Millennium #15 Issue, May 2005
Coverage & Summary of the 5th Anniversary Events
Millennium celebrated its 5th Anniversary with
'Five' events between 2-7 May, 2005.
"Reflections from Sri Lanka & Tsunami"
The first program of the Light Millennium's Fifth Anniversary
Celebration event series, "Reflections from Sri Lanka
& Tsunami," was held on 2 May 2005 at the Turkish
House. The evening was comprised of a Power Point
presentation by the Founding President Bircan Unver, and
a speech given by the honorary guest Ambassador R. Jayasinghe
for Sri Lanka and Deputy Permanent Representative for
The Power Point presentation contained selected photographs
from Sri Lanka, which were taken during Bircan Ünver's
trip to Sri Lanka between January 15 - February 9, 2005.
The photographs reflected general scenes from Colombo,
Moratowa, Negombo in parallel to Sarvodaya Organization's
Tsunami Relief Efforts from Galle, Ampara, Kalmunai and
Killinochichi as well as visits to Sir Arthur C. Clarke,
legendary author and scientist who has been living in
Sri Lanka since 1956.
The Power Point presentation
also included photographs from Adam's Peak, Anaradhapura,
Pollonaruwa, Dumbulla, Sigiriya and Hikkaduwa
as the legends and reflecting cultural richness of Sri
Lanka, which were taken during Ünver's first trip
between Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2003.
the event the Reflections of Sri Lanka & Tsunami
at the Turkish House on May 2, 2005 in New York City.
(Left to right:) Atilla Pak, Figen Bingül,
Bircan Ünver, Ambassador R. Jayasinghe, Bari Steinberg,
Dr. John Kentung, & Sandy Hacker
After Unver's presentation, Ambassador Jayasinghe
made a speech focusing on the background of Sri Lanka's
culture and major historical turning points. He also gave
an update about Sri Lanka and the aftereffect of Tsunami
as well as the ongoing rehabilitation-reconstruction process
and developments in the country since December 26, 2004.
In addition, Ambassador Jayasinghe gave an overview
of the "Peace Process of Sri Lanka," where he
voiced his hopes and expectations regarding the tsunami
disaster. He said that this enormous devastation may lead
the country towards for a permanent realization for creating
peace between Tamils & Sinhalees within the country
in the long-term. Ambassador Jayasinghe emphasized an
urgent need for achiving "peace" within the
country and stated: "If this cannot be accomplished,
then how will we be able to achieve a rehabilitation,
reconstruction and development process of the country?"
(Light Millennium, May 2005)
-- For the Media Release of the Reflections of Sri Lanka
* * * * *
let globalization to kill cultural diversity..."
A panel titled "Cultural Diversity, Removing
Prejudice & Fostering Global Connectivity"
took place at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken,
New Jersey on May 4, 2005. The moderator of the panel David
CUTHELL (Director of Middle Eastern Studies, Stevens Institute
of Technology), who is well versed on the Middle East, also
acted as a participant. The panelists were Tirlok MALIK
(Indian, Founder & President of the NRI TV Film Club,
NY); Etem EROL, (Turkish, Professor at Columbia University);
and Hossein KAMALY (Iranian, Professor at Columbia University).
In this panel, the panelists, who
have faced prejudices for being from a different culture
while living in a diverse environment in the U.S., reflected
different cultures. The existing prejudices were
defined by each speaker from their own perspectives, giving
examples of what were the most annoying experiences they
had to face. The panelists, including the moderator who
had lived outside of the U.S. for more than 10 years, shared
their own experiences with the audience.
to right: Tirlok Malik, Indian, Founding President of
the NRI TV Film Club; Hossein Kamaly, Iranian, Professor
at Columiba University;
David Cuthell (Moderator of the panel), American,
Director of Middle Eastern Studies, Stevens Institute
Etem Erol, Turkish, Professor at the Columbia University.
Each speaker talked about how to
lessen --or if it is possible to remove-- existing prejudices
on each culture and country from their own perspectives
in order to foster global connections to serve for global
peace. The speakers concentrated on the issues of globalization
and how it affects the continuity of local cultures.
