Somut Olmayan Kültürel Miras Enstitüsü Derneği


Contact: (+90 )505 233 68 52
Postal address: Gazi Mah. Şenol Cad. 29/1 Yenimahalle Ankara
Geographic Coverage of NGO’s expertise: Türkiye


Year of creation: 2012

Safeguarding measures:

- identification, documentation, research (including inventory-making)
- preservation, protection
- promotion, enhancement
- revitalization

Main areas of work related to the Convention:

The Institute carries out regular activities in different categories to attain its goals, particularly in line with the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. These activities can mainly be classified as exhibitions, festivals and celebrations, workshops, scientific meetings and performing arts. Photograph exhibitions on Turkish elements in the Representative List, idioms, public spaces generated by tradition help to represent, safeguard and illustrate key aspects of intangible cultural heritage bringing tangible and intangible heritage together. And these exhibitions are one of the examples of collaborative tendency of the Institute as it works with universities, NGOs, private sector, UNESCO and related government agencies. Festivals and celebrations, which are organized in cooperation with Ankara Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum, include new year celebrations related to tradition, rituals connected to traditional calendar, religion and mythology, national celebrations, season's greetings and some other traditional gatherings. They have been organized in a way that would encourage active involvement of groups and communities with the academic support of the Institute. Workshops with diverse themes (toy, traditional ointment, spoon puppet, marbling workshops etc.) give weight to living heritage performed by people. These experience sharing activities, which enable young people to experience heritage elements at first hand by "touching" and "making", create difference in emphasizing the "process" by demonstrating the stages of traditional creation, the key role of traditional knowledge in safeguarding. Scientific meetings are the organizations which would contribute directly to the richness and development of applications and revitalizations clustered around different forms of intangible cultural heritage. These meetings which are organized in coordination with NGOs and universities can also create opportunities to find and disseminate new ways for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Besides, these organizations may help universities, NGOs and local authorities to have a voice in the preparation process of national nominations and proposals for Representative Lists. The Institute values performing arts with the participation of minstrels, meddahs, storytellers, masters of Karagöz, etc. as they stand on one of the most effective parts in the transmission of heritage to the next generations. In coordination with Ankara Intangible Cultural Heritage Musuem, the Institute has organized many activities with masters including international ones. The arrangement of these kinds of activities around performing arts may well serve to promote sustainable transmissions of heritage in new contexts and support performers to keep their heritage alive.


As it is stated in the second article of Regulations of the Institute, the NGO is determined to research and conduct training activities within the context of oral traditions and expressions, preforming arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship which are described in the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and also other cultural conventions of UNESCO. To explain it inclusively, the Institute aims to contribute to the idea of safeguarding cultural heritage by sustaining it within the context of The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Institute seeks to contribute to processes of safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in national and international levels, possess the experience of transforming the aims and spirit of the Convention into action, collaborate for experience sharing and heritage management and eventually get involved in the implementation process of the Convention in Turkey. The Institute aspires to carry out researches on safeguarding and transmission of cultural heritage, organizing seminars and training programs, establish an archive and share materials with public by the help of publications, organize applied activities as part of sustainability, develop projects in cooperation with national and international associations, foundations and institutes which are academic and focus on culture such as universities, ICH museums and Turkish Folklore Research and Application Centers. Moreover, the Institute aims to provide civil and academic consultancy for the files presented on behalf of Turkey for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and encourage active participation of civil society in the policies of safeguarding of cultural heritage and the implementation process of policies.


The Institute has organized many joint events and activities to date with the involvement of transmitters of tradition such as minstrels, meddahs (public storytellers), taletellers, toy and puppet masters, etc. Being aware of the importance of masters for transmitting the heritage to the next generations, its members have been trying to provide a convenient environment for transmitters of tradition with the help of workshops, performing arts activities, festivals and celebrations. As the Institute is closely connected with Ankara Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum, it has the opportunity to bring together transmitters of tradition with students, children and other visitors of the museum. So children or students visiting the museum experience tales, Karagoz, Ebru, etc. at first hand and learn more of traditional knowledge. The Institute believes that, the right to participate in cultural heritage and the right to administer and transmit this heritage is principal. Social dialogue might be empowered enabling people directly to be a part of some organized initiatives which aim to designate social and cultural conditions of their habitat and future. The Institute, embracing this perspective, gives academic support for the activities of these museums emphasizing the need to involve communities, groups and practitioners. Also, the Institute helps these museums academically to coordinate and plan their activities for the visits of private and state schools, mostly primary and elementary students.