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March 2005 - ATA-DC


									                                               AMERICAN-TURKISH ASSOCIATION OF
                                                      WASHINGTON D.C

                                                  ATA-D.C                               Can Korman

                                                                                    PICNIC COMMITTEE
            ATA-DC                          1526 18th St. NW                             Fatma Polat
 American-Turkish Association of          Washington D.C. 20036              
        Washington D.C
                                                                                   REPUBLIC DAY BALL
   EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE                                    FUND RAISING/NEW YEAR’S
    President : Hulya Polat                                                              Feriha Istar
  Vice-President : Feriha Istar                                              
    Treasurer : Serap Rada                  General informa-
    Secretary : Patsy Jones                                                            WEBSITE
   At-Large : Pelin Aylangan                    Burak Tombuloglu, Can Korman,
                                                                                      Patsy Jones
    BOARD OF DIRECTORS                       ATANEWS EDITOR            
     Baris Akbulut, Oya Bain,                   Hulya Polat
    Hayri Baysal, Asli Bener,                                                       ATA-DC WEBSITE
    Can Korman, Nuran Otts,                   
  John Ozlu, Fatma Polat, Burak                      General Info:
     Tombuloglu, Guliz Imre,                                                 Cult.Activities:
          Demet Cabbar                            CO-EDITOR                    Membership:
                                                   Oya Bain                  Turkish School:
The American Turkish Association of              301-530-3654
 Washington D.C is a non-political,
                                            Web Site:
  non-profit organization founded in
1965 to promote better understanding
between the peoples of America and
                                                WEB EDITOR                   TAKE OR SEND A FRIEND TO TUR-
 Turkey through social, educational,            Patsy Jones                              KEY
   cultural and charitable services.                    Turkish Tourist Office
                                                                                     1-800-FOR TURKEY
                                        MEDIA WATCH-GRASS ROOTS-          
                                             CULTURAL ACTIVITIES                      Washington office:
                                                   Can Korman                           202 612 6800
                                                A T A
                             , N E W S            
   ATANEWS is published by the
 American Turkish Association of
                                         American-Turkish Association
                                        RECOGNITION AND AWARDS-
                                            publishes ATANEWS. We           Turkish Folk Dance Troupe of
         Washington DC
   We welcome any material of                      any LIBRARY
                                       welcome ATA material of interest           Washington, DC
interest to the Turkish American           M. Postacioglu-Asli Bener
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                                                   P.O Box 5273
                                               TURKISH 22205-0373
                                            Arlington VASCHOOL
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                                                                                            ATANEWS PAGE 2
                                                                    UPCOMING EVENTS

   EMBASSY OF REPUBLIC                 ASSOCIATIONS                     ATATURK SCHOOL
       OF TURKEY                                                              of
                                    Assembly of Turkish                     ATA-DC
       Ambassador                       American
                                                                    Please check our website at
       Faruk Logoglu                   Associations
                                            (ATAA)         or for more
   Deputy Chief of Mission              (202) 483 9090             information send an e-mail to
       Engin Soysal   

      (202) 612-6700            Assembly of Turkish Student           40th Anniversary Concert
     Fax (202) 612-6744               Assoc.(ATSA)                          May 4,2005
                                        (202) 387-7900
                                                   HELPFUL SITES
 2525 Massachusetts Ave. NW   
    Washington D.C 20008                                                         THY
                                  American Turkish Council
       Defense Attache                   (ATC-AFOT)
                                                                    (800) 874-8875
 Brig. Gen. Beyazit Karatas             (202) 783-0483        
       (202) 612 6770  
Financial and Customs Couns.       www.americanturkishcouncil              Turkish Cinema
         (202) 612-6813             American-Turkish Council            Http://
    Commercial Counselor         1111 14th St., NW, Suite 1050,
        (202) 612-6780               Washington, DC 20005
Culture and Tourism Counselor                                        American Turkish Veterans
                                Washington Turkish Women’s             Association (ATVA)
        (202) 612– 6800
     Agricultural Counselor
         (202) 612-6749                   Emel Dizdar
     Economic Counselor                                                Melungeon Heritage
                                         (301) 208-8284
          (202) 612 6790                                                  Association
        Press Counselor                                            PO Box 4042, Wise, VA 24293
                                 Ataturk Society of America
         Bulent Erdemgil                     (ASA)
           (202) 612-6807               (202) 362-7173                  Anatolian Artisans
      Education Counselor                  President                      (301) 231 6677
       (202) 612-6810                   Metin Camcigil                Info@anatolianartisans
     Consular Section    
         (202) 612-6740   
 Embassy Daily News Hotline
       202) 612-6757            Turkish Children Foster Care                 Catering
                                    President Gokhan Mutlu        Homemade manti, all types of borek,
         Representative                                           baklava, mercimek koftesi, and much
                                        (410) 647-1315
           Osman Ertug                                            more. Contact Nafiye Karaaslan
           202 887 6198                                           at 301-277-1916.
                                 Maryland American Turkish
                                       Assoc. , MATA
                                       Orhan Suleiman
ATA-DC BOARD MEETINGS                   (410) 750-7735

