week Program.

Submit an application, mp3 recording/link, and a 500-word statement in English outlining your interest in the program and how you will benefit from it, as well as any distinctions in your musical career such as performances and awards by March 15. Be sure to specify in your essay that you are applying to the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship.

The fellowship recipient will be chosen by Berklee College of Music and will be notified by April 15.




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The Passing of Our Cherished Board Member, Murad Megalli

We mourn the sudden and tragic loss, in a plane crash on a business trip in Northern Iraq, of a cherished member of our Board of Directors, Murad Megalli, CEO of Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Central Asia at J.P. Morgan, based out of Istanbul, Turkey. An outstanding business executive and a good friend, Murad was a generous contributor of ideas, time and support to our organization and the advancement of U.S.-Turkish economic and cultural ties. We will remember him fondly and miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.
Murat Koprulu, Chairman, The American Turkish Society

An online guest book is available here for reminiscences and condolences for the next 30 days.




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OPEN CALL FOR STUDIO RESIDENCY SCHOLARSHIP IN NEW YORK

Deadline Extended to April 11, 2011

OPEN CALL FOR STUDIO RESIDENCY SCHOLARSHIP IN NEW YORK

PAINTING AND MIXED MEDIA
May 31 - July 1, 2011

This internationally renowned program offers artists an opportunity to work intensively in a private studio, receive individual critiques from faculty, and attend weekly lectures given by guest artists, critics, and gallery directors.

The selected participant has exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts’ Chelsea Building. Faculty will visit the studios Mondays through Thursdays. Exposure to the New York art world complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

The program is sponsored by the Moon and Stars Project, The American Turkish Society, School of Visual Arts, and The Marmara Manhattan.

For application procedure and criteria, and Turkish version, please click here.

Due to popular demand, the deadline for submitting applications has been extended until April 11.




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Spring 2011 Curriculum Development Grant Recipients

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is proud to support the following innovative lesson plans with Spring 2011 Curriculum Development Grants to enhance teaching and learning about Turkey in American schools.

  • Ms. Tina Brunson, a teacher at Patria Mirabal Middle School 324 in New York City, has developed a comprehensive social studies curriculum focused on Turkey and Turkish culture incorporatinglanguage, music, movement, food and conversation. In the summer of 2010, Ms. Brunson was a teacher chaperone with her students from New York City at Space Camp Turkey, which inspired her to launch this course.

  • Ms. Samantha Walder, a teacher at Deuel School District in Clear Lake, South Dakota, is implementing a "Turkish Comparative Puppetry Project," which will use puppetry as a teaching tool to help students and the local community to develop a cultural understanding about Turkey. In the summer of 2009, Ms. Walder participated in a 13-day study tour of Turkey for teachers supported by the Turkish Cultural Foundation and wanted to carry her interest in Turkey to her classroom.

  • Ms. Aura Highsmith, a teacher at the Dayton Street School in Newark, New Jersey, will implement a project entitled, "Turkey: A Rich Culture Revealed," which aims to enhance understanding of Turkey through art lessons and projects involving carpet patterns, tiles, shadow puppets and dance. As an artist and art teacher, Ms. Highsmith is interested in exploring new cultures and looks forward to learning more about Turkey along with her students.

The grants awarded to the projects outlined above support the teaching resources necessary, such as books, videos, arts supplies and other materials, to be used in the classroom with students.

About the Program

The Society's Curriculum Development Grant program, initiated in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. Grants vary between $250 and $2,500 and cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project's scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible. Once selected, grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The American Turkish Society for future dissemination.

Information on the next grant cycle for fall 2011 curriculum development grants will be available on our website in March 2011.




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2009/2010 Program Report

Program Report for 2009 & 2010 of The American Turkish Society.


2009/2010 Program Report (download)


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2011 Curriculum Development Grants

Supporting Teaching About Turkey in American Schools

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for 2011.

The program, which was initiated by The Society in the Spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. The Society’s first Curriculum Development Grant was awarded to Harry A. Dawe, former Headmaster of Robert College in Istanbul and current history teacher and college counselor at the Fieldston Upper School in Bronx, New York. Mr. Dawe received support for History 181: East Meets West, for which he developed course material and two chapters of a history text book for use with eleventh and twelfth graders.

Grants vary between $250 and $2,500, and cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other expenses incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of each grant is determined by the project’s scope, the availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible. Once selected, grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. They will, however, participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The American Turkish Society for future dissemination.

Application Process

Spring Semester, 2011

Application deadline: November 1

Notification: December 1

Please submit proposals including:

1. A 2-page summary of the proposed project detailing the tools, materials, and methods to be used; the objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications;

2. A project budget, including a detailed breakdown of costs and the grant amount requested; 3. The teacher’s CV; and

4. A letter of support from the teacher’s school.

Interested parties should send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org or 305 E. 47th Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

For questions and additional information, please email info@americanturkishsociety.org or call 212.583.7614.


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Young Photographers Award Recipient Selected

Nevzat Yıldırım of Kocaeli University has been selected as the first winner of the Young Photographers Award, established by Elisa and Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. The award is jointly administered by Moon and Stars Project and The American Turkish Society.

