December 22 - January 9| Young Photographers Exhibition in Istanbul

December 9|  Screening of Winter Sleep

September 19 - October 19| The Built Environment, Lower East Side in Istanbul

May 20, 2014| Threshold - A Staged Reading by Hasan Erkek

May 16 - 25, 2014| 13th New York Turkish Film Festival

May 15, 2014| Young Photographers Award Open Call Application Deadline

May 2-3, 2014| Sakinan Göze Çöp Batar (An Overprotected Eye Always Gets Sand in it)

April 1, 2014| Deadline for SVA Summer Residency Scholarship

January 16 - March 1, 2014| Private Matters organized by Ceren Erdem, Jaime Schwartz, and Lisa Hayes Williams

November 12-30, 2013 | 2013 Young Photographers Exhibition in Istanbul at The Elipsis Gallery

August 2, 2013 | 13th NYTFF Film Submission Deadline

July 27-28| "Oasis" Presented by NY2Dance at Ailey Citigroup Theater

May 2013| 2013 YPA Winner Announcement

March 21| Deadline for SVA Summer Residency Scholarship Applications

November 30, 2012| Priene Hali Benefit Sale

August 26, 2012| Korhan Basaran performance at the Wild Project

June 27, 2012| 2012 SVA Open Studios

March 30-September 15, 2012| "Films About Conscience" Open Call

April 27-May 10, 2012| "The Space Between: A Panorama of Cinema in Turkey" at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

January 4-17, 2012| "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" at Film Forum 

January 4-15, 2012 | "Lick but Don't Swallow," by Ozen Yula

November 5-18, 2011 | "Young Photographers Award" Exhibition 

November 11, 2011|Kardes Turkuler Music Workshop

November 11, 2011| Asli Çavuşoğlu: Words Dash Against the Façade

November 13, 2011 Kardes Turkuler in Concert with Arto Tuncboyaciyan  feat. Special Guest Ara Dinkjian

October 15, 2011| Application Deadline for Call for Short Films: "Films about Conscience" Project

October 8, 2011|Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan at NYFF

July 13-16, 2011 | "For Rent," by Ozen Yula    

June 2011 | Summer Residency Program at SVA

May 2011 | "Young Photographers Award" winner announcement

April 11 | Summer Residency Program at SVA Application Deadline

March 25&27 | Public Screening of Majority (Cogunluk)

December 3-5, 10-12 | 12th New York Turkish Film Festival

October-November 2010 | Turkish Film Screenings in Ithaca (NY), Madison (MI), Milwaukee (MI) and Seattle (WA)

August 5, 2010 | Summer Residency Program: Open Studios & Exhibition




The Built Environment, Lower East Side in Istanbul

 Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society

is pleased to support the grant project 

The Built Environment, Lower East Side in Istanbul

presented by 

September 19 - November 2


Tomtom Mahallesi Boğazkesen Caddesi
no: 45 Bodrum kat Tophane Beyoğlu
Istanbul, Turkey


The Built Environment, Lower East Side is an exhibition featuring nine international artists, none of whom have previously shown in Istanbul. These artists are grounded in the urban spaces they inhabit and in which they work. The Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City is a seminal zone of activity for these artists and The Built Environment, Lower East Side in Istanbul transports some of the energy and attitude that exists within the creative communities of the LES and exposes that dynamism and spirit to Tophane, Istanbul.

These artists work in photo-based practices, painting, collage, printed matter, sculpture, video, and some are producing site-specific works, directly engaging with the built environment of Istanbul. The artworks combine references to constructed space with a focus on urban topography, specifically a sense of how the order and structure of our environment can produce a sense of disorientation, confrontation, or sometimes anxiety.

The artists whose works are included in The Built Environment, Lower East Side in Istanbul are Anna K.E., Carol Szymanski, Eli Ping, Erica Baum, Frank Heath, Jill Magid, Josh Tonsfeldt, Joshua Abelow, Robin Cameron. The project is curated by Kathleen Madden, art historian and lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Barnard College, Columbia University.