SECOND WEDNESDAYS OF EACH         Turkish American Islamic
MONTH                                    Foundation
                                        (301) 459-9589                           ATANEWS PAGE 3
                                        EDITOR’S CORNER
                  This month I'd like to share with you some of the e-mails I received after our annual
                  Teacher's Workshop on March 12. What teachers wrote is what makes volunteering all
                  the worthwhile. It is what makes us volunteers want to work harder and harder for the
                  community. I am glad our work is appreciated by one of the most important groups in
                  the community-the teachers. They are the ones who educate our children, they are the
ones who bear the everyday hardship of dealing with children and teenagers and they are the pillars of
the society. I'd like to thank ATA-DC volunteers, all the teachers who came, ATA-DC members for
supporting us, Ambassador Logoglu and Mrs.Logoglu, Justin and Carolyn McCarthy, Soner Cagaptay,
Serap Rada and all who were involved.

It was delightful meeting you at today's workshop.....I am so pleased to have made your aquaintance as I
have during recent years become very interested in going to Turkey as a teacher. Currently I am doing
advanced writing re: URDU language and I was a Fulbright Scholar to India. I also read my writing at
a number of locations and am very much involved in poetry. I would absolutely adore studying poetry
of Turkey and sharing my writing in some way as well. I read of the summer scholarships to Turkey but
am not sure how travel is since 911 ( I was at the Pentagon when the impact came and have written
about what I observed). I have many Muslim friends and have completed a program at seminary which
addresses "belief systems" and as a public school teacher I want to say how wonderful Muslim students
are and often how misunderstood (and how similar) belief systems can be I find.
I just had to express the above to you and want to again express my appreciation for today's event. Your
Ambassador is very, very impressive and what a human being he seems to be--down to earth and
AND I LOVED HIS RESPECT FOR TEACHERS....I come from a family of teachers and we speak
often of how "disrespected" teachers are here in the US. Can you please provide the e-mail for the
Ambassador as I want to communicate my appreciation to him.

Blessings-Darlene Ferguson

I have been thinking about your workshop since yesterday, and two items in today's (3/13) Washington
Post were of particular interest, BECAUSE of the workshop. First is an article in the Outlook section
which echoed one of the discussions yesterday, called, "A Woman's Head Scarf, a Continent's
Discomfort". Thanks to that discussion, the meaning of secularization in Turkey, and it's struggle have
become much clearer for me. In addition to providing appreciation of Turkey as a nation, I think your
group might contribute greatly in helping people in the US to understand and live in a multi-ethnic,
multi-religious society (of course, through the agency of teachers).
In fact, may I suggest that you include in your next workshop a TURKISH feature film, made by a good
Turkish director, which shows life....whether in an urban setting (which would dispel impressions that
Turkey is not modern) or a historical film, or one which shows village life and the traditional ways
still prevalent in some parts of the country. I have seen only one Turkish film ("Yol"), but I know there
are many of fine quality that are not well-known here. I think showing such a film would give teachers
a much better impression of the truth of Turkish society.
Also, in today's Post book section, is a review of a new book on Turkey, written by your speaker Soner
Cagaptay. I surely would have missed this review had I not attended the workshop yesterday.
Again, thank you for your workshop and the work you do in helping people in the US to better
understand your country.
Nora Bawa

(continues on page 23 )
                                                                                   ATANEWS PAGE 4

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                                                                  ATANEWS PAGE 5
Turkish Grocery
(Turk Bakkali)

2705 Columbia Pike       ATA-DC Board of Directors elections are com-
Arlington, VA 22204      ing up in May. If you are interested in running
                         for a Board Member please contact Serap Rada
Phone: (703) 920—6524              at 301-864-2547 by April 15.
Fax:    (703) 920—0793
                         All nominees must be ATA-DC members. You
                          may nominate yourself or someone else with
                                       their permission.

                                                  ATANEWS PAGE 6

ATA-DC thanks TUSIAD and its Washington Representative Abdullah Akyuz for sup-
porting its annual Teacher’s Workshop year after year. Last year’s trip winner Jose Ra-
mirez who is a teacher at Cardozo High in DC traveled to Istanbul during Spring Break
with his cousin Beatrice. The airline tickets were sponsored by TUSIAD, a week’s hotel
stay by ATA-DC.

                                                                    ATA-DC is cele-
                                                                    brating its 40th
                                                                    Anniversary this
                                                                    year with a series
                                                                    of events.

                                                                    MARK YOUR
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                                                                    May 4, 2005

