A Culture House in Kars to facilitate the viability, transmission and promotion of the Minstrelsy tradition
The Kars Minstrel Culture House was inaugurated on 17 January 2011 in Kars with the support of the United Nations (UN) Joint Programme “Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia” in cooperation with the Municipality of Kars.
United Nations Joint Programme (UNJP) provided concrete contributions to the safeguarding and promotion of the Minstrelsy Tradition, inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In particular, the joint programme allowed to organize an international festival of minstrels, to produce an audio CD of selected performances of local minstrels, to launch training activities on the making and performing of traditional musical instruments, “saz” and “tar” and recently to create the conditions for the establishment of a “Culture House” in Kars, the most representative Province of Turkey for this tradition, intended for the use of the local minstrels association to facilitate the viability, transmission and promotion of this art. Within this initiative, the “Namık Kemal House” located at the centre of Kars will serve as “Minstrel Culture House”.
The establishment of the Culture House and the memorandum of understanding signed for this purpose by the Municipality of Kars, the Çobanoğlu Minstrels Association and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will ensure the continuity and sustainability of related activities beyond the end of the project.
The inauguration of the Culture House was held during the visit of UN Resident Coordinator Shahid Najam and Counsellor at the Spanish Embassy in Ankara within the Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Turkey UNJP Carlos Ruiz Gonzales, at the presence of Deputy Governor of Kars Murat Demirci, Deputy Director General for Promotion at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism İbrahim Yazar, Mayor of Kars Nevzat Bozkuş, UNICEF Representative for Turkey Ayman Abulaban, UNESCO Venice Office Programme Officer Matteo Rosati and Çobanoğlu Minstrels Association President Mahmut Karadaş with other members of the Association.
Karadaş emphasized in his speech the gratitude and happiness to have a place where they can meet and perform their art and, transmit it to future generations. Minstrels were performed. The inauguration ceremony closed with the presentation of plaques as an expression of gratitude for all parties’ efforts.