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Profile of the event

When Peace Comes - 2004

Turned out a poetry marathon led by children...

(24 April 2004 - New York) Light Millennium, Not-for-profit Organization Inc. organized the event, "When Peace Comes" on the day of Children's Day, 23 April 2004; aiming to encourage children and youth to write and read poetry. This special day was dedicated to children and youth. It was celebrated joyfully by children and their parents at the Turkish House. This event had also been given a start to the series of  the Turkish Cultural Festival which is organized by the Turkish American Federation Association. The Turkish American Women's League contributed to the event as well.

Bircan ÜNVER, President of the Light Millennium, introduced the
When Peace Comes's concept to the audience of the event

"Olsun da Gor/When Peace Comes," the poem of Melih Cevdet Anday had been the inspiration of the event for the Founder of Light Millennium, Bircan Ünver, who was the originator of the concept of "When Peace Comes." It was launched in tandem with Figen Bingül, the General Secretary of the Light Millennium. In her introduction, Ms. Ünver declared the focal aim in planning this event. "We wanted to celebrate the 23 April here in NYC with our children who have been brought up in NYC. With the accompaniment of our favorite songs from Anatolia, we attempt to provide a peaceful environment where our children can express their feelings, opinions, and hopes with their own poems in two languages," said Ms. Ünver.

--Defne Halman, renowned eloquent theater artist both in Turkey and America.

7 year-old Deniz Bingül, and Bircan Ünver hosted the event with Defne Halman,
and welcomed the guests. The participant students were announced and invited to the stage
successively for sharing their poems with the guests.

The students from Ataturk Elementary School, Amity School, and Pioneer School of Science articulated their feelings, hopes, and expectations about whether it was in regards to the present or the future. They also revealed how sensitive they are about the daily world problems reciting their own poems in an intimate environment. Celebrating their day joyfully, the youngsters turned the event into a poetry marathon with the selected themes which included: Peace, Friendship, Humanity, Poverty, Love for Humanity, Harmony, Unity, Honesty-Transparency, Global Awareness, Change, Hope and Expectations, or Future. By means of immortal Turkish poems and songs-Ali Kaya, Defne Halman, and Gokalp Disiacik impressed the audience as well as the children did.

Ali KAHYA with the Amity School's Studens Choir

Ali Kaya, the music teacher at Ataturk School, contributed to the event with  selected Turkish and global songs and poems. He accompanied Amity School's students choir with the piano while they were singing the master piece songs from the Beatles, "Let It Be" and Senay's, "Sev Kardesim/Love My Friend." Gokalp Disiacik cheered 150 people by playing his stringed instrument and singing the mile stones from Pir Sultan, Asik Veysel, and Zulfu Livaneli. Additionally, Defne Halman read poetry from Yunus Emre, Mevlana, Nazim Hikmet, and sang Bob Dylan's, "Blowing In The Wind" in the translated version made by Selahattin Eyupoglu.

The names of the 50 students who had expressed their feelings and ideas either in Turkish or English are as follows: Cisil Acikay, Melih Akgok, Hilal Akici, Aycin Aktas, Damla Bek, Deniz Bingül, Selman Kazanci, Umut Yücel, Selma Batca, Derya Teke, Mehmet Celikay, Omer Teke, Metin Can Elmadag, Nilufer Can, Cagla Fidan, Nilsu Demirci, Leyla Dereyayla, Mehmet Hozat, Senem Doruk, Burcu Kandaz, Songul Yalcin, Azra Yüksel, Firdevs Gursoy, Mert Keceli, Yasemin Yucel, Zeynep Kilik, Betul Kalkan, Arzu Kir, Eza Koch, Ebru Kir, Yasmin Lalic, Ilksen Kirmizi, Furkan Kocak, Cagatay Oncu, Ozlem Nur Mutlu, Bilal Oz, Sinan Ulu, Aysegul Polat, Neslihan Talu, Sefa Engi, Baris Tokac, Merve Tejaoglu, Tunahan Sonat, Oguzhan Ulutas, Tugba Bayram, Ebru Bodur, Kevser Yaglidere, Ozge Zeybek, Adem Yildiz ve Mine Karakus.

The presidents and teachers who had helped children for rehearsals and preparation included: Tulay Taskent, Adem Dokmeci, and Osman Oztoprak.  They were prized by the Light Millennium with certificates to thank for their advocates as well as to the contributing artists of the event such as Defne Halman, Ali Kahya, and Gokalp Disiacik.

The stated schools, Townsend Harris High school, HAFTR High School, and Hillcrest High School had sent 150 poems for the event. At the time of the event, the number of poems that were exceeding 150 stated to be wonderful, and all the students who attended the event were announced to receive a certificate for their splendid performances. Since it is not a race or competition, but an influential event for children, Osman Oztoprak, the President of Pioneer Academy of Science declared that the number of poetry written by his students was 60; however, only 11 of them had been chosen to be read.

Initially, Erdogan Dur, the president of Amity School confirmed its participation in December. Under the management of Adem Dokmeci, the students started preparations for the event back in January. The first workshop in writing and reading the Turkish poems had begun and was led by the President of Ataturk Elementary School, Tulay Baskent. The last school that had confirmed the attendance to the event was Pioneer Academy of Science.

At the end of the event, all the families, students, and teachers had accompanied  the poem, "Olsun da Gor," (in Turkish) lead and read by Ali Kahya. The event wound up joyfully hoping to hold this event in the following years with more contributions, and to take this event to a global platform.

Gokalp DISIAÇIK, cheered 150 attendees of the event by playing his stringed instrumen
t and singing the mile stones from Pir Sultan, Asik Veysel, and Zulfu Livaneli

About Light Millennium:

Light Millennium formally incorporated in 2001 in New York as a not-for-profit organization and is tax deductible. Since January 2000, L.M. has been gathering the Turkish American culture together, as well as aiming to convince a global community via encouraging everyone to publish their ideas through website from ways of life including: producing television programs, special screenings and organizing exhibitions, poetry events in general cultural events, and also conferences. The organization is led by Bircan Ünver, who is against any kind of discrimination in religion, ideology, culture, and nationality; and puts all effort for embracing all ideas globally.

For their contributions, thanks to all below volunteers,
Videography: Celaleddin Topbas, Gokce Isil Tuna, Baris Ünver
Digital Photography: Funda Erol, Emir Bingül,
Event Preparation and Public Relations: Hande Ilsever, Gokce Ilsever, Aysel Toprakli
Thanks to Turkish American Federation Associations, Assistant to the Director: Pinar Senveli for their support and contribution from the day the event has first been introduced.

At last, special thanks to the President of the Turkish House, Hasan Ozdemir, and his team.

-- For all list of the poems>>>

-- When Peace Comes - Poetry Writing & Reading Project

Introduction, Themes & Aim - 2003-2004

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YES For The Global Peace Movement, YES Loving & Caring Each Other, YES Greatness in Humanity, YES Saving Our Unique Mother Earth,
YES Great Dreams For Better Tomorrows, YES Emerging Positive Global Energy, YES National and Global Transparency, and YES Lighting Our Souls & Minds.
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