The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Türkiye organized a Sri Lanka tourism and cultural promotional event in Adana commemorating Sri Lanka’s 75th anniversary of Independence celebrated on 04 February 2023, the anniversary of establishing the Republic of Türkiye on 29 October 2023 and the 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Türkiye in 2023.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Türkiye decided to organize the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Sri Lanka under the theme “At 75: Sri Lanka Moving Forward with Nature-based Solutions for Global Climate Change. Although a series of Sri Lanka tourism and cultural promotional events were originally scheduled to be held in February 2023, in solidarity with the Turkish people affected by the devastating earthquake in southeastern Türkiye on 06 February 2023, the Embassy postponed all the promotional events.
Eight months after the earthquake, the first such event was arranged by the embassy together with the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Adana on 13 October 2023 at Adana HiltonSA. Similar events are being organized in the cities of Antalya and Bursa as well.
While welcoming the guests, Hony. Consul of Sri Lanka in the Mediterranean Region, Adana Beşir Uğur shared his experiences about Sri Lanka as a business and tourist destination as Mr. Uğur started his business relations with Sri Lanka in the tea sector in the early 1980s as the owner of BETA Tea in Türkiye.
The Governor of Adana Yavuz Selim Köşger delivered remarks, as the chief guest. He highlighted the importance of arranging such an event in Adana to cherish the similarities, and understand and embrace the differences between cultures that enrich our lives. He also emphasized that it is important to promote tourism and culture as a means of bridging gaps, promoting understanding and peace among people.
Prior to the event, Ambassador Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake called on the Governor Köşger and discussed on areas for collaboration such as trade, and investment including garment, IT, renewable energy, and agricultural sectors. The governor noted a Turkish idiom “one knows who real friends are at times of peril and disasters” noting how Sri Lanka helped Türkiye in the aftermath of the earthquake and how Türkiye helped Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the tsunami.
Governor Köşger, an ardent diver expressed his interest in exploring the under sea around Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Dissanayake delivered the keynote address by introducing Sri Lanka as a country that is well known for its Ceylon tea, gems, and true cinnamon, and a land with infinite experiences for Turkish tourists. She noted that the direct flights to operate between the two countries by Turkish Airlines would increase connectivity and contribute towards closer interactions between the two peoples, which would also enhance bilateral economic cooperation.
The Ambassador also mentioned that Sri Lanka is globally recognized for its commitment to contributing to mitigating climate change impacts and the efforts to sustainably manage its unparalleled ecosystems, diversity, and high endemism. She added that Sri Lanka is ready to share its expertise with Türkiye too.
The event was attended by over 150 invitees, comprising officials from the public sector, including members of parliament from the National Assembly and local government, heads of chambers and leading private sector organizations in Adana, representatives from the tourism sector in Adana and media.
Tourism presentations, videos, Sri Lankan music, batik décor, and banners all provided a beautiful Sri Lankan ambiance to the event.
In addition, a Sri Lankan photo exhibition depicting nature and climate change impact, and culture by professional award-winning photographers, Ravi Ranasinghe & Dr. Umberto Binetti and a selection of paintings by renowned Sri Lankan artist Vasantha Perera were displayed at the venue, together with Sri Lankan gem-studded jewellery.
As the sponsor of the event, BETA Tea Company in Türkiye, served Ceylon tea at the event and showed a video clip introducing BETA tea.
Guests were also treated to sumptuous Sri Lankan delicacies together with Turkish food during the networking session while enjoying traditional and modern Sri Lankan music.
It was an event to expose the people of Adana to a wide range of experiences and insights into the Sri Lankan culture and a glimpse of what Sri Lanka offers to the world, particularly to the people of Adana in Türkiye as a promising future tourist destination.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
17 October 2023