The conference entitled “The Role of Cultural Industries in Cultural Diversity” was held in Istanbul on July 12, bringing together about 75 participants from various regions of Turkey as well as guest speakers from Belgium, Germany, and Canada.
This event, organized by the Cultural Policy and Management Research Center (KPY) at Istanbul Bilgi University and Media@McGill, was aimed at raising the Turkish cultural industries representatives’ awareness of the importance of cultural diversity and to encourage them to get involved in its implementation. On this occasion, many participants were introduced for the first time to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Artists, academics, NGOs, cultural industries professionals, and representatives from the Ministry of Culture and local administrations discussed the predominant role held by cultural industries in the promotion of diversity.
According to Serhan Ada, cultural management professor at Bilgi University, vice president of the Committee for Cultural Diversity in the Turkish national commission at UNESCO, and co-organizer of the symposium, the event reached its goals:
“The representatives of cultural industries understood that cultural diversity is not solely the matter of an international convention but that it is part of a vital praxis. In that sense, the symposium is a cornerstone in a very long way towards greater objectives. These objectives are, [the ratification of the UNESCO Convention by Turkey and the creation of a national Coalition for Cultural Diversity].”
The Prime Minister’s Office has already approved the draft law for the ratification of the Convention and sent it to the Turkish National Assembly.
A first version of the Turkish Coalition for Cultural Diversity, called “Cultural Diversity Watch”, will be created within the next few months.