Anatolian Artisans

Highlights of AnARt Activities

2008 Activities

April 2008
Promoted and sold arts and crafts at the annual American Turkish Council Conference.

May 2008
Organized a product development workshop for low income women artisans in Kars in cooperation with Anadolu Kultur, a non-profit NGO based in Istanbul.
British designer Sue Heathcote created woolen accessories for the knitting group. The workshop was made possible by a partial grant from the ArtVenture Foundation.

AnARt Cultural Tour group admire and purchase new products that Kars knitters produced.

Sue and Deniz explain their wool dyeing adventures to the Cultural Tour group.

Sue Heathcote, an accomplished designer, based her wool designs on traditional Turkish socks.

May 2008
Cultural Tour to Eastern Turkey
We organized a nine day cultural tour to Eastern Turkey for a group of wonderful people from the US and Turkey. We visited Kars, Dogubeyazit, Van and Mardin and various interesting places along the way including Anatolian Artisans projects. Joanne Omang, a former Washington Post reporter  who joined the trip, wrote about this amazing adventure. To read Joanne’s article please go to: Time Traveling with Anatolian Artisans.
To see photos of 2008 tour, go to Gallery page and click on 2008 Cultural Tour.

Micro-Business training in Sanliurfa
AnARt delivered training for low income women in the GAP region on behalf of HasNa. The training was sponsored by HasNa in cooperation with the GAP Administration.

July 2008
Santa Fe International Folk Art Market


AnARt took part in the Santa Fe Int. Folk Art Market again this year with textile artist Hulya Ozer. Ozer’s designs using Turkish lacework “oya” attracted a lot of attention. Besides interacting with visitors to the Market, Hulya Ozer and Yildiz Yagci had the opportunity to meet with artisans from around the globe like the Masai artisans from Africa above.

October 2008
MUDO Sales
MUDO, an upscale chain department store in Turkey, agreed to carry AnARt wool products at their stores as part of their social projects. Our diverse group of knitters generated income through the sales of these hand-knit products.
We thank MUDO staff and its president Mr. Mustafa Taviloglu for their support.

Nov. 2008
Holiday Sale
AnARt annual holiday sale was held on Nov.22-23 at Nevzer Stacey’s NW Washington home. Despite the economic crisis there was a lot of interest in Turkish arts and crafts.







2007 Activities

May   : Supplied Catom-Mardin artisans group with two industrial sewing machines and other tools necessary for their product development workshop.

June  : Organized a Cultural Tour to Cappadocia and Konya. Raising awareness about the arts and culture of Turkey is among AnARt’s missions. One of the ways of achieving this is to organize cultural tours to Turkey.

A diverse group of thirty people from the US, Canada, UK, France, Turkey and Kenya joined the tour. Regional traditions, history, architecture, arts and crafts, cuisine, geography, and landscape were explored. Interactions with local artisans were highlights of the tour.
AnARt’s partner for the cultural tour was Fest Travel of Istanbul. Its founder and president Faruk Pekin personally guided the tour. His in depth knowledge of history and architecture of the region and his colorful interpretations of local culture made the experience particularly interesting and enjoyable. See pictures.

AnARt representatives Yildiz Yagci (President) and Malcolm Pfunder (Treasurer) accompanied the group.

June  : Organized a product development workshop for low income women at Carsibasi town of Trabzon with British designer Jackie Hewison.




July   : Participated in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market with meerschaum artisan Sinan Atilla.




October : Organized a sales event at Kazan Restaurant, Virginia at Arkadaslar Group’s annual dinner to celebrate Turkish Republic Day.

November: Organized a micro-business training workshop at Mardin –Catom for 15 women sponsored by HasNa.





November : Organized a new product development workshop using traditional “oya” Turkish lace-work at Mardin Turkey with designer Beyhan Gence.




December  : Organized annual AnARt holiday sale at David Zahirpour carpet gallery in Washington DC.



2006 Activities

Jan.           AnARt Products at the Freer/SAckler Galleries

AnARt supplied arts, crafts and T-Shirts for the Smithsonian Freer/Sackler Galleries to compliment the Ottoman Imperial Costumes Exhibition held from Oct. 2005 to Jan. 2006. T-shirts with royal kaftan designs were a hit.

April          Business & Product Development Training at Kilis,                   Turkey.

Anatolian Artisans implemented a micro-business management training program for 21 low income women at Kilis. Sponsored by HasNa Inc. the training program provided the women with detailed plans to organize and operate their own micro-businesses.

A separate product development training program was organized by the Anatolian Artisans for the members of the CATOM (Multi-purpose community centers) KILIS. British designer Jackie Hewison designed contemporary jackets and kaftans using regional “kutnu” fabric of Gaziantep. She trained the sewing group to produce her designs according to global standards. These unique designs will soon be offered for sale on the AnARt website.

May           Kentucky Meets Turkey

On the invitation of L.V Harkness company of Lexington, Kentucky, Anatolian Artisans displayed and sold authentic Turkish arts and crafts at the three day event. Turkish Ambassadors to the US and UN, H.E. Nabi Sensoy and H.E. Baki Ilkin respectively attended the event. The Ambassadors were hosted by Kentucky Congressmen Ed Whitfield and Ben Chandler.

IFC Store Pangea Sells AnARt Products

AnARt is one of the suppliers for the Pangea store that the International Finance Corp. (World Bank) started to support the artisans in developing countries. T-shirts, jewelry, silver and ceramic items made by our artisans are on display at the store at 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.


