From 4 to 8 January, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is traveling to the Republic of Turkey for an official visit. This is the first official visit during the year celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of UNESCO.
She will spend the first half of her visit in Ankara, where she is expected to meet with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as with Prime Minister Professor Dr Ahmet Davutoglu.
She is also expected to meet a number of high level government representatives, including H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of National Education, H. E. Nabi Avci, and the Minister of Culture and Tourism, H. E. Ömer Çelik. The Director-General will meet also with the President of the Turkish National Commission, Professor Dr. Öcal Oğuz
Irina Bokova will take part in the 7th Conference of Ambassadors organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Conference will be held under the theme “New Turkey: Continuity and Change in Foreign Policy” and the Director-General will give a keynote speech on “Culture of Peace – UNESCO’s Vision and Practice”.
In Ankara, the Director-General will participate in a ceremony to present the World Heritage Certificates for the newly inscribed sites of “Pergamon Multi-layered Cultural Landscape” and “Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of an Empire” on the UNESCO World Heritage List, at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, with H.E. Ömer Çelik, Minister of Culture and Tourism.
In Istanbul, the Director-General is expected to meet with the Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbas. She will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives of civil society and the private sector.
She will also speak at Koç University on the theme “Empowering Women Leadership”, in the presence of the Chair of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Semahat Arsel, the President of the University, Umran Inan, the Director of the KOC-KAM Centre for Gender Studies, Professor Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı. UNESCO and Koç University have a long-standing collaboration for women’s empowerment and gender equality. On this occasion, Irina Bokova will be designated as the first KOÇ-KAM Semahat Arsel Distinguished Fellow.
While in Istanbul, the Director-General is also expected to sign an agreement with Kadir Has University establishing a UNESCO Chair on Management and Promotion of World Heritage Sites: New Media and Community Involvement at the University.