YEE President Ateş explained that Yunus Emre has a legal status as a foundation, and therefore carries out activities abroad, through cultural centre agreements in some countries, as a culture unit under Embassies, and as a non-profit foundation in the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, USA and Japan. Expressing that the preparations to inaugurate a centre sometimes takes a year and sometimes more due to a number of legal requirements, Ateş stated that they sign agreements with the universities in that country to speed up the process, open offices around the country in that context, and implemented this lastly in Jerusalem.
Marking that there are currently 5 Confucius Institutes in Turkey to introduce Chinese culture, however Turkey does not have a centre in China, Ateş underlined that he signed a bilateral cultural agreement to open a cultural centre in China during his visit to China last month. Relaying that the process for ratification of this agreement in the parliaments is long, Ateş said, “I hope we will have opened a centre in China within the year once the legal infrastructure is completed. This way, we will have a chance to address nearly one and a half billion people.”
Pointing out that in addition to opening a cultural centre in China, they will also carry out operations in universities, Ateş spoke as follows: “We have already assigned a teacher to a university in Shanghai. We have sent letters to various universities in China, and we plan to open offices in different universities to carry out operations on topics as Turkey research, Turkish language and culture.”
CENTRES WILL BE OPENED IN USA
Ateş stated that the efforts they made in the USA last year has yielded results and they have achieved the status to establish non-profit centres in this country. Informing their first office is in Washington, Ateş noted that they plan to open branches in New York and Boston this year in the second phase. Marking that at the end of visits in the US, they also signed an agreement with Michigan State University, Ateş continues as follows:
“With this agreement, we envisage an academic exchange and business cooperation program that enables us to establish collaborations in scientific fields in Turkey, in US, or in third countries. In this sense, an opportunity rises to utilize a university’s background for the benefit of the humanity in other countries together with Yunus Emre Enstitüsü. We also have taken concrete steps to act together, especially in African countries, on this matter.”
Ateş said that they aim to increase the number of Enstitü centres abroad to 60 by the end of this year through operations to be carried out in the USA, China, Ukraine, Russia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Argentina and Brazil.