                Textile Museum Gift Store Carry AnARt Products

T-Shirts, crochet napkin holders, Sile embroidered nightgowns and blouses and more by AnARt artisans are on sale at the Textile Museum Gift Stores.

June          Culture Tour to Turkey’s Eastern Black Sea

Our first cultural tour to Turkey took place at the end of June. During the eight day Eastern Black Sea Region trip the group visited monuments and buildings representing Roman, Byzantium, Georgian, Ottoman, Seljuk, and modern Turkey. In addition to the sights, sounds and tastes of the region visits to local artisans generated lasting impressions on the group members. A new project was developed during the trip to promote the regional Kesan cloth made on centuries old hand-looms. (See Black Sea Tour Article for comments and pictures)


Aug.          Sewing machines for Kilis Artisan Group

Anatolian Artisans purchased two industrial  sewing machines for the CATOM (Multi Purpose Community Center) group in Kilis. A generous contribution by the Arkadaslar Group (ex-Peace Corp volunteers to Turkey) made the purchase possible. As a result the CATOM artisans will be able to use their newly acquired skills to make trendy jackets for sale in Turkey and abroad to generate more income for themselves and their families.

Oct           Arkadaslar dinner

Anatolian Artisans was once more invited to display and sell arts and crafts at the annual Arkadaslar Cumhuriyet Bayram dinner at the Kazan Restaurant.

Nov.          Freer/Sackler, Textile Museum & Pangea

AnARt supplied new products for sale at the Smithsonian Freer/Sackler, Textile Museum gift stores and the Pangea at the IFC.( 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W)


        Shared Tastes
Anatolian Artisans and HasNa Inc. in a joint fundraising program are organizing an evening of friendship with the Turkish and Greek communities. Prominent food writers Engin Akin and Mirsini Lampraki from Istanbul and Athens respectively will be presenting exciting examples of shared tastes from both cuisines. It will be an evening of incredible food, wine, music, dance, raffles, and friendship.  



Two NY designers went to Kilis-Mardin-Gaziantep on expenses paid basis and created 12 new products for the artisans groups at CATOM centers set up by the GAP administration. Jackets and cushion covers made with the regional traditional fabric of Gaziantep (kutnu) were a hit during test marketing in the US.

Kilis CATOM artisans making cushion covers.

Implemented a micro-enterprise management training at Samsun for low income women for Toplum Gonulluleri Foundation

Training program was made possible in part by a grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

Invited to Santa Fe Folk Art Market and sponsored two artists from Turkey . A ceramic artist – Meliha Coskun from Bursa & a felt master from Konya – Mehmet Girgic. Nearly twenty thousand people visited the Folk Art Market and works by Mehmet and Meliha generated a lot of interest. Both artists managed to market their products and interact with visitors directly. They also took part in the two day UNESCO workshop to learn about international marketing, shipping, and documentation procedures.

September 15
Organized a conference by prominent folklorist Dr. Henry Glassie on Turkish Traditional Art at the World Bank followed by a reception and an exhibition and sale to raise awareness about Turkish arts and culture.

Sept 28-Oct.4
Organized a Turkish Week at the Cornell University with an exhibition and sale of Turkish arts and crafts, a conference by Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, a reading by Elif Safak, Turkish films, folk dances and discussion panels.

Dr. Nurhan Atasoy in front of the replica of an Ottoman imperial tent that she designed for Anatolian Artisans.

Yildiz Yagci is doing a presentation about Anatolian Artisans programs at the GAP region and showing various products that were produced by low income groups in the region.

Dr. Charlotte Jirousek of Cornell University, Yildiz Yagci and Mine Sabuncuoglu of AnARt with Turkish and American students who volunteered to make the event successful.

October 10-17
Implemented an entrepreneurship and micro-business management training of trainers course for university students at Samsun for Toplum Gonulluleri Foundation. The trainers in turn will train grassroots groups throughout Turkey.

The training program was made possible in part by a grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

Supplied Smithsonian Freer/Sackler Gallery Gift Stores cultural products to be sold in connection with the Style & Status – Ottoman Imperial Kaftans from Topkapi Palace Exhibition.

T-Shirts with “cintemani” design from Ottoman kaftans. Meershaum pill boxes.

Silver plated products with Sultan’s monogram and motifs from the kaftans.

Table runners and throws made by custom made Ottoman fabric by Hamzagil.

University of Pittsburg – A two day event of exhibition and sale of Turkish arts and crafts in connection with the unveiling of the Turkish conference room at the university.


Organized a micro-enterprise management and entrepreneurship training in Nusaybin/Mardin in April’04 in cooperation with the GAP Administration. 12 community center managers qualified to teach their members basic business skills.

Invited to Santa Fe Folk Art Market Sponsored a ceramic artist from Kutahya – Gunhan Dayioglu

Invited to organize a Turkish Week at the University of Buffalo.

Activities included:

  • lecture by art historian Dr. Nurhan Atasoy on Ottoman art traditions in 16th century Turkey.
  • lecture by writer/scholar Elif Safak on Turkish literature and a reading from her recent book The Saint of Incipient Insanities.
  • Turkish Folk dances by members of the Turkish Student Association at UB
  • Turkish films
Took part in a cultural fair at the Meridian Int. Center in Washington