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News

A Profound Legacy: Philanthropy and Ankara Foundations Symposium

Koç University Vehbi Koç Ankara Studies Research Center (VEKAM) hosted the “A Profound Legacy: Philanthropy and Ankara Foundations Symposium” on April 15-16, 2019. During the two-day event, the meaning of philanthropy, different approaches to philanthropy today and contemporary practices, as well as foundations in Ankara in the Ottoman Era in light of archival documents were discussed.

The symposium began with opening speeches by Erdal Yıldırım, General Director of Vehbi Koç Foundation, established to contribute to the development of Turkey and the community in the fields of education, culture and healthcare and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and Professor Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu, Director, VEKAM.

On the first day of the symposium, held in VEKAM’s Orchard House in Keçiören, Ankara, discussion topics included the meaning of philanthropy as a concept, different approaches to philanthropy and contemporary perspectives while the second day focused on Ankara Foundations in the Ottoman Period.

The symposium program also included a book launch: “Contributions of a Civilian Merchant to Ankara: Ibadullah Foundation”. The book, based on original archives, focuses on the structures and activities of the Ibadullah Foundation, a leading institution of the period, in which the late Vehbi Koç's father and grandfather were among the trustees.

 VKV says, “The Onus is On Us”
Speaking at the opening of the symposium, Erdal Yıldırım, General Director, Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV), noted that VKV was the first private foundation in Turkey and established exactly 50 years ago to revive the almost-forgotten tradition of waqfs, which go way back in history. “For 50 years, our foundation has embraced ‘The Onus is On Us’ approach and worked without saying ‘someone else will’. Vehbi Koç Foundation has been an important role model that has contributed greatly to the development of civil society and philanthropy in our country. We put our heart and soul into everything we do. As we leave half a century behind, we will be hosting a series of events around the theme of ‘philanthropy’ this year.”

A reference center on Ankara
In her speech at the opening of the symposium, Professor Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu emphasized that VEKAM, with 25 years of history, serves the function of being Ankara’s memory with its library and archives containing rich information resources. Dr. Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu noted that VEKAM has become a primary reference center that includes all kinds of collections related to Ankara.

Contributions of a Civilian Merchant to Ankara: Ibadullah Foundation
The book, written by Ali Kılcı and Gökçe Günel, focuses on the structures and activities of the Ibadullah Foundation, an important period institution, whose trustees included the late Vehbi Koç's father and grandfather. The book, based on archival documents, discusses Ibadullah Foundation in detail through archival endowment documents of the ‘Waqf of Hoca Mehmed, son of Hoca İbadullah’, trustees mentioned in the endowment, its services and conversion to Hoca Yusuf Waqf as well as the Ankara Tahtakale Market where the Ibadullah Mosque and Yusufiye Madrasah are located, and the properties of the foundation. The book also includes the Koç family tree.

Please click for more information about the symposium.