By Hajer M'tiri and Kubra Chohan
Turkey was selected on Wednesday as a Board member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
A total of 134 countries voted for Turkey to join the executive board for the period 2017-2021. The vote took place during the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris.
Turkish Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz presented Turkey’s bid last week and said his country "strongly believes in the mission of this organization to build peace in the minds of men and women".
Turkey's Foreign Ministry lauded the news in a written statement.
"Believing in UNESCO’s ideals, Turkey will continue to contribute to UNESCO’s work as a member of the Executive Board from now on," it said, adding this result was "achieved with the valuable support of the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture as well as Turkish Ministry of National Education".
Previously, Turkey was a Board member for 27 years in total, with the last term ending in 2005.
The UNESCO's executive board consists of 58 member countries, who are elected for a four-year mandate, during which they discuss and negotiate key decisions.