By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – The Yunus Emre Institute in London with its series of cultural activities and trainings has been successfully promoting Turkish culture.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mehmet Karakus, director of the London branch, said cultural activities have been conducted at the center since 2010.
Stating that the aim of the Yunus Emre Institute is to create "new friends of Turkey abroad", Karakus said the courses offered promote the Turkish language and culture.
Art and craft courses include illustration (tezhip), calligraphy, marbling and miniature painting.
Music courses teach students to play oud and ney, traditional Turkish guitar and flute, respectively.
Students can register either by visiting the center located near Maple Street or making a phone call.
Courses last for nearly eight weeks, he said, adding that the new session will start in October.
Karakus added that the institute will take a student group to Istanbul on Oct. 22-27.
There are more than 56 branches of Yunus Emre Institute across the world, providing an opportunity to people abroad to learn Turkish culture and art, he said.
– Cooperation with British institutes
The center will also host various events in collaboration with British institutes, as part of an agreement inked between Turkey and the U.K. during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to London earlier this year.
“We have film activities with King’s College, Turkish teaching activities with the Cambridge University and various projects with the British Library,” Karakus said.
“We have a project to catalogue handwritten manuscripts at the Cambridge University’s library.”
Karakus said an academic would soon start working at a newly found Yunus Emre Institute at Dublin’s Trinity College.
“Last year, we also sent a director to Turkey from London to a cinema summer school of the institute,” he said.
People have access to the vast library at the institute which stocks not only Turkish titles but also books in English and other languages," he added.
Professor Seref Ates, head of the institute, said: “The Institute, carrying out operations as Turkey's face in cultural diplomacy, aims to have opened 100 Cultural Centers by 2023 at the 100th foundation anniversary of Turkish Republic, to further promote Turkey around the world."