The center of Yunus Emre Institute in Beijing, the capital of China, was opened with a magnificent ceremony.
The official opening ceremony of the 59th center of Yunus Emre Institute in Beijing, the capital of China, was held on May 20, 2021. Beijing Yunus Emre Institute recently completed its foundation works, and its official opening ceremony was held at the exhibition center Poli Theatre in Beijing. After the welcome ceremony for the distinguished guests, the ceremony continued with the opening program and the "Sound of Friendship" concert. During the reception, an exhibition comprised of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism photographs of famous archaeological sites of Turkey under the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List was held.
After the film that introduced Yunus Emre Institute and its activities, the YEI President Prof. Şeref Ateş' special video message was screened with Chinese and Turkish subtitles.
"COME, LET US MEET"
In his speech, the YEI President Prof. Şeref Ateş said that he wished that the center in Beijing would strengthen the dialogue between the two countries in many ways with respect to our Yunus' call, "Come, let us meet". Prof. Ateş pointed out that this opening corresponded with the "2021: The Year of Yunus Emre and Turkish" declared by the President of the Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the 700th death anniversary of Yunus Emre and stated that he wished all exchange of ideas and culture at Beijing Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center would result in health, peace and tranquility. In his message, Prof. Ateş also emphasized the fact that the opening and the program corresponded with the 50th year of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between the People's Republic of China and Republic of Turkey.
"HEARTS ARE THE HOME OF FRIENDS"
Afterwards, Turkey's Ambassador to Beijing A. Emin Önen took the stage to make his opening and greeting speech. In his speech, Ambassador Önen emphasized that another chain of Yunus Emre Cultural Centers commenced operations in Beijing and that this would help the members of two well-established cultures in two other ends of Asia that had interactions for thousands of years to understand each other's culture and traditions. Ambassador A. Emin Önen said, "This cultural center is also your home now. As Yunus Emre said, 'Hearts are the home of friends. We have come to create hearts’". Önen also expressed that the Turkish-Chinese relationships were becoming increasingly stronger in politics and commerce, in culture and tourism under the leadership of the presidents of both countries: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Xi Jinping.
Finally, the Chinese Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Zhang Xu took the stage to convey his congratulations and good wishes. In his speech, Chinese Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Zhang Xu mentioned that we have been witnessing a rapid development in Turkish-Chinese relationships in recent years, and the opening of Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center in Beijing would be a new milestone in our cultural relationships. Zhang Xu stated that they will provide all kinds of support the for Beijing Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center and ended his speech by saying, "This center will enhance the friendship and understanding between us".
THE SOUND OF FRIENDSHIP CONCERT WAS MAGICAL
During the opening speeches, a special film screening was held to introduce the poet and thinker Yunus Emre, one of the architects of our Turkish language, for the 2021 Yunus Emre Year declared by UNESCO due to the 700th death anniversary of Yunus Emre.
One of the most impressive parts of the official opening ceremony was the "Sound of Friendship" concert, designed and organized specifically for this night. The concept consultant of the concert was the Turkish Artist, mezzosoprano Tulu İçözü Aykan, who lives and continues her art activities in China, and works selected from the Turkish Opera were performed at the concert by Tulu İçözü Aykan and the piano of Polish musician Katarzyna Borek. Within the scope of the 2021 Year of Yunus Emre events, a work from Adnan Saygun's Yunus Emre Oratorio was also included in the repertoire for the precious memory of Yunus Emre. In addition, the artist Aykan performed three works from the Chinese opera in Chinese and received great appreciation. The Polish pianist Katarzyna Borek has many international performances and prestigious awards and has been delivering lectures in the field of piano at the Guangdong University in China since 2019. Besides the Turkish and Polish artists, soprano Zhou Miaochen from the Chinese National Opera and Dance Theatre also performed three Chinese folk songs. Xuxin Fan from the Chinese National Opera and Dance Theatre accompanied the Chinese soprano.
SAYINGS OF YUNUS EMRE WERE CONVEYED IN CHINESE
Many important names in culture, art, academia and press alongside numerous foreign diplomatic mission representatives living in Beijing participated in the opening program. The guests were given booklets about the concert as well as handbooks that introduced Yunus Emre Institute and its center in Beijing in the local language. The chapter in these handbooks which included the life of Yunus Emre in Chinese and some of his sayings and poems that were translated to Chinese with care left important marks in the minds of the guests within the scope of "2021: The Year of Yunus Emre and Turkish". The program was held according to the precautions taken as per the pandemic conditions and rules stipulated by the local public safety authorities.