Salih Efiloğlu

Founding Director, Gaziantep Mosaic Museum

The Gaziantep Mosaic Museum is one of the world's most important museums in terms of both the building complex and its collection. The museum contains 2,248 sqm of mosaics, all made by master artists from materials gathered in the region. We learn as much about mythological beliefs as about people's daily lives through these scenes. Gaziantep has hosted many civilizations since ancient times. There are very important archaeological sites with ongoing excavations such as Rumkale, Yesemek, Zeugma, Karkamış, and Dolichia. Yesemek and Zeugma are on UNESCO's Interim World Heritage List. We don't want to separate museum tourism from other types of tourism, because they feed each other. Fairs, festivals, historical places, nature observatories, and cuisine are important parts of Gaziantep's tourism development. We need to make global presentations about Gaziantep and southeastern Anatolia. We don't have beautiful coasts, but these are the lands of Mesopotamia, an area that has witnessed history. Tour companies need to put this region on their lists and give people a chance to see all these beautiful things. Within the next five years, we want to arrange international congresses, conferences, exhibitions, and concerts at our museum complex. We're going to open an institute for mosaics, which will educate people, especially children.

Oya Eczacıbaşı

Chairwoman, Istanbul Modern

Istanbul Modern is Turkey's first museum of modern art to be founded by the private sector and is also the first to establish itself as an influential social platform. We set out to create a genuine museum environment that would provide a multi-faceted platform for communication and culture. We believe we have achieved this and set a precedent for other museums in Turkey seeking to make cultural activities an integral part of our daily lives. Through a wide range of interdisciplinary events, Istanbul Modern has succeeded in creating a new awareness in Turkey of museums as institutions of learning and communication and awakened public interest in visiting them. In this way, we are contributing to the development of a new museum culture in our country. We have also played an important role in promoting the development of powerful sponsorship relationships, modern museum management models, and extra-museum events to enhance the visibility of art. Through national and international exhibitions and retrospectives, Istanbul Modern has provided a space for diverse disciplines and pioneered both contemporary museum practices and interdisciplinary management models in Turkey. Istanbul Modern's establishment represented a significant milestone in the transformation of Turkey's contemporary art environment.

Nazan Ölçer

Director, Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Our exhibitions have provided Turkish audiences with unique opportunities to experience Western culture and art. Many of the masterpieces in our exhibitions have never before been displayed in Turkey, and the public has shown huge interest in seeing these world-renowned artists for the first time. Our rapidly growing visitor numbers demonstrate the strong interest in art that exists in Istanbul. Alongside our exhibitions, we also organize educational programs to provide our visitors with some background on the works of art in each exhibition. These programs vary from workshops and gallery talks for children and adults to social programs for women and the disabled. Our goal is to reach a variety of target groups from different ages and social backgrounds. Our collaborative work with various museums around the world has helped us to reach art enthusiasts abroad. For example, the current Rembrandt and His Contemporaries exhibition marks the 400th year of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands. The exhibition has had a great impact in the Netherlands and beyond. The publicity campaign and media coverage in many countries have helped to capture international attention for the exhibition. The city has a rich history spanning a thousand years, and this history is complemented by the city's culinary wealth, architectural variety, and plethora of opportunities for shopping and sightseeing.