Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş on March 15 inaugurated a new branch of a Turkey-based cultural institute in the Russian capital Moscow.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kurtulmuş said the Yunus Emre Institute is a tool for “cultural diplomacy.”
“The Yunus Emre Institute operates as one of the most important elements of Turkey’s cultural diplomacy from Astana to Sarajevo, from Khartoum to Moscow,” Kurtulmuş said.
He said the new branch of the institute will bring the people of Turkey and Russia closer.
“Thousands of our Russian friends will learn Turkish here,” the minister said, adding that the institute will be “our cultural ambassadors in Russia.”
The Yunus Emre Institute provides services abroad to people who want to learn the Turkish language, culture and art. One of its aims is to improve Turkey’s friendship with other countries and increase cultural exchanges.
Since it was established in 2009, the institute, with branches all across the world, has taught Turkish to more than 99,000 people in 43 countries.
Named after the 13th-century poet Yunus Emre, the institute now has nearly 54 cultural centers around the world offering artistic, social and scientific programs.
Later in the day, Kurtulmuş visited a mosque in Moscow which Turkey helped build and was inaugurated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2015.