Yıldırım was selected by Ms. Anne Havinga, Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and Ms. Karen Haas, Lane Collection Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), who made the following statement about their decision:

“Jurying a prize like this is always a wonderful process and we were delighted to have been invited to select the 2010 Young Photographers Award sponsored by Elisa and Haluk Soykan and administered by the Moon and Stars Project and the American Turkish Society. In this first year of the prize, there were 15 submissions from eight different university photography programs across Turkey. Our final choice was particularly difficult because the students’ work was so technically proficient overall and conceptually wide ranging. The challenge for us as jurors was to identify those photographs that seemed to go beyond the well made and carefully composed, and to discover pictures with that difficult-to-define ‘staying power’ that draws one back to look again and again.

“In the end we were particularly impressed by the striking black-and-white photographs made by Nevzat Yıldırım from Kocaeli University and have chosen him to be this year’s Young Photographers Award winner. Yıldırım is clearly dedicated to making a career in the field of photography and his individual prints, such as the young broom-maker seated in his crowded workroom, are powerful and beautifully rendered. We will not soon forget his documentation of human labor, whether of child workers or adults, all of which suggest an understanding of and sympathy for his subjects unusual in someone still only in his 20’s. Congratulations to Nevzat Yıldırım and to all the photographers chosen to take part in this inaugural year of the Young Photographers Award.”

The Society and Moon and Stars Project congratulate Nevzat Yıldırım and all participants and wish them continued success in their endeavors. Special thanks to the teaching staff of the following departments for selecting the candidates from their institutions:

  • Bahçeşehir University Department of Photography and Video
  • Bilgi University Department of Photography and Video
  • Dokuz Eylül University Department of Photography
  • Kocaeli University Department of Photography
  • Marmara University Department of Photography
  • Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts Department of Photography
  • Sabancı University Department of Visual Arts and Visual Communications Design
  • Yıldız Technical University Department of Photography and Video

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“Faces of America” in Turkey

Our partnership with AFS-USA offers American youth a Turkish experience

Eight American students had their first international experience in Turkey this summer, where they participated in AFS-USA’s Faces of America program on scholarships from The American Turkish Society and partnering community-based youth organizations. The students, six of whom are from New York City, stayed with Turkish families in Bursa, Istanbul, Izmir, Samsun and Karadeniz Eregli.

AFS-USA’s Faces of America program provides scholarships for high school students from underserved communities to participate in summer exchange programs. The students were selected for participation in the program based on their records of community involvement and academic achievement and their ability to serve as cultural ambassadors. A significant portion of their program costs were met by the scholarships, and the participants also benefited from fundraising workshops and extensive orientation programs held before, during, and after their stays.

Outside of the United States, an average of 9% of students spend time abroad. In America, less than 1.3% of students participate in intercultural exchange, and only a very small percentage of this number are economically disadvantaged minority students, students from low-income immigrant families and other students facing serious economic hardship. In an ever-more connected world, access to cultural exchange is increasingly important in terms of both personal growth and future success in education and employment. Yet, the costs associated with foreign exchange programs often exclude participation by students in low-income families and underserved communities. For these youth, scarce educational opportunities have been further affected by the difficult economic environment of recent years.

Since 2008, shortly after the Faces of America program’s inception, The American Turkish Society has partnered with AFS-USA to address these hurdles by providing scholarships for disadvantaged youth to participate in summer exchange programs in Turkey relating to community service, language study, and cultural immersion. The Society and AFS-USA share a belief that “intercultural education provides the experience young students need to become compassionate, informed global citizens who are ready, willing and able to bridge cross-cultural divides.” Moreover, through this partnership, The Society seeks to increase American students’ knowledge and understanding of Turkey and offer the necessary incentives and opportunities to travel to Turkey, where participation by U.S. students in study abroad/exchange programs continues to be relatively low compared to other recipient countries.

We invite you to learn more about the Faces of America program by reading a report from AFS-USA, and to help us increase the number of participants going to Turkey next summer by making a tax-deductible contribution here.

To learn more about The American Turkish Society’s educational programs, please visit our website or contact Selen Ucak, Executive Director .

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The Society Sponsors Two Young Professionals at the Global Servant Leaders Program

A Program of the Young Guru Academy

The American Turkish Society is proud to sponsor two young professionals from New York to attend the Global Servant Leaders/Istanbul Cultural Ambassadors program of the Young Guru Academy (YGA) this summer. Katie E. Denton and Daniel Foley will visit Turkey between June 12 and June 27, 2010, as part of the program.

Katie Denton graduated from the University of Vermont with a major in Anthropology and a minor in English. She was awarded honors for her outstanding efforts in the university's Community Service Scholarship Program. Currently, she is a Visitor Program and Alumni Project Leader at City Year, where she educates the public about the organization's mission and assists in the development of media relations.

Daniel Foley graduated with a concentration in biology from Seton Hall University, where he was honored with Student Servant Leader Award. Since graduating, he has been working as a Young Heroes Program Corps Member at City Year, where he develops and implements a leadership and community service program for middle school students living in the South Bronx.

City Year, where Katie and Daniel both serve, is a U.S. not-for-profit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world.

