“People can walk in here and feel that what they are seeing really evokes Turkey, honestly, because it was made by Turks and donated by Turks.” Dr. Gwen Sancar
TATV visited Sancar (pronounced Sun-jar) Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC) in Chapel Hill, NC. Meryem Ok interviewed with Dr. Gwen Sancar, Chief Operating Officer of the Center and the Co-founder of the Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation (AGSF).
STCCC is owned and operated by AGSF, a 501 (c) (3) organization. The center provides various educational and social services and events to increase an understanding of Türkiye. The center is named for Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Aziz Sancar and his wife, Gwen.
“When Aziz won the Nobel Prize, we thought, well, this will be an opportunity to use that prize money as seed money to start a campaign to raise more funds so that we could build a cultural center that would basically be our gift to the town of Chapel Hill, and hopefully would allow more students to come to this area of Chapel Hill, Durham, and State.” said Dr. Sancar.
“We have solar panels on our roof and geothermal wells under the parking lots. And so, this also decreases our utilization of electricity from the grid.”
“In the very near future, we hope to begin Turkish classes for children here. And we are also getting more involved with, I would say, non-Turkish events in the community, because we feel this is a way to bring people into the house, introduce them to Turkey, and to this Center.”
For more information about AGSF and STCCC, visit https://sancar.org