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Looking to Europe
Mar 17th 2005
From The Economist print edition
After decades of trying, Turkey has at last got a starting date for EU entry negotiations. Tim Hindle (interviewed
here) explains what membership will mean for Turkey, and for Europe
WHEN Europe's leaders agreed last December that negotiations for Turkey's entry into the European Union could
begin in October this year, they brought cheer to some parts of Europe and fear to others. Marek Belka, Poland's
prime minister, said it was “a fantastic economic opportunity” for his country, which joined the EU only in May
2004. Others were much less enthusiastic. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, a former French president, said he objected to
Turkish membership because Turkey has “a different culture, a different approach, a different way of life”.
Indeed it has. But so has France, and so has every other member of the European Union. The EU was never
designed to impose rigid
uniformity. The memoirs of
Jean Monnet, one of the EU's
founding fathers, quotes him
on the dust-jacket: “Nous ne
coalisons pas des
états; nous unissons des
hommes.” (We are not
combining nations; we are
together people.) The draft EU
constitution, drawn up by a
convention chaired by none
other than Mr Giscard
d'Estaing, recalls the EU's
motto: “Unity in diversity”.
Turkey's entry into the EU
will increase that diversity,
but not by as much as some
people fear. For the EU
itself is changing as it takes on board the ten new members who joined in May 2004 (ranging from
Estonia to Cyprus), even as Turkey is becoming more like an EU member state in order to prepare for
membership. Moreover, change on both sides is bound to continue. The Turkey of today is not the one
that may eventually become the first Muslim nation to join the largely Christian EU, any more than the
EU of today is the club that Turkey may eventually join.
Istanbul taxi drivers, a sure barometer of the state of their nation, know that the mere prospect of EU
membership has already transformed their country. “It doesn't matter now if we never get into Europe,”
says one. “Look at the tremendous changes that we have already seen just by trying to get in.”
Turkey has been trying to get in ever since 1963, when it was admitted as an associate member of the
then European Economic Community. It formally applied for full membership in 1987. But its hopes
rose only in 1999, when it was officially recognised as a candidate country, and were further boosted in
2002, when it was told that if it met certain conditions by December 2004 it would be given a firm date
for talks to begin. By then the Turkish people were overwhelmingly in favour of membership, although
different groups had different reasons. Last December, on the day after the EU set a date for the start of
membership negotiations, Milliyet, a mass-circulation Turkish daily, quoted Nazim Hikmet, an
iconoclastic 20th-century poet: “Beautiful days beckon us, lads, sunny days beckon.”
In a deeper sense, Turkey (or rather its ruling elite) has wanted to be seen as European for very much
longer. In the mid-19th century the Ottoman empire introduced a series of reforms known as tanzimat,
or reorganisations. These were modelled on European ideas about things such as property rights,
                                                                                        ATANEWS PAGE 9
education and taxes, and were meant to help the ailing empire's economy catch up with its peers to the
west. At the Paris Conference of 1856 to negotiate peace after the Crimean war, the Ottoman empire was
described as “part of the European concert”.
But the tanzimat did not get very far, and by the 1870s the empire was famously labelled “the sick man
of Europe”. The origin of the phrase is disputed, but Tsar Nicholas I of Russia seems to have the
strongest claim. Over the years many Turks have quoted this with perverse pride. They may have been
sick, but at least they were part of Europe.

Parental guidance

When the empire crumbled after its disastrous alliance with Germany in the first world war, Turkey
resumed its European aspirations under General Mustafa Kemal, the charismatic founder of the republic.
Subsequently known as Ataturk, “father of the Turks”, Mustafa Kemal was determined to turn his
metaphorical children into a nation of thoroughly modern European-oriented citizens. He was not, for
instance, going to let Turks wear silly clothes such as the fez, the brimless hat that allowed them to bow
their covered heads in prayer. So he outlawed the rather charming headgear and imposed a uniformity
that denied his country's rich multicultural past. One nation, one language, one culture: that was his
Turkish students are taken to Ataturk's mausoleum, Anit Kabir, to be taught the official, politically
correct version of the republic's history. On a hill in the capital, Ankara, the great man's remains are laid
to rest pointing unequivocally towards Europe, not to any religious monument in Arabia or in Turkey's
Anatolian heartland.
Ataturk died in 1938 of a modern European complaint, cirrhosis of the liver. Just before the beginning of
the second world war, it was not a time for pushing on with revolutionary nation-building, but for
battening down the hatches. In his book, “The Turks Today”, Andrew Mango (who has also written an
authoritative biography of Ataturk) says that the first concern of Ismet Inonu, Ataturk's successor and
loyal follower in the early years of the new Turkey, “was to safeguard the achievements of the republic”.
To do that, he had to exercise stronger controls because he did not have “the unrivalled prestige Ataturk
had won...The approach of the [second] world war brought on a siege mentality and a siege economy.”
Thus Turkey turned inwards for decades, its leaders fiercely determined to preserve the work-in-
progress that Ataturk had left them in 1938. Inonu stayed on as head of his party until 1972, the year
before he died at the age of 89. His successor was a youngish man called Bulent Ecevit, who served as
prime minister on and off for the next 30 years until he was finally ousted in the general election of
2002. A series of coups and military interventions in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997 helped to preserve the
Kemalist heritage.

The great man's aura is undiminished. The new Turkish notes and coins, introduced on January 1st this
year, are dominated by his image. He is on the front of every single note and also appears on the
watermark. The back of the one-lira note shows the Ataturk Dam and the five-lira note the Ataturk
Mausoleum. The ruggedly handsome leader, looking a bit like the actor Ralph Fiennes with wrinkles, is
set to continue to shape the destiny of Turkey's 70m people in the 21st century.

