The first branch of Yunus Emre Enstitüsü in South Africa, which claims the important Anatolian civilizations and carries the cultural heritage of these lands to various regions of the world, was officially opened on October 4th with attendance of Turkish Minister of National Education İsmet Yılmaz and Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş. Minister Yılmaz stressed the importance of Turkish instruction in promoting Turkish culture.
Establishment efforts were launched in 2013, and the first activities were organized by 2016 in Johannesburg Yunus Emre Enstitüsü, officially inaugurated by attendance of Minister of National Education İsmet Yılmaz and Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş. The Enstitü that launched its activities to introduce Turkish language through trainings and to promote Turkish culture in the region, offers services in a historical building in one of Johannesburg's most prestigious districts Houghton (Oaklands).
Minister Yılmaz: "Yunus Emre Enstitüsü will be the centre of love and brotherhood"
Minister Yılmaz made the opening speech stating that "Yunus Emre is a rare figure who expressed the content of Turkish people's hearts in the simplest form. We will make peace prevail around the world if we spread Yunus Emre's words to the world.” Underlining that one of the most important means of promotion is language instruction, Minister Yılmaz continued as follows: "We will introduce ourselves. One of the most important institutions for this purpose is Yunus Emre Enstitüsü. We take pride in our culture. We would like to present this wealth to our friends. If we get to know each other, everything will be easier. As Yunus Emre said, 'Come let us be friends, let us make life easy on us, Let us be loved ones and lovers'. This hopefully will become the centre of love and brotherhood. "
President Ateş: We bring the wisdom and tolerance of Anatolia to the world
Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş addressed Minister of National Education İsmet Yılmaz's contributions in the establishment and spreading of the Enstitü and thanked him for his efforts. Informing that Yunus Emre Enstitüsü carries out more than 1200 activities annually, Ateş said that in countries where Enstitü is active, the main goal of these operations is to increase the number of people who are connected with and love Turkey. Ateş marked that the activities of the Enstitü and the artists abroad, carry Anatolia's wisdom, tolerance and people-oriented approach to the entire world.
Ateş ended his speech as follows: "Of course we do not just bring our own culture to the world; we also bring cultural motifs of countries we are active in to Turkey, which will contribute to us and our culture and improve humanitarian values. In this sense, there is a broad variety of cultural values particularly in South Africa. I believe there will be more contact with Turkey with this centre."
The opening ceremony was attended by Turkish Ambassador to Pretoria Elif Çomoğlu Ülgen, Turkish Maarif Foundation Member of the Board of Trustees Prof. Dr. Ahmet Emre Bilgili, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr. Cahit Bağcı, former AK Party Düzce deputy Prof. Dr. Celal Erbay, former CHP Denizli deputy Mustafa Gazalcı, Ahmet Yesevi University President of the Board of Trustees Prof. Dr. Musa Yıldız and Ziya Selçuk as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations in South Africa and Turkish citizens who reside in the country.
They teach Turkish in South Africa with 11 official languages
Serving in a historical building in one of Johannesburg's most prestigious districts Houghton (Oaklands), Yunus Emre Enstitüsü organizes activities such as Traditional Turkish Handicraft Courses, Turkish Cinema Days as well as actively teaching Turkish language. As of April 10th, 49 students from the age of 7 to 74 have been enrolled in Enstitü's Turkish Language Course. Six students from Johannesburg Yunus Emre Enstitüsü participated in the "Turkish Summer School" program organized by the Enstitü and had the opportunity to learn more about Turkey.