Turkey has drawn up a calendar of cultural
acitivities - including a new overseas cultural cell and joint
productions on screen - in India to celebrate 60 years of cultural
cooperation between the two countries in 2013-2014, the country's envoy said Sunday.
“India had signed its first cultural agreement with Turkey 1951 which entered into force in 1952. This year is the 60th anniversary of the agreement becoming operational. For two years beginning 2013-2014, Turkey and India will organise a number of activities that would mark the cultural co-operation between the two countries,” envoy Burak Akcapar told IANS at a reception at his residence.
Turkey is looking at a top-level visit from India to the country
during the period of celebration. “Preferably a president or a prime ministerial-level visit. We are talking to the ministry of external affairs and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR),” the envoy added.
On the agenda is a Turkish culture centre, named after its famous 12th century Sufi humanist poet Yunus Emre, which will begin operation next year, the envoy said. “This will be our first cultural centre overseas,” Akcapar said.
The envoy said the one of the primary focus of the bi-lateral cultural ties between the two countries in the coming year would be cinema.
“I am trying to bring the two movie communities together. Cinema is
important to our culture on both sides. The Turkish people love movies and we are trying to give stronger shape to the 'Green Pine' - our movie industry. The name comes from a street with green pine like your Bollywood,” the envoy said.
The Turkish movie industry is looking to collaboration with “Bollywood and the southern cinema - Telugu, Tamil, Andhra and Kannada industry”, Akcapar said.
The envoy said “Turkey wanted to engage with independent cinema as
well - the kind shown at the Osian-Cinefan cinema festival in the capital (July 27-Aug 5)”.
“I am firm believer that India and Turkey can jointly produce movies,” the envoy said. Indian movies were popular in Turkey in the mid-20th century. Raj Kapoor and Nargis were the most popular stars.
He said “it is time that Indians and the Turkish people started
learning about each other. There are 9,000 words in various Indian
languages, including Urdu, which are of Turkish origin”.
The envoy said “two years ago, the Turkish government had compiled a dictionary in Urdu listing the words”.
Akcapar said business had been the engine of the cultural and
diplomatic ties between India and Turkey. “We have passed the $7bn mark in bilateral trade, but this is nothing compared to the potential that exists. We need a free trade agreement. The economic relations are developing very well,” the envoy said.