President of Ukraine

First Lady of Ukraine met in Kyiv with the First Lady of Turkey

3 February 2022 - 16:51

First Lady of Ukraine met in Kyiv with the First Lady of Turkey

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska met with First Lady of Turkey Emine Erdoğan in Kyiv. Together, they presented a Turkish-language audio guide at the Sofia Kyivska National Reserve.

The First Lady of Turkey arrived in Ukraine in the framework of the visit of President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on February 3. This day marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries. The relevant protocol was signed in 1992.

"But we know that relations between our countries did not begin 30 years ago, they have a centuries-old history," said Olena Zelenska.

She also thanked Mrs. Emine Erdoğan for supporting her initiatives, including the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen held on August 23, 2021 in Kyiv.

"Without real political power, the spouses of world leaders instead have the tools of soft power," the wife of the President of Ukraine said.

During the current visit, the First Ladies took part in the presentation of an audio guide in Turkish for the Sofia Kyivska National Reserve. It was created as a pilot project by the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

The First Ladies noted that this was a step in response, as more than 30 audio guides in Ukrainian have been launched worldwide as part of Olena Zelenska’s initiative, most of them in Turkish landmarks and museums.

"Last year, Turkey became one of the most visited countries by Ukrainians. We want Ukraine to become closer to Turkish tourists as well. To speak to them in familiar words. Because the way forward must be two-sided. Therefore, I am very glad that from now on, when guests from Turkey come to us, Sofia Kyivska will speak to them in their native language," Olena Zelenska said during her speech.

The First Lady ended her speech at the presentation with an invitation in Turkish: "Kyiv Ayasofya Katedraline hoş geldiniz!", which means "Welcome to Sofia Kyivska!"

It is planned that 30 more Turkish-language audio guides will appear in the country's cultural centers in the near future. This will take place in the framework of the implementation of the memorandum of cooperation signed in August 2021. It brings together three key players - the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, the State Agency for Tourism Development, MEGOGO, and more and more international partners.

In addition, the wives of the Presidents of Ukraine and Turkey discussed the next steps in cultural diplomacy between the countries. In particular, the Turkish translation of the work of Ukrainian professor of oriental studies Hryhoriy Khalymonenko "Turkic lexical snippet of the Ukrainian dictionary". This is an explanatory dictionary of words of Turkic origin in the Ukrainian language. The book is planned to be published by the Turkish Language Association.

First Lady of Turkey Emine Erdoğan noted the importance of the project, as "there are more than 3,000 words of Turkic origin in the Ukrainian language."

It is expected that this will be the beginning of a broader project - mutual translation of books by Ukrainian and Turkish writers in both countries.