25th Anniversary of TURKSOY
A panel entitled “Erzurum: The Gateway to the Turkic World” was held within
the framework of events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the International Organization of Turkic
The panel held in the Ibrahim Erkal Dadas Culture and Art Center gathered the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Huseyin Yayman, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan Hazar Ibrahim,TURKSOY Secretary General, Ambassador Dusen Kasseinov, the Governor of Erzurum Seyfettin Azizoğlu, the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Erzurum Mehmet Sekmen, MPs of the AK Party from Erzurum Zehra Taşkesenlioğlu, Mustafa Ilıcalı and Ibrahim Aydemir along with the Provincial Head of the AK Party from Erzurum Emin Oz and many guests.
- Our aim is to contribute to the rapprochement among cities of the Turkic World from Erzurum to Bishkek, from Astana to Skopje and from Baku to Kazan -
In the opening speech he delivered at the panel, TUKSOY Secretary General Kasseinov stressed that this is the first event carried out within the framework of celebrations of the 25th anniversary of TURKSOY. Mr. Kasseinov further added that TURKSOY was established 25 years ago to strengthen cultural cooperation and ties of friendship and brotherhood among Turkic peoples. Mr. Kasseinov stressed that the aim for TURKSOY is to act as the UNESCO of the Turkic World and added: "Thanks to the cooperation among its member countries, TURKSOY revives the rich cultural heritage of the Turkic World through the promotion of its illustrious personalities such as Bilge Khan, Dedem Korkut, Kashgarly Mahmut, Fuzuli, Alpamysh and Koroglu amongst many others. This cooperation also made it possible to introduce cities of the Turkic World and their citizens to one another from Erzurum to Bishkek, from Astana to Skopje and from Baku to Kazan, thus contributing to their mutual rapprochement".
Kasseinov went on saying: "We have carried out many projects and we will further do so in the future. This year will be a great year for us as we will further go our way to raise the bar of our activities. We believe in the power of art and culture. Indeed, art does not separate people from eachother. On the contrary, it introduces them to eachother and brings them closer together through peace. We do not believe in the clash of civilizations. We believe in the alliance of civilizations and we support the rapprochement of cultures. Our activities aim at uniting people, not at marginalizing them. We are advocates of Yunus Emre's tolerance, Mevlana's philosophy, Korkut Ata's advices. These are indeed the most needed values of our time".
At the end of his speech, TURKSOY Secretary General Kasseinov handed over the plate of TURKSOY to the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Erzurum Mr. Sekmen'e in recognition of his contribution to the programme.
- We will build bridges between Erzurum and the Turkic World -
The Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Erzurum Mehmet Sekmen who also delivered a speech at the panel expressed his happiness to welcome participants in the city of Erzurum which is a city of the Silkroad as well as the gateway of Anatolia to the Caucasus and the Turkic World. Mr. Sekmen also stressed that Erzurum is a city with a rich cultural heritage featuring major historical and artistic works dating back to the Seljuk and Ottoman periods and that as such, it is also a city which played a Pioneer role in the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. Mr. Sekmen further expressed his wish to foster economic, social and cultural ties between TURKSOY and the Turkic World and added: “We are working to build economic and cultural bridges bridges between this historical city and kindred cities of the Turkic World which we share a common history and culture with. The International Organization of Turkic Culture has assigned itself an important mission, namely that of strengthening the ties of friendship and brotherhood among Turkic peoples sharing a common language and culture with a view to transmitting it to future generations. TURKSOY introduces the common history, literature, culture and art of Turkic peoples which played a key role in the course of history, and TURKSOY brings Turkic speaking states and peoples closer together. This year, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the International Organization of Turkic Culture which carried out countless activities on five continents to introduce Turkic culture to peoples and countries worldwide through various fields of art. On behalf of Kastamonu and its citizens, let me therefore congratulate and thank this institution of cultural diplomacy for its valuable activities.”
- We are further acting in unity of language, ideas and actions -
The Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Huseyin Yayman who also delivered a speech at the panel expressed his happiness to be in the historical city of Erzurum.
Minister Yayman who stressed that Erzurum is one of the most important cities of Turkic Islamic civilization said: "Erzurum was once the capital of Anatolia and one of the first provinces of Turkey. We are doing our best to turn Erzurum into the capital of culture and art in Turkey again."
Minister Yayman who also extended his gratitude to the Governor Azizoglu and the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality Sekmen for their contribution to the organization of the panel further said: "It has now been 25 years since TURKSOY, the UNESCO of the Turkic World has been established. For 25 years, we have carried out our activities in line with Ismail Gaspyraly’s maxim “unity in language, ideas and actions”. Our Ministry will hopefully further invest in Erzurum. We are currently building a library and a conference center in Erzurum and we will also organize an International Symposium on Erzurum."
In the speech he delivered at the panel, the Governor of Erzurum Seyfettin Azizoglu said that this Erzurum and its surroundings are an important region in terms of the history of Turkic and Islamic civilization. Mr. Azizoglu also added that due to its key position on a global scale, Erzurum has been facing difficult times for many years. Minister Azizoglu who said that as long as the Turkic World and Turkey exist, no harm can ever be done to any country in this region of the world further added: "Erzurum is the Gateway to Anatolia, it is the fortress of Islam. Erzurum is the bridge which links Anatolia, the Caucasus and Central Asia to one another. This historical crossroad city will host many wonderful events this year."
The opening speeches were followed by the panel discussion. The panel chaired by the Deputy Undersecretary of Public Order and Security Murat Yılmaz gathered the Deputy Secretary General of TURKSOY Prof. Dr. Fırat Purtaş, the columnist of the Akşam newspaper Emin Pazarcı, the Chairman of the Eurasian Authors’ Union Yakup Omeroglu and the Ambassador of Azerbaijan Hazar Ibrahim who presented their papers on ties among TURKSOY, the Turkic World and Turkic states.