Young Guru Academy is a Turkey-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to select, educate, train and inspire creative, innovative, and socially responsible leaders. Initiated in 2007, their "Global Servant Leaders/Istanbul Cultural Ambassadors" program is a two-week cultural program open to university students and NGO professionals from various countries with an aim to introduce them to Istanbul and Turkish history and culture. The program includes visits to historical and cultural sites, tours of Istanbul, exposure to Turkish arts, music and dance, and a visit to YGA’s leadership camp in Saklikoy. Upon returning, program participants are expected to promote Turkish culture at their university or organization and volunteer with the program’s sponsoring organizations in the U.S.

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Studio Residency Scholarship Winner Results

Winning Artist
Nazim Unal Yilmaz

Honorable Mentions
Secil Alkis
Asli Torcu
Fulden Aran

Congratulations to the Selected Artist

The participating artist will have exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts’ Chelsea Building. Faculty will visit the studios. Exposure to the New York art scene complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

The studio of the scholarship winner is provided by the School of Visual Arts.

The American Turkish Society, Moon and Stars Project, Marmara Manhattan and Turkish Tourism and Culture Office in New York will sponsor the expenses listed below.

  • Round trip air fare
  • Accommodations
  • Stipend ($500)
  • Materials ($500)
  • Visa Application Expenses
  • One-month unlimited metro card
  • Transportation to and from the airport in New York

We would like to thank all the artists who sent an application and showed interest in our program.

For inquiries: grants@moonandstarsproject.org

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"Young Photographers Award"

We are proud to announce “Young Photographers Award” established in the U.S.A. by Elisa and Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students studying photography in Turkey. The program will be jointly administered by the Moon and Stars Project and American Turkish Society.

The award is $5,000. The Moon and Stars Project will contribute an additional $1,000 to this year’s award bringing the total to $6,000. The award will be given to cover the recipient’s tuition and/or photography equipment purchases.

The candidates for the award will be selected by the relevant departments of the schools they attend. The final selection will be made by the Photography Department of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The winner will be announced in September 2010.

We hope both the award and the program will grow with the support of other individuals and institutions in the coming years.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following institutions who have kindly agreed to support the program with their participation:

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Bahcesehir University Department of Photography and Video
  • Bilgi University Department of Photography and Video
  • Dokuz Eylul University Department of Photography
  • Kocaeli University Department of Photography
  • Marmara University Department of Photography
  • Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts Department of Photography
  • Sabanci University Department of Visual Arts and Visual Communications Design
  • Yildiz Technical University Department of Photography

For more information on the award administrators please visit www.moonandstarsproject.org www.americanturkishsociety.org

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Young Guru Academy 2010 Global Servant Leaders Program

Applications are now open for The Young Guru Academy Global Servants Leaders Program. Initiated in 2007, the program is a 10-day cultural program open to all university students, NGO professionals and volunteers with an aim to introduce Istanbul and Turkish history and culture. The program includes visits to historical and cultural sites, tours of Istanbul, exposure to Turkish arts, music and dance, and visit to YGA’s leadership camp in Saklikoy. Upon returning, program participants are expected to promote Turkish culture at their university or where they work, or volunteer with one of the program’s sponsoring organizations in the U.S.

The American Turkish Society will sponsor two participants' roundtrip airfare from New York.

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Detailed program information and application guidelines  (download)


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A Benefit Recital with Gülsin Onay

In Support of The Ataturk School of New York City.

The American Turkish Society’s Education Committee is pleased to support the Ataturk School through a benefit piano recital presented by the Turkish Women’s League of America on Wednesday. We hope that you will be able to attend.



Under the auspices of the Consul General of the Republic of Turkey and Mrs. Mehmet Samsar, Turkish Women’s League of America presents internationally-acclaimed Turkish pianist Gulsin Onay.

Wednesday, March 10
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

The Times Center
242 West 41st Street
New York, NY 10036

Ticket prices: $30 Regular, $40 Preferred Seating

To purchase tickets, please visit the Turkish Women’s League of America website.

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Turkish Women’s League of America

Program and Ticketing Information (download)


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MARCH 1: SNOWDROPS/ KARDELENLER: A Success Story from Turkey

The American Turkish Society is pleased to support the following event in celebration of International Women's Day.

Please RSVP to info@americanturkishsociety.org by noon, Thursday, February 25. Space is limited; RSVPs will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.


The Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations Invites you to a Parallel Event within the Sidelines of the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

A PANEL MEETING ON A SUCCESS STORY FROM TURKEY: SNOWDROPS

“Providing Equal Opportunities For Underprivileged Girls Since 2000”

ON MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2010 FROM 1:15 TO 2:30 P.M. AT THE UNITED NATIONS NEW BUILDING CONFERENCE ROOM 7 / TNLB

FOLLOWED BY A PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION ON “SNOWDROPS” AND A RECEPTION

ON MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2010 AT 6:15 PM AT THE TURKISH CENTER 821 UN Plaza, 10017 NY (Corner of 1st Avenue and 46th street)

For NGO and Civil Society representatives, entry passes to the panel venue at the UN, will be provided by the Turkish Mission. For further information please contact Ms. Burcu Erdogdu or Mr. Mustafa Yıldırım at Turkish Mission to UN, 212-949 01 50


Please see the document attached below for additional information about Snowdrops/Kardelenler and for the full program of the event.

