Anatolian Artisans

Mission Statement

ANATOLIAN ARTISANS (AnARt) is a non-profit, tax-exempt (501c3) organization dedicated to serving the needs of low-income artisans and raising awareness about arts and culture of Turkey. AnARt has a unique mission to:

  • Provide sustainable economic benefits to low-income artisans through product development, marketing and training.
  • Raise awareness about arts and culture of Turkey by organizing exhibitions, festivals, fairs, conferences and seminars.

Who We Are

Based in Washington Metropolitan area with coordinators in Turkey, AnARt is a small but growing organization supplemented by a network of expert consultants.

Board of Directors

Yildiz Yagci, Founder & President
Malcolm R. Pfunder, Treasurer
Susan Boyette, Secretary
Zeyneb Usakligil-Lange
Margaret C. Pearson
Sara Bengur
Nil Sismanyazici Navaie

International Advisors

Nurhan Atasoy
Esin Atil
Belkis Balpinar
Ela Bhatt
Deniz Betil
Ibrahim Betil
Aysegul Dinckok
Ginny Eiseman
Elif Gokcigdem
Peggy Hanson
Nur Ilkin
Nil S. Navaie
Catherine C. O’Farrell
Gul Berna Ozcan
Burhan Senatalar
Jaylan Turkkan
Mehmet Ural

Coordinators in Turkey

Emine Usakligil
Nuran Sivri
Sema Sen


What We Do

Product Development

AnARt forms alliances with Turkish and international designers and marketing experts to help artisans;

  • design new products that will sell utilizing their traditional skills
  • improve quality of existing cultural products in order to compete in world markets
  • benefit from fair trade and labor practices


AnARt assists artisans to market their products in domestic and international markets through:

  • Museum Gift Shops
  • Wholesale and retail outlets
  • Trade Shows, Festivals, Fairs
  • Internet


AnARt provides entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise management training for the low-income artisans to start their own businesses or become a productive member of a group. The program provides fundamental skills in micro-business management and, at the same time, instills greater confidence and self-esteem in participants. The training course is based on discovery-learning methodologies where participants absorb business concepts through activities and discussions which are stimulated by written and visual materials. The objective of the overall program is to build the capacity of local trainers to deliver entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise training to their communities. Ms. Yasemin Bilici who participated in an AnARt training at Sanliurfa in 2002 wrote this:

“At home, in addition to my sister and my mother, we had my grandmother and grandfather, as well as my bedridden father who has been paralyzed for the past 15 years.

I had taken a business skills/micro-enterprise training course sponsored by Anatolian Artisans. The course I took taught me to not remain idle and how to run my own business. I believe that the education I received from the course sponsored by Anatolian ARtisans has played a very large role in my success…..

This shop draws a lot of interest. Domestic and foreign tourists take notice of our shop because the products we sell are native to Urfa and also women are employed here. We are the only female shopkeepers in Urfa. I have based my business on the concept that WOMEN CAN BE PRODUCTIVE. I enjoy the appreciation and compliments expressed by an increasing number of people. Some people tell me that they wish their women could do something like this. I enjoy serving as a role model in Urfa.”

Cultural Programs

Raising awareness about the Turkish arts and culture is an integral part of AnARt’s activities. Few people know the beauty and complexity of the Turkish traditional/contemporary arts and arts of the Anatolian civilizations through the ages. Such programs continue to achieve the following goals:

  • Educate public about rich cultural heritage of Turkey
  • Create demand for Turkish cultural products in the US, the biggest market in the world for international art and hand made products
  • Generate income for artists/artisans
  • Raise funding for AnARt training programs for low income artisans
  • Promote artists/artisans outside of Turkey
  • Develop cultural/educational/artistic exchange programs and create a better understanding between societies
  • Re-introduce and re-acquaint the best of Turkish culture to Americans of Turkish descent
For more information about our past, current and upcoming cultural programs, please visit our Events page »