Statement by Turquoise Harmony Institute (THI) regarding the article by Turkish Ambassador to South Africa titled “Turkey and South Africa lead regional efforts in tackling Covid-19” published in Pretoria News on 11 May 2020
We would like to inform the public that we find the baseless and distorted views expressed in the above article unacceptable and categorically reject all accusations mentioned in the article. It is our opinion that the Ambassador’s real attack is on media freedom in South Africa as she seems to believe she can “correct and guide” them.
Inspired by the principles and ideals of Hizmet Movement (HM), individuals of diverse backgrounds have been serving selflessly to contribute to South Africa’s development and transformation through non-profit institutions in the fields of education, outreach and interfaith dialogue. We would like to place on record that these institutions are devoted purely to serve all South Africans without discrimination. Therefore we are deeply disturbed by the fact that these institutions are drawn into such issues. As an institution inspired by HM ideals, we, Turquoise Harmony Institute, distance ourselves from such accusations and reiterate that we are committed to serving South Africa by spreading a culture of love, respect and peaceful co-existence.
Turquoise Harmony Institute was established in 2006 in order to foster relations among different faith and cultural traditions to contribute to the well-being of humanity. We encourage and facilitate exchange of views and experiences between different parts of the society and engage in activities that are aimed at stimulating critical thinking and analysis of affairs affecting the lives all people.
We engaged in many activities in our short history such as conferences, seminars, iftaar dinners, intercultural trips, peace and dialogue awards, etc. The aim of these activities is to promote values of Ubuntu, dialogue, respect and understanding among peoples of South Africa and the world to foster social cohesion, democracy, justice and human rights.