From Turkey

6 Beautiful Men Deemed Worthy of Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards

Written by TR Dergisi

Announced each year on October 29th Republic Day, this year’s winners of “Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards” have been determined.

Upon the proposal of the Assessment Authority comprised of Presidential Secretary General Fahri Kasırga, Deputy Secretary General of Turkish Presidency Assoc. Dr. İbrahim Kalın, Chief Press Advisor to Presidency Lütfullah Göktaş, Presidency Director of Corporate Communications M. Mücahit Küçükyılmaz, Chief Adviser to the President H. Hümeyra Şahin, Undersecretary of Culture and Tourism Ömer Arısoy, Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş and writers Alev Alatlı and Rasim Özdenören, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards were presented. Six beautiful men deemed worthy of the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards are as follows.



One of the prominent qanun artists of our day, Göksel Baktagir was born in 1966 in Kırklareli. Having started his music training at a very young age, he completed his education at ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory. Frequently mentioned for his accomplishments as a performer and composer, Göksel Baktagir has performed both home and abroad winning numerous awards. He attracted attention particularly with the technique he developed for left hand in qanun performance. Baktagir has broadened the perspective of Turkish music instrument qanun with other musical genres such as “New Age” and “Jazz”. Göksel Baktagir is also a soloist in Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, the voice of three seas formed by leading artists from 23 countries.



Yavuz Turgul, a screenwriter, director, and writer with multiple talents, was born in Istanbul in 1946. After graduating from Istanbul University Department of Journalism, he started working in Ses magazine. Turgul persistently made high-quality films during turbulent periods in which Turkey experienced political and cultural divisions, and recreated an identity for Turkish cinema. Yavuz Turgul who lead the way for his successors with his screenplays and films which made a mark in different genres as comedy and drama, gave life to Turkish cinema with his film Eşkıya (The Bandit).



Calligrapher Ali Toy was born in Kütahya in 1960. While studying in Istanbul Technical University Department of Architecture, he met with the art of calligraphy and received training. The calligrapher who breathed new life in the art of calligraphy, studied talik, divani, celi divani and rika calligraphies as well as şikeste, kûfi and moorish styles and combined various styles for his karma designs. Calligrapher Ali Toy has achieved to bring the beauty of architecture and calligraphy together in his modern calligraphy works, and his unique simple, impressive and well-balanced style manifests itself in his works. The artist who has opened many national and international exhibitions, utilizes his knowledge of architectural design and uses basic geometric lines in modern calligraphy works.



One of the most important Turkish impressionist painters Artist Selahattin Kara was born in 1958 in Rize. After graduating from Atatürk Education Institute Painting Department in 1978, he worked as an art teacher. Beyond being an urban artist, Selahattin Kara is renowned as a “painter of Istanbul”, and by interpreting İstanbul through the language of brush, he has made it possible for us to see the hidden beauties of the city through our hearts’ eyes. The artist, who introduced a different dimension to the art of painting with his authentic style, has opened many exhibitions both in Turkey and abroad.



İlber Ortaylı was born in 1947 to a Crimean Tatar family, and graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Language, History and Geography Department of History. He studied at University of Vienna Department of Slavistics and Orientalism. He studied for his master’s degree at University of Chicago as a student of Prof. Dr. Halil İnalcık  who is referred to as the “pole of historians”. Ortaylı received professor title in 1989, and gave many seminars and conferences both in Turkey and abroad. Ortaylı, who has enabled in-depth research and transfer of Turkish history, has received many national and international awards.



Intellectual, academician, and writer Nurettin Topçu was born in Istanbul in 1909. He went to France in 1928  to study philosophy at Strasbourg University. At the same time, he got an undergraduate degree in art history. Nurettin Topçu, who taught philosophy and sociology in various cities of Turkey, wrote many works that analyse the ancient history of Islam and Turkish, mysticism and our sociological reality in the modern era. The intellectual who preached Turkish nation to embrace the value of Anatolian wisdom and its morality that establishes order in his works, passed away in 1975.

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