The British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations, has marked its 75th anniversary in Turkey with a reception hosted at the British Embassy in Ankara.
In a speech delivered at the reception he hosted late on Sept. 10, British Ambassador Richard Moore emphasized his belief in the value of educational and cultural exchange between the United Kingdom and Turkey in helping create the conditions for success in business and diplomacy, and the important role of the British Council over the past 75 years in building trust and understanding between the two countries.
The reception brought together many people from the arts, education, business and public sectors as well as from the diplomatic community.
The British Council has been working in Turkey continuously since 1940, with its work having been conducted within the framework of the bilateral cultural agreement signed by the governments of the United Kingdom and Turkey in 1956.
British Council chair Sir Vernon Ellis, who came to Turkey for the 75th anniversary of British Council, expressed his appreciation of Turkey’s ambitions in the internationalization of education and its fast-growing cultural industries which he witnessed through the activities of the British Council.
“The British Council has a 75-year-old heritage in Turkey, bringing international opportunities to life every day for the people and institutions in the United Kingdom and Turkey. I am encouraged by the transformative work in English, Arts and Education which brings people together and attracts partners in Turkey to work with the United Kingdom,” Ellis said.
The British Council started its 75th year with a program that reaches a wide range of audiences across Turkey, from students to entrepreneurs.
British Council Country Director Margaret Jack shared the highlights of the British Council’s program for the year and the milestones of 75 years of experience in Turkey.
“With long-term projects and partners, the British Council aims to support development of cultural and educational policies and practices. We do this by engaging in all stages of transformative projects, from research to policy building, capacity building training to offering a wide public audience access to ideas and resources,” Jack said.
“One of this year’s highlights is a project designed to promote gender equality through education. The British Council and its consortium partners are supporting the Education Ministry in its goal to promote a gender sensitive approach throughout Turkey’s education system. This involves developing a gender equality in education assurance toolkit for schools and training teachers in how to use it effectively, capacity building within the ministry and an awareness-raising campaign to change attitudes that persist among students, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff,” she said.
Running until September 2016, the project is co-funded by the European Union and Turkey. Targeting 60,000 teachers in 10 provinces throughout Turkey, the project aims to benefit a generation of girls and boys in school.