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Culture and Arts

In line with its belief that one of the most important factors in the development of societies is creativity, Koç Group has been supporting culture and art activities in an effort to contribute to the cultural development of the society as well as to help cultivate creative generations. Koç Group has been allocating funds from its resources in order to sustain and develop our cultural values and arts, to promote them in national and international arenas and to encourage artists. Through several projects conducted in 2013, Koç Holding, Group companies and Vehbi Koç Foundation continued raising awareness in the fields of art and culture.

Vehbi Koç and Ankara Research Center (VEKAM)

VEKAM was put into service to do academic research on Ankara and to compile all kinds of information and documents about Ankara for the benefit of researchers. VEKAM started publishing peer-reviewed “Ankara Studies Journal” about Ankara and its surroundings, on the 90th year of the proclamation of the Republic and the declaration of Ankara as capital.

International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium

In memory of Sevgi Gönül, who did significant work to popularize scientific research about the Byzantine period in Turkey and for the society to claim Byzantine cultural heritage, Vehbi Koç Foundation and Koç University Research Center (RCAC) organized the “International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium” held for the third time in June 24-27, 2013. Within the context of the symposium, “Stories from the Hidden Harbor: Shipwrecks of Yenikapı” was exhibited at Istanbul Museum of Archeology and “Artamonoff: Picturing Byzantine Istanbul, 1930-1947” at RCAC.

“Traces of Ancient Ages” Exhibition in Celebration of the 25th Year of Sadberk Hanım Museum Archeology Department

Sadberk Hanım Museum, founded for creating a living and producing culture and education center in accordance with modern museology, owns collections of Ottoman era woman’s clothing, textile and art products, Iznik pottery and archeological findings. The collection of the Archeology Department, which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its establishment in 2013, includes almost 7,000 artifacts, which allow the chronological viewing of the material cultural assets of civilizations who inhabited Anatolia from the Late Neolithic Age until the end of the Byzantine era.

The Book “Traditional Copperware, Semahat & Nusret Arsel Collection”

Semahat and Nusret Arsel traditional copperware collection, most of which is being exhibited since 2007 at Ankara Vineyard House affiliated with Vehbi Koç and Ankara Research Center, includes 289 brass and bronze instruments made of copper and copper alloys in several workshops in Istanbul, the Balkans and Anatolia under the Ottoman reign, between the 18th and 20th centuries. The book, which was prepared in Turkish and English by Prof. Dr. Sümer Atasoy, covers 170 pieces with different functions, forms and decorations selected from this collection.


7 exhibitions realized in 2013 by VKV, which owns a modern art collection of nearly 900 works, through the modern art space ARTER, established in 2010 at Beyoğlu in order to support new creations and form a platform where they can be exhibited, were visited by over 100,000 viewers during the year.

Koç Contemporary Art Museum

The most significant art project for the future by Vehbi Koç Foundation is the establishment of a modern art museum, which can be easily reached from central Istanbul and will be perceived both as a culture center and a “quality recreation space”. The museum, which will be located in Dolapdere region at walking distance to the center of town, will be home to Vehbi Koç Foundation Modern Art Collection. The museum is planned to be opened in September 2016.

Istanbul Biennial

Koç Holding has become the sponsor of International Istanbul Biennial organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) for ten years between 2007 and 2016. Through this sponsorship, Koç Holding aims to raise awareness regarding contemporary art especially among the youth, to introduce contemporary art to those who have not met it yet and to keep the interest in contemporary art alive. The 13th of the Istanbul Biennial was held under the title “Mom, am I a barbarian?” between September 14 and October 20, 2013, with the works of 88 artists and artist groups from all around the world.

The 13th International Istanbul Biennial, made available freely for everyone with the support of Koç Holding, was visited by around 350,000 people, setting a record. Within the scope of the biennial sponsorship, various projects were implemented in order to popularize museum and exhibition culture, increase the number of visitors and extend the age range. 4,000 people benefited from the guided tours organized in exhibition spaces. The education programs intended for children and the youth, with the support of Koç Holding and the collaboration of İKSV and PACE Kids Arts Center, enabled the creative participation of 3,000 children this year.

Istanbul Biennial has become the most attractive and well known abroad, among art activities organized in Turkey today. The contributions made to the Biennial are also made to the brand of Istanbul. Koç Holding will continue its supports for the Istanbul Biennial to thrive and endure.

International Nasreddin Hoca Caricature Competition and Symposium

Koç Holding has been the main sponsor of the International Nasreddin Hoca Caricature Competition organized by the Cartoonist Association since 2008, with the objective of supporting the social development of various art branches and the successful representation of our country in different areas abroad. Turkish cartoonists were awarded the big prize many times at the competition that is organized since 1974 and is open to all cartoonists around the world.