"Anthology of African Proverbs in 38 Languages 1" book was introduced in the program organized at Presidential Library Nations with the participation of Emine Erdoğan, the wife of the Republic of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The book, prepared with the contributions of Yunus Emre Institute and Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University, was published by the African Handicraft Market and Culture House on the occasion of January 24, World Africa and Afro-Origin Culture Day.
Emine Erdoğan, the wife of the Republic of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, joined the introduction program for the "Anthology of African Proverbs in 38 Languages 1" book at the Nation's Library. During her talk at the event organized for the Anthology published by the African Culture House and Handicrafts Market for the "January 24th, World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture", Emine Erdoğan mentioned that it was quite exciting to witness how their conversation with their African friends grew over the years. Erdoğan said that it was very meaningful that the synergy born out of this friendship turned into great projects.
YUNUS EMRE INSTITUTE EXTENDS THE HAND OF FRIENDSHIP TO AFRICA WITH OTHER INSTITUTIONS
TIKA, Yunus Emre Institute, Turkish Maarif Foundation, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities extend the hand of friendship to the continent
Emine Erdoğan reminded that the government started its African initiative in 2005, and said that Turkey-African relationships strengthened and intensified since then and institutions such as TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency), Yunus Emre Institute, Turkish Maarif Foundation, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities extend the hand of friendship to the continent.
"AFRICA IS AS CLOSE AS TO US A RELATIVE WHOSE DOOR WE CAN KNOCK AT ANY TIME"
Emine Erdoğan mentioned that this initiative was based on historical roots, and said, "Africa is as close to us as a relative whose door we can knock at an
"HUMANITY IS ONE BIG FAMILY"
Emre Erdoğan reminded that she accompanied the President Erdoğan in almost every visit to Africa and told that she did not see these visits just as a mission of companionship, but each visit was a source of excitement and an exploration in itself.
AFRICA VISITS ARE TURNING INTO A MEMOIR
Emine Erdoğan mentioned that she internalized the fact that all humanity is one big family during these visits, and expressed the following:
"I have seen the universality of hearts and tears drowned in sorrow that did not need any interpreter. A child was a child everywhere. The concern in the eyes of a mother was the same all across the world. The consciousness that a human being is entrusted to another human being is quite common in our codes of culture and civilization. I have always tried to practice this principle throughout my life. Every visit holds a different memory for me. I am trying to record those nowadays. I have even tried to transform these visits into a memoir during the days of pandemic through which we had to stay at home. Perhaps it can be published in the coming months, and I will have a chance to share it with you."
Emine Erdoğan mentioned that they were seeing Africa through the eyes of their hearts, and continued as follows:
"Fortunately, this emotional bond, which grows stronger day by day, transforms into great projects. The African Culture House and Handicrafts Market, which we have established in 2016 at Hamamönü, Ankara, was the first one of these projects. The foundations of the African House are based on our desire to be in solidarity with the African women. It was established in order to create a fair market for African women, whose efforts and handicraft was exploited. The products that are brought from 18 different African countries with the coordination of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs are being sold here. The acquired revenues are directly sent back to their owners. God willing, we hope to extend this project for the entire continent as soon as possible."
The African Culture House and Handicrafts Market, which we have established in 2016 at Hamamönü, Ankara, was the first one of these projects. The foundations of the African House are based on our desire to be in solidarity with the African women. It was established in order to create a fair market for African women, whose efforts and handicraft was exploited.
"THE AFRICAN PROVERBS BOOK IS THE SUMMARY OF THE ENTIRE CONTINENT'S EXPERIENCE ENGRAVED IN LANGUAGE"
Emine Erdoğan reminded that a book of African cooking recipes, selected by the spouses of the African countries' ambassadors last year, was published, and said, "We have contributed to the literature a book that brought us together around the dinner table. Today we are introducing a new book, and I am very much excited for its realization. The African Proverbs Book is the summary of the entire continent's experience engraved in language."
"WHEN AN ELDER DIES, A LIBRARY BURNS TO THE GROUND"
Emine Erdoğan mentioned that she very much liked the "When an elder dies in Africa, a library burns to the ground." proverb at the foreword of the book, and said the following:
An African proverb tell us, 'The word of the elders is the cure.' The proverbs are born out of experience. The cradle where they grow and develop is the experience of humanity. The proverbs of a community tell us a lot about the things that community experienced. This transmitted experience becomes the cure for many wrongs.
"I believe that this book protects the heritage of the elders, the guardians and bearers of the proverbs. As you know, Africa is home to over 2,000 languages. The proverbs of 18 African countries in this first volume of our book were selected by the ambassadress of those countries. Proverbs are one of the most important sources of the oral folk culture. Even though they belong to the geography that they were born in, they are sources of wisdom for the entire world. An African proverb tell us, 'The word of the elders is the cure.' The proverbs are born out of experience. The cradle where they grow and develop is the experience of humanity. The proverbs of a community tell us a lot about the things that community experienced. This transmitted experience becomes the cure for many wrongs.