                                                                                   ATANEWS PAGE 10

 Serap Rada, our speaker on
 Turkish Woman

                                      ATA-DC organizes a workshop for
                                      elementary, middle and high school
                                      teachers every year in March. This
                                      year’s event was on March 12 at the
                                      Turkish Embassy. Around 80 teach-
                                      ers participated and learned more
                                      about Turkey and the Turks. Tjis
                                      year’s topic was “Who Are The
                                      Turks?” a book by Professor Justin
                                      McCarthy and Carolyn McCarthy.

 Indeed, the McCarthy’s traveled
 from Louisville for the workshop
 and their presentation was an eye-
 opener for many in attendance.
 The teachers loved the book and
 many said they’d love to travel to
 Turkey. Soner Cagaptay of the
 Washington Institute talked about
 Turkey’s accession to the EU and
 the attendees bombarded him with
 questions on the issue.

                                        Teacher Marilyn Hernan-
                                        dez (left) won the round
                                        trip ticket to Istanbul and
                                        was very excited. She is
                                        planning to go to Turkey
                                        next Spring. Last year’s
                                        winner Jose Ramirez spent
                                        a week in Istanbul (March
                                        19-26) and loved every
                                        minute of it! TUSIAD paid
                                        for the airline tickets and
                                        ATA-DC covered hotel

Ambassador Faruk Logoglu (right)
focused on the importance of a secu-
lar, democratic Turkey in its region
and Turkish-American relations and
later on spent time with the teachers
who found him very charming.

                                               The hard working
                                               ATA-DC workshop
                                               volunteers found
                                               time to pose with
                                               Justin McCarthy
                                               and Carolyn
                                               McCarthy right
                                               after the event.
                                               (left to right) Patsy
                                               Jones, Hulya Polat,
                                               the McCarthys,
                                               Feriha Istar and
                                               Guliz Imre. There
                                               were many volun-
                                               teers behind the
                                               scenes and we
                                               thank them all!

                                             ATANEWS PAGE 12
                               Huseyin Celik, Turkish Minister of Education
                               who was visiting the US, also stopped by.

Flutist Ozlem and guitarist
husband Serdar Keskin
played classical Turkish
songs and the folk dancers
presented their best for the
audience. The lunch was
“fabulous” as described by
the teachers. The Turkish
press also covered the work-
shop. The Anatolian
Agency, TRT, Skyturk,
Hurriyet, Zaman correspon-
dents were there, too. ATA-
DC thanks everyone for
coming!                                                ATANEWS PAGE 13
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David Patrick Columbia’s New York Social Diary

