President Erdoğan admits wrong strategies in education and culture

President Erdoğan admits wrong strategies in education and culture

President Erdoğan admits wrong strategies in education and culture

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Turkey has pursued an incorrect strategy in culture and the arts, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has admitted at the Presidential Great Culture and Art Awards ceremony, adding that Turkey had failed to nurture an authentic cultural environment while struggling to survive as a state.

“As a result, when setting up our new state from outside, we chose the wrong strategy in the field of culture and art like many other areas, in my opinion,” Erdoğan said Dec. 28.

The Presidential Culture and Art Grand Awards were handed out at a ceremony attended by Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, ministers, top judges, academics and artists.

Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan said Turkey had not been able to preserve its authentic cultural heritage during the modernization period, arguing that the mutual interaction with the world in the information age was one-sided for Turkey.

“I am saddened by the fact that we have not reached the level we desire in just two areas. One of them is culture and the other is education,” he said.

“In culture and the arts, with the other fields, we have been copying. And, we have been copying badly. Let alone improving what belongs to us, or engaging in mutual interaction, we haven’t been able to preserve what we had,” Erdoğan added.

“If you do not establish ground to produce your own literature, cinema and music, you cannot go beyond the culture and art climate which has become stuck in a narrow field limited by individual efforts and which has not been successfully institutionalized,” he said.

Şener Şen dedicates award to peace

This year’s Presidential Culture and Art Grand Prix was given to Mustafa Kutlu in the field of literature, Professor Dr. Kemal Karpat in the field of history, Professor Dr. Erol Parlak in the field of music, Şener Sen in the field of cinema and Feridun Özgören in the field of traditional arts.

Distinguished Professor Dr. Süheyl Ünver was also chosen for the loyalty award.

Şen, a well-known Turkish cinema actor, dedicated his award to peace.

“We have created characters which our people can find something in. I believe that with the right stories, love can triumph instead of conflict in society. At 75 years of age, I act on this belief. This belief keeps me up,” he said.

“I accept this award in the hope that it will contribute to social peace,” he added.