For more information about the exhibition, please see here.


Open Call for 5th Young Photographers Award - Extended Deadline!

Deadline has been extended to June 1!


The online application for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is available at the official website and the deadline has been extended to June 1, 11:59 PM, Istanbul time. One winner will receive a $5,000 award, and two honorable mentions will each receive a $2,500 reward. The awards are used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment.  For more information about the selection process, please visit the official Young Photographers Award website.

Given by Haluk Soykan and administered by The Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society, the Young Photographers Award seeks to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. It is made possible by a grant from the Young Photographers Award Fund established by Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds.


Young Photographer Award in the News


SVA Summer Residency Scholarship Winning Artist

SVA Summer Residency Scholarship


June 2 - July 3, 2014



Gözde Onaran


Istanbul-born artist Gözde Onaran honed her artistic talent while pursuing a MA in media ecology and film production at New York University from 1997 to 1999, and was a lecturer at both Kadir Has University and Istanbul Bilgi University from 2007 to 2010. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis as well as an editorial board member and film critic at Altyazı Monthly Cinema Magazine.


Gözde will have exclusive use of a small studio located in School of Visual Arts Chelsea Building and an opportunity to receive faculty critiques and participate in special lectures and gallery tours. Exposure to the New York art scene complements this on-site residency program. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which will enable Gözde  to present her work to the public. 



Program Sponsors


This scholarship is made possible by a partnership between the School of Visual Arts and Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society. The studio and tuition of the scholarship recipient is provided by School of Visual Arts and  Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society sponsors the following expenses:  roundtrip airfare, accommodations, a stipend ($500), materials ($500), visa application expenses, one-month unlimited metro card, and transportation to and from the airport in New York.


We would like to thank all the artists who sent an application and showed interest
in our program.

About SVA Summer Residency Scholarship

Now in its 10th year, the scholarship for SVA Summer Residency in Painting and Mixed Media is sponsored by Moon and Stars Project of The American Turkish Society and School of Visual Arts . The  scholarship offers artists from Turkey an opportunity to work intensively in a private studio, receive faculty critiques and participate in special lectures and gallery tours. To date, a total of 10 artists from Turkey were awarded with the scholarship. Previous winners include Aret Gıcır (2013), Erman Özbaşaran (2012), Neslihan Eren (2011), Nazım Ünal Yılmaz (2010), Ayşe Nur Ipek (2009), Sinem Dişli (2008), Burcu Yağcıoğlu and Hayal Incedoğan (2007), Dilek Tina Winchester (2006) and Deniz Aygün (2004). 


Open Call for 2014 Young Photographers Award 

The  open call for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is now available. The deadline for the 2014 Young Photographers Award is May 15, 11:59 PM. The application (in Turkish) may be downloaded here. To read the open call in Turkish, please see here.

About The Young Photographers Award

The Young Photographers Award is given annually since 2010 by Haluk Soykan to encourage and support undergraduate students of photography in Turkey. Administered by The American Turkish Society, it is made possible by a grant from Young Photographers Award Fund established by Haluk Soykan at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. In previous years, instead of an open call, photography department heads of select universities in Turkey nominated two students to participate in the Young Photographers Award. Starting in 2014, in order to give an opportunity to a wider range of Turkish photography talent, The Young Photographers Award will be administered through the format of an open call. The winner of The Young Photographers Award will be determined through a rigorous selection process, be the recipient of a $5,000 award, and have his/her submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. Two Honorable Mentions will also be selected, and each will be the recipient of a $2,500 award, in addition to having their submitted photography exhibited at Elipsis Gallery in Istanbul in Fall 2014. The awards are used to cover the recipients’ tuition and/or photography equipment purchases. Please see below for more information about the application and selection processes.