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Additional information and program  (download)


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Connect with The American Turkish Society

We invite you to become our fan on Facebook, join our group on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, or join our Mailing List.




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Arif Mardin Music Fellowship 2010

Five-Week Summer Performance Program: July 10–August 13, 2010

Launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship funds one student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music. The fellowship covers all program expenses, plus a stipend of $500. Consideration for the fellowship is based on merit and potential to benefit from the program in current or future music career. In 2009, the third Arif Mardin Music Fellowship was awarded to Erol Balci, a talented bass guitar player from Izmir, Turkey.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 22nd year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available–anywhere. Every year, roughly 900 participants from across the U.S. and 70 different countries share this unique summer experience–all instruments, all contemporary styles, all levels of musical ability. The Five-Week Program, with its range of study options, world-class instructors, and state-of-the-art facilities, is a summer program that could only be offered at Berklee.

At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, you will be immersed in all aspects of performance. Your classes, workshops, and rehearsals will focus on this important side of your musicianship. You will play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve your technique in weekly private lessons, and enjoy lectures/demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.

The application process:

1. Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality, over the age of 15, with a minimum of six months experience playing their instrument (singing), are eligible to apply. (Please note that preference will be given to applicants 18 years of age and younger.)

2. Please complete the following materials and submit via mail, fax or email by April 15, 2010 to:

Office of Special Programs
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston Street, MS-155
Boston, MA 02215-3693

Telephone: 617.747.2245
Fax: 617.262.5419
Email: summer@berklee.edu

• Standard application: http://www.berklee.edu/summer/fiveweeksummer/when-do-apply.php
• MP3 recording/link
• A 500-word statement in English outlining your interest in the program and how you expect your music career to benefit from it. Please include information on distinctions in your chosen music field, such as concert performances, awards, degrees, etc.

The fellowship recipient will be chosen by Berklee College of Music and notified within six weeks for international applicants by mail.

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For more information, please visit Berklee College of Music website.



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2010 Curriculum Development Grants

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants in 2010.

Curriculum Development Grants of The American Turkish Society offer funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in New York City and the tri-state area to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. The program aims to enhance the teachers’ and their students’ knowledge and understanding of Turkey, as well as to develop a repository of effective practices to teach about the country.

Grants will cover the costs of research, materials, speakers, and other costs incurred by the school or the teacher. The amount of grants will range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the scope of the project, availability of total funds, and the number of projects selected through a competitive process. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible.

Once selected, the grantees will be free to develop their proposed projects without editorial input from The Society. However, they will participate in follow-up activities for evaluation purposes and will be asked to share any teaching plans, materials and activities with The American Turkish Society for future dissemination.


Application process:

Fall 2010 semester:

Application deadline: May 15, 2010

Notification: July 15, 2010


Please submit proposals including:

1) A 2-page summary with project description, including tools, materials, and methods to be used; objectives and anticipated impact; and the teacher's relevant qualifications.

2) Project budget with detailed breakdown of costs and grant amount requested

3) CV of teacher

4) Letter of support from school

Interested parties may send proposals to The American Turkish Society at info@americanturkishsociety.org or 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

For questions and additional information, please contact 212.583.7614 or info@americanturkishsociety.org.

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Press Release (download)


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2009-2010 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholars at Juilliard

The American Turkish Society is proud to announce that the 2009-2010 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to two Turkish students this fall: Cagdas Ozkan and Burak Ozdemir. The scholarship, launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of the late Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and long-time chairman of The Society, supports talented musicians of Turkish descent in their studies at The Julliard School in New York City.

New to Juilliard, Cagdas Ozkan has just begun studies towards a Master’s Degree in collaborative piano with Jonathan Feldman. Born in 1985 in Bulgaria and a citizen of Turkey, Cagdas received most of his music training in Turkey. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Bilkent University.

Awarded the Ertegun scholarship for a second time is bassoonist Burak Ozdemir. Burak was born in Istanbul in 1983. He received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in piano and bassoon from Istanbul University Conservatory and an Master’s from the University of Arts in Berlin. His experience includes serving as a substitute in the Istanbul State Symphony and Philharmonic, and he was a member of the Istanbul Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Before coming to Juilliard, Burak studied the early forerunners of the bassoon and their repertoire, and is now participating in Julliard’s new program in historic performance. Currently, he is an artist diploma student of Frank Morelli.

The scholarship recipients are selected by The Juilliard School. Only the students accepted to Juilliard are eligible for consideration. For information on applying to Juilliard, please visit the School’s website at www.juilliard.edu.

