Delivering an address at the inauguration ceremony of African Culture House and Handicrafts Market, First Lady Erdoğan said: “African Culture House is an expression of our sensitivity about women’s problems without any discrimination of religion, language or race, and an indication of our fraternity.”
African Culture House and Handicrafts Market, a project coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and run under the auspices of First Lady Emine Erdoğan, was inaugurated with a ceremony in Ankara’s historical neighbourhood of Hamamönü.
Among those attending the inauguration ceremony on May 25, establishment day of the African Union, were first ladies, MPs, wives of ministers, officials and civil society representatives from African countries.
“AFRICAN CULTURE HOUSE WILL SERVE AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN HEARTS”
First Lady Erdoğan addressed her African and Turkish guests during the inauguration ceremony. African students studying in Turkey also delivered speeches and read Turkish poems.
Commencing her address by wishing Allah’s mercy upon soldiers who became martyr in the province of Mardin as a result of a bomb attack by the separatist terrorist organization and conveying condolences to the relatives of the martyrs and the whole nation, First Lady Erdoğan stated that African Culture House and Handicrafts Market would “serve as a bridge between hearts and as a meeting point for Africans living in Turkey.”
“WE WISH TO CONTRIBUTE TO PEACE AND STABILITY IN AFRICA”
Underlining the increasingly deepening relations between Africa and Turkey since 2005, the First Lady said: “Turkey’s only wish is to contribute to peace and stability in Africa. Turkey wishes the traces of colonialism to be eradicated from Africa, and resources of the continent to be used for the benefit of African people. That is why our African policy is grounded on a principle that seeks African solutions to African problems.”
Civil wars, coups, terror and resulting instabilities undermine the power of Africa and result in poverty and many other problems related to health and education, the First Lady stressed, adding that women and children live the gravest difficulties.
“THIS PROJECT IS A PRODUCT OF FAIR MARKET UNDERSTANDING”
Reminding her visit to Africa, First Lady Erdoğan said she learnt during her visit that handicrafts produced by African women were being exported at prices far lower than their true values just to be sold at expensive boutiques in western countries. The First Lady noted that, the project of ‘African Culture House and Handicrafts Market’ was “the product of a fair market understanding that would allow African handicrafts to be sold at their true values in Turkey.”
“AFRICAN CULTURE HOUSE AND HANDICRAFTS MARKET IS A CHARITY MARKET”
The revenues of this market will be sent to African women, the First Lady underscored, and she continued: “African Culture House is an expression of our sensitivity about women’s problems without any discrimination of religion, language or race, and an indication of our fraternity. All the revenues of this non-profit market will be sent to African women under the supervision of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and relevant civil society organizations. In this regard, African Culture House and Handicrafts Market is a charity market. It will be of a modest contribution to family budgets of African women and to the solution of their problems related to health and education.”
Stating that African Culture House would also serve as point where African students and foreign mission officials would hold various cultural events, First Lady Erdoğan thanked those who contributed to the project.
Following the speeches, First Lady Erdoğan and her guests cut the opening ribbon of African Culture House, which is located at an Ankara mansion that was constructed in line with 19th-century civilian architecture.
DINNER IN HONOR OF AFRICAN GUESTS
Afterwards, First Lady Erdoğan hosted a dinner at the Presidential Guest House in honor of African guests on the occasion of the inauguration of African Culture House. Among those attending the dinner were Hadja Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady of Guinea; Oludolapo Osinbajo, wife of Vice President of Nigeria; Keita Aminata Maiga, First Lady of Mali; Denise Bucumi, First Lady of Burundi; Qamar Ali Omar, First Lady of Somalia; Jocelyn Rugunda, wife of Prime Minister of Uganda; Roman Tesfaye, wife of Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Benjamin A. Roberts, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Gambia; Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts of Ghana; and BE Théodore Mugalu, Special Advisor to the President of Democratic Republic of Congo; as well as Semiha Yıldırım, wife of Prime Minister of Turkey; and Betül Sayan Kaya, Minister of Family and Social Policies of Turkey.