Application Process

The application procedure and criteria are as follows:

  • The applicant must be a student currently enrolled in a photography or art department at a university in Turkey. Students who are enrolled in departments other than photography or art are not eligible to apply.
  • The application deadline is May 15, 11:59 PM, Istanbul time, and the online application form is available here.
  • The application package requires the following two documents:
  1. A completed application form
  2. A copy of an official university transcript

The two required documents must be sent together in a single email to for an application to be considered as complete.

Selection Process

The winners will be selected by John Goodman from the U.S. and Sinem Yoruk, founder/director of Elipsis Gallery, through a two-stage selection process. The first stage will be through an electronic application procedure described above, and the second stage will be through the submission of physical photo prints. Shortlisted candidates who pass the digital selection stage and advance to the second stage will be notified in early June. All candidates who advance to the second round of selection will be asked to submit the additional following materials via postal mail: high-quality physical copies of their electronically submitted portfolio of photography to be sent to Elipsis Gallery and an official transcript that bears a university seal to The American Turkish Society. The works of all candidates who advance to the second stage of selection will be exhibited at the venue sponsor, Elipsis Gallery in Fall 2014. The final winner and honorable mentions will be announced on August 15.



The New York Turkish Film Festival is Back!



Butterfly's Dream (Kelebeğin Rüyası)

Director: Yilmaz Erdoğan
2013; 138 min.

Post-screening Q&A with actor Mert Firat.

This film is presented by

This film has been generously adopted by

Ridgewood Ladies Book Club (Screening Sponsor)
CapitAlinka Investments (Venue Sponsor)
Kismet Limousine (Transportation Sponsor)

The visually stunning Butterfly's Dream was Turkey’s Oscar nominee this year. Set during WWII, the story evolves around two young poets (Kıvanç Tatlituğ and Mert Fırat) with tuberculosis germs in their lungs and a love of poetry in their heart. They create a competition to gain the attention of the mayor’s pretty daughter (Belçim Bilgin). Meanwhile, the two young men have to deal with other problems such as disease, poverty, and compulsory work in the mines. Director Yılmaz Erdoğan, a favourite with Turkish audiences, conveys this heartbreaking story with a soothing lightness and a distinct love for poetry.

"Butterfly's Dream is an epic praise about poets. Yılmaz Erdoğan's directing deserves great respect." Olkan Özyurt (Sabah)

Screening:  May 16 at 7:30 pm

Yozgat Blues

Director:  Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun
2013; 92 min

Post-screening Q&A with director Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun.

This film has been generously adopted by
Antique Garage (Screening Sponsor)
Herrick, Feinstein LLP (Venue Sponsor)

Yavuz (performed by Ercan Kesal), a musician who sings old fashioned French chansons at shopping malls, decides to take on a job singing in a run-down nightclub in the provincial town Yozgat. His former student Neşe (Ayça Damgacı), who is also in search of a new start, follows him along. They settle in a hotel room and perform together. When they become friends with Sabri, (Tansu Biçer), a local barber, their relationship turns complicated.

“… the characters and relationships are incisively drawn, and the film’s deadpan sense of humor tickles. … Yozgat Blues succeeds in capturing a bittersweet mood that will haunt viewers.” Stephen Farber (Hollywood Reporter)

Tickets include admission to the screening of Yozgat Blues as well as to the New York Turkish Film Festival Reception in the lobby of the SVA Theater from 7:00 - 8:30.

Screening:  May 17 at 8:30 pm

Love Me (Sev Beni) 

Directors:  Maryna Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadir Er
2013; 90 min.

Cemal (Ushan Çakır), a young Turkish man betrothed by his family to a girl he has never seen, is dragged to Kiev by his cousin for his bachelor party. In Kiev, Cemal stumbles into beautiful Sasha (Viktoria Spesivtseva), an independent and confident young woman with an agenda of her own. Despite their language barrier, the two soon find themselves falling in love. Love Me is Gorbach and Er’s second collaboration following the celebrated Black Dogs Barking (2009).