Iranian originated Hossein Kamaly noted that globalization
is inevitable; however this trend is endangering local
cultures and differences. He emphasized on the necessity
of tolerance for diversity in order to sustain the development
Etem Erol, coming from a Turkish origin, stated that diversity
without yielding to destructive nationalism is a great
gain. He gave as an example the ongoing discussion between
the Turks and Greeks about "to whom does the yaprak
sarma (stuffed grape leaves) belong," and pointed
out that this argument in fact causes the fact that both
societies have the yaprak sarma in their cultures to be
forgotten. He argued that the issues that are seen as
differences are in fact our mutual values.
Indian originated film maker Tirlok Malik complained about
the prejudices that exist in different societies. He gave
as an example that the Indian characters in Hollywood
films are either portrayed as newspaper sellers or gas
station cashiers, while nobody cares about the fact that
the 30 percent of Indians living in the U.S. are doctors.
He argued that this kind of facts are not brought under
light deliberately and the biased representations in the
media deepen the prejudices among peoples.
For the Media Release of "Cultural Diversity, Removing
Prejudice & Fostering Global Connectivity>
Emrah Ülker, New York, "Globallesme kültürel
farkliliklari öldürmesin." ZamanUSA
– May 7, 2005 Issue#683
* * * * *
Agaoglu talked on the Turkish Novel in New Jersey &
of the preeminent authors of the Turkish Republic,
Adalet Agaoglu, gave two lectures titled "Developments
in the Turkish Novel between 1970-80" in
New Jersey and New York. The first one of the
lectures took place at The Stevens Institute of
Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey on 4 May, 2005.
The second lecture was held at Columbia University
in New York on 5 May, 2005.
Both events started with a Power Presentation about Light Millennium's
mission, vision and their activities made by Bircan
Unver, the Founding President of Light Millennium.
After Unver's presentation, Prof. Sibel Erol (New
York University) made the introduction about Adalet
Agaoglu and her works. Prof. Erol talked about
the main themes in Agaoglu's novels and gave examples
from her novels and enlightened the audience about
Sibel EROL introduced Adalet Agaoglu's books at
Stevens and Columbia Universites and directed
the Q & A sessions both in English & Turkish.
Two Lectures by Adalet Agaoglu
Agaoglu started her speech by pointing out the different perspectives
on the concept of ‘culture.’ She mentioned
that she doesn’t like to be labeled as a “woman
author;” adding that she is not against feminism,
however she opposed the idea of commercialism behind the
label of feminism. She emphasized that creativity does
not have any sex. She said: “If I have to make a
differentiation between sexes, I can only define people
as woman kind, man kind, and author kind.”
Agaoglu talked about how the Turkish novel, in the Republic era,
had been confined in a narrow form in terms of style and
content and this situation urged her to look for new styles
in the novel with a search for multi-dimensioned and multilayered
She also noted that the political agendas shape the novel trends;
but it is wrong to label a novel as "village novel"
or “March 12th (the military coup in
1971 in Turkey)” just because those novels are taking
place in a village or they are published after the March
Agaoglu explained how she developed new styles in Turkish novel,
and how she arrived at the point where her novels are
considered to be "pre-postmodern" in a time
when postmodernism was not even discussed. She finished
her talk recounting the instances where she was considered
to be "plagiarizing" or copying some other Western
authors because she created new styles in the Turkish
novel. She mentioned that this is due to the inferiority
complex in Turkey vis-a-vis the West and she asked the
question: "When will I be only myself as a writer
to right: Figen Bingül, Adalet Agaoglu, Bircan Ünver,
Prof. Edward Foster &
Prof. Sibel Erol after the lecture at the Stevens Institute
in New Jersey on May 4, 2005.
After her talk, Agaoglu answered the questions of the audience.
On one question about how the Turkish literature can become
more recognized in the world, she stated that the publication
of translated Turkish works should be encouraged and only
then may the world know better about the Turkish literature.
She mentioned that the Ottoman culture is somewhat known
in the world, but there is not enough knowledge about
the Republic of Turkey, and it is only possible to know
a nation and its people through their art, and mainly
About another question on the new generation of Turkish authors,
she stated that there are a great number of new authors
and it is hard follow them all. Since the bestseller mentality
has gained popularity, these new works are written and
published in order to sell. Therefore, they lack of taste
just like hormoned fruits. She also stated that to be
“postmodern” it is necessary to go through
the stage of “modern” first.
Esra Kirecci, "Adalet Agaoglu, New York'ta Türk
romanini anlatti," NEW YORK (A.A) - 05.05.2005.
