27 June 2022 Monday 11:17

Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen said that: “Culture-art supports individual and social well-being. Those who deal with art want to be free, original and critical. Art does not accept barriers such as censorship, limitation, and silencing. Art should be free. Art is creativity. Creativity requires support, not hindrance.”


Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen conveyed his views to the Municipality Newspaper @belediye_gazete.




- Could you tell us about the works of your municipality in the field of culture and arts? Are there units such as Cultural Affairs, Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs within your municipality?


• We organize cultural and artistic events. We make sure that these events reach the citizens. There is a Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs within our municipality. Different activities and workshops are held at Doğan Taşdelen Contemporary Arts Center, Zülfü Livaneli Cultural Center, Yılmaz Güney Stage, Yaşar Kemal Cultural Center, Fikret Otyam Art Center, Muammer Sun Music Workshop and Hoy-Tur Dance Center, which are affiliated to the Directorate of Culture and Social Affairs. We organize talks, panels, conferences. We support citizens to participate in cultural and artistic activities. While planning the events, we take care to be supportive, encouraging, space-opening, bringing together and continuing. In this context, we organize exhibitions for the works of young artists and make national/international collaborations. We plan interviews with authors, bring together important events outside of Ankara with citizens in Ankara, and host university events and exhibitions. We carry art beyond indoor spaces with outdoor activities such as open-air concerts, music festivals, cinema screenings, morale exercises, especially in the spring and summer months, and reach citizens who cannot come to art centers and cannot get away from their region. We also care about keeping the spirit of being together and having a good time together. We carry out studies for different age groups. We carry out projects that we consider important in terms of urban memory, which can be a source for those working in the field of culture and art. We support participation without limiting cultural and artistic activities to organizing events.


- What criteria do you consider when planning cultural and artistic activities within the scope of sustainable cultural and urban development? Do you have a separate budget for culture and arts events and projects?


• We consider it important to protect future generations and encourage sustainability while planning cultural and artistic activities. We support ecological sustainability by reducing printed materials, ensuring the use of digital information, not harming the environment in outdoor events, and reducing the use of plastic materials in events. We organize exhibitions and interviews about forgotten buildings, places, people and events. We conduct studies and collaborations to promote sustainability for buildings, streets, avenues and parks that need to be protected. We have a separate budget for cultural and artistic events and projects. We are sensitive to use this budget efficiently and beneficially. We diversify cultural and artistic activities in order to bring art to everyone and to bring art together with citizens.




- Do you cooperate with non-governmental organizations, associations, art institutions, national/international organizations, artists and writers in order to contribute to the cultural development in your district and to protect the cultural values ​​of your district?


• We think it is important to protect the cultural values ​​of our district. In this context, we believe that it is the duty of local governments to carry out studies, to support those who work and to cooperate with them. We cooperate with national/international associations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, cultural institutions and embassies working on the cultural values ​​of our district, and we organize exhibitions, conferences and conversations. Cultural values ​​are part of memory. By keeping the memory of our city and district alive, we contribute to preserving its identity. We produce projects for the preservation of the spatial, physical, social and cultural whole that makes Çankaya Çankaya and Ankara Ankara, and for the preservation of historical traces. The Living Poets and Writers Project is a product of this understanding. We are advancing this project in consultation with various associations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, professional chambers and those working in the field. We carry out the project with the respect we feel for poets and writers who lived and produced in Ankara, who left their mark on the streets and places of the city, and sometimes even wrote stories and poems about them, so that the cultural footprints of the city are not erased and carried to future generations. We hang plates on the buildings where the names we have determined live, and citizens can access the biography of these people with the QR code application we place on the plates. We are planning to prepare a book and organize an exhibition within the scope of the study.




- What do you think are the initiatives that local governments should take to strengthen cultural municipalism? Are the budget, legislation and legal regulations for culture and arts policies and works sufficient?


• It is necessary to produce projects to strengthen cultural municipalism and to support institutions and organizations working in this field. Local governments are institutions that will support, encourage and pioneer cultural and artistic studies. Cooperation with associations, foundations, non-governmental organizations and other institutions and organizations working in the field of culture and arts should be increased, and budget, resources and time should be allocated for culture and arts studies. We allocate a budget for culture and arts policies and studies, we make the necessary legal arrangements for cooperation on an institutional basis. However, there are limits in terms of both budget and legislation. We do not think that the central government carries out the right policies for culture and arts, and that the legislation and legal regulations are sufficient. Culture-art supports and heals individual and social well-being. Those who deal with art want to be free, original and critical. Art does not accept barriers such as censorship, limitation, and silencing. Art should be free. Art is creativity. Creativity requires support, not hindrance. Censorship and limitation harm well-being and hinder human rights. It would be optimistic to think that the oppressive and restrictive mentality towards culture and art will produce policies, allocate budgets, make legal arrangements, and encourage local governments.