Each year the awards recognize contributions in various fields of the arts. The 2011 awards are being bestowed in the fields of art history, literature, literary criticism and traditional arts.
President Abdullah Gül, deciding among a list of nominees the prize committee had proposed earlier, elected to bestow the awards upon the 88-year-old Eyice, a professor of Byzantine art history; the 78-year-old Karakoç, a prolific poet and politician; the 74-year-old author and literary critic Hızlan; and the 74-year-old Çelebi, a world-famous master of Ottoman calligraphy, reported the Anatolia news agency.
The awards' recipients will be honored in a ceremony to be held at the Çankaya presidential palace. The date of the ceremony has yet to be announced.
The annual Presidential Grand Awards in Culture and Arts are aimed at recognizing both Turkish and/or foreign individuals and/or institutions that make significant contributions to Turkish culture and honoring them in the name of the state to encourage such contributions.
Last year's winners were İstanbul Modern, one of Turkey's outstanding museums dedicated in its entirety to contemporary art; Professor Ergin İnan, a contemporary Turkish painter of international fame; and historian Cemal Kafadar, a professor of Turkish Studies in Harvard University's department of history.