The Korean Cultural Center in Ankara has marked today the 8th anniversary of its establishment with a special ceremony. Yunus Emre Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş attended as a special guest representing Turkey to the vivid and colorful ceremony. The program was attended also by Ambassador of South Korea to Ankara Hong-ghi CHOI, Korean Cultural Center Director Dong Woo CHO and many Turkish and Korean guests.
The ceremony kicked off with interesting shows staged by Turkish trainees attending various courses on Korean culture at the Korean Cultural Center. The shows by young people playing Korean folk tunes using traditional Korean musical instruments as well as by Turkish athletes learning taekwondo were breathtaking. The performance by our young people who came in the first in Turkey qualifiers for 2019 K-Pop amateur performance and dance competition was followed by the show by the ensemble consisting of Turkish and Korean musicians who were cheered by the guests. The anonymous Turkish song "Üsküdar'a Giderken," performed in Korean and Turkish in the form of a oratorio by the Turkey-Korea Friendship Choir, directed by a Korean conductor, secured heated applause from the audience. The trainees who attended Korean language courses and won the writing and speaking contests were given various gifts by Ambassador Hong-ghi CHOI.
The closing and thanking speeches were delivered by Ambassador Hong-ghi CHOI and Yunus Emre Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş.
In his speech, Choi drew attention to common values between the two countries. "The Korean Cultural Center, established in Ankara on October 13, 2011, is making great contributions to improve friendship between the two countries. The activities at our center in Ankara are followed by 4000 visitors in a month. Indeed, our center enjoys great interest in Turkey due to the great the historical ties and similarities in the mindsets between Korea and Turkey. Likewise, Yunus Emre Institute's center in Seoul, which became functional at the beginning of this year, is functioning like a major bridge between the two countries," he said.
As the program's special guest, Ateş stressed the contribution the concept of culture has made to the world peace. "Contrary to what many believes, culture does not consist of refined and expensive pleasures. It has a much broader meaning. It comprises traditions, thinking styles, behavioral forms concerning the civilization, lifestyles of people, and even laments. Promotion of this complex construct known as culture in different countries contributes to world peace. In this context, the Korean Cultural Center continues to contribute to the reduction of conflicts and reinforcement of peace," he said.
Following the ceremony, Choi and Ateş had a tête-à-tête meeting. During the meeting, the cultural and artistic projects which can be conducted jointly or within the framework of the Global Public Diplomacy Network (GPDNet), which was founded in 2014 largely thanks to efforts by South Korea (Korea Foundation) and Turkey (Yunus Emre Institute). It was reported that the efforts will be launched with concrete projects for the extensive promotion of Turkey in Korea.
The Korean Cultural Center was established in Ankara on October 13, 2011 to enhance cultural exchange between South Korea and Turkey, and it has been organizing numerous cultural activities and organizing courses on Korean culture such as Korean language, Korean cuisine, taekwondo, K-Pop Academy, calligraphy, and traditional Korean musical instruments. Being a state-run institution affiliated with the Korean government, the Korean Cultural Center cooperates with Korean companies, Veterans' Association of Turkey and other Turkish civil society organizations (CSOs), and hosts the veterans of the Korean war and their families to reinforce fraternity between the two countries.