By Sena Guler
Turkish and Myanmar painters are giving the message of peace and love through the language of colors, with the support of Turkey’s state-run aid agency.
On the 60th year of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Myanmar, a paint exhibition opened in Turkey’s capital Ankara with the support of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
The painting exhibition -- Turkey and Myanmar Gather with Peace and Love-- is attended by three artists from each country.
Turkish painter Atanur Dogan’s “Refugees” is one of the works exhibited.
Language of colors
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Dogan said the peaceful side of -- both art and artist, and the artist -- that produces beauty were very important for helping and supporting those who live under tough conditions in the rest of the world.
“So we live this as an example; we are giving the message of love and peace to the world with the language of colors, with our friends from Myanmar, without any limits like race, language, religion and despite not speaking the same language,” Dogan said.
He added that it was a very important event as it is organized on the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Turkey-Myanmar diplomatic ties.
He also said Kerem Divanlioglu, Turkey’s ambassador to Myanmar, took the first initiative and started the project.
Dogan also thanked TIKA for the preparation of such a beautiful environment.
Peace and friendship
TIKA Vice President Birol Cetin said the agency realizes 2,000 projects -- especially in education and health areas, as well as human-oriented ones -- around the world yearly.
He said they also gave space to art in their projects as much as possible and they support theaters, organize workshops and meetings with painters.
“Our philosophy as TIKA is to share as much as possible, we believe that problems can be solved in this way,” Cetin said. “Unfortunately this much problem in the world are tried to be solved via arms,” he lamented
“As Turkey, we want friendships to increase, and want peace to always be on agenda.”
He said the TIKA continued working to achieve this aim, and became the first in the world in humanitarian aids in 2017.
“As TIKA, we have been shown convenience to work in Myanmar. We actually wish there wouldn’t be something that TIKA had to do,” Cetin said.
He believed the event is going to be beneficial and the power of art would contribute to the peace.
The exhibition hosted by the IWC Firca (Brush) Art Gallery is open between July 18 and 25.
Painters Atanur Aydogan, Cuneyt Senyavas and Gamze Kilic are attending the exhibition from Turkey, while Min Wae Aung, Myint Naing and Htoi San Pan are participating from Myanmar.
Many art lovers were present at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, as well as TIKA’s Myanmar Coordinator Nilufer Kamer.
Help for Rohingya
In the past year, TIKA was the only international organization that was allowed to bring humanitarian aid to Rakhine state of Myanmar, following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intense diplomacy traffic with around 30 state leaders and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.
Right after that Turkey’s first lady Emine Erdogan visited the Rohingya, who took refuge in Bangladesh, together with a delegation.
Turkey then accelerated the aid efforts in the region.
Through TIKA, Turkey continues to help hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, who escaped the violent attacks in Myanmar and sought refuge in Bangladesh, in many areas from health to food.
TIKA, which supported the Rohingya in many areas including the infrastructure in Myanmar, also uses the effect of art and continues its activities in the region for the permanent peace and tranquility.