blue-mosque-turkeyQatar Museums (QM) launched the ‘Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture’ during a ceremony at the Museum of Islamic Art on Tuesday 27 January 2015.

HE Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dr Hamad Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, HE Undersecretary of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Professor Ahmet Haluk Dursun, HE Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey, Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi, and HE Turkey’s Ambassador to Qatar Ahmet Demirok attended the ceremony.

Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture is held under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, the Chairperson of Qatar Museums, following the success of Qatar Brazil 2014, Qatar UK 2013 and Qatar Japan 2012.  The Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture celebrates the relations between both countries through cultural partnerships involving organisations, institutions and individuals.

According to HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, culture and art represent a key supporter to achieve Qatar National Vision. The success of the Qatar Brazil 2014 cultural year demonstrates the importance of art and culture as a bridge between nations and communities, and their role in promoting cultural exchange.  HE Sheikha Al Mayassa expressed pride and excitement to celebrate the rich heritage between Qatar and Turkey during this cultural year, which will promote mutual understanding and strengthen relations between the two countries, and will also inspire the next generation of audiences and cultural ideas. She said:

I am looking forward to a promising and exceptional cultural year.’

According to HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dr Hamad Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, the State of Qatar under the leadership of HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attaches great importance to culture as an important aspect in promoting relations between countries. The previous cultural years have succeeded in achieving their objectives and strengthening the relations between Qatar and the countries which participated those celebrations: Japan, the UK and Brazil, HE the Minister said. HE the Minister of Culture expressed exceptional pleasure for joining Turkey this year for two reasons: the depth of Arab and Turkish cultural ties that are deeply rooted in history, and the importance of the Turkish culture which is one of the richest cultures in the world.

Many activities will be held this year, and they will not be limited to the cultural areas, but there will be also many activities between the two sides in sport, trade and other areas that will open up long-term relationships between individuals and institutions in the two countries, HE the Minister noted. He extended thanks to HE Sheikha Al Mayassa for her efforts in the previous cultural years, especially this year, and to the Turkish side for its continued cooperation to ensure the success of the Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture.

HE Undersecretary of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Professor Ahmet Haluk Dursun, highlighted the strong relations between Turkey and Qatar, and expressed pleasure for visiting Doha for the launching ceremony of Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture. He believed that this cultural year will be an exceptional year for building bridges between the past and the present, adding that it will be very exciting year as it contains many events and activities in four key areas: arts and culture, community and education, sports and business and trade. He extended thanks for Qatar Museums its efforts in making this celebration a success.

HE Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi highlighted the historic and deep-rooted relations between Qatar and Turkey that are based on mutual understanding and respect. He noted that the cultural year activities will be an opportunity to launch strategic cultural initiatives in the framework of the strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Director of the Diplomatic Cultural Projects at QM, Aisha Ghanim Al Attiyah expressed pleasure for joining Turkey in the cultural year in light of the growing relations and between the two countries in all areas. She underlined that QM, led by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, seeks to establish a platform for cultural exchange through the establishment of art exhibitions, programmes for independent artists, cultural festivals and art workshops on a global level.

Qatar Turkey 2015 Year of Culture will have a rich programme that will explore the contemporary and traditional cultures of both countries. World class exhibitions, festivals, performances, educational programme and cultural exchanges are to be held across Qatar and Turkey.

Among the highlights are major exhibitions in both countries and a Turkish Festival and Bazaar in Qatar. Exhibitions in Qatar will include a new show of modern and contemporary Qatari and Arab art from the collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and a new exhibition curated by MIA called ‘The Hunt’, which will explore images from Qatari and Ottoman Royal collections. Exhibitions in Turkey will include a new edition of the acclaimed Pearls exhibition, now seen by over 250,000 visitors in Japan, UK and Brazil. Musical performances in both countries will feature classical, Turkish and Arab music, and festivals will include a Turkish film week in collaboration with Doha Film Institute and an open air Turkish Festival and Bazaar at the Museum of Islamic Art Park