The film had its premier at the World Film Festival in Montreal and came back with three awards from the 34th Oporto International Film Festival.

Screening:  May 25 at 5:00 pm

Blue Wave (Mavi Dalga)

Directors:  Zeynep Dadak & Merve Kaya
2013; 96 min.

Post-screening Q&A with directors Zeynep Dadak and Merve Kayan.

This film has been generously adopted by
Allied Metal (Screening Sponsor)

At the end of the summer, 16-year-old Deniz (Ayris Alptekin) and her family close up their holiday house and head back home to Balıkesir - a provincial town. Deniz goes back to school and connects with her girlfriends, talking about boys and what universities they would like to attend. The year brings new freedoms and dreams for the girls as it does new longings and fears, along with plentiful advice from well-intentioned adults in their lives, which will be summarily ignored as these girls chart their own paths into adulthood.

“Multiple awards at the Antalya Film Festival attest to the pic’s novel approach, and it’s certainly refreshing to see a Turkish film that’s neither glacially paced nor about silent traumatized men in the provinces.” Jay Weissberg (Variety)

Screening:  May 23 at 7:30 pm

Particle (Zerre)

Director: Erdem Tepegöz
2012; 80 min.

Particle tells the story of a single working woman - a rarity in Turkey’s cinema. Zeynep (Jale Arıkan) is already stretched thin to make ends meet when she gets fired from her job at a textile mill. The beautifully shot film closely follows her in and out of workspaces as she searches for a job to support her mother and handicapped daughter. The film captures the desolate streets of Tarlabaşı - a neighborhood suffering from unruly gentrification -  through Zeynep’s eyes, portraying them as dark and suffocating. Particle is the winner of the Best Film award at Moscow International Film Festival.

Particle is a film that goes beyond what it shows and makes us feel. Although it tells a simple, small story, it shines through the universal aspect of this story.” Murat Özer (Arka Pencere)

Screening:  May 25 at 7:30 pm

Ships (Ferah Feza)

Director:  Elif Refiğ
2013; 97 min.

Post-screening Q&A with director Elif Refiğ.

Ali (Uğur Uzunel), while working for his father as a ship supplier, spends his time daydreaming in shipyards and harbours. He longs for a more satisfying life, taking time to ponder the nature of coincidences. His search for meaning in signs leads him to a graffiti artist, Eda (M. Sitare Akbaş), with whom he will share a journey through Turkey's ports looking for their escape. Ships won the Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI prize at the European Film Festival in 2013.

“Even more impressive than the script's subtleties are the film-making talent and aesthetic sense demonstrated by young Turkish filmmaker Elif Refig.” Marie-Pauline Mollaret (FIPRESCI)

Tickets include admission to the screening of Ships as well as to the New York Turkish Film Festival Reception in the lobby of the SVA Theater from 7:00 - 8:30pm.

Screening:  May 17 at 6:00 pm


Stranger (Yabancı)

Director:  Filiz Alpgezmen
2013; 96 min.

This film has been generously adpoted by
Hatice Üsküp Morrissey & Murat Köprülü (Screening Sponsor)

Özgür (Sezin Akbaşoğulları) is the Turkish daughter of parents who, following the coup of 1980, took refuge in France. Following the loss of her mother as a young child, Özgür was raised by her father in Paris. She visits Istanbul for the first time to bury her father, who is no longer considered a Turkish citizen by the government. As she is faced with almost impossible bureaucratic problems, she finds herself as a stranger (yabancı) in a country she has never known. As she seeks to bury her father, Özgür finds herself on a journey to discover her parents' homeland, her new-found extended family, and most importantly, herself.

Stranger, takes a different look at Turkey, Istanbul and the lost children of a generation that shook a whole country with its courage, who were bound to be strangers at birth.” (CNN Türk)

Screening:  May 24 at 8:00 pm

Documentary Films


Girls of Hope (Umudun Kızları)

Director:  Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent
2013; 63 min.

