The 2021 Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Prizes, announced on November 8, were presented to the winners by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a ceremony held at the presidential complex on Tuesday. As part of the ceremony, Erdoğan presented eight awards to eight people, including pianist Idil Biret, ceramist Alev Ebüzziya, film actor, director and producer Cüneyt Arkın, journalist-author Gürbüz Azak, calligrapher Etem Çalışkan , the bibliopolis Ibrahim Manav, the deceased philosopher and academician Teoman Duralı and the late novelist Kemal Tahir.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan said, “On my behalf and on behalf of my nation, I congratulate the connoisseurs of culture, arts and science to whom we will present their awards today.” Continuing his speech commemorating the late Duralı, Erdoğan said, “Our professor Teoman Duralı was among the people we will reward today. Unfortunately, we said goodbye to him two weeks ago. He was one of the most important intellectuals our country had raised in recent years. We remember once again our teacher, who spent his life with the love of learning. Erdoğan also said that the junction and tunnel area in Zonguldak Kilyos will be named after Duralı.
Noting that the most powerful weapon of those who rule the global system is the tool of culture, Erdoğan added, “If we want to improve our civilization, the first area we will focus on is culture and the arts. The great breakthrough we have made in the field of democracy over the past 10 years will continue with a focus on culture, art and education in the future. Our goals for 2023 focused on our hardware development elements. The main driver of our 2053 vision will be education and culture.”
The late Duralı received his award in the field of science and culture, with Deniz Duralı receiving the award on behalf of the Turkish philosopher during the ceremony. Professor, biologist, academician and thinker, Duralı has focused on philosophy from the biological point of view throughout his career and has left his mark on Turkish academia, students and readers with his distinctive style of interpretation. .
World-renowned Turkish pianist Biret received her award in the field of music. Considered one of the greatest pianists in the world, Biret crowned her 60-year career with numerous concerts in Belgium and abroad. Having received numerous accolades to date, the pianist has been a State Artist since 1971, an honorary title awarded to artists by the Turkish government for their contributions to Turkish culture.
Ebüziyya received the Presidential Grand Prize for Culture and the Arts in the field of visual arts. Talha Ebüziyya received the award on behalf of the Turkish potter. Ebüziyya is known for its aesthetically unique small vessels with a preference for glaze colors. She is the first Turkish female ceramist to achieve international fame thanks to her revolutionary techniques.
Betül Cüreklibatır accepted the award in the field of cinema on behalf of Arkın, who is one of the most acclaimed actors in the history of Turkish cinema. Arkın has portrayed various characters ranging from elegant gentlemen to Turkish warriors, a space invader and a police chief on the big screen and continues to make great contributions to the Turkish film and television sectors.
Azak received his award in the field of literature. Azak, who began his career as a journalist, writer and illustrator and continued his work in Istanbul, is a key contributor to Turkey’s heritage. The artist has produced many paintings and written many works to date. The most important characteristic of Azak throughout his career in all fields is his sensitivity to the use of the Turkish language.
Çalışkan, who received his award from Erdoğan in the field of calligraphy, is a master calligrapher who has dedicated his life to the art. Throughout his career, Çalışkan prepared many calligraphy works, including Yunus Emre’s diwan, and produced many paintings, including portraits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkey.
A graduate in the field of bibliopolism, Manav started in the profession as an apprentice at Beyazıt Sahaflar Çarşısı (Second-hand bookstores) in Istanbul. Being a different career from working in normal libraries and bookstores, Manav, as a sahaf (second-hand) bookseller, was an expert in collecting and purchasing valuable works, especially manuscripts, in the field. of culture and the arts. He has greatly contributed to the transmission of rare works to future generations.
Kemal Tahir Foundation Chairman Cengiz Yazoğlu received the award on Tahir’s behalf. Tahir is one of Turkey’s literary legacies in world literature. Although he led a very tumultuous life, these difficult times gave his writings the true realism and social perspective that the country needed at the time.