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President Erdoğan: YEE will gain a new structure

03.03.2017 1318 Okunma Sayısı

President Erdoğan said, "We must and will make Yunus Emre Enstitüsü gain a new structure that enables it to carry out operations in an autonomous framework like the Maarif Foundation so it will not get crushed between the wheels of bureaucracy."

Speaking at the Third National Culture Council organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism at Lütfi Kırdar Congress Centre, President Erdoğan said, "I would specifically like to emphasize that Yunus Emre Cultural Centres were established to introduce Turkish culture, language and art to the world. This is what TİKA accomplishes at development assistance and what Maarif Foundation accomplishes in education. We must make these centres more dynamic and efficient. There are many examples to this in the world especially in England, France and Germany. For that purpose, we must and will make Yunus Emre Enstitüsü gain a new structure that enables it to carry out operations in an autonomous framework like the Maarif Foundation so it will not get crushed between the wheels of bureaucracy."

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at the Third National Culture Council organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism at Lütfi Kırdar Congress Centre, and said that he wishes for the final report to be published at the end of three-day meetings to shed light on the future culture and art policies, and will lead to a new culture movement.

Congratulating the Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avcı and his team for reviving the council after 28 years, Erdoğan said that Turkey is the heir of a civilization that has grown by enriching by various cultures and has left a mark on the history of humanity.

President Erdoğan explained that the ancestors have given important works in every field of culture from architecture to music, from visual arts to literature, and spoke as follows: “Behind this legacy lies a certain vision of existence and world view. According to this, the nature is entrusted to us. The works of culture and art we produce by employing nature, should serve the humanity through which moral refinement can be attained.”

Erdoğan noted that the term culture, that also means cultivation of land, was translated into Turkish as “hars” by Ziya Gökalp which is an Arabic word, and that culture expresses all works of humanity on the world that were produced to build an environment and have a homeland, and in that sense it is not possible to separate culture from civilization.

Erdoğan, pointing out that some define culture as “the entire heritage inherited from ancestors”, continued as follows:

"Each vision of culture also requires a vision of civilization. We must keep in mind while pondering on Turkish culture that we must also make efforts to build and improve our civilization. We must work more to duly claim this great heritage. This is not exclusively a liability of the state. As a society, we must work hand in hand with the business world, non-governmental organizations, universities, arts and culture figures, especially make use of the means we have. I would like to share with you the following figures to reveal our current state. The most visited museums in Turkey in 2015, were Hagia Sophia with 3.5 million visitors, Topkapı Palace with 3.2 million visitors and the Mevlana Museum with 2.3 million visitors. On the other hand, the Louvre Museum in Paris single-handedly received 9 million visitors within the same year. In the same way, there are 116 cities in 54 countries on UNESCO's creative cities network. In 2015 only Gaziantep from Turkey could enter this list in the field of gastronomy.”

 

"We should encourage our youth to learn art and culture sitting right beside a master"

President Erdoğan emphasized that in 2014, nearly half of 33 billion Lira worth culture expenditure in Turkey was allocated to television and television broadcasting, and said, "In culture economy, the money spent on books, newspapers and magazines makes up 13 % and cinema, theatre and concert 5.7 %. These figures are worrying but in the past 14 years we have significant accomplishments in the field of culture.”

"Yunus Emre Enstitüsü must gain a new structure"

Sharing that the number of museums directly affiliated to the ministry rose from 93 to 198, the number of museum and archaeological site visitors increased from 7.4 million to 17.3 million, Erdoğan continued as follows:

"The number of private theatres that receive funding increased from 59 to 216, while the amount of endorsements to cinema rose from $ 6 million to $ 176 million. The number of filmgoers in our country rose from 23.5 million to 58 million, and Turkish films received the highest number of audience with 31 million people. I would specifically like to emphasize that Yunus Emre Cultural Centres were established to introduce Turkish culture, language and art to the world. This is what TİKA accomplishes at development assistance and what Maarif Foundation in the field of education. We must make these centres more dynamic and efficient. There are many examples to this in the world especially in England, France and Germany. For that purpose, we must and will make Yunus Emre Enstitüsü gain a new structure that enables it to carry out operations in an autonomous framework like the Maarif Foundation so it will not get crushed between the wheels of bureaucracy."