Photographs from the Columbia University lecture...
Sibel Erol, NYU Middle Eastern Studies, during her
introduction of Adalet Agaoglu's books at the Columbia
University, New York City on May 5, 2005.
Mimaroglu, worldwide renowed electronic music composer
and Turkey's renowed author Adalet Agaoglu; two old
close friends have met during the lecture at the Columbia
the Columbia University lecture, guests and organizers
of the lecture posed with Adalet Agaoglu.
(Right to left: Elif Ozmenek, Güngor Mimaroglu,
Ilhan Mimaroglu, Adalet Agaoglu, Prof. Etem Erol (back
row), Adalet Agaoglu, Bircan Ünver, Figen
Bingül, Prof. Sibel Erol & Erhan Berber
* * * * *
Geography of Novels..."
by Adalet Agaoglu
The third and the last one of Agaoglu's lectures was held
in Toronto University, Toronto, on May 7, 2005. This event
was organized by Light Millennium in corporation with
Ankara Library of Toronto, Inc.
The opening speech was made by Dr. Erhan Berber of Light Millennium.
Dr. Berber gave the audience a brief information about
the mission and vision of Light Millennium.
Mrs. Sevim Onen, the Founding President of Ankara Library of Toronto,
Inc. made the introductory speech for Adalet Agaoglu’s
lecture and welcomed the audience.
Agaoglu during her lecture at the University of
Toronto on May 7, 2005.
to right: Ayfer Samancioglu, Figen Bingül,
Erhan Berber, Yaman Ozumeri, Sevim Onen (front row),
Nuzhet Onen & Bircan Ünver at the Toronto
Adalet Agaoglu's lecture.
Adalet Agaoglu, in her lecture titled "The Geography of Novels,"
explained how the
lives of people are not the main concern of novels, but
the novels have their own lives; and every place and medium
where a novel takes place makes the geography of that
Agaoglu stated that in the Turkish novel, there is a dominancy
of the author’s geography, not of the novel’s
and that is why she took a different approach in forming
the geography of the novel. She underlined the view that
“the author does not define geography, the novel
Agaoglu said that novels recount the individuals, and those individuals
are formed by the society and therefore no individual
can be evaluated independent from the society. She gave
examples of this view from her novels Summer’s
and her trilogy Narrow Times.
Agaoglu explained how she tried to go beyond the classical novel
structure by experimenting with different narration styles
such as memoir, diary, story, and play in her novels.
She also mentioned that the East-West conflict, which
is the main issue of Turkey, is mainly the common subject
of her novels.
The lecture was received with great attention from the audience
of nearly 100 people and the event ended with a session
of questions and answers. Agaoglu answered the questions
about the society-individual relations in her novels and
the situation of the Turkish novel in our day.
Millennium, May 2005)
For the Media Release of Adalet AGAOGLU's 3 Lectures>
by Figen BINGÜL for the Light Millennium, May 2005.
* * * * *
SPONSORS for Adalet AGAOGLU's New Jersey and New York
lectures for plane ticket and hotel accomodation:
ARKAN and Murat AGIRNASLI
Co-sponsor: Turkish Airlines
Thanks for Adalet AGAOGLU's 3 lectures:
Prof. Edward FOSTER and David CUTHELL, Stevens Institute
EROL & Astrid BENEDEK, MEAMAC, Columbia University
SAMANCIOGLU, Ankara Library of Toronto, Inc.
OMEROGLU, New York Vice Consul: for his support.
Sibel EROL (NYU, Middle Eastern Studies): for her invaluable
contribution by her introductory speeches at both lectures
in Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University.
Sevinc GURSOY: for her technical assistance at Columbia
ÜLKER, ZamanUSA newspaper
KIREÇÇI, Anadolu Ajansi
Thanks for the "Reflections
from Sri Lanka & Tsunami” event:
Hasan OZDEMIR, Turkish House Manager
Beyhan Karahan Associates & Architects: for providing
Atilla PAK: for his technical support during the event.
ÜNVER: for his photography & videography at the
Photographs from Columbia University lecture updated on
June 20, 2005.
Light Millennium General Secretary: Figen Bingül
Board of Directors: Erhan Berber, M.D. & Prof.
Founding President: Bircan Ünver
Millennium #15 Issue, May 2005