Cultural diplomacy will deepen Turkey, Nigeria relations—Ambassador

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By Maureen Okon

Mr Hidayet Bayraktar, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Nigeria, says cultural diplomacy will deepen and strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the envoy made this known at the opening of a solo art exhibition by Imal Silva titled “An Ode to Existence’’, on Friday in Abuja.

Bayraktar said the artwork of the earth was a platform for environmental activism.

“Also, art strives to create and develop an artistic space for sustainability by fostering connections among diverse communities.

“In our bid to strengthen and deepen the cultural diplomacy with Nigeria, we, as Turkish embassy, support Nigeria artists and display their precious artworks at our embassy’s exhibition hall.

“The artist’s work, `An Ode to Existence’, portrays the expression of nature’s colours which serve as a way to convey the beauty, complexities of nature, seasons, landscapes and natural phenomena.

“Through contemporary art exhibitions and cross-cultural dialogue, we do not only share the wall of our embassy, but also we aim to strengthen and deepen the cultural diplomacy with Nigeria.

“My profound gratitude goes to the artist for the gift of creativity in his work and also to extend my thanks to the curator Mrs Beste Gursu, for her relentless efforts towards the Nigerian artists.”

Speaking, Silva lauded the Ambassador and his wife for the opportunity and the platform to exhibit his work to an audience of art lovers.

“The platform created is not just for me alone but for many other Nigerian artists. I thank the curator for the encouragement, about a year plus this exhibition wouldn’t have been possible.

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“My abstract renditions about the earth and our responsibilities toward the earth and also within that one year plus I was able to write some poems for mother earth to us,’’ he said.

Also, Gursu thanked the Ambassador for opening his doors to artists from the two countries to exhibit their work for a period of 20 months.

“I thank ambassador Bayraktar for opening the embassy doors for the period of 20 months, allowing us to organise our first five events, four of which were Nigerian artists and one from a Turkish artist.

“At this point, I want to appreciate the ambassador for the support he is giving to Nigerian art and artists.

”Our exhibition today is that of an abstract work by Silva after our figurative Nigerian art exhibition, this is the first time we are presenting an abstract work in Nigeria,’’ she said. (NAN)(

Edited by Folasade Adeniran

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