By Nazli Yuzbasioglu
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s foreign minister on Wednesday marked Turkish Language Day and the European Day of Languages.
In a message coinciding with the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York, Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed the importance of language as a means of “preserving and maintaining cultural heritage.”
“Hence, in a world where over 6,000 languages are spoken, language is the only tool to sustain the particularities and elegance of a culture,” he added.
Encouraging the learning of new languages, Cavusoglu says this helps mutual understanding and communication as well as the preservation of cultural linguistic heritage.
Cavusoglu cited the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and mystic poet Mevlana Rumi to illustrate the value of language in shaping humanity’s horizons as well as its role in facilitating better understanding and overcoming barriers between various cultures.
“The European Union has prioritized multiculturalism with its principle of ‘unity in diversity’ and has supported this with its principle of multilingualism. On this occasion, I would like to hail Sept. 26, Turkish Language Day and European Day of Languages,” he said.
First marked in 2001, the European Day of Languages has since been observed annually by the initiative of the Council of Europe.