Photo: Princess Swati Dlamini Mandela, Hon. Ndileka Mandela, Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş of Turkey to South Africa and Abdülaziz Yiğit, Director at the Yunus Emre Institute
20 November 2021
The year 2021 has been declared as the “Year of Yunus Emre” by UNESCO
commemorating the 700th anniversary of the celebrated poet.
The Yunus Emre Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa organised an
exhibition of the poetry of Yunus Emre and the historical heritage of
Turkey on 19 November in the Nelson Mandela Conference Hall of the Yunus Emre Institute.
The Turkish poet, played a major role in the development of the ancient
Turkish language in Anatolia. He contributed to some of the most
beautiful poems. His style of poetry was unique and different from other
The opening of Yunus Emre poetry exhibition was attended by among others
the Turkish Ambassador HE Ayşegül Kandaş, Hon. Ndileka Mandela, Princess
Swati Dlamini Mandela and Abdülaziz Yiğit, the Director of the Yunus
In her opening remarks at the exhibition Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş of
Turkey to South Africa said the exhibition goes into the soul of Yunus
Emre because when you see his poems written in Turkish and English, one
can learn about his life, his Sufi traditions and the Anatolian culture
and that art speaks to the soul.
The evening included poetry reading by South Africans Mxolisi Carrington
Mayisai and Camillo Zimba who both recited the poems in well articulated
Turkish language, art of Yunus Emre’s poetry by Tasneem Chilwan,
drawings of Turkey by Alex Maswanganyi, art and sculptures by Nazli
Sahinoglu and Calligraphy by Zunaida Moosa-Wadiwala. Tasneem Chilwan
shared the process, her journey and thoughts on the drawings that
accompanied Yunus Emre’s poetry and Zunaida Moosa-Wadiwala, who learnt
calligraphy at the Institute said that she was honoured to have been chosen for the exhibition.
Turkish Ambassador Her Excellency Ms Ayşegül Kandaş, Hon. Ndileka
Mandela, and Princess Swati Dlamini Mandela were each presented with beautiful artwork of a Tulip from Turkey and a Protea from South Africa
by Tasneem Chilwan a South African artist.