Members and friends wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship fund or find out more about the education and arts & culture programs of The American Turkish Society, may contact Selen Ucak, Executive Director, at 212.583.7614 or selen.ucak@americanturkishsociety.org. For more information on the American Turkish Society, please visit www.americanturkishsociety.org




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OCTET: SELECTED WORK FROM THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS

August 12 — October 4, 2009

The American Turkish Society is proud to support

OCTET: SELECTED WORK FROM THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS
August 12 — October 4, 2009
Suna and İnan Kiraç Foundation Pera Museum Istanbul, Turkey

“Octet: Selected Work from the School of Visual Arts” is an exhibition of work by faculty, alumni and students from the BFA Fine Arts Department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Organized by SVA and curated by Department Chair Suzanne Anker and faculty member Peter Hristoff, “Octet” includes approximately 100 works by over 60 artists, offering a wide-ranging survey of current trends and issues in contemporary art. The exhibition will be on view at the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum in Istanbul, Turkey from August 12 – October 4, 2009. Following the presentation in Istanbul, “Octet: Selected Work from the School of Visual Arts” will be on view in New York City at SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery from November 24 — December 23, 2009.

The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum and the Visual Arts Gallery presentations of "Octet" have been supported by the following institutions: the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in New York, The American Turkish Society, the Moon and Stars Project and the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul.

For further details about the exhibition, including artist list, please see the press release below.

Media Contact: For more information, please contact Keri Murawski at 212.592.2164 or e-mail kmurawski@sva.edu.


Octet Press Release (download)


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The American Turkish Society Is Now Hiring

The American Turkish Society is hiring for Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant positions.

Please see job descriptions and requirements below and apply to info@americanturkishsociety.org, preferably by July 20, 2009.


Program Coordinator Job Description (download)
Administrative Assistant Job Description (download)


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Erol Balci Receives 2009 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

The American Turkish Society’s third Arif Mardin Music Fellowship has been awarded to Erol Balci, a 23-year-old bass guitar player from Izmir, Turkey. Erol will be attending the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music on July 11 - August 14, 2009.

For more information about Erol and his music, you can visit his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/ebugrabalci.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship, established by The Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), a world-renowned producer/arranger and long-time Vice Chairman of the organization, provides promising musicians of Turkish descent exposure to the field in the United States. For more information about the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, please visit

http://www.berklee.edu/summer/fiveweeksummer/program-like.php



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Fatima Ayazlar & Emir Işık Voice Recital

Presented by Moon and Stars Project
Sponsored by The Marmara Manhattan, The Pak Family and Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

At
Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall
881 Seventh Avenue
(Corner of 57th Street)
New York, NY 10019

May 30, 2009
8:30 pm

Featuring
Fatima Ayazlar, Mezzo Soprano
Emir Işık, Tenor
Shane Schag, Piano


Program

Liederkreis Op. 39 by Robert Schumann
&
Works by G. Puccini, F. Cilea, G. Bizet, F. Lehar


Admission : $25 Adults/ $20 Students & Moon and Stars Project members

Biographies

Fatima Ayazlar has just completed her studies at Brooklyn College of Music under Patricia McCaffrey. She attended the Royal Academy of Music in England -- selected for their program as one of 5 singers from around the world. She made her American debut singing the role of Suzuki in the Connecticut Grand Opera's production of Madame Butterfly in 2007. Also in that year, she performed as Charlotte in Brooklyn College's production of Werther, also singing the role of Agusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe at the same venue. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as a finalist in the competition of the Oratorio Society of New York, where she was selected as the audience favorite. Fatima was invited to participate in Master Classes of the legendary Turkish soprano, Leyla Gencer, and the Italian Divas Katia Ricciarelli and Renata Scotto.

Emir Işık earned his Master of Music degree from the renowned Manhattan School of Music in 2005. A baritone then, he has performed in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte as Guglielmo and as Papageno in Die Zauberflote, as Mr. Gedge in Britten's Albert Herring, as Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and as Falke in Strauss' Fledermaus as well as in numerous recitals. Being a zwischenfach, Mr. Işık has made a shift and gradually got in the challenging lyric tenor repertoire under the tutelage of W. Stephen Smith of Juilliard. As a tenor, he sang Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte in the summer of 2008 in Weimar, Germany. His upcoming engagement is to sing Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly in Burgas, Bulgaria in fall 2009. All his music education and this recital is partially sponsored by the PAK Family.

Shane Schag, a native of Ohio, has performed in recitals both as soloist and ensemble performer throughout the United States and Europe, including a concerto performance with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. He has won several awards and scholarships including the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Memorial Award, which was given to "a musician who demonstrated outstanding professionalism in collaborative piano." He has worked in the capacity of vocal coach for Centro Studi Italiani Opera Festival, and as an assistant conductor for the Gotham Chamber Opera. In 2007, Mr. Schag made his debut at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall). Now he serves as staff pianist for the Lotte Lenya Competition in Rochester, New York, and Carnegie Hall's Musical Explorers concert series. Also, he has been appointed Musical Director of the revue, "And the World Goes Round," at the Manhattan School of Music, and the one-woman show, "Songs My Mother Never Taught Me," by Deborah Karpel. Recently, Mr. Schag appeared on PBS SundayArts in a showcase for rising, young opera singers. In addition to his concert appearances, he serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and Operaworks in Los Angeles.

