Tarabya Cultural Academy starts work

13.07.2012 - Press release

The jury charged with selecting the recipients of scholarships from Tarabya Cultural Academy (Turkey) met for the first time at the Goethe Institut in Berlin on Thursday (12 July). The awards are intended for artists and cultural players from all fields.

The jury picked the following to receive the first scholarships from September 2012: Annika Eriksson (photographic and video art), Gerhard Falkner (literature), Martina Priessner (film), Marianna Salzmann (literature) and Marc Sinan (music).

“This first meeting of the jury to decide who should receive the scholarships is the next important step following the opening of Tarabya Cultural Academy in Istanbul on 13 October 2011,” emphasized the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Cornelia Pieper MP. “The aim is for Tarabya to become a place which gives new impetus to the cultural dialogue between Germany and Turkey. I am delighted that the jury, made up of prominent figures, has made such a successful choice, which will help to make the Cultural Academy more widely known and establish its reputation as a major part of the German Turkish cultural exchange.”

The chairman of the Academy’s Advisory Council, the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Steffen Kampeter MP, said: “The jury made an excellent choice yesterday in naming the winners of the Tarabya Cultural Academy scholarships. The wide range of fields represented by the award winners means that we can expect an equally diverse range of work.” Kampeter said he expected the scholarship holders to take up residence in the finished rooms at Tarabya Cultural Academy in the autumn, enabling them to get on with their practical work in the German Turkish context.

The Goethe Institut is represented on the Academy’s Advisory Council by its President, Klaus Dieter Lehmann. Commenting on the awards, Lehmann said:

“The Goethe Institut has been active in Istanbul since 1959. Having the responsibility for Tarabya Cultural Academy opens up exciting new possibilities for our work there. It also adds a new shine to the Goethe Institut’s worldwide residency programmes. I am already very much looking forward to the first projects and initiatives to emerge from the Bosporus.”

Tarabya Cultural Academy:

The Academy is housed in the historic summer residence of the German Ambassador in Istanbul’s Tarabya district. The property was a gift from Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II to the last German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, in 1880. As the titles require Germany to use the property for diplomatic purposes, it is managed by the German Embassy in Ankara and responsibility for curating the Academy lies with the Goethe Institut. The Goethe Institut looks after scholarship holders, establishes and maintains contacts locally and runs a supporting programme under which Tarabya hosts concerts, readings and conferences. The idea of setting up a cultural academy in Tarabya came from the German Bundestag in 2008. Tarabya Cultural Academy was officially opened in autumn 2011, at a ceremony attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.


Scholarships are awarded for between three and ten months, their duration being agreed between the jury and the scholarship winners at the time of the award. The number of scholarships which can be granted depends on the duration of each one. It is not possible to apply for the scholarships.

Jury and Advisory Council:

The five members of the jury are: curator and art historian David Elliott, actress Sibel Kekilli, theatre director Shermin Langhoff, composer and musicologist Wolfgang Rihm and lyricist and translator Joachim Sartorius, who is jury chairman.

The jury was appointed by the Cultural Academy’s Advisory Council chaired by the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Steffen Kampeter. The Advisory Council includes representatives of the German Bundestag, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Goethe Institut and the Federal Foreign Office, and is responsible for deciding on the concept to be pursued by the Academy.

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