The Presidential Grand Awards in Art and Culture were presented to Uğur Derman for traditional arts, to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for cinema and to Güler Sabancı as the representative of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in the branch of the Institute of Art and Culture.
During his speech at the ceremony, President Gül insisted that the world was changing fast not only in the fields of science and technology but also in terms of culture, and intellectual thought, and that Turkey was contributing to all of these areas.
Emphasising the great importance of artistic and cultural activities, President Gül said he was being kept abreast of Turkey’s successes here, and that he was very proud of the achievements of Turkish artists, adding that these awards were being given to them for their outstanding accomplishments.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan recipient of the award in cinema
The President praising the Turkish director for his achievements abroad, especially at the Cannes Film Festival, where he had said when he was given the award for best film: “I am receiving this award on behalf of my solitary and beautiful country”. President Gül noted that these words of Mr. Ceylan had had a positive effect on the Turkish nation. The President continued his speech: “As a statesman, I now see that our country no longer stands alone. We are supported by many countries today. In international organisations, Turkish candidates get the majority of votes. There are many examples of this.” Mr. Ceylan, he said, was among those directors who had combined the language of literature with that of the cinema and he added that it was this which had made him special.
Uğur Derman: Award winner in Traditional Arts
The Grand Award in Traditional Arts was presented to Uğur Derman, whom President Gül said had contributed so much to bringing Turkey’s historical heritage into modern times. He also pointed out that Uğur Derman had prevented traditional arts such as marbling and Islamic calligraphy from dying out and had made them popular once again. President Gül stated that municipalities also are helping artistic and cultural activities develop and flourish.
In presenting the award to Güler Sabancı who received it on behalf of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, President Gül observed that museums [such as this] bring together the whole of a country’s historical collection which should be displayed to the entire world. He expressed his pleasure at seeing that private museums in Turkey had flourished in recent years.
The President praised the Sakıp Sabancı Museum for its exhibitions of rare and unique works of art, among which numbered “A Surrealist in Istanbul: Salvador Dali” the opening of which he had attended; “Lisbon: Memories from another City”, which he and the Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva had opened together; “With Masterpieces from the Louvre Collections, the three Islamic Cities: Istanbul, Isfahan, Delhi”; “Abidin Dino: A World”; “Cenghis Khan and his Heirs: The Great Mongul Empire”; “Picasso in Istanbul”; “The Turkish Image in the 17th Century Europe” and “The Master of Sculpture, Rodin in Istanbul”.
As he ended his speech, President Gül wished his guests a happy New Year and presented the awards to the recipients.