For tickets please call (212) 229-1207 or go to http://www.carnegiehall.org/article/box_office/events/evt_13446.html?selecteddate=05302009.
For additional information please call (212) 247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org




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Pandora's Box at Tribeca Film Festival

The American Turkish Society and Moon and Stars Project are proud to co-represent Pandora’s Box at Tribeca Film Festival

Cast & Credits
Primary Cast: Tsilla Chelton, Derya Alabora, Onur Unsal, Ovul Avkiran, Osman Sonant, Tayfun Bademsoy
Director: Yesim Ustaoglu
Screenwriter: Yesim Ustaoglu, Sema Kaygusuz
Producer: Yesim Ustaoglu, Muhammet Cakiral, Serkan Cakarer, Behrooz Hashemian, Setareh Farsi, Natacha Devillers, Catherine Burniaux, Michael Weber, Tobias Pausinger

Program Notes
The latest from award-winning Turkish master Yesim Ustaoglu (Journey to the Sun) is a gorgeous, expertly developed cross-generational dramedy. Three adult siblings—Nesrin, Güzin, and Mehmet—lead modern, neurotic, and preoccupied lives in Istanbul. But when their aging mother Nusret starts showing signs of dementia, the dysfunctional children must navigate a minefield of unresolved issues to care for her. They take the aging matriarch (90-year-old French actress Tsilla Chelton) away from her home on the Black Sea—for her own good, they think—but hectic Istanbul is the last place Nusret would like to be. In fact, her final wish is to be left alone in the mountains surrounding her home.

The unlikeliest candidate for the Nusret's final companion is her aloof and introspective grandson Murat. He mysteriously understands her desires, and in return she allows him to guide her back to her serene village, with its lush and breathtaking views. A tale primarily exploring modernity versus tradition, the need for stuff versus the need for nature, Pandora's Box is a thoughtful, perfectly paced addition to Ustaoglu's impressive repertoire of films. For her poignant, career-capping performance, Chelton was named best actress at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, where the film also won top prize.

Yesim Ustaoglu made several award-winning shorts in Turkey before making her feature debut with 1994's The Track. She received international recognition for her 1999 film Journey to the Sun, which received the Blue Angel Award for best European film and the Peace Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. The moving story of a courageous friendship undaunted by political cruelty swept the Istanbul International Film Festival by winning best film, best director, the FIPRESCI prize, and the Audience Award. Her follow-up Waiting for the Clouds was awarded the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award and the DAAD scholarship.

Screenings
Fri, Apr 24, 5:30PM
AMC Village VII 2

Sun, Apr 26, 10:15PM
AMC Village VII 7

Mon, Apr 27, 10:30PM
AMC Village VII 5

For more information and tickets, please visit Tribeca Film Festival’s website.



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Arif Mardin Fellowship at Berklee College of Music

Five-week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music

Launched by The American Turkish Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), world-renowned producer/arranger and vice chairman of the organization for many years, the Arif Mardin Music Fellowship aims to further the education of promising musicians from Turkey and give them a chance to study in the United States. The program is conducted in partnership with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where Mardin’s successful music career began as the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship.

The Arif Mardin Music Fellowship funds one student to attend the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music. The fellowship covers all program expenses, plus a stipend of $500. Consideration for the fellowship is based on merit and potential to benefit from the program in current or future music career.

The first Arif Mardin Fellow was pianist and vocalist Sirma Munyar in 2007. In 2008, the fellowship was awarded to Canberk Kargi, a talented seventeen-year-old drummer from Canakkale, Turkey.

The Five-Week Summer Performance Program, now in its 21st year, is the largest, most comprehensive summer music program available–anywhere. Every year, roughly 900 participants from across the U.S. and 50 different countries share this unique summer experience–all instruments, all contemporary styles, all levels of musical ability. The Five-Week Program, with its range of study options, world-class instructors, and state-of-the-art facilities, is a summer program that could only be offered at Berklee.

At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program, you will be immersed in all aspects of performance. Your classes, workshops, and rehearsals will focus on this important side of your musicianship. You will play in ensembles, develop improvisational and reading skills, improve your technique in weekly private lessons, and enjoy lectures/demonstrations by well-known faculty and visiting artists.

The application process:

1. Individuals of Turkish descent or nationality, over the age of 15, with a minimum of six months experience playing their instrument (singing), are eligible to apply. (Please note that preference will be given to applicants 18 years of age and younger.)
2. Please complete the following materials and submit via mail, fax or email by April 15, 2009 to:

Office of Special Programs
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston Street, MS-155
Boston, MA 02215-3693

Telephone: 617.747.2245
Fax: 617.262.5419
Email: summer@berklee.edu

• Standard application: http://www.berklee.edu/summer/fiveweeksummer/when-do-apply.php
• MP3 recording/link
• A 500-word statement in English outlining your interest in the program and how you expect your music career to benefit from it. Please include information on distinctions in your chosen music field, such as concert performances, awards, degrees, etc.

The fellowship recipient will be chosen by Berklee College of Music and notified within six weeks for international applicants by mail.

For more information, please visit Berklee College of Music website.



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Open Call For Studio Residency Scholarship In New York

PAINTING AND MIXED MEDIA
June 1 - July 2, 2009

This internationally renowned program offers artists an opportunity to work intensively in a private studio, receive individual critiques from faculty, and attend weekly lectures given by guest artists, critics, and gallery directors.

The selected participant has exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts’ Chelsea Building. Faculty will visit the studios Mondays through Thursdays. Exposure to the New York art world complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables the participants to present their work to the public.

