Turkey is experiencing difficult times. Not only is the region unstable; domestic policy also seems to be extremely tense. This also affects Dutch-Turkish relations. Nevertheless, Turkey is a crucial partner for security, migration, economics and European cooperation, among other things. Moreover, the historical and cultural ties between the Netherlands and Turkey go back 400 years.
Those are just some of the reasons why cultural cooperation with Turkey remains extremely important. Turkey offers Dutch artists, professionals and cultural organisations inspiration and reflection. The other way round, the Netherlands is interesting for the Turkish cultural sector because of the possibilities it offers for exchange and presentation.
Connecting role for culture
The complex geopolitical developments and the fact that Turkey is such an important partner for the Netherlands are reasons in themselves to continue cultural cooperation with Turkey in the coming years.
The Dutch Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General in Istanbul will especially make a case for cultural exchange in the areas of the performing arts, film (children’s films and documentaries in particular) and the Dutch language and literature. An important part of this is introducing the varied Dutch culture to people throughout all of Turkey, not just in Istanbul. To achieve this, the diplomatic network is working closely with Dutch Performing Arts, the Netherlands Film Fund, EYE Film Institute, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and DutchCulture.
Interested to learn more about the Turkish cultural field? On our website, you can find a comprehensive mapping of the Turkish cultural field.
Turkey at a glance
featuring 244 artists
12 months (2019)
discipline in 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalisation. To make sure the program fits your project, contact the advisors of the fund before starting the process of application. These are funds:
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for foreign contemporary art platformsto present work by Dutch(-based) living artists. Invited artists can also apply.
> Travel grants to travel to foreign contemporary art platforms for a lecture, workshop or performance.
Cultural Participation Fund
for Communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.
Netherlands Enterprise Agency
for the Creative Industries
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2019/2020.
The grant organisations in Turkey are limited in number in comparison to the EU countries. In order to be eligible for these financing opportunities it is in most cases necessary to have a partner based in Turkey. Only people or institutions registered in Turkey can apply for funding, unless it is noted to be otherwise. Therefore we advise you to ask your Turkish partner organisation to apply for funding in Turkey, while you can search additional support at funding bodies in the Netherlands or at the Consulate of the Netherlands in Istanbul.
Furthermore, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ankara or the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul have an extensive network in the local cultural sector and in-depth knowledge of its cultural institutions, organisations and theatres. The Embassy can advise on opportunities for cooperation. In addition, they can provide grants to local cultural institutions that present Dutch cultural works in Turkey. They also help Dutch artists and creative entrepreneurs in increasing their visibility.
Doing your research beforehand and finding local partners is essential. You can use the DutchCulture Database by simply going to the search option in the upper left corner, and search for ´Turkey´ or any city you are interested in. This way you will see which Dutch artists are already active in which areas. DutchCulture has also prepared a very useful source-Mapping Turkey- containing a comprehensive survey of the cultural field put together by local experts in visual arts, design, film, heritage, publishing, youth and participatory projects.
Here are some names of grant organisations and foundations operating in Turkey: Foundation for Civil Society (Sivil Toplum icin Destek Vakfı), Sabancı Foundation (Sabancı Vakfı), Saha Association (Saha Derneği) and SODES.
Furthermore, there are other funding programmes in the frame of the European Union such as Think for Civic Society (Sivil Düşün) and the European Commission-COSME for sustainable and circular fashion industry among others.
Since Turkey has withdrawn from Creative Europe (2014-2020), there is unfortunately no funding opportunities within this major funding programme. Turkey can primarily participate as a third country.
Turkey is included in the wide network of Horizon 2020, the largest EU Research and Innovation programme, scheduled for 7 years (2014 to 2020). During this time, a substantial budget, equating to around €70 billion of funding is allocated for international research and innovation projects.
The program offers opportunities for every organization or entrepreneur who is active in research, technological development and innovation. Information about projects and activities part of the H2020 programme in Turkey can be found here (https://ufuk2020.org.tr/en).
If you are looking for travel grants, check Vision STEP. In addition, existing networks in Turkey can help you further on your way.
It is a good idea to engage local professionals and publicists, that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience and region. The Dutch community living in Turkey and their various networks based on Turkish soil may be helpful in promoting your work.
Make sure to contact the Embassy to let them know about your projects, and don’t forget to let DutchCulture know! This way you will be included in our Database and become part of our network.
EU citizen need to obtain a visa to enter Turkey, you find practical information on the website of the Dutch Embassy in Turkey on this topic. You can easily purchase an electronic visa online through the official website of the Turkish government, which is also available in Dutch. Be aware for spam and online frauds pretending to be agencies procuring e-visum for Turkey. It is also wise to check the rules with your country´s representatives in the Netherlands, or you can ask the DutchCulture Mobility Info Point.
Disclaimer: The information given above is mainly provided by the Turkish authorities. In case of any doubt or further questions, please contact the Dutch embassy in Ankara.
Find out exactly what the rules are that a gallery, stage or theatre upholds, before engaging in a cooperation. If you find obstacles on your way, you will have enough time to apply for permits or find other solutions. Always make sure that your health insurance will cover you across borders.
In the DutchCulture Database you can figure out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country and city. For residencies the organisation Transartists, which is also a part of DutchCulture, is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.