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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Five More Turkish Things

Did you know that...

  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan...Turkish film director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or win at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Winter Sleep came on the 100th anniversary of Turkish cinema? Ceylan previously won awards at Cannes for his films Distant, Climates, Three Monkeys and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Turkish epic Winter Sleep is Ceylan's fifth feature to screen at Cannes, and he has never come away without an award.

  • Haluk Bilginer...Ceylan's Winter Sleep runs for more than three hours? It stars Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer (pictured left), who in the 1980s appeared in the British BBC One soap Eastenders as Mehmet Osman, a Turkish Cypriot small time crook. Bilginer has had a diverse acting career, spanning from British and Turkish television and theatre to Hollywood films.

  • Map of Ottoman Empire...the United Kingdom is planning to introduce the study of the Ottoman Empire to A Level students at colleges and sixth-forms for the 2015 curriculum? History is the fifth most studied subject among students in the UK, while Spain is making good use of their Ottoman history lessons, too. A new law in Spain, based on actions of an Ottoman ruler in 1492, grants descendants of persecuted people rights to Spanish citizenship. Spain's Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon said that new Spanish legislation allowing descendants of Sephardic Jews to be granted Spanish citizenship was inspired by the way Ottoman Turks helped protect persecuted Jews in the 15th Century.

  • Turkish village Moena...hidden in the Fassa Valley, at the foothills of the Manzori Mountains in the northern Italian region of Trentino, lies a long-forgotten Turkish village called Moena? Boasting over 320 years of Ottoman Turkish heritage, Moena mayor Riccardo Franceschetti said: "Our grandfathers would tell us the stories of the Turks and we tell these stories to our children. This is important for us. Turks should come here and see it as a little Turkey." Another European village with Ottoman heritage, in the Western Thrace region of Greece lies a unique community of Turks of African origin. Having lived in the region since the Ottoman times, the residents of the village of Avato are native speakers of both Greek and Turkish.

  • TIKA logo...the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) is a governmental institution aiming to support underdeveloped countries in the world? TIKA was established in 1992 and is currently running projects in 30 countries on five continents, including activities in the fields of education, health, restoration, agricultural development, finance, tourism and industry. It has carried out 13,000 projects over the last 11 years and offered some $3 billion in foreign aid during 2013. These include opening a high school for girls in the the West Bank and building a hospital in Gaza. It is also planning to help drive tourism to countries like Albania, Macedonia and Spain with projects that involve the restoration of the oldest and only remaining mosque from the Ottoman Empire in Abania's capital Tirana, the opening of a new museum in Macedonia in memory of Ali Riza Efendi - the father of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - and restoring a prayer room for Muslims in Andalusia, southern Spain, near the famous Cordoba mosque.

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