The program is sponsored by the Moon and Stars Project, The American Turkish Society and School of Visual Arts.

For application procedure and criteria please click here.

Application Deadline April 3, 2009

For more information on the program sponsors:

www.sva.edu/residency
www.moonandstarsproject.org




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The American Turkish Society is Proud to Announce the Arrival of 2009 Global Educators

The American Turkish Society is proud to announce the arrival of Orhan Dolapci and Gonca Canyurt, teachers from Turkey and this year’s The American Turkish Society – AFS Global Educators.

The AFS Global Educators Program brings professional educators from around the world into K-12 classrooms throughout the United States. This program provides an excellent opportunity for schools that have an interest in internationalizing their curriculums and bringing the world into their classrooms. Through the program, participating teachers expand their knowledge of other cultures and educational systems while sharing information about their own countries and experiences with their host school communities. This exchange continues when the visiting teachers return to their home countries and share their experiences abroad with their students and colleagues. As a part of its education mission, The American Turkish Society has been in partnership with AFS-USA and supporting the Global Educators Program since 2002.

Orhan Dolapci, from Istanbul, Turkey, has been teaching English to primary school students and adult English language learners. He received his B.A. in Applied Linguistics from Marmara University and his M.A. in Educational Management and Supervision from Yeditepe University. Orhan is taking a semester sabbatical from his current position T.E.V. Zahide Zehra Garring State Primary School to participate in the AFS Global Educators Program. During the program, Orhan would like to develop his English skills and expand on his professional knowledge as well as share Turkish culture with his host school and community. Orhan will be teaching at Lanier Middle School in Houston, TX.

Gonca Canyurt has a strong background in mathematics and pedagogy. She has taught arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus at the high school level. She uses presentations, discovery-learning, problem-solving, and group work methods to engage her students. She also emphasizes the practical uses of math to make the subject relevant, such as the importance of calculations in building bridges or buildings. Gonca has also written questions for exams and study guides. She hopes to provide her host school and community with important insights into the Turkish culture and contribute innovative techniques to the mathematics curriculum. Visiting America has been one of Gonca’s greatest dreams and she hopes to leave with improved language skills and new teaching strategies. Gonca will be teaching at Fall River High School in Fall River, WI.

AFS is a world leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs for its students and educators. Operating in more than 50 countries as independent, non-profit organizations, each AFS International partner has a volunteer base, a professionally staffed office, and a board of directors. AFS has been exchanging young people and educators throughout the world for more than 60 years.

Founded in 1949, The American Turkish Society is America’s oldest not-for profit organization seeking to enhance economic, political, and cultural ties between Turkey and the United States. The Society achieves its mission by hosting educational events that bring together government and business leaders, journalists, artists and scholars covering a spectrum of fields. It also initiates and sponsors a variety of education and arts & culture programs, providing fellowships, grants, and other opportunities for educational and cultural exchange between the two countries. The American Turkish Society is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization. Members and friends wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to American Turkish Society – AFS Global Educators program or to find out more about the The Society’s other initiatives may contact Selen Ucak, Executive Director, at 212.583.7614 or selen.ucak@americanturkishsociety.org.




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Jeffrey J. Steiner, Member of the Board of Directors of The American Turkish Society, Passed Away

Jeffrey J. Steiner, Member of the Board of Directors of The American Turkish Society, Passed Away Jeffrey J. Steiner, long-time Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Fairchild Corporation died on Saturday, November 1, at the age of 71. Mr. Steiner led the company from 1985 through September of this year.

Jeffrey Steiner was born on April 3, 1937 in Vienna, Austria. He grew up in Istanbul during World War II, after his family fled Hitler’s advance into Vienna. His business training began there, where his father was leading manufacturer in Turkey’s textile industry. After studying textiles at Britain’s Bradford Institute of Technology, he went to the United States and in 1958 he took a job at Texas Instruments. By the time he left after ten years, he had become head of international manufacturing. Mr. Steiner then moved to Paris and started a small textile business and later developed Cedac S.A., an engineering business that manufactured turnkey factories in the Middle East. Returning back to the United States in the 1980s, he made a series of successful investments, finally acquiring Fairchild, an aerospace company, in 1989.

Jeffrey Steiner was a savvy business leader and a generous philanthropist. He was a leader and contributor in the Jewish community. He was also passionate about Turkey and U.S.-Turkish relations and served on the board of directors of The American Turkish Society for many years. He was a Vice Chairman of The Society, together with Mr. Arif Mardin and Ms. Berrin Tekiner, during the Chairmanship of Ahmet Ertegun.

The American Turkish Society remembers Mr. Steiner’s support and service to the organization with gratitude and extends its sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at The Fairchild Corporation.




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Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship Awarded to Juilliard Students from Turkey

The American Turkish Society is proud to announce that the 2008-2009 Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to two Turkish students this fall, Kazim Cokogullu and Burak Ozdemir. The scholarship, launched by The American Turkish Society last year in memory of the late Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and long-time chairman of The Society, supports talented musicians of Turkish descent in their studies at The Julliard School in New York City.