"THE PROVERBS WILL LIGHT THE WAY FOR THE YOUTH"
Emine Erdoğan emphasized that the proverbs started to emerge less and less, to a degree of almost non-existence, and said, "From the side effects of technology to urbanization, many elements erode the oral folk culture. Of course, under these circumstances, protecting this culture and carrying it into the future becomes very important. In fact, the technological communication mentality of today creates the biggest non-communication. The number of the words increase, their speed of travel increase, but they disappear without touching any hearts."
Emine Erdoğan also mentioned that another African proverb was "Ask for the advice of others in life." and said, "That is to say, make use of the experience repository. And for this reason, I believe that protecting and conserving the proverbs will also light the way for the youth."
SPECIAL THANKS TO YUNUS EMRE INSTITUTE AND HACI BAYRAM UNIVERSITY
Emine Erdoğan mentioned that the book was a product of a very meticulous and elaborate work and expressed her gratitude for Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (AHBV) and Yunus Emre Institute (YEI) and said that they were thankful to those ambassadress and ambassadors who contributed to the book.
Emine Erdoğan emphasized that the projects developed regarding Africa extended their scopes day by day and said,
"Our young here are the fruit of these beautiful relationships. They are studying in Turkey under scholarships as the guests of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities. The number of these students increased 20 times in the past 10 years. There were 50,000 applications from 54 countries in 2020. I would like to thank each one of them for their show today. This is an expression of our friendship, fellowship and heartfelt conversation. God willing, when we get past this pandemic in no time and go back to our normal lives, we will continue and accelerate our projects. I have full confidence that Africa will be the brightest star of the 21st century. We are with our African fellows, especially with women and children, throughout this journey."
AHBV Rector Prof. Yusuf Tekin, YEI President Prof. Şeref Ateş, AHBV Faculty of Literature Dean and African Civilizations Application and Research Center Director Prof. Suna Timur Ağlıdere, and the Ambassadress of Morocco Nawal Bouchkekif Lazreq also gave speeches during the program.
Selected proverbs from the book were presented during the event through a "flash mob" show by the African students in Turkey.
A commemoration photo was taken at the end of the event after Emine Erdoğan was presented with the "Anthology of African Proverbs in 38 Languages 1" book.
PROF. DR. AĞILDERE: WE HOPE TO PROVIDE CONTRIBUTION TO AFRICA-TURKEY RELATIONS
Professor. Dr. Suna Timur Ağıldere from Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Faculty of Letters made the following evaluations about the selection in the interview she gave to Hayat Sanat program broadcasted on TRT 2 during the event: “It is a joint project of Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Faculty of Letters and the Research Center for Mediterranean Basin and African Civilizations. Our most important stakeholders in this project are African Ambassador Spouses Association - ASHOM. 18 of the 54 countries are in the first volume of the selection. The second and third volumes will feature proverbs in other languages of the remaining 36 countries. Their translations in Turkish, French, English and Arabic will be included as in these books. This project is an international and important project. (Ankara) A project carried out under the auspices of the Presidency together with the African Handicrafts and African Culture House in Hamamönü. We carry out the academic consultancy of this project carried out under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of course, we have a lot of African students and our African students also worked with us on this project, together with our African doctorates. We hope that this project contribute cultural relations between Africa and Turkey a little bit.
YEE PRESIDENT PROF. DR. ŞEREF ATEŞ: THE WISE OF HUMANITY IS COMPILED IN A BOOK
Yunus Emre Institute President Prof. Dr., Şeref Ateş emphasized the importance of the Selection of African Proverbs in 38 Languages in the interview he gave to the "Hayat Sanat" program broadcast on TRT 2 during the event. “It is a very pleasing feeling to promote this beautiful book in such a place. Especially when this work was unearthed right after the epidemic period, it makes us very happy that Yunus Emre Institute also contributed this project. There are two issues I would like to highlight here. First one; the publication of this book under the auspices of Mrs. Emine Erdoğan and with the contributions of the wives of African Ambassadors. I really see it as a positive development for the world, especially in an environment where women and children actively act and do business for Africa. Latter; Republic of Turkey as our our state institutions and civil society need a different perspective to our organization Africa. This occurs in such studies. This is as Yunus say: ‘Mouth speaks ears listen. Heart speaks, whole universe hears.' This is how we approach Africa. As the Emine Erdoğan said in her speeches, it is especially important for women to play a leading role here. Under the leadership of the Lady, the proverbs, which are the common language of the whole universe, were published in 38 different languages in this book. But the common text is humanity, that the wisdom of humanity is compiled in a book. I find it very valuable in this respect. ", he said.
ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN PROVERBS IN 38 LANGUAGES-1
The book includes over 1500 proverbs in 38 national languages from 18 countries out of 54 located in five different regions of the African continent: North, West, Central, East and South Africa.
As the product of the "African Culture House" international project, the book was prepared through the cooperation of Association for African Ambassador Spouses (ASHOM) under the auspices of the Presidency of the Turkish Republic, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Yunus Emre Institute, AHBV African Civilizations Application and Research Center (AKAF), AHBV Faculty of Literature Department of Translation and Interpretation and the African post-graduates of the Translation and Cultural Studies Post-Graduate Program, and the art design of the book was prepared through the contributions of AHBV Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Photography and Video.