Turkmen culture house in Erbil re-opened after ten years
Taking a leading role in re-opening of the center, the General Director of the Turkmen Culture Center Geylan Altıparmak underlined the significance of preserving the Turkmen culture for future generations
Turkmens in northern Iraq, an essential part of the region’s colorful demographic structure, are celebrating the re-opening of the Turkmen Culture Center in the city of Erbil after it had been closed for the past ten years. Having recently suffered deadly terrorist attacks against them, the Turkmens have long faced the threat of being eliminated from the Iraqi political scene and the fear of having their culture demolished. Thus, the Turkmen Culture Center in the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has a symbolic meaning. Taking a leading role in re-opening of the center, the General Director of the Turkmen Culture Center Geylan Altıparmak underlined the significance of preserving the Turkmen culture for future generations. “Actually, we have had a cultural center for ten years but it was closed. In the first stage, we decided to restore it. While the restoration work continued, we started our activities. We are determined to protect our culture to ensure our cultural survival. Turkmens and Kurds have had friendly relations and lived in peace for centuries. Today, some circles are working to destroy this friendship by demonstrating the differences between us,” he said.
Locating in the middle of Erbil, the large center includes two gardens, one football field and one conference hall. The center's mission is to carry the Turkmen culture to the future and offers free Turkish lessons given by Altıparmak. The students are not only supplemented with Turkish lessons but also additional courses to help them in school. The fact that some of the students who attend classes had previously studied in Turkey indicates the high quality of the education offered at the center. The increasing number of Turkish companies in the KRG is a strong motivating factor to learn Turkish in the semi-autonomous Iraqi region. Many young students in the cultural center aim to be employed in a Turkish company.
Since the center started functioning, it gave way for the establishment of several aid organizations. Last week, food and household goods were collected and sent to Syrian refugees who have escaped to to northern Iraq.
Kuzey News Agency