Kazim Cokogullu was born in Izmir in 1984 and began guitar studies at age thirteen. A student of Kagan Korad, he received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Bilkent University and won prizes in several international competitions. He has had additional study with Marco Socias, Carlo Domeniconi, Roland Dyens and Dale Kavanagh. Last season Kazim was a soloist in the Mauro Giuliani Guitar Concerto(Op.30) with the Anatolian University Orchestra was named a “Star of the Future” by the Andante magazine. Later this month he will be the soloist with the Cukurova State Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. At Juilliard, he is a graduate diploma student of Sharon Isbin.


Bassoonist Burak Ozdemir was born in Istanbul in 1983. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Istanbul University Conservatory and an additional degree from the University of Arts in Berlin. His experience includes serving as a substitute in the Istanbul State Symphony and Philharmonic, and he was a member of the Istanbul Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Before coming to Juilliard, Burak studied in the early forerunners of the bassoon and their repertoire, and looks forward to participating in Julliard’s new program in historic performance. Currently, he is an artist diploma student of Frank Morelli.

As the first recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship, these two talented musicians fulfill the program’s mission in the best way possible, as they further their education at The Julliard School while contributing to greater cultural understanding between the United States and Turkey. The American Turkish Society hopes that the scholarship will continue Mr. Ertegun’s legacy of promoting talented artists and wishes Mr. Cokogullu and Mr. Ozdemir much success in their studies and future careers.

The scholarship recipients are selected by The Juilliard School. Only the students accepted to Juilliard are eligible for consideration. For information on applying to Juilliard, please visit the School’s Web site at www.juilliard.edu. Members and friends wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship fund or find out more about the education and arts & culture programs of The American Turkish Society, may contact Selen Ucak, Executive Director, at 212.583.7614 or selen.ucak@americanturkishsociety.org. For more information on the American Turkish Society, please visit www.americanturkishsociety.org




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10th Annual New York Turkish Film Festival, October 3 - 11

Presented by the Moon and Stars Project. Made Possible by a Grant from The American Turkish Society

The American Turkish Society is proud to support the 10th Annual New York Turkish Film Festival, October 3 –11, 2008.

The New York Turkish Film Festival, now celebrating its tenth year, is a prestigious film festival that fosters greater cultural exchange between Turkey and the United States through presentation of groundbreaking cinema in the heart of New York City.

For additional information and tickets, please visit the festival website here.



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The American Turkish Society Honors Dr. Mehmet Oz's Achievements and Contributions

The American Turkish Society congratulates renowned cardiac surgeon and member of its Board of Directors, Mehmet C. Oz, MD on his selection as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2008. In addition, Dr. Oz was the recipient of 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor this year.

For both awards, Dr. Oz was honored for his expertise and achievements in his profession, as well as his contributions to the society at large through his influence, philanthropic activities and community engagement. “The American Turkish Society and the Turkish-American community are proud of Dr. Oz’s achievements,” remarked Murat Koprulu, Chairman of The American Turkish Society, “his dedication to teaching all of us to live healthier lives and to promoting better healthcare globally is worthy of the highest praise and admiration.”

Dr. Oz has been serving on the Board of Directors of The American Turkish Society since 2002, and is a strong supporter of the organization which works to strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and Turkey. He has been a speaker at The Society on several occasions and contributed to the organization’s efforts and fundraising in the aftermath of the devastating 1999 earthquake near Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, The Society and Dr. Oz have collaborated on a fellowship program for young medical students from Turkey.

Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People honors the leaders, pioneers, scientists, artists, and business titans that have the power to impact society in significant ways. In the magazine, Dr. Oz is described as “a man of extraordinary compassion and strength, remarkably suited both to caring for his own patients and to carrying a message of health to a larger world.”

The Ellis Island Medals of Honor have been given each year since 1986 to American citizens of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world. Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity.

Dr. Oz is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine and health care policy. He has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents. He performs 250 heart operations annually. Dr. Oz was born June 11, 1960 in Cleveland, Ohio and received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University (1982) and obtained a joint MD and MBA (1986) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School. Dr. Oz is the Health Expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He is chief medical consultant to Discovery Communications and his “Transplant!” series won both a Freddie and a Silver Telly award. He is a frequent guest on various other TV shows, including Good Morning America, the Charlie Rose show and evening news broadcasts, and consulted on several feature films. Dr. Oz authored five NY Times Best Sellers including “You: The Owner’s Manual”, “You: The Smart Patient”, “YOU: On a Diet”, “YOU: Staying Young” as well as the award winning “Healing from the Heart”. He has a regular column in Esquire magazine.




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Canberk Kargi Receives 2008 Arif Mardin Music Fellowship

The American Turkish Society’s second Arif Mardin Music Fellowship has been awarded to Canberk Kargi, a seventeen-year-old drummer from Canakkale, Turkey. The Fellowship, established by The Society in memory of Arif Mardin (1932-2006), a world-renowned producer/arranger and long-time Vice Chairman of the organization, provides promising musicians of Turkish descent exposure to the field in the United States. Canberk Kargi will be attending the Five-Week Summer Performance Program at Berklee College of Music on July 12 – August 15, 2008 .

Sample of Canberk's Music

2012 Gala Journal  (download)


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