Mission - Vision

Gazi Universty  Turkish  Folklore  Research And Application Center

Turkish Folklore Research and application center  was established in September ,2003 linked to Gazi University Rectorship. The aim of the establishment of the center is  to contribute to the studies of Turkish cultural  heritage’s compiling by scientific methods, archiving and  putting them into museums, protection and introduction to the next generations. It undertakes  both national and international  mission. The center that protects and transmits  the cultural  heritage to the next generations  is defined as  the human being’s necessity. Within the scope of the agreement  with the United Nations Education Science AND Culture Organization that stands for UNESCO. To understand well about,  Turkish Folklore Research and Application Center, mentioning about the related agreement briefly is indicated: 

UNESCO, with 972 dated agreement while targeting to protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage started from the point of protecting the archeological sites, natural riches and the historical buildings which have been the indicators of the created civilizations by the human beings up to now. Not including the agreement, for protecting the cultural heritage of oral and intangible  heritage, it was pushed down on 17 October 2003, by UNESCO with Intangible Cultural Heritage Agreement.

40 point agreement’s  existing  after the start part, 1.General rules part, having the topic of definitions in 2a sub-paragraph of paragraph 2 of article, intangible cultural heritage is defined under 5 topics as follows.

  1. Oral expressionsand oral traditions functioningas a tool to transmitthe intangiblecultural heritageof the language.

  2. Performance arts

  3. Social practices, rituals and festivals

  4. Practices about folklore, universe and nature

  5. The traditionof handcraft

In the third paragraph of the definitions of article, what is mentioned by the term ‘protection‘ is explained  like this: The protection term means assuring the living the intangible cultural heritage. To this, as well as identification, documentation, research, protection, development and strengthening, transmitting these to the next generations especially via in the school or out of the school education,  it includes the cultural heritage’s bringing to life. The role of the contracting countries in the agreement, defined as in article 11, paragraph a, like this: Each contracting country, will take the necessary precautions to assure the protection of the intangible cultural heritage on its own land. It is understood from the contract that the contracting countries have made a decision of going into an action  on the issues of determining, documenting, research, protecting, avoidance of destruction, re-production and transmission. Especially, in the education processes, they have decided to obtain the different cultural heritage to bring to life. Turkey is included in this agreement in 2006 and elected to the international committee that has the quality of a board management. After Turkey’s being a side, for the disciplines that work on the products within the scope of the agreement yet another turn is taken. With the simplest example, the disciplines like Folklore and Anthropology which studies these subjects, for the fields called as folklore, traditional culture or oral culture, new and more inclusive, internationally valid ‘intangible cultural heritage‘ concept is presented to circulation. At this point, in Turkey, the academic institutions and non-governmental organizations should understand the international attention and evaluate it, and they have to determine their own direction. Mentioned briefly about the establishing aims, defined in the accepted SOKUM agreement, it adopts the intangible cultural heritage concept as a working field  and does the necessary by taking it as its own mission .

During about six years passed, the center in Turkey, has been successful at interiorizing the agreement. Certainly, in this, the manager of the center Prof.Dr. M.Öcal OĞUZ‘s  being Turkey’s representative and his following up  the processes closely at the SOKUM Agreement’s International meeting is an important factor.

Gazi Turkish Folklore Research and Application Center ‘s studies can be defined under the topics as follows:

  1. SOKUM Museum

  2. Scientific Research Projects

  3. Symposium and Workshops

  4. Book publications

  5. National Folklore Journal Corporate Editorship

Today, the world which is getting globalization faster, for the sake of not losing its color, the protection of local cultural values, introduction and at the point of transmitting them to the next generations, concentrated UNESCO attention necessitates the museology activities. As it is known, by Turkish Folklore Research and Application Center, intangible cultural heritage museum (SOKUM) was opened on 23 September 2005, whose preparation period lasted for 3 years. More than 3000 objects and archive documents are presented to the researchers ’and the visitors’ interest in the museum. With the targeted financial and technical possibilities, it aims to reach the professional museology standards.

Since Turkish Folklore Research and Application Center does not have permanent staff, all the studies are conducted by the inspection of Turkish Folklore Research and Application Center‘s manager Prof. Dr . M. Öcal OĞUZ and by the post-graduate students who has gained part-time working scholarship and by the volunteer graduate students.