Support from TİKA to the 14th International Festival of Turkish Poetry

14th International Festival of Turkish Poetry was organized with the support of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency in the multi-purpose hall of Atatürk Cultural Centre in Istanbul.

14th International Festival of Turkish Poetry was organized with the support of Turkish Authors’ Association, Ministry of Culture and Tourism and TİKA. The opening ceremony took place in the multi-purpose hall of Atatürk Cultural Centre within the scope of Beyoğlu Culture Road Festival. A great many poets and authors from Türkiye and Turkic republics participated in the ceremony. The Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ahmet Misbah Demircan said poetry is an emotional way of expressing ideas and added that it is also the key to turn life into emotions.

“Our shared language will continue to inspire next generations”

Demircan said Turkish Authors’ Association is working to increase the power of words and beautify life with the spirit of words. Demircan said, “Poetry will continue to enlighten future. This light of poetry is one of the loftiest gifts given to us by the geography we are living in. Turkic world has always had a lofty light and been proud to devote its cultural heritage enriched by different dialects to humanity. The ageless heritage of our shared language and literatures will continue to inspire next generations. We all know that if poetry is still alive in this land, it is because poems remain to be the universal voice of friendship, peace, brotherhood, and love.”

“İstanbul, a city of countless poets and poems”

The honorary president of Turkish Authors’ Association, D. Mehmet Doğan underlined the importance of conducting long term cultural activities and said that while organizing this international poetry festival, they attached great importance to the idea of continuity. Doğan explained that the first international festival of Turkish poetry was held in Bursa, which was later followed by many other cities including Konya, Edirne, Almaty, Ashkhabad, Kyrenia, Baku, Skopje, Bishkek and Kazan. He said, "Before coming to Istanbul, we visited 12 countries and accumulated power. There is no doubt that Istanbul is a city of poetry to its bones with its land, air and sea. It is, indeed, a city of countless poets and poems. There are numerous volumes of poems written for Istanbul, and even more written in Istanbul.”

Doğan said that poetry and beauty are synonyms and pointed out that just as Mehmet, the Conqueror is a poet himself, his beloved city, İstanbul is a poem itself, too.

Dedicated to Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

The President of Turkish Authors’ Association, Musa Kazım Arıcan said that Istanbul is a very important city for the world of poetry and literature and added, “Istanbul has always been in the limelight with its beautiful Turkish. In fact, it is our poets that have given a voice to Istanbul. Poetry is the best tool that literary people use to express themselves. Our Turkish is still very strong and poetic, and we produce works in Turkish all over the world.” Arıcan also informed that this year’s festival is dedicated to Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, for it is his 60th death anniversary. During the event, a telegram sent by the President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also read aloud.

Lines by the Turkish poets read out

During the festival, the poems of the following poets were read out: Bahtiyar Vahapzade, Ziya Pasha, Yunus Emre, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, Cahit Zarifoğlu and Sezai Karakoç. On the second day of the festival, some poetry workshops were organized with the following themes: “Istanbul’s Poetry, Poetry’s Istanbul”, “Literary Magazines and Poetry” and “Poetry and Digital Milieu”. On the third day, poems were read out in Atatürk Cultural Centre, Taksim.  After the poetry reading sessions, a general evaluation meeting was held, and awards and certificates were presented. The grand awards were granted to Ramız Hamzayev (Azerbaijan) in the memory of Ziya Pasha, Sagyn Akmatbekova (Kyrgyzstan) in the memory of Sezai Karakoç and Altınbeg İsmailo (Kyrgyzstan) in the memory of Bahtiyar Vahabzade.