400th Anniversary Celebrations of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Turkey and Netherlands
The 400th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands was decided to be celebrated between March-November 2012 within the framework of the Declaration of Intent which was signed by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of two countries on 2 February 2011.
Aiming to establish long-lasting and sustainable cultural-artistic, commercial-economic, scientific-academic relations, the 400th Anniversary Activities pawed the way for an excellent opportunity to reciprocally promote both countries’ rich cultures and contributed to better understanding and cooperation among Turkish and Dutch people.
In this context, a vast amount of activities in various fields were organized in both countries throughout the year 2012.
The celebration of the 400th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations was publicly announced through the joint press conference, which was held on the occasion of the 5th meeting of Turkey-Netherlands (Wittenburg) Conference during the visit of His Excellency Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey on 6 March 2012.
His Excellency Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey and Her Majesty Queen Beatrix officially launched the celebrations programme during His Excellency’s visit to the Netherlands between 17-19 April 2012. As part of the visit programme, His Excellency President and Her Majesty the Queen inaugurated the successive exhibitions of Levanten Trade Chamber and Central Bank Art Collection and Turkish Garden in Venlo Floriade.
Turkish Season in France
The year 2009 was proclaimed as “Turkish Season in France” with a Letter of Intent signed by Turkey and France. Some 600 cultural, social, political, economic, scientific activities were organized within the context of “Turkish Season in France (Saison de la Turquie en France)” which was carried out between July 1st, 2009 and March 31st, 2010.
The Season constituted the largest, the most comprehensive and the longest serial of events and the promotion campaign realized abroad within the framework of general promotion activities in EU countries.
The Season has been officially launched in Paris by HE Ertuğrul Günay, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, and HE Frédéric Mitterand, the Minister of Culture and Communication of France, on June 30th, 2009. The official visit of HE Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey, to France between October 6th and 9th, 2009 was the culminating point of the Season. Presidents of Turkey and France have inaugurated the exhibition called “From Byzantium to İstanbul: Harbour of Two Continents” in Grand Palais. La Tour Eiffel has been illuminated with the colours of the Turkish flag between October 6th and 11th, 2009.
Furthermore, an open-air activity entitled “Café Turc” was held in the garden of Louvre Museum (Jardin des Tuileries) in the summer of 2009 during which Turkish coffee and dishes were served. In addition to the historical artifacts exhibition with the theme “From Byzantium to İstanbul: Harbour of Two Continents” held in Grand Palais, other historical artifacts exhibitions themed “Ottoman Textiles and Kaftans”, “Ancient İzmir and Ionia” and “Hittites” were also held in October 2009. The said exhibitions were visited by approximately 1.500.000 people.
The Season has been brought to an end with the show entitled Müsennâ which was staged in Royal Opera of Versailles. The closing ceremony was held with the participation of HE Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Prime Minister of Turkey and HE Gerard Larcher, the Senate President of France.
With a wide range of activities in various fields such as contemporary and classical music, performing arts, literature, contemporary arts, cinema, theatre, dance, gastronomy, sports, education, design and fashion in all over the country as well as in Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux within the scope of “Turkish Season in France”, it has been targeted to introduce cultural characteristics, dynamism and creativity of Turkey to the French society.
Chairman of the Organizational Committee in Turkey for “Turkish Season in France”, which was organized with the close collaboration of İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and Culture France, has been Ambassador (ret.) Mr. Necati Utkan whereas the duties of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner in Turkey have been assumed by Mr. Görgün Taner and Ms.Nazan Ölçer respectively.
Year of Russian Culture in Turkey - Year of Turkish Culture in Russia
Aming to replicate the positive developments accomplished in the field of tourism between Turkey and the Russian Federation during the recent years in the field of culture, the year 2007 has been proclaimed as "Year of Russian Culture" in Turkey whereas the year 2008 has been proclaimed as "Year of Turkish Culture" in Russia.
With the participation of some 250 artists from Russia, dance and ballet acts as well as plays and concerts were organized in Turkey during the "2007 - Year of Russian Culture". A photograph exhibition themed "Moments Lived in Russia" was inaugurated in Ankara, Antalya, İzmir, Balıkesir and İstanbul. There has been participation from Russia in the "23 April-International Children's Day Festival", "International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival" and "Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival".
Some cultural activities have been carried out in Russia during "2008 - Year of Turkish Culture" as well, and all these activities have provided an impetus to the cooperation between Turkey and Russia in the field of culture.
