FIFTH GRANT MEETING OF UNESCO TURKEY NATIONAL COMMISSIONMinister of National Education Ziya Selçuk and Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy attended the online Fifth Grand Meeting Program organized on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of UNESCO and 70th Anniversary of the foundation of the UNESCO National Commission for Turkey.
Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk said during his speech at the meeting that organizations like UNESCO have a great role for sustainable peace and the need for peace has become clearer especially during the pandemic.
Pointing out the failure risk in achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals due to stagnation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Selçuk stressed that there is a need to work together in order to eliminate or reduce this risk.
It is important to prepare our children to the future with a modern approach
Selçuk stated that quality of education is a crucial element for the achievement of UNESCO's sustainable development and peace goals adding that, "Within this framework, our goal to "raise qualified individuals equipped with modern and upcoming skills who are interested in science and culture" as we mentioned in our 2023 Education Vision has become more important. It is important to prepare our children to the future with a modern approach and this is our goal."
Pointing out that Turkey halted face to face education in all schools in March like many other countries due to pandemic, Selçuk noted that some projects and projections prepared before the pandemic helped the country overcome the hardships that occurred during this period. Minister of National Education said that the Education Information Network (EBA), television channels and printed education tools had supported distance education and his Ministry has been working in an effort to eliminate learning loss in line with the principle of equal opportunity in education.
"It is clear that the role of cooperation between UNESCO Turkey National Commission and public institutions, nongovernmental organizations and universities is very important in terms of supporting our projects with UNESCO and increasing our country's visibility in the international arena," stated Selçuk.
Selçuk reminded that Hacı Bektaş Veli will be commemorated in 2021 upon the decision of UNESCO adding that his famous words "End of path that has no science leads only to darkness" will be their guide in their activities. He stated that UNESCO clubs at schools, university departments and the Learning Cities Program are among the few activities carried out in order to introduce universal values adapted by UNESCO for the public.
Minister Selçuk added that the Anatolia Tales Project and Child Games of Anatolia Project were carried out in cooperation with the UNESCO National Commission for Turkey.
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture and Tourism Nuri Ersoy pointed out in his speech during the meeting that prevention of worldwide poverty and achievement of sustainable development "without leaving no one behind" until the end of 2030 are among the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and said, "Then, no matter what the conditions are, we have to eliminate opportunity and right inequalities and provide human living conditions for everyone."
Noting that problems, disputes and conflicts are inevitable in a world where there is no equality and justice, Ersoy quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's words as, "The world is larger than five" and said Turkey has been carrying out humanity policies adamantly and continues to be number one in the world in terms of humanitarian aid in line with these words.
Minister Ersoy reminded that Turkey continues to maintain solidary with the world during the new type of corona virus pandemic and offered its helping hand to 155 countries and 9 international organizations and provided medical device and equipment support to those who need help without making any discrimination. "Through TİKA, Turkey provided important support in the fight against the pandemic with mask, protective aprons and disinfectant production and reached 1 million and 350 thousand people in 72 different countries during a period when the borders were closed during the pandemic," stated Ersoy.
"We are working with all our power in order to reduce the negative impacts of the pandemic"
Minister Ersoy stated that they have prepared a "Economic Stability Package" in order to provide relief for organizations and institutions active in music, movie and theatre sectors as well as museums and culture centers and artists during the quarantine due to pandemic.
"We are working with all our power to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic on the culture sector and make an easier transition back to normal life. We are using digital information technologies in order to open theatre plays, opera and ballet performances, concerts, electronic book collections and virtual museum visits in our archives to the use of our people," said Ersoy.
"UNESCO is an organization which can be viewed as the roof of protection of cultural assets"
Noting that Turkey has a magnificent richness in terms of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, Ersoy said knowledge, experience and cooperation of UNESCO National Committee of Turkey is essential in every project designed in this field.
Ersoy reminded that Turkey has 18 items in the list of World Heritage List and Intangible Cultural Heritage List and stressed that it is clear that 83 values mentioned in the Temporary Heritage List will increase this number.
Stating that this is not associated with only UNESCO, Ersoy stressed, "UNESCO is an organization which can be viewed as the roof of this subject. Protection of our cultural assets is a way of showing loyalty to the past and our responsibility for the future. Culture is our national identity. "
Stressing that Turkey is located in the richest civilization spot of the World, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said, "Our idea of protection of cultural values is not limited with only our productions but it includes embracing the heritage of all civilizations that lived in this soil. Nobody can deny that Turkey carried out delicate and careful activities in this regard. Recently, we have seen that some national and international circles are trying to create a negative impression about opening Ayasofya-I Kebir and Kariye Mosques for prayers. Like we witnessed in the elimination of this situation, coordinated work and support of UNESCO National Commission for Turkey and Ministry of Foreign Affairs with our Ministry has resulted in increase in the prestige and visibility of our country in the international arena.