Erdoğan presents Culture and Arts Grand Awards
“Culture is one of the symbols of independence for a country, just like its flag or currency. We see it as our primary duty to support the people in the culture and art sectors, who will produce works that will circulate globally,” Erdoğan told the audience at the Presidential Complex.
The president said he was not satisfied with Turkey’s progress in this field and it was the state’s duty to pave the way for improvement.
“The biggest problem for our country is that a group, which belittles its own country, used to dominate our world of arts and culture for a long time,” he said. However, this “captivity” is fading away, the president added.
“We cannot preserve our freedom without raising artists like Aşık Veysel,” Erdoğan said, referring to the legendry Turkish folk music singer, who passed away in 1973.
“We need to raise architects just like Architect Sinan, who will create masterpieces that will last for centuries,” he added, praising the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for three sultans, who died in 1588.
Erdoğan also recalled the Turkish television shows that are being broadcast all over the world.
“When we work hard and make great efforts, we can be successful in a highly competitive industry such as television,” he said.
The Grand Award in the field of history and social sciences field went to veteran historian Mehmet İpşirli. Film producer and director Türker İnanoğlu was granted the cinema award as composer Erol Sayan and photographer İzzet Kehribar were also awarded.
Mehmet Akif Ersoy, a poet and the author of the Turkish national anthem, was awarded with the “Loyalty Award.”
Ersoy’s former house on the İstiklal Street in central İstanbul will be converted into a museum in the memory of the poet, the president announced. Ersoy died in Istanbul in 1936.