Erdoğan said that on the other hand, they have covered significant distance in preserving cultural assets abroad in the past 14 years, and that they and particularly TIKA protect the heirlooms far and wide from the Balkans to Central Asia, from North Africa to the Caucasus.

President Erdoğan explained that they repair the monuments in this region and rebuild when necessary, and spoke as follows:

"While the number of sites in World Cultural Heritage List increased from 9 to 16, we increased the number of sites in the temporary list to 69. All of these are of course very important and valuable services. However we are aware that there are major and vital tasks ahead of us. First of all, we should be careful about activities organized under cultural activity disguise which lack quality, do not suit Turkey's national culture, and do not contribute to our cultural life. One of the biggest problems of our age is cultural flattening. It is not possible to build a culture and civilization with works that have no depth and permanence, and is produced and consumed on a daily basis. We have to concentrate on lasting and long-winded works. We should especially encourage our youth to learn real art and culture sitting beside a master. My experience in politics points to this. We have to give prominence and support the operations to claim our background and to survive our values in every field of culture. We cannot let television, internet, especially the social media devour our culture. On the contrary, we must seek ways to effectively use these means to hand down our own culture to future generations. "

Emphasizing that they remember well how TV series that depict Ottoman history and the War of Independence years such as "Osmancık", "Küçük Ağa" inspired a generation, Erdoğan said, "Now similarly Diriliş Ertuğrul series is followed with interest both home and abroad. If my 6-7 years old granddaughter, 12-13 years old grandchild does not only follow the series but also watch the reruns, and get familiar with the subject, we have achieved this. So in the coming period, we have to invest more.”

President Erdoğan noted that in the recent years there has been serious developments in calligraphy, illumination, and marbling arts, and that the great masters of these arts have produced works to be remembered for generations.

"The artists have been rediscovered"

Erdoğan told that the works of Aşık Veysel, Muharrem Ertaş and Neşet Ertaş have been rediscovered by all people from 7 to 70 and that they are revived more and more every day through new interpretations, and said, “The immortal works of Dede Efendi, Tamburi Cemil Bey and other masters are both performed and inspire new works. This means when you make efforts, work and allocate resources, you can yield results.”

Marking that number of such examples should be increased, Erdoğan underlined that the standards of media operations as well as those of other subjects should be determined by concepts of culture and wisdom which reflect the distinction between knowing and understanding.

Erdoğan said, "A culture lacking wisdom is nothing but a house of cards, to be honest. The same way, a culture conception deprived of morality leads us only to degeneration whereas the purpose of art and culture is for humanity to achieve mental and moral refinement."

Erdoğan said that an art and culture that pursues what is good, beautiful and right is needed more than ever and continued as follows:

"If you do not view Istanbul through the eyes of Mehmed the Conqueror, you will only see a city consisting of piles of rock and concrete and the sea. If you do not view Bursa through Orhangazi's eyes and Edirne from Sultan Murat's angle, you cannot have a good grasp of the secrets of these poems and the civilizations they represent. If you do not look at Turkish flag waving in the skies through the gaze of our martyrs and veterans, that colour, star and crescent cannot talk to you and remain solely as graphical elements. Late Arif Nihat Asya says 'O white and crimson ornament of blue skies / The wedding gown of my sister, the final blanket of my martyr/ My flag that is the light and wave / I read your story, and I will write it.' We need a national culture awareness to see our flag under this light. Do not forget that political power can be grabbed through election, vote, ballot, but we need a totally different background, elbow grease, efforts to seize cultural power. We have to rediscover and reconstruct our local and national cultural values with a universal language against cultural alienation and cultural imperialism. A cultural product having a local and national form does not mean it does not carry a universal meaning and message.”

