Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Karem Alp recently said his country is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Uganda to promote cultural collaboration. Ambassador Karem made the remarks while paying a visit at the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC), on a fact finding mission about Uganda’s rich culture.
In the company of his daughter, Ambassador Karem said; he is going to fast track this MoU with Yunus Emre Institute, which is charged with Turkish Cultural issues. “Through this MoU Turkish Government will establish their cultural Centre in Uganda and Uganda will establish a cultural Centre in Turkey and equivalent of Uganda National Cultural Centre”, he said.
Karem disclosed that; Uganda and Turkey have good bilateral relations, which is a good start and there is need to utilize this good atmosphere. He went on to say that there is need to do more, by linking up municipalities in Turkey to their counterparts in Uganda. “There is need to benefit from such cordial working relations. Turkish arts will be flowing in here and the same to Ugandan artists”, he added.
UNCC Executive director, Francis Peter Ojede, shared with Karem some of the existing relationship between Uganda and Turkey. “Through UNCC, Uganda has been represented at the TRT International 23rd April Festival. Through Bursa Culture Art and Tourism Foundation, we have particpated in the International Bursa Theater Festival for Children and Young People and International Golden Karagö Folk Dance Competition among others”, he said.
Through Turkish Embassy, UNCC has also hosted a number of Turkish Artists including; hosting renowned film directors and actors from Turkey on the occasion to commemorate 100 years, since the start of the Gallipoli Campaign. The four artists included, Mrs. Yesim Sezgin – film director, Mr. Ilker Kizmaz – film actor, Mr. Yunus Emre Ozean – film actor and Mr. Dogukan Polat – film actor. Canacalle was a screened. “We also hosted Mediterranean passions kudsi erguner trio concert. We have had workshops with Turkish counterparts”, he added. Ojede said there is need to share capacity building for artists. He also shared the programs of the institution, including World Theatre Day, World Culture and the UNCC Art and Culture Festival to which Ambassador Karem was positive in supporting.
Ambassador Karem visited National Art & Craft Association of Uganda (NACCAU), commonly known as the craft and Cultural village. He was received by Mr. Nuwa Wamala Nyanzi who shared with him the history of the association. He went on to show him around the various stalls full of Uganda’s rich culture from pottery, crafts and batiks. There after the ambassador toured the renovated National Theatre. He was impressed by the work done.