This past Monday night some lucky New Yorkers as well as many from Europe, especially Turkey, were
guests of Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, in conjunction with AlemMagazine and the American Turkish
Society at a cocktail reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art followed by a black tie dinner dance
at the Temple of Dendur. The purpose of the dinner was to celebrate Turkish culture, fashion and the art,
but the venue made it a memorable sensation beyond any purpose other than sheer pleasure.
Mr.Ertegun, the founder and former chairman of Atlantic Records is an authentic tycoon and impresario.
He has developed the careers of some of the greatest popular music and jazz talent of the 20th century.
His persona is present as a character in two current hit films — Beyond the Sea and Ray, both stories
about careers in which he had a profound influence. His wife Mica is the noted interior designer whose
work is known around the world. The couple have been prominent here in New York for decades and
their sophisticated and very often hip “entertainments” are a must-go because they are always fun
interesting, and draw a brilliant array of people from all over the globe.
Monday night they brought us The Whirling Dervish Dancers who made a special trip from Turkey to
perform their hypnotic movements in the traditional Sufi manner. We’ve all heard the term “whirling
dervish” with most of us never knowing what it meant and whom it was referring to. They also brought
Sami Goz, the French orchestra leader who has entertained at so many fabulous events all over the
world, to provide the dinner and dance music. Mr. Goz is famous for being able to sing almost any
popular song in the language and the style (and often the similar sound) of its creator.
Alem Magazine, which co-sponsored the evening, is Turkey’s most widely read lifestyle publication.
Now they are expanding worldwide, beginning with New York because in their words, it is “the center
of fashion” and the “center of the world.” Their photographers were on hand, along with Patrick
McMullan and his corps of lensmen, and JH and the Digital to cover the event which will be featured in
multiple pages in an upcoming edition of Alem. The magazine also made a generous contribution to the
scholarship program at Columbia University under the direction of Dr. Mehmet Oz of New York
Presbyterian Hospital.
The cocktail reception featured a runway fashion show in the Great Hall of jewelry by Atasay, one of the
greatest manufacturers of Turkish jewelry. The Turks have an age-old tradition of gold jewelry, ancient
and timeless, as the models demonstrated so easily.
About eight-thirty, the crowd of 400 moved on throug the galleries of the Sackler Wing to the Temple of
Dendur, with its moat bathed in candlelight and its ruins illuminated by spots. The décor and flowers
were provided by David Monn.
Once everyone had found their seats at table, Mr. Ertegun introduced the evening and pointed out that
the work of the American Turkish Society, which was founded in 1949, was to build a bridge between
the US and Turkey. Turkey, which sits on the borders of Iraq, is a bridge between East and West and
offers opportunities to help bring stability to a troubled world. As a prosperous, secular, democratic and
open society with a Muslim majority, she serves as an example of other countries in its region to dispel
the notion that Islam and democracy are incompatible.
Then he introduced the Whirling Dervish Dancers, asking also that there be no table talk while they
performed. This seems to be an impossible task for quite a few of even the most sophisticated adults. Be
they bored or suffering from ADD, I cannot determine, but some just won’t shut up, no matter what.
However: a band of special musicians for the Dancers took their seats in front of Sami Goz orchestra,
tuning up while the Dancers took their traditional places on the plaza of the temple, and it began.
The performance lasted about twenty minutes and was mesmerizing whatwith the combination of the
costume, the music and the turning (it’s a very simple but highly disciplined step that allows the dancers
to continue twirling for so long without getting dizzy and falling — don’t try it).
                                                                                   ATANEWS PAGE 15
                                    After their exciting performance, the dinner was served. And soon
                                    thereafter everyone was up and dancing to Sami Goz.
                                    It was an amazing evening, with the fresh fallen snow lit up outside
                                    the galleries skylight. In the glamorous crowd: Newlyweds (as of
                                    last weekend) Bonnie and Charles Evans, Sirio and Egidiana
                                    Maccioni, Marty Richards, Rick Friedberg and Francine LeFrak, Sid
                                    and Mercedes Bass, Joan Ganz, Cooney and Pete Peterson, Fernanda
                                    Niven, Lynn Nesbit, Lynn Wyatt with Bobby Short, Oscar and
                                    Annette de la Renta, Louise Grunwald, Reinaldo and Carolina
                                    Herrera, Christine and Steve Schwarzman, Lionel Pincus with
                                    Princess Firyal of Jordan, Gale Hayman, Kenny Lane, Nan
                                    Kempner, Marshall Rose, Dr. Patrick Stubgen and Dana Hammond,
                                    Pamela Gross and Jimmy Finkelstein, David and Julia Koch, Damon
                                    and Liz Mezzacappa, Duane Hampton, Mary McFadden, David and
                                    Lisa Schiff, Pietro Cicognani, Patricia Patterson, Audrey and
                                    Mehmet Kirdar, Ron and Harriet Weintraub, Barbara and Bobby
                                    Liberman, Annette Tapert, Alexander Marchessini and Genevieve
 Nan Kempner and Mica Ertegun       Faure, Carol and George McFadden, Linda Wachner, Peggy Siegal,
                                    Dominick Dunne, Nina Griscom with Leonel Piraino, Hannah
                                    Pakula, Dr. Dan Baker, Elizabeth de Cuevas with Federico
Manzano, Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford, John Richardson, Kosei Hara, Jason Epstein and Judith
Miller, Antoinette Guerini-Maraldi, Paul Beirne, Jeffrey Leeds, Sheila and Tom Wolfe, Tom Freston,
Tom Krens, Diane Sawyer, Donald and Catie Marron, Joan and Paul Marks Jann Wenner and Matt Nye,
Vivien Duffield, Monty Hackett, Camilla McGrath, Sam Reed with Elizabeth Smith, Joan Didion,
Elaine Kaufman, Paige Rense and Kenneth Noland, Jean Doumanian, Abe and Shirley Lord Rosenthal,
Brigitte Restivo, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Nathan Bernstein and Katharina Otto-Bernstein, Sir

Show of
                                                                                 ATANEWS PAGE 16
Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kravis, Gerry and Pat
Schoenfeld, Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn, Beatrix and Julio Mario Santo
Domingo, Bob Hormats, Barbara Walters, Don and Marilyn Hewitt, Prince
and Princess Osman, Jane Holzer, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Ney, Cornelia and
Marty Bregman, Constance and Theodore Roosevel IV, Martin van
Hasselburg, Charles and Elizabeth Byron, Virginia Coleman, Doug
Cramer with Lee Radziwill, Patricia Duff, Mort Zuckerman, Alexis
Gregory, Werner and Nurit Haase, Drue Heinz with Tom Stoppard, Heidi
Holterbosch, Barry Humphries (whose friend Dame Edna had the night
off), Iris Love, Seniha Halman, and that’s not all, but, please forgive, about
as far I can go with identification and memory.
Although, at the Erteguns’ tables were Tony Bennett and Susan Crow,
Lale Cander, Lyor and Amy Cohen, Ms. Walters, Tapert, and Duff,
Ambassador Baki Ilkin, Mr. And Mrs. Erkan Mumcu, Tarkan Tevetoglu,
Princess Firyal, Mr. Hackford, Mr. Krens, Judy and Alfred Taubman, Ms. Sawyer, Ms. Love.
Was everybody happy? I hope so. Wouldn’t you be? A great and memorable evening in New York,
thanks to the Erteguns and our Turkish friends.

Editor’s Note: See “Ray” to find out more about how Ahmet Ertegun introduced legendary
Ray Charles into the music world.

                                          NEW JOURNAL

                            JOURNAL OF TURKISH LITERATURE

                               The first and only journal in English
                            devoted in its entirety to Turkish Literature

                          Published by the Center for Turkish Literature,
                                   Bilkent University, Ankara

                                 First issue featuring articles by
                                 Walter G. Andrews, O. Burian,
                            Nicholas N. Martinovitch, Jale Parla, et al.

