World Bulletin/News Desk
Qatari authorities have emphasized the power of cultural interaction in consolidation of the relations between Turkey and Arab world.
Qatar's Ambassador to Turkey Abdul Razzak Al Abdul Ghani said he did not think Turkey would distance itself from the Arab world while Deputy Undersecretary of Qatari Culture Ministry Faleh Al Hajiri stated that Turkey belonged to Arab world.
Abdul Ghani replied the questions of AA correspondent at the closing ceremony of Qatar Culture Days, co-organized by Qatari Culture Ministry and Embassy in Ankara.
Regarding the blasts in Turkish town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border that killed 46 people and wounded more than 100 others on May 11, Abdul Ghani said, "I don't think Turkish people and government will change their stance towards Syria and Arabs because of the blasts. First of all we should know that the blasts took place in areas where both Turks and their Syrian relatives are living. We don't know who did it but we make decisions in haste which is the common problem of us. We should wait and see. Such blasts were conducted in Istanbul and Ankara before and can happen anywhere. We should work for solving it, we should not take one side and accuse the other."
Abdul Ghani, touching upon the Syria issue, said, "The issue is about to end. We got this message during US Secretary of State John Kerry's Moscow visit. We hope the problem would be solved by next month."
"Qataris feel at home in Turkey"
Stating that Anadolu Agency (AA) was a well-known and trusted agency in the Arab world, Abdul Ghani pointed out that AA should cooperate with the regional agencies.
Abdul Ghani, who emphasized the importance of cultural activities for getting to know each other better, said, "For seven years I have been seeking to organize this event. Luckily, during my tenure in Ankara, our relations with Turkey got harmonized, improved in terms of politics, economics and culture."
Reminding that in 2012 almost 15,000 Qataris came to Turkey for vacation, Abdul Ghani expressed that it was becoming a habit to visit Turkey during school holidays because the Qataris felt "at home" in Turkey in terms of the culture, religion, praying times, and Turkish hospitality.
"Turkey-Qatar cooperation could serve as a model in the region," said Abdul Ghani, referring to Qatar Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani's will to bring the ties to the level of "model partnership".
"We closed 30-40 years of gap"
Abdul Ghani said that during his seven years on duty he observed the change in Turkish perception of Arabs, and said, "The change under the leadership of his Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not only towards the Middle East, but also to Africa. The number of Turkish embassies in Africa doubled."
Underlining that the Middle East and Africa should respond to Turkey's initiatives, Abdul Ghani said, "Turkey is a country which knows the region very well throughout the history. In the last 10 years, Turks and Arabs closed the gap occurred for 30-40 years".
Abdul Ghani added that he planned to hold similar cultural activities in Istanbul, Bursa and Antalya, Turkish provinces where Qataris visited frequently.
"Turkey belongs to Arab world"
Qatar Deputy Undersecretary of Culture Ministry and Director of Culture and Arts Department Hajiri defined the aim of Culture Days as "introducing Qatar to a very big country like Turkey."
Saying that culture was as important as politics and economy for the development of bilateral relations, "That is why we chose the capital Ankara as the venue of the event," said Hajiri.
Hajiri said that Qatar knew Turkey closely by means of TV series, however Turks did not have enough knowledge about Qataris.
Stating that lack of knowledge was due to linguistic problems, "I ask the Turkish visitors why they do not speak Arabic and some said they have started attending Arabic courses. It would be better if Turks learn Arabic," said Hajiri.
Expressing that Turkey belonged to Arab world, Hajiri said, "I am happy that Turkey does not join the EU. Turkey is lucky, look at what happened to Euro."
"Until 2-3 years before, we did not know anything about the division between Sunni and Shia," said Hajiri, and added that all Muslim countries including Iran and Turkey had to be in solidarity.
Regarding the blasts in Reyhanli, Hajiri said, "Syria issue is a part of a great game. Turkey must be patient because the game is about to end. Turkey will be the winner."Last Mod: 13 Mayıs 2013, 17:21