The proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye was celebrated on October 30, 2023, at the Residence of H.E. Ms. Ayşegül Kandaş in Pretoria. Welcoming the Guest of Honor, Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of DIRCO, honorable guests, and friends of Türkiye, H.E. Ms. Kandaş thanked everyone for attending. The national anthems for the Centenary celebration were performed by students from the Yunus Emre Institute who attend language classes at the office in Johannesburg.

Congratulating the Springboks on their victorious win, Ms. Kandaş reminded everyone of the nail-biting but joyous occasion.

Commemorating with deep gratitude the great sacrifice made by the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and his comrades who sacrificed their lives for the independence, unity, and integrity of Türkiye to form the Republic on October 29, 1923.

Having overcome many difficulties in a century, Türkiye is currently the 19th largest economy in the world. It has emerged with a young and educated population of 85 million, comprising a competitive workforce, a dynamic private sector, and advanced technological infrastructure in the transportation, telecommunication, and energy sectors.

Touching on the flourishing relations between Türkiye and South Africa, Ms. Kandaş remarked on the bilateral trade that has reached a record level of 3.3 billion USD. President Erdoğan of Türkiye and President Ramaphosa of South Africa had a fruitful meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September this year. Türkiye looks forward to sustaining high-level exchanges and the convening of the first binational commission in Türkiye in the ensuing period. South Africa is the biggest trading partner for Türkiye in sub-Saharan Africa, and numerous prominent Turkish companies are operating in South Africa. Over 70 Turkish companies have invested in furniture, white goods, energy, textiles, and logistics in South Africa. Educational ties with the African continent have also grown, with 240 South African students currently studying in Türkiye. The Turkish Maarif Foundation has a school in Johannesburg and is in the process of opening a second one in Cape Town. TIKA, which is the Turkish Development Cooperation Agency, has completed 60 projects worth R50 million since opening its office in 2017.

Minister Lindiwe Zulu congratulated Türkiye on their significant milestone of 100 years and conveyed congratulations on behalf of the government and people of South Africa. South Africa attaches great importance to its relationship with Türkiye and hopes that cooperation between the two governments, people, business sector, and civil society will continue to grow. Encouraged by the excellent bilateral relations that exist, South Africa hopes to continue to grow on this basis.

Guests enjoyed warm coffee provided by Defy, as well as a live musical performance.

Happy National Day Türkiye! 🇹🇷

by Marion Kate