                      160 pages                        USD 50 (postage free)

                         Available from Syracuse University Press,
                  1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244-5160, USA.
                       For further details, please contact

                                                                               ATANEWS PAGE 17
                         TURKS ARE HAPPY AND OPTIMISTIC

INTERVIEW with BINNUR KARAEVLI                                                            Esin Ozdag

By Esin Ozdag

Binnur Karaevli is a Turkish filmmaker whose most recent film,
“Searching for Paradise,” which she directed and produced, has won
the Best Documentary Award at both the Winfemme Film Festival in
Los Angeles and the Moondance International Film Festival in Colorado in 2002. It also received
the Audience Award in 2001 from Leeds International Film Festival in England.
Her award winning documentary is a search for identity as she is torn between a Middle Eastern
family and childhood and a Western education. Having been born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, she
moved to the United States to study drama at Carnegie Mellon University and later attended Univer-
sity of Southern California Film School for a Master of Fine Arts in their production program. She
has directed and produced several short documentaries including, “Global Friendship Through
Space Education,” “California Culture” and “Sabanci Calligraphy Collection.”
Karaevli is the writer and director of two short narratives, “Evelyn of the Desert,” which won the
Best Short Film Award in the 1997 Cine 5 International Film Festival in Turkey and the Jury Award
in 1996 from New Orleans and Albany international film festivals, and “Dance of the Whirling Der-
vish,” a finalist in the 1996 Nuremberg International Film Festival in Germany and the Jury Award
in the same year from Claremont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France.
The following interview with Binnur Karaevli reflects her past work, her thoughts and feelings
about her personal documentary “Searching for Paradise,” and her current project, “Where East
Meets West: Women who Dare.”
Q: You started a theater company in Istanbul when you were 15-years-old producing and directing
plays. What made you start a theater company and what was this experience      ATANEWS PAGE 18
                    BK: I was always interested in literature and the arts ever since I was a young
                    child. When I started attending a private school at the age of 12, I signed up
                    with their drama club. And thus, I fell in love with theater. By the time I was
                    15-years-old, I was writing plays and performing it with my friends.
                    Q: How has attending a private American high school in Istanbul instigated the
                    recurring theme of cultural identity you address in your filmmaking?
                    BK: Attending Robert College, which was a private American high school in
Binnur Karaevli
                    Istanbul, gave a different perspective on life. While many other Turkish schools
educated their pupils by teaching them to memorize, my school taught us to question, to become
individuals and to think for ourselves. It is no coincidence that the famous Turkish author, Orhan
Pamuk who explores the issues of identity in his work, is also a graduate of my alma mater.
Q: Since you started out studying theater at Carnegie Mellon University, how did       you decide
you wanted to be a film director?
BK: When I was growing up in Istanbul in the early-‘80s, the old American classics were con-
stantly shown on TV and the movies of Frank Capra, Billy Wilder and William Wyler were the rea-
son why I was so interested in theater and films. After I graduated from CMU, I directed a lot of
theater and then veered into film via USC Graduate Film School. The transition was a very      natu-
ral progression for me.
Q: Can you tell me about “Platform,” the political cabaret you founded in 1991 at the Los Angeles
Center Theatre Group?
BK: When I graduated from CMU, I had several internships that led to a position at the Los Ange-
les Theatre Center as their literary manager. One of my responsibilities was to find and develop new
plays. I was right out of college and completely enthusiastic and energetic so I managed to convince
a group of my fellow writers, actors and musicians to work on a political cabaret. When I was
growing up in Istanbul, my family used to take me to the theater a lot and one of my favorite theater
groups was “Devekusu Caberet,” literal translation would be, “The Ostrich Cabaret.” There was
some political oppression in Turkey at that time and these brilliant comedians would come up with
the funniest and seemingly innocent political satire that was so sharp. They were like the Turkish
Monty Python with a stronger political bend. So, I wanted to capture that style when I created the
“Platform” with a group of collaborators. Our first show was right after the first Gulf War so we had
a lot of material that we worked with.
Q: In your documentary, “Searching for Paradise,” you are looking for a “çayhane,” a teahouse,
from your childhood in Turkey called “The Paradise Garden” only to find         ATANEWS PAGE 19
that it had been razed. Why did you choose to make “Searching for Paradise” a personal tale?
BK: My initial idea was to make “Searching for Paradise” a straightforward documentary about
Istanbul. The film had a different name at first. But in the editing room, I realized that I needed to
find a way for the non-Turkish audience to understand the emotional context of the documentary.
One of my choices was to make the film into a character-driven documentary. And the only charac-
ter I had footage of was myself. So at that moment, I decided to make the film a personal one and
ended up shooting more footage to achieve my goal.
Q: What is the meaning and importance of this film for you having received awards and been rec-
ognized internationally?
BK: The film means a lot to me because I put my heart and soul into it. I really did it for myself. I
had to get it out of my system. And also, I was and am still quite uncomfortable about the fact that it
is a very personal film. It is not very easy to put yourself up there for everyone to see. It is really
against my personality. I am a very private person. It is also against my culture. Nice Turkish girls
don’t talk about themselves. So I had so many hesitations about my choices but I went along with
my conviction. Therefore, the recognition and the awards were such great validation.
Q: What were the reactions you got for “Searching for Paradise” from your main audience?
BK: I got terrific reactions from my target audience, who were North Americans, Europeans and
Australians. I received so many letters and e-mails from many people all over the world sharing
their own cultural experiences. I received so much positive feedback after screenings and festivals
and the one feedback that made me the happiest was when people said, “We want to go and visit
Istanbul, it looks like a magical place.” Many people said that they connected with my character and
they felt that they got a very warm and honest picture of the Turkish culture through my eyes.
Q: It must be hard making a name for yourself as a director in the United States being a woman.
Did you meet with many challenges because of your gender?
BK: It is difficult to be a woman in this business. I belong to several women’s film organizations in
Los Angeles and we all know that women still lag far behind men when it comes to positions of
power in the entertainment industry.
Q: You are currently working on a film called “Where East Meets West: Women who Dare,” a se-
quel to “Searching for Paradise.” Can you give me some more detail about this project? What stage
of production is this film currently in?
BK: “Women who Dare” is a sequel in spirit to “Searching for Paradise,” but it is a very different
film. It is highly visual like my prior film and of course music will play a great role in it. But unlike
“Paradise,” the new film will take us to different parts of Turkey. I am currently in production for

