The 2021 Presidential Grands Prix for Culture and the Arts, announced on November 8, were presented to the winners by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 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, ceramicist Alev Ebüzziya, film actor, director and producer Cüneyt Arkın, journalist-author Gürbüz Azak, calligrapher Etem Çalışkan , the bibliopolis Ibrahim Manav, the late philosopher. and Academician Teoman Duralı and the late novelist Kemal Tahir.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan said: “I congratulate, on behalf of myself and my nation, the connoisseurs of culture, arts and science to whom we will be presenting their awards today.” Continuing his speech by commemorating the late Duralı, Erdoğan said: “Our teacher Teoman Duralı was among the people we will be honoring today. Unfortunately, we bade him farewell two weeks ago. He was one of the most important intellectuals our country has raised in recent years. We remember once again our teacher, who has spent his life with the love of learning. Erdoğan also said that the junction and tunnel area in Zonguldak Kilyos will be named Duralı.
Noting that the most powerful weapon of those who rule the world 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 2023 goals 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 at the ceremony. Professor, biologist, academician and thinker, Duralı has focused on philosophy from a biological point of view throughout his career and left his mark on Turkish academia, students and readers with his distinctive interpretive style. .
World famous 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 at home and abroad. Receiving many accolades to date, the pianist has been a State Artist since 1971, an honorary title bestowed on artists by the Turkish government for their contribution 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 containers with a preference for glaze colors. She is the first Turkish woman ceramicist to achieve international fame thanks to her revolutionary techniques.
Betül Cüreklibatır received 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 from elegant gentlemen and Turkish warriors to space invader and police chief on the big screen and still continues to make a great contribution to the Turkish film and television industries.
Azak received his award in the field of literature. Azak, who started 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 numerous paintings and written numerous works to this day. The most important characteristic of Azak throughout his career in all fields is his sensitivity in the use of the Turkish language.
Çalışkan, who received his Erdoğan Prize in the field of calligraphy, is a master calligrapher who has dedicated his life to art. Throughout his career, Çalışkan prepared many works of calligraphy, including Yunus Emre’s diwan, and produced many paintings, including portraits of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkey.
Awarded in the field of bibliopolism, Manav started in the profession as an apprentice at Beyazıt Sahaflar Çarşısı (Second-hand Libraries) 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 greatly contributed to the transfer of rare works to future generations.
The President of the Kemal Tahir Foundation, Cengiz Yazoğlu, received the award on behalf of Tahir. Tahir is one of Turkey’s literary legacies in world literature. Although he led a very tumultuous life, these difficult times fueled his writings with the true realism and social perspective that the country needed at the time.