By Sena Guler
ANKARA (AA) – The participation of North and South Korea in the 2018 Olympics as a unfied team makes it an event of peace, said the head of the Korean Cultural Center in Ankara.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, the counsellor of the South Korean Embassy Dong Woo Cho stressed the importance of this year’s Olympics.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are to take place from Feb. 9 to 25 in the PyeongChang province of South Korea.
“There is tension between North Korea and South Korea. But their attendance at the games as one team, gives it a meaning of peace.”
The two sides agreed in January to form a unified women’s hockey team at PyeongChang 2018 in the South. It will be the first time the Koreas will compete together at an Olympic event.
Noting that eight Turkish athletes will also compete in four fields in the games, Dong Woo Cho wished that Turkish people will show interest in the games.
The counsellor compared PyeongChangust to Turkey’s Black Sea province of Bolu in terms of natural beauty.
He also recalled that South Korea was the host of the Summer Olympics in 1988 and the FIFA World Cup in 2002.
Noting that Turkey and South Korea celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations, he said there was a different meaning behind the number 60 in South Korea.
“Since people did not live long in the past, they would hold large celebrations when someone hit the age 60, thinking of it as a rebirth,” he said.
He added that even though the two countries were geographically far away from each other, Turkey and South Korea enjoyed historical ties and cultural similarities, which brought the two societies closer to each other.
- Korean Cultural Center
The Korean Cultural Center, established in 2011 in the capital city of Ankara, aims to promote Korean culture in Turkey.
The center provides, free of charge, cultural courses, including traditional instrument Gayageum, Korean calligraphy, taekwondo, and Korean language courses.
It also added a new course on Go -- an abstract strategy board game for two players -- to the list, for its visitors, as of February.
The center also helps university students obtain information through seminars about universities in South Korea and the ways to receive an education there.
According to data provided by the center, a total of 10,932 people attended the courses in 2017, while the events were attended by more than 63,000 people.
“We believe that culture is important between the people of two countries. We think, it should be improved mutually. We are happy to see that there is a large interest in Korean culture in Turkey,” the head of the center said.