"Spiritual Heritage from Ottoman Rumelia to the Present” Panel was organized by the contributions of Yunus Emre Institute, Okçular Foundation and International Balkan University. President of GNAT (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) Prof. Mustafa Şentop also joined the panel on the December 21.
President of GNAT Prof. Mustafa Şentop
On the occasion of the Turkish Education Festival on December 21, the "Spiritual Heritage from Ottoman Rumelia to the Present" Panel was organized by the contributions of Yunus Emre Institute, Okçular Foundation and International Balkan University on December 21. The panel was organized with the participation of President of GNAT Prof. Mustafa Şentop at the IBU Conference Hall.
The panel included the opening talks of IBU Rector Prof. Mehmet Dursun Erdem, Chairman of IBU Board of Trustees and Board of Directors Aydoğan Ademoski, Chairman of Okçular Foundation Board of Directors Haydar Ali Yıldız, President of the Northern Macedonian Constitutional Court Salih Murat and President of GNAT Prof. Mustafa Şentop.
In addition to the Yunus Emre Institute (YEI) project specialists, the directors of London, Rome, Vienna, Bucharest, Sarajevo and Pristina Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centers (YETCC) also participated in the event.
TÜRK KÜLTÜRÜ TÜM CANLILIĞIYLA BALKANLAR'DA
Şentop mentioned that the states and peoples were not only separated by borders during the Cold War Era, but they were also separated in mind, and during that process, which alienated peoples to each other, the distance between the souls also increased. Şentop mentioned that their contact with the Balkans, with which they were acquainted for hundreds of years, was severed. He also expressed that period had descended on humanity like a nightmare and blunted the memory of the societies. Şentop highlighted that it was Skopje that gifted us Yahya Kemal, one of the most important names in the Turkish poetry.
"Beyond Istanbul and Edirne, the traces of the Ottoman Empire can be seen in Rumelia with all its plainness and grace. You can have shadirvan conversations, shop at bedestens, sit at the shores of Vardar River and watch those who cross the Stone Bridge, and see the Davud Pascha Hammam right next to the Stone Bridge while strolling around Skopje. You can have conversations in our mother tongue in the street and find many deep traces of yourself within the persons you speak to. You can see all these in Ohrid, Bitola, Tetovo, Mostar, Shkodra, Berat, Prizren, Ioannina, Xanthi, Komotini and Thessaloniki. This is why we love these lands. This is why the Turkish people visit the Balkan countries the most via overseas tours. When they visit these lands and this geography, they see and feel the same as they do in our ancient cities of Beypazarı, Safranbolu, Taraklı and Akyazı. Therefore, our brothers and sisters who travel to these lands feel at home."
PRESIDENT OF THE NORTHERN MACEDONIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT MURAT:"WE ARE THE GUARDIANS OF A 700-YEAR OLD CIVILIZATION"
Northern Macedonian Constitutional Court Salih Murat
President of the Northern Macedonian Constitutional Court Salih Murat emphasized that the Turkish people were one of the most constructive peoples in his country and said, "The main element in the relationships between Turkey and Northern Macedonia are the kin. We are currently living in six states in Rumelia. We have been the constructive element everywhere, and we are constructing the spiritual bridges brought by our ancestors for hundreds of years. We have waited for our main state in the Northern Macedonia - Turkey relationship for years. We attained this in the past 10 years, and we, the kin, are now part of Ankara's agenda. Because we are the guardians of a 700-year old civilization."
ANATOLIA AND RUMELIA SHAPE EACH OTHER
President of Okçular Foundation Haydar Ali Yıldız mentioned that they had been organizing meetings every year to understand the conquests and conquerors, and that today's conversation subject was the heritage of civilization in Rumelia
President of Okçular Foundation Haydar Ali Yıldız
Yıldız mentioned that the ancestors first shaped the love and affection in the Balkans. "These are the lands in which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of our Republic, was born. These are the lands in which Mehmet Akif Ersoy, our poet of independence, was born. Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, who expressed our state of mind, spiritual world and walk of civilization in the finest words, was also a child of these lands. We have all witnessed how Anatolia shaped Rumelia, and likewise, how Rumelia shaped Anatolia."
Chairman of the IBU Board of Directors Aydoğan Ademovski thanked Şentop and his delegation for not leaving the Turkish people living in Northern Macedonia alone both on this auspicious festival and during the global pandemic.
Chairman of the IBU Board of Directors Aydoğan Ademovski (left) and IBU Rector Mehmet Dursun Erdem
IBU Rector Mehmet Dursun Erdem mentioned that the university had always played a pioneering role in organizing such social events since it was first founded and said that the IBU was the highest quality university in the country today.
The program started with the Qur'an recital by Hasan Yayla, the Imam Hatip of Okçular Foundation, and was attended by Hasan Mehmet Sekizkök, Turkey's Ambassador to Skopje; Nadir Alpaslan, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, as well as representatives from the Turkish institutions and organizations, ministers, parliamentarians and other guests.
Following the opening speeches, IBU Vice-Rector Prof. Şener Bilali and Historian Barış Can respectively delivered their own speeches to conclude the program.