"2008 - Year of Turkish Culture" has been inaugurated with a concert in Moscow International House of Music on April 8th, 2008. Taking into consideration the uniting effect of Poet Nazım Hikmet over the cultures of both countries, Nazım Hikmet Oratorio, composed by Fazıl Say, has been performed by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey which was accompanied by the Ankara State Polyphonic Choir during the event. Zuhal Olcay and Genco Erkal have read the poems of Nazım Hikmet as soloists during the Oratorio as well.
Among various other activities carried out within the context of "2008 - Year of Turkish Culture" were ballet, folkloric dance, sema shows, concerts, theatre, mixed paintings exhibition, miniature, hat (calligraphy), tile (Turkish ceramics) decoration arts shows and exhibitions, mixed exhibition on kaftans, gems craftsmanship, ceramics and carpets, a Russian-Turkish books exhibition, fashion week and street festivals - all of which promoted Turkey in 5 different cities of Russia.
Janissary Band (Mehteran) of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has delivered live performances with Red Army Orchestra and Serkan Çağrı Group in the Kremlin Palace in Moscow as well as in Kazan and Krasnodar.
Activities of "2008 - Year of Turkish Culture" in Russia have been concluded with a concert by jazz pianist Kerem Görsev with Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra on December 21st, 2008.
Year of Turkey in Japan - Year of Japan in Turkey
With a view to further advance the historically deep-rooted relations between Japan and Turkey and to contribute to the promotion of Turkey, the year 2003 has been proclaimed as "Year of Turkey in Japan" with a joint decision of Turkish and Japanese Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
Coordinated by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade, many private institutions and organizations have participated in the "2003 Year of Turkey in Japan" which included activities in intensely populated cities in Japan.
Special attention has been paid to choose the cultural assets that would attract the Japanese people the most while planning the activities.
Between February 17th, 2003 and May 31st, 2004, Turkey has been promoted to the Japanese people by over 100 cultural, artistic, economic and touristic activities held in various cities of Japan.
Also in 2004, there have been numerous historical-cultural exhibitions as well as shows and concerts promoting different assets of our country. "Three Great Empires in Turkey: Exhibition on Hittites, Byzantium, and Ottoman", Exhibition on Sadberk Hanım Museum Collection, Belkıs Balpınar Rugs and Carpets Exhibition, Folkloric Show entitled "Dances of Colours", Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts, Fazıl Say Concerts, Greased Wrestling Shows, Kezban Arca Batıbeki Paintings Exhibition, Gönül Paksoy Exhibition, "Made in Turkey Fashion Show", İstanbul Saz Players Concerts were among the activities realized within the context of "Year of Turkey in Japan".
Year 2010, which marks the 120th anniversary of Turkish-Japanese friendship starting with the visit of "Ertuğrul" Frigate to Japan and the subsequent disaster in result of its sinking, has been decided to be commemorated as the "Japan Year in Turkey" with the motto "Turkey and Japan, even closer now".
The activities carried out in this context, which also added colour to the realisation of "Istanbul 2010 - European Capital of Culture", were not only limited with the events in Istanbul. Various examples of Japanese culture and art were exhibited all year long in different cities of Turkey; Izmir, Mersin, Ankara, Safranbolu and Kaman. Activities such as week of Japanese films, kimono fashion show, traditional Japanese drums show will be carried out as well.
"Japan Year 2010 in Turkey", which was launched with a preliminary ceremony in Ankara on January 4th, 2010 in the Cultural Center of "Turkish-Japanese Foundation", is has contributed to universal peace through further enhancing the existing mutual relations of friendship and cooperation that have already been transferred to the 21st century between Turkey and Japan.
In the context of "Japan Year 2010 in Turkey", with the participation of His Excellency Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey and His Imperial Highness Prince Tomohito of Mikasa of Japan, the "Celebration Ceremony of Japanese-Turkish Friendship" was held in İstanbul on May 3rd, 2010.
The inauguration of "Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeological Museum" which was established with the cooperation of Japan and Turkey, has been realized in the month of July.
"Japan Year 2010 in Turkey" activities aimed at introducing the beauties of Japan to Turkish people, deepening the friendship and interaction, and moving our cooperation to the future.
"Japan Year 2010 in Turkey" ended with the closing ceremony held in İstanbul Haliç Culture and Congress Center on 25 November 2010.