Taking place in 2019, the First Turkish Community Art Exhibition was organised by the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey and Yunus Emre Institute in London to proudly celebrate the artists within our community in the United Kingdom. Three years, a pandemic, and two exhibitions later the Fourth Turkish Community Art Exhibition has come to fruition with more support and interest from the community than ever before. Following Covid-19 restrictions in 2021, the exhibition was carried onto the online space and has since become all the more accessible to receive works from across the UK and attention on international platforms. With the support and contributions of the Turkish artists living in the United Kingdom, artists and art-lovers are delighted to meet again online for this exciting exhibition and enjoy the art stemming from the Turkish community. The exhibition will be available to view online on Yunus Emre Institute in London’s website from 21st February – 21st March 2022.
The Exhibition was launched with an opening ceremony which was attended by the successful artists and important figures that included H. E. Umit Yalcin, Ambassador of Turkey to the UK; Abdullah Kutalmış Yalçın, vice president of the Yunus Emre Institute; Bekir Utku Atahan, Consul General; Dr Mehmet Karakus, Director of Yunus Emre Institute in London; as well as two of the exhibition's juries Nilay Islek and Nagihan Seymour.
Due to the Turkish artistic community’s unwavering appreciation for art and culture as well as its abundant potential in artistic talent, the last iterations of the Turkish Community Art Exhibitions have been a great success. Having housed hundreds of exceptional and original works from artists of all abilities and in all mediums, this annual exhibition and its reach are a testament to the Turkish artistic community and their role as the strongest pillar in the excellent bilateral relations between Turkey and the United Kingdom.
As Dr. Karakus made clear in his opening speech, this exhibition was founded to encourage emerging and established artists of the UK-based Turkish community. He also noted that every year it took place, the exhibition increases in potential with new ideas on how to develop it arising. H. E. Umit Yalcin, Ambassador of Turkey to the UK, expressed his pleasure in attending the launch and noted that he was also impressed by the exhibition growing in size every year. H.E. Mr. Yalcin also encouraged all those who have not participated previously to do so. Echoing H.E. Mr. Yalcin’s sentiments, Consul General Bekir Utku Atahan pressed that he found the exhibition was a valuable addition to the world’s culture, aesthetically and socially. Abdullah Kutalmış Yalçın, vice president of the Yunus Emre Institute, expressed how impressed he was with the project and the importance of similar projects across the world from both a social and a diplomatic perspective. Jurists, including Nilay Islek and Nagihan Seymour also took to the virtual stage to express their admiration for the exhibition and its significant role in pulling the artistic community together. After hearing a few words from the artists themselves, the launch came to a close with a short video introducing the exhibition.
In the exhibition, each artist has been given their own online section which you can scroll through. You can select individual artworks to see their descriptions and gain a closer look into the background of the artists. The art submitted ranges in form, styles and levels of professionalism, making sure that there was something for all interests in the exhibition.
Collective undertakings such as this exhibition play an important role in making art accessible to a wider audience and platforming artists, while stoking community interaction, dialogue, and unity. Therefore, the Institute’s greatest thanks go to all members of the Turkish Community in the United Kingdom who have presented their works for this exhibition. We would also like to thank our valued jury, Nilay İşlek, Nagihan Seymour, Sümer Erek, Zuhal Şeker and Kübra Müjde for their time and judgement in choosing from a great selection of over 144 artworks from over 60 artists. A separate thanks must go to the team at Yunus Emre Institute - London who put the exhibition together: project coordinator, Ayşe Gökçen Yücel; web designer, Yunus Emre Karadağ; editors Ayşe Kaya, Şehribanu Turan, and Meryem Küçük; and secretary Elif Uysal.
The final exhibition was comprised of nearly 70 art pieces from 52 artists including, in alphabetical order, Abdullah Harun İlhan, Alev Alkan Tüfek, Ali Ergin, Arzu Taylan Ersöz, Ayfer Mills, Aynur Elif Boyraz, Aynur Kocaoğlu, Ayşe Kongur, Ayşe Özlem Yüksel, Ayşe Şule Yüksel, Ayşegül Coles, Beril Özeroğlu, Bilal Köse, Cansu Saraç Engin, Demet Tokbay, Dilber Duygu Temur, Dilek Evin, Eda Ermağan, Eda Özlem Sipahioğlu Diler, Ednee Caldin, Esma Uğurluoğlu, Eylül Özmen Yüksel, Funda Evsenel, Gita Serin, Hatice Gür, İpek Albayrak Townsend, Meryem Küçük, Mehmet Özmen, Meltem Bayrak, Merve Kahraman, Mesude Afzalov, Mine Bayar, Müge Koçak, Nur Akyıldız, Recep Yıldırım, Refie Nureddin Rufi, Rina Bakış, Sanem Güvercin, Şerife Orak, Serpil Çalışkan, Sevda Uykan, Sevim Çakır, Sevim Gelgeç, Sibel Pekgöz, Şöhret Başaran Howells, Soyut Özmen, Tuğçe Karapınar, Tuğçe Özgelen, Ümit Demirbağa, Vedia Asım, Zerrin Bucaklı.
A separate thanks should also be said to those at the Yunus Emre Institute in London who put so much work and effort into this exhibition.
The exhibition will be available to view online between 15th February and 15th March 2021 on the Yunus Emre Institute in London’s website: https://yeelondon.org.uk/4th-turkish-community-art-exhibition/
You can keep up to date with the exhibition by following Yunus Emre Institute in London’s Instagram page, @yeelondra, and by following #TCAE2022!