Greatest Treasure, Greatest Challenge: Our Culture

With its discussion of inclusionary and participatory cultural policies, this chapter also considers the reasons why culture, which is indeed Turkey’s greatest treasure, is also its greatest problem. The conversation delves into what can be done in the field of education and by central and local government to increase Turkey’s creative human capacity.

In his analysis, Bülent Eczacıbaşı talks about the bonds that his own family and the Eczacıbaşı Group have with culture and the arts and summarizes his experience with Istanbul Modern and İKSV. He also reflects on concepts like creative economies and creative cities and asserts that, with the right policies in place, culture and the arts can be the most effective antidote to polarization.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . read the transcript of the conversation with HASAN BÜLENT KAHRAMAN and JALE NEJDET ERZEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Önemli olan iyi örnekler oluşturmak ve bunları örnek olarak topluma sunmak
Problemleri olduğu gibi, güçlü yönleri de var aile şirketlerinin.
En önemli sorun hissedarlık, yöneticilik ve aile.
Yaşlılık insanların olduğu kadar şirketlerin de bir gerçeği...
Bireyci bir kültüre sahip olmadığımız için, profesyonellik eğilimimiz düşük güven esaslı gidiyor.
Aile anayasası bir dökumandan öte bir düşünce süreci.
Örgütsel yapı yaratıcı düşünmeyi engelleyici olmamalı.
Aile anayasasını kabul ettirecek olan da aslında kurucu ve kurucunun otoritesi.
Etik davranmadığında uzun vadede sen zarar görürsün, şirketini ayakta tutamazsın.
Liderlerin sadece rakamlardan değil değerlerden de bahsetmeleri gerekir.
Girişimcilik ve yenilikçiliğin kaynağı zorlanmaktır.
Girişimcilik doğuştan olan bir özellik midir yoksa öğrenilebilir bir özellik midir?
Yeni kuşağın liderleri en az kendileri kadar eğitimli ve yetenekli insanlarla çalışacaklar ve onları başka türlü yönetemeyecekler.
Ailenin sosyal sermayesi şirket için önemli bir kaynak.

Interview Partners

HASAN BÜLENT KAHRAMAN

Holder of a BSc in Civil Engineering from Gazi University, an MA in Economics from Hacettepe University, and a PhD in Political Science from Bilkent University, Hasan Bülent Kahraman has taught at Hacettepe University, Bilkent University and Sabancı University. He was among the founders of Sabancı University, where he served in various administrative positions. He served as vice-rector of Kadir Has University and head of the Department of Visual Communication Design. At Kadir Has University, he also served as dean of the Faculty of Communication. Later, he served as the president of Netkent University. Kahraman is an Ertegün Visiting Professor in the Near Eastern Studies Department of Princeton University. He is a member of the Abdullah Gül University Science Committee, the Işık University Advisory Board, Sabancı Museum Executive Board and International Consulting Board, Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair Executive Board, and Akbank Art Advisory Board. Kahraman served as senior advisor to Prime Minister Erdal İnönü, Deputy Prime Minister Murat Karayalçın, and President Abdullah Gül as well as to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (1992–1995). He worked as the BP National Prestige Council member, was elected to the USA–USIS Young Leaders program, and was a member of the 2013 Education Goals Commission prepared by the State Planning Organization. Kahraman designed and launched the Abdullah Gül Presidential Museum and Library as chief curator. He was the art director of the Europalia Turkey festival organized by the Belgian government in 2015, and has curated numerous international and national artists’ exhibitions. He has also worked as an independent art critic since 1977, with over 20 books and innumerable articles on political, cultural, literary and visual theory published to date. Kahraman is a member of the American Political Science Association, Middle Eastern Studies Association, College Art Association, Turkish History Foundation, Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV), and Board of Trustees of the WWF Turkey.

JALE NEJDET ERZEN

With a BFA and MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and a PhD in Architectural History from Istanbul Technical University, Jale Nejdet Erzen is a painter and art historian who has taught design, history of art, photography and aesthetics at Middle East Technical University since 1974, where she currently works part time. She has served as a visiting lecturer at the universities of Osaka, Bologna and Koper-Primorska, edited the Boyut magazine (1980–1984), founded the SANART Aesthetics and Culture Association, which she chaired 1992–2010, organized the 2001 International Congress of Aesthetics, and served as the president of the International Association of Aesthetics (2016–2019). Jale Nejdet Erzen’s awards and prizes include the French Ministry of Culture’s Chevalier Prize in Arts and Letters, the Turkish Chamber of Architects’ Contribution to Architecture Award, the “Oak of Art” Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the Japan Promotion Grant. She has published extensively in Turkey and abroad on Mimar Sinan, architecture, art, and aesthetics. Her paintings are prized holdings in public and private collections.