Post-screening Panel discussion with director Ayşegül Selenga Taşkent and other experts on girls' empowerment globally and telling their stories on film.

This film has been generously adopted by
SPI Internatinal, Inc. (Screening Sponsor)
Turkish-American Girls of New York (Venue & Transportation Sponsors)

Girls of Hope is an ambitious documentary that follows five girls from the Southeast Turkey  who are fighting for their education.The film interviews these girls and their families, who sometimes prevent them from pursuing high school, giving us insight into the girls' pursuit of education against tremendous difficulties. Almost half of the girls in this region are illiterate. This inspiring documentary won the Special Mention at RIFF in Italy.

Tickets for this screening are complimentary to students and teachers.

Screening:  May 21 at 6:30 pm


My Child (Benim Çocuğum)

Director:  Can Candan
2013; 82 min.

Post-screening Panel discussion  of familial support of LGBT individuals in cultures where gender issues are not traditionally accepted.

This film is co-presented by

My Child is a documentary that follows a courageous and inspiring group of parents in Turkey who have children who identify as LGBT individuals. They have not only gone through the path of accepting their children for who they are, but have also opened up and shared their experiences publicly by forming a support group called LISTAG. In this documentary, parents intimately share their feelings and tell the story of their experiences, redefining what it means to be a family in a conservative society. My Child is a powerful film that challenges social prejudices against LGBT individuals. It was screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including the Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival in Germany and the Thessaloniki International LGBTQ Film Festival in Greece, and won many awards, including the Best Documentary Audience Award at the Boston Turkish Film Festival.

This screening is co-presented with Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Screening:  May 18 at 6:30 pm

Short Film Competition
Screening:  May 18 at 5:00 pm

These films have been generously sponsored by

The American Turkish Society and Digital Film Academy join together to build a bridge between emerging Turkish filmmakers and the American Film Industry by offering an Audience-choice winner in its Short Film Competition a scholarship for a class at the Digital Film Academy in New York City.

These funny, moving, thought-provoking and memorable collections of short films will be screened together only on Saturday, May 18 at 5:00 pm.

After Shave (Dir: Nail Pelivan)

This 17-minute short film depicts the relationship between master and apprentice as a barber teaches his student the art of craftsmanship.

Alzheimer (Dir: Neslihan Siligür)

This 15-minute short film depicts the story of a man who is sentenced to be forgotten by his lover after having lived long and happy years together. 

Mesut The Fish (Dir: Hakan Hücum)

This 10-minute short film depicts Şefik, a traditional man with an ill-kept appearance, and his wife Nalan, a couple that has lived the same routine for 20 years until one day when Şefik cooks a fish after another fight with Nalan.

Scarecrow (Dir: Adem Demirci)

This 11-minute short film depicts how a young woman, who is mourning the death of her husband, tries to overcome her fear as she tries to escape the feeling of being alone. She imagines as though her husband still continues to live as a pillar in her life as a scarecrow. 

Vanished into Blue (Dir: Abdurrahman Öner)

This 12-minute short film juxtaposes a couple's troubled marriage, as seen through the lens of a black & white camera, with the conversation on a TV matchmaking program being the sole source of noise in an otherwise silent room. 

Tickets for this screening are complimentary and open to public. The best short film will be selected by the audience after the screening.

Conscience Films
Screening:  May 24 at 6:30 pm

Films about Conscience Program is a short film competition that was first launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation in 2009. The program invites amateur and professional filmmakers from around the world to submit films - no longer than 5 minutes - that look at the world through the human conscience. The program was founded in memory of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was assassinated in 2007. The New York Turkish Film Festival will show a collection of these short films selected by an international jury. For further information, please visit

Tickets for this screening are complimentary and open to public.