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Message by H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, on the Occasion of the Turkish Language Day and European Day of Languages

Each language is a mirror reflecting the culture of a country. It is of utmost importance that languages are protected for preserving and maintaining the cultural heritage. Hence, in a world where over 6000 languages are spoken, language is the only tool to sustain the particularities and elegance of a culture.

By the initiative of the Council of Europe and European Union, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year on 26 September since 2001. Today, when one out of two people is bilingual or multilingual, lifelong learning of all languages needs to be promoted to better understand each other and to communicate, and cultural and linguistic heritage should be preserved in this manner.

Referring to the great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who says “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”, we should remember and remind once again on the occasion of this special day that the language that we use and the richness of languages are the elements that determine the limits of our horizons.

The preservation of the current cultural and linguistic diversity on which societies are based on should be an essential component of social policies that will shape the future. As said by Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi “there are many languages in the world, many languages, but their meaning is the same. Break all the pots, the jugs, see how the water flows on its way. Once unity is achieved, cast fighting and war aside, see how one runs and tells others about this.” All languages provide an opportunity to understand cultures and people and overcome barriers. The European Union has prioritised multiculturalism with its principle of “unity in diversity” and has supported this with its principle of multilingualism.

On this occasion, I would like to congratulate 26 September Turkish Language Day and the European Day of Languages.