The activities of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) was promoted with a panel discussion in South African city of Cape Town on Thursday.
Organized by the Turkish embassy in Pretoria, the panel detailed the activities of Turkish aid agency in the country.
Elif Comoglu, Turkish ambassador to Pretoria, told the panel that there was a rich heritage in South Africa passed from the Ottoman Empire.
TIKA has helped to revive historical ties between Turkey and South Africa and has done important works to further strengthen the relations, Comoglu added.
Pretoria coordinator of TIKA Egemen Sener said that the aid agency provided some infrastructure for Mohau Child Care Center, which looks after for orphans and HIV-infected children.
Marking the TIKA activities on the field of culture, Sener said: “We have restored the Soweto Mosque, a key place in the fight against racism in South Africa.”
Sener said that protecting Ottoman heritage in South Africa was one of the most important parts of TIKA operations.
“At a time when all parts of the continent were colonized and enslaved, our relations with the people had begun with investments on education and people. This is very meaningful for the people of this region,” he added.
Fareed Abrahams, an official of the Ottoman Cricket Club founded in South Africa in the 19th century, said that his club has received an important amount of aid on infrastructure from TIKA.
The Ottoman Cricket Club was founded 136 years ago by two South African students of the Ottoman Turkish scholar Abu Bakr Effendi.
Sheikh Abu Bakr lived in South Africa in the 1800s after being sent by Ottoman Sultan Abdulmejid to teach and assist the Muslim community in Cape Town.
Established in 1992, Turkey's government-run aid agency is responsible for implementing Turkey's developmental cooperation policies overseas.