Important to maintain cultural relations, not just political: Turkish Ambassador Firat Sunel

Galgotias Ad

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) When the Turkish Ambassador to India, Firat Sunel, is not working or writing, he is busy cycling.

The first thing he did when posted to New Delhi was to buy a bicycle and discover the national capital.

“Getting to know the city on two wheels can be enigmatic. Discovering labyrinths, the happenings there, gives a peculiar view to the mechanics of how a city functions and how its character shapes,” he tells IANS.

Adding that he can cycle 40-50 km a day, he adds that it is paramount that countries develop not just political relations but also cultural ones.

“And I can say Turkey and India are very close culturally. People-to-people contact and acquainting one another with each other’s culture can be instrumental in strong friendships. Both our countries have stood with each other in times of crisis. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Turkey supplied the required medical equipment. India on its part demonstrated its commitment to our relations by sending rescue teams and equipment during the devastating earthquake in Turkey.”

This diplomat-author, who was recently part of the recently concluded Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) and will be in conversation with Meru Gokhale on his novel ‘The Lighthouse Family’ (Penguin) during the upcoming Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) has written ‘Salkim Sogutlerin Golgesinde’ (‘In the Shade of the Weeping Willows’), which inspired a TV series called ‘Buyuk Surgun Kafkasya’,’The Great Exile Caucasia’, ‘Izmirli’, ‘Izmirli, My Last Love’, and ‘Sarpincik Feneri’ (‘The Lighthouse Family’). His novels have been translated into several languages, including Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada in India.

“While diplomats write a lot as it is part of their profession, they also get to meet and interact with a lot of people. Contact with diverse people provides me with much inspiration,” he says.

Talking about ‘The Lighthouse Family’, which has recently been published in Malayalam, and will be released in English at JLF, the author says Indian readers will easily relate to the book.

“It is about a family’s tragedy through World War 2, and how wars affect people and their families, even though they live in a faraway lighthouse. I do have a lot of feedback from Turkey and critics really liked it and it will be received well,” concludes Sunel, who likes writing historical fiction and makes it a point to devote at least three hours early morning to writing.




Comments are closed.