                                                                                   ATANEWS PAGE 20
the film. We already shot 25 hours of footage and will finish shooting the film this summer. "Where
East Meets West: Women who Dare" is an intimate feature documentary about the compelling lives
of three Turkish women, Belkis, 63, Nur, 55 and Banu, 27, living in Istanbul. Each woman juggles
Eastern and Western cultures daily, in her own unique way, grappling with the enormous challenges
of tradition as she tries to establish her own identity. The film reveals the complex issues that are
faced by these educated Muslim women as they embrace modern global values. The film also ex-
plores Istanbul and the interesting coexistence of Eastern/Islamic values and Western culture
through the lives of its women.
Q: How do you think your audience will respond or react to “Where East Meets West: Women who
Dare”? How will it challenge viewers?
BK: “Where East Meets West: Women who Dare” will appeal to a wide range of audiences such as
the Turkish-American community, Middle Eastern and Levantine communities, female viewers and
to anyone who is interested in the Eastern/Islamic world, and to those who have multicultural back-
grounds. While the film provides a historical perspective, viewers will gain fresh insights into the
challenges currently faced by people with Eastern/Islamic heritage trying to combine their traditions
with Western values.
Q: Your educational film “Global Friendship Through Space Education” was filmed at Space Camp
Turkey. You have said, “I have produced and directed many film projects in the past; however, I am
truly touched by what I have experienced at Space Camp Turkey…Space Camp Turkey gives me
hope for the future of humanity and our planet… And one more thing, when I have a child, I am
sending him/her off to Space Camp Turkey.” Why did Space Camp influence and inspire you so
BK: Space Camp was terrific. I saw young kids coming from Greece thinking that all Turks are their
enemies and at the end of one week leaving the camp with a totally different view. By that time,
they made great friends with other Turkish kids and discovered that they were more similar than
they thought. Most of the hatred in the world comes from ignorance. A place like Space Camp Tur-
key demystifies “the other” in a safe and neutral environment. The kids realize that they are the
same even though they might be Turks, Greeks, Arabs or Israelis. Doing the promotional films for
Space Camp Turkey made me realize the importance of producing works about different cultures
and its impact on the global society.
Q: You say, “Turkey is a bridge between the East and the West but Turks are caught on the
bridge—they haven’t left the East, they haven’t gone to the West, either. It’s like we are living on
the bridge itself.” What do you mean by this? How have your films addressed this issue?
                                                                               ATANEWS PAGE 21
    BK: Living on the bridge is an interesting place to be and it makes us unique. By trying to join the
    European Union, Turkey is now making a tremendous effort to join the West. However, this is not
    the first time Turkey has made such efforts. Ataturk was very clear in his stance to shift the direc-
    tion of the country towards the West. But even today, some parts of Turkey are still very traditional
    and culturally very Eastern. It is essential that the Turkish government implements new laws and
    reforms the economic and judicial systems in the country. Once Turkey deals with its internal po-
    litical and economical problems, then it will deal with its multiethnic and multicultural issues. In the
    long run, I don’t think that Turkey needs to choose between East and West. Turkey is a very com-
    plex and unique country and can stay that way. My two films about Turkey reflect this uniqueness
    of the Turkish culture and history.
    Q: What advice can you give to women in the search for identity while torn between a Western up-
    bringing and an Eastern family culture?

BK: I would advise these women to fight for themselves and to fight for their sisters and daughters
    so that they can all live authentic lives. As I was doing research for my film, “Women who Dare,” it
    became very clear to me that women from patriarchal societies have to fight for their rights.

Esin Ozdag is a 20-year-old junior at Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univer-
sity) in Blacksburg, VA. She will be majoring in Communications. (Psychology minor) Born in Istan-
bul, Turkey, moved to US at age 8. Currently lives in Arlington, VA. Esin wants to become a film di-

                 SAVE THE DATE!