"Our culture encourages advancement"

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continued his speech by explaining that all cultures are born, grow  and develop within a certain society,and  a specific geography:

"What makes it universal is the depth and immensity of its message. Holy Mevlana is a poet read all over the world today, and this is the best proof to that. Individuals and organizations nurtured by our own history and values, should now yield high-quality works of culture with local origins that flow towards the global. Turkish culture has an understanding that invariably absorbs the fine, good, precious things combining these with the existing assets and considers it a benefit to elevate the culture. Our culture does not hinder development; on the contrary, encourages it. The aim of deliberate humiliation campaigns once carried out which targeted our beliefs and culture, was to push this precious asset out of sight and then to make it a thing of past. But a gem does not lose value when it is spattered with mud. In face of all the attacks and destruction efforts it is subjected to, Turkish culture still preserves its place among world's most ancient, most profound and most precious cultures. It is our duty to rehabilitate our culture, to bring it back on its feet, and to hand it down to future generations by reinterpreting it keeping in mind the current needs. With this approach based on not submission but consolidation, we must all perform our tasks to survive and advance our national culture. "

Erdoğan stated that culture is not limited to books, music, architecture, but it is a lifestyle that incorporates all these and said, "Our respective culture determines all aspects of our identity from how to greet to how to behave, from what to eat and drink to our household.”

Erdoğan said that the world rapidly moves towards monotony for the last few centuries, and spoke as follows:

"This is a major threat not only to Turkish culture but also to all other cultures. However we can turn it into an opportunity. Our generation is the last one to witness and utilize a substantial part of the riches of our local culture from tools to idioms. Unfortunately, new generations are deprived of this wealth, and it seems it will remain this way. If we cannot figure out which culture a person walking on Istanbul streets today belongs to, from his attire, shoes, hat, body and attitude, we are on the brink of cultural drought. If when we sit at a table, we cannot figure out its origin from all the elements from tablecloth to plates, from courses to presentation of the dishes, then the situation is truly grave. These debates are made all over the world, and the same pain is felt there as well. But we have a difference. We are a very distinct nation both in terms of civilization, historical background and state tradition. As the grandchildren of ancestors who ended and opened ages, we have the power, will and means to build ourselves a great new future. That is why we call it 'Great, strong Turkey'. We would like to achieve 2023 goals for this purpose. This is why we hand down our youth the 2053 and 2071 visions. This is why we struggle to introduce a new regime through revising the constitution. That is the reason we place what is local and national at the centre of our politics and starting point. "

"We must claim our national culture"

President Erdoğan stated that the Council is significant in terms of determining new cultural goals within the framework of 2023 vision and expressed his requests and expectations from the participants as follows: “Prepare a viable road map for us in line with 2023 vision which has depth and a future vision. Work hard for this purpose. We will also work for it and apply it. I would particularly like to clarify that I will personally follow each and every reasonable and feasible proposal and form a committee for that purpose.”

Stressing that detaching from civilization means losing everything, Erdoğan continued his speech as follows:

"If we lose our culture, we will cease to exist. When we abandon our identity, our personality, our originality, we will disappear among masses. For this reason, we say 'One nation, one flag, one homeland, one state,' at every chance we get. These principles are safety locks of our independence and future. We will be one, we will be great, we will be alive, we will be brothers and sisters, we will all be Turkey in order to be able to look at our future safely, to not to break up in the face of those who wish to break apart and divide us. We must claim our national culture for this purpose. In late Cemil Meriç's own words, we must claim our books, culture, civilization that are the only safe harbours when a storm hits.  We know that as we drift away from our culture, we will be alienated from ourselves and those who rule us will have more power over us when we are alienated. As Akif expressed 'My love is for the independence since I was born / Golden tulip has never been a leash for me / I might be obedient but who said I am a meek lamb? / My neck might be cut off, but I cannot be pulled.' We have to raise the coming generation with this awareness for it is the generation of Asım."

Reminding that he frequently refers to the shortcomings in education and culture, Erdoğan expressed that in the coming period, the focus should be on these areas.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thanked those who contributed in Council's organization and expressed his appreciation for their future contributions to operations.

The opening ceremony of the Third National Culture Council was attended by Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avcı, Istanbul Mayor Vasip Şahin, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş, AK Party Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker as well as a large number of artists, academicians, writers and politicians.

Avcı presented Erdoğan with a painting after his speech.