Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute has organized an event in Istanbul that will bring together representatives from the Global Public Diplomacy Network (GPDNet) to discuss issues related to cultural and public diplomacy and coexistence. The conference, which began yesterday in the historic Sultanahmet district, will end on Saturday.
Head of the Yunus Emre Institute, Şeref Ateş, drew attention in his opening speech to the increased significance of cultural diplomacy in "transformed public communication," saying the institute has filled the gap in Turkey's need in this regard.
"We provide wider knowledge of Turkish history, music, language, fine arts and other areas and promote Anatolian culture worldwide, which is the cradle of civilizations," Ateş said. He added that the institute has initiated many projects in coordination with GPDNet members.
The Yunus Emre Institute, which is named for the famous Turkish poet who lived from 1238 to 1320, has taught Turkish to nearly 100,000 people and has reached 600,000 people through cultural activities around the world since it was founded in 2009. It also organizes annual summer schools, where it brings 700 youngsters from different parts of the world to various provinces of Turkey to teach them the Turkish language, culture and traditions with practical activities.
It already has 53 offices in 42 countries and also cooperates with 83 universities in 44 countries as part of the Turkology Project. In total, the institute has 135 affiliates in 60 countries.
The institution is now the head of the GPDNet and is projected to remain so until 2019.