Sarıyer's ANNUAL AWARD FOR LITERATURE was given to famous author and composer Zülfü Livaneli. The award was presented to Livaneli, by Mayor Şükrü Genç, during the annual Sarıyer Literature Days.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
The White Seagull award has become the symbol of the annual Literature Days for the 4th consecutive year.

During the activities, Mayor Genç also met the people of Sarıyer from all walks of life. Author Zülfü Livaneli thanked the Mayor and his mayoral team, for "Staging the best examples of left wing local governance"

At an interview,  world famous author Zülfü Livaneli said :

What the Sarıyer Municipality is doing is a good example of what the world's other civilised countries doing. Which is, helping the readers meet the authors. And the people of Sarıyer have also taken their share. It is also quite remarkable that the White Seagull Literature Award was given to the Great Author Yaşar Kemal. Look at Atatürk's struggles, to Nazım Hikmet's, to Sabahattin Ali's. It has been never easy on this land.  Reactionary activities have always been a menace in this country. Free speech is always a fear factor for reactionaries. Because  speech is very effective. Where speech meets music, it becomes even more effective. Those who have banned Nazım Hikmet's works, have also banned my  music on Nazım's poems. Because they are still afraid of Nazım's speech. Instead, they want to replace their rightist and reactionary literature. But do not forget that; literature, music and all sorts of art involves love, passion, affection, solidarity and leftist values.  If an artist is not leftist he or she can't do anything. Who else can possibly capture the "storm of Nazım Hikmet"?.

Speaking at the award presentation ceremony, Mayor Şükrü Genç said:

"I am proud to present this award to Zülfü livaneli today. Last year we gave it to the great author Yaşar Kemal, who wasn't able to attend due to health problems. We also named our newly built cultural center, after him.    I had a dream to name this center Yaşar Kemal.. Because he was the first novelist that I have read when I was a child. Unfortunately we could not bring him on this stage, last year.  We were sorry that, this was hiz last award of a brilliant life full of awards. The White Seagull is the symbol of Sarıyer. This year we present this award to another very precious friend. I still keep a long playing vinyl record of Zülfü Livaneli, which was banned by the authorities. In that recorded album he sings a song about Ulaş Bardakçı, which goes like : "Hele Ulaşa Ulaşa..." .. This was how I first met Zülfü Livaneli's work.  So, it is an honour for me to give this award to such a master artist, to such a friend.  He has won a lot of awards, but while he goes over his awards one day, we hope he remembers the significance of The White Seagull Award.."