                 ON MAY 4…
                 STAY TUNED FOR MORE….

                                                                                      ATANEWS PAGE 22
(continues from page 4/ Editor’s Corner)

“As always a GREAT workshop. Thank you."
Jose Ramirez
Trip winner, 2004

Saturday I attended the workshop schedule for the day at the Embassy of Turkey and I won the raffle of
a round trip ticket to Turkey. Thanks for this opportunity given to me. I'm really looking forward for
this experience.

Marilyn Hernández (Trip Winner, 2005)
Foreign Language Teacher
Magruder High School

Merhaba --
Thanks so much for including me on Saturday. It was a very interesting program and I enjoyed it very
much. I thought the mix of current issues, history and culture was great and, of course, I especially
enjoyed the food! It was wonderful to see such a great turnout for the event, too. Congratulations!
Best regards,

Thank you, thank you for a delightful day. Your group is so generous to share the Embassy and your
expertise. The program was very interesting. I was especially moved by the movie. The folk dancers
were wonderful....such vibrant costumes and such fancy footwork. And the food was delicious as usual.
I will look forward to sharing what I've learned with others and to attneding another workshop next year.
I really liked the suggestion someone made for next year that would include telling us what a day in the
life of an elementary student would be like. What happens in the schools and what happens in students
lives after school would be of great interest. My students would love knowing that. Thank you again so
very much for all your work to make workshops like these possible.

Linda White
Music Specialist
Haycock Elementary School
Falls Church, Va. 22043

Once again, let me thank you for allowing me to attend the Saturday workshop on Turkey. The program
was well prepared and right on target for secondary school teachers. I will be sharing the wonderful
materials with other Grade 10 world literature and world history teachers in my building. I filled out the
bottom of the evaluation form with my contact information. Please keep me informed about future

Harry Cook, English Chairman
Eastern Technical High School
Baltimore County Public Schools

                                                                                    ATANEWS PAGE 23

ATA-DC proudly announces an exhibit by Professor Zeki Findikoglu, Turkish-American artist and
scholar. The artwork exhibited is based on Turkish folktales from his native Turkey.

Starting Sunday March 20, 2005 and continuing until Sunday April 17, 2005 Target Gallery presents
“Fertile Earth: A Celebration of Cultural Exchange & Ceramics at the Torpedo Factory Art Center”.

The month long event will end Sunday, April 17 with a Turkish Festival (co-sponsored by ATA-DC)
3-6 PM that will include literature, music, and dance from different regions of Turkey.

Experience Turkish culture, meet Turkish artists., and enjoy art during this month long event!

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is located in Alexandria, Virginia at 105 N. Union Street.

The gallery is open Monday-Sunday 11AM-5PM. For more information please visit

                                                                                  ATANEWS PAGE 24

Katherine Neville, March 31, 2005 – 12:00pm – Room 310/Elliott, MARVIN CENTER
George Washington University
800 21 st. NW, Washington DC 20052

Organized by the Anatolian Artisans and Turkish Student Association GWU
Writer Mary Lee Settle will be introducing Katherine Neville on March 31st.
Ms. Settle is the founder of the Pen/Faulkner Awards and a winner of the National Book Award by her
novel the Blood Tie, set in Turkey. She is also the author of the Turkish Reflections: Anatomy of a

In December of 2000, at Ankara and Konya, the Culture Ministry of Turkey held the first-ever Mevlana
Symposium, on the 727th Anniversary of the death of Jalal al-Din Rumi. Katherine Neville was one of
only three Americans invited to present a paper at the three day event, which included several sheikhs
of the Mevlevi order of "Whirling Dervishes", and the Celebi family--the descendants of
Rumi.Katherine will tell us about the occasion. So come.
Katherine Neville completed her postgraduate studies in African literature. THE EIGHT, her first book,
remains a bestseller in more than twenty languages, A CALCULATED RISK was also a New York
Times Notable Book, her third novel, THE MAGIC CIRCLE, also a USA Today bestseller, was among
the top ten books in France, Spain and Australia, and will soon be published as well in Russia, Bulgaria,
Holland, Greece, and Thailand.

GUL IREPOGLU – Istanbul University, Art History Department
April 1, 2005 – 12:00 pm – Room 310/Elliott, MARVIN CENTER
George Washington University, 800 21st St. NW, Washington DC 20052
Organized by the Anatolian Artisans and Turkish Student Association GWU
Ottoman jewelry tradition reflects some complex characteristics of a wide spread empire as well as the
splendors of courtly life. Prof. Gul Irepoglu teaches European and Ottoman art. She has publications
about history of painting, history of jewelry and artistic relations between the East and the West. She is
the author of a widely read recent novel in Turkish, I Left My Shadow at Tulip Gardens, soon to be
available in English. The novel is the fictionalized life of court painter Levni who lived in the 18th cen-
tury that is called the Tulip Period in Ottoman History.

April 19, 2005 7 pm
Washington District of Columbia Jewish Community Center
1529 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington DC 20036

Panel Discussion
April 28, 2005 7pm
Washington District of Columbia Jewish Community Center
1529 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington DC 20036
                                                                                     ATANEWS PAGE 25
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