Africa

Turks in Uganda mark Martyrs' Day

Commemorations at Turkish embassies in Kenya and Rwanda canceled over novel coronavirus

Hassan Isilow   | 19.03.2020
Turks in Uganda mark Martyrs' Day

JOHANNESBURG 

Turks living in Uganda commemorated the 105th anniversary Wednesday of Martyrs' Day and the Canakkale Battles, one of Turkey’s greatest victories during World War I.   

“We owe our nation, independence and freedom to our martyrs,” Turkish Ambassador Kerem Alp told a gathering of about 50 Turkish nationals at an event held at the embassy in the capital Kampala.  

In his speech, Alp advised his fellow countrymen to learn and implement the teachings of their Turkish ancestors, including Yunus Emre, Corporal Halide, Mehmet the Conqueror and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.  

“We continue to believe in ourselves as a proud nation,” he said. 

“Our national hymn contains all the right messages, today as a century ago, on what to do to remain united through the toughest times. Our national and moral values should be upheld.”  

Alp told Anadolu Agency that Turkish nationals in Uganda welcomed the opportunity to visit their embassy and share their concerns with him, particularly on the novel coronavirus pandemic.  

“While Uganda does not have any confirmed COVID-19 cases, we remain vigilant, and all channels of communication between Turkish nationals and the embassy remain open,” he said.  

He conveyed a special message to his countrymen regarding fears over COVID-19 based on a message from the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who once said “a nation who does not know its history is destined to disappear. In this world, the only real guide is science. So in order to overcome the current crisis, we need to know our history and rely on science as the only way out.”  

Meanwhile, Turkey’s embassies in Kenya and Rwanda canceled commemorations due to laws prohibiting gatherings of many people in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak in those countries.  

But the Turkish embassy in South Africa held a short commemoration attended only by on-duty embassy staff in the wake of the outbreak, which has infected more than 100 people in the country.

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