Turkish ambassador-designate, Ayşegül Kandaş with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Supplied
Turkish ambassador-designate, Ayşegül Kandaş with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Supplied

Turkish ambassador-designate aims to improve international travel in Cape Town

By Thandile Konco Time of article published Oct 15, 2021

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Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa received a letter of credence from the incoming ambassador-designate of the Republic of Turkey yesterday at a ceremony held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

The ceremony shed light on which 15 countries serve at missions in South Africa with the aim of advancing diplomatic relations.

The ceremony follows the Turkish consul-general, Sinan Yeşildağ hosting a Turkish banquet breakfast last week at his private residence in Constantia, to formally welcome the new Turkish ambassador-designate Ayşegül Kandaş.

Kandaş said that she would be exhausting all efforts to improve Turkish-South African travel and the improvement of international and local travel to Cape Town.

Kandaş described presenting her letter of credence to Ramaphosa as an honour and privilege to which she added was one of the most memorable moments in her career.

“She added that the domain of tourism is one close to the hearts of both Turkey and South Africa due to its significant component of economic relations.

“Cape Town is one of the gems in a country brimming with breathtaking landscapes, unforgettable safaris and welcoming people.

“We have recently opened a consul-general in Cape Town, which will ensure that we have a wider reach in the area and more opportunities to facilitate tourism.”

Kandaş said that from a broader perspective, South Africa occupies a significant place in Turkey’’s Africa Partnership Policy and its relations with all Sub- Saharan African countries.

Therefore both counties have a multi-faceted and growing relationship, ranging from trade to education, from science and technology to energy.

“I have the impression that there is a greater potential to be tapped into and I would like to dedicate my term here to find ways to reach that goal.

“I will work on further developing our relations with South Africa in trade and investment, by trying to bring in Turkish investment such as Defy which is the biggest Turkish investment in the country and by increasing business to business contacts between the two countries.”

Kandaş added that she is trying to increase the number of South African students attending universities in Turkey and vice versa by enhancing cooperation in higher education.

“There is a lot of potential for cooperation in education, health and development aid to rural communities.

“In this respect, I would like to utilize the Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agency (TIKA) extensively in developing projects in cooperation with the South African authorities.

“Facilitating our existing cooperation with South Africa on regional and international platforms is also on my agenda.”

In an effort to tackle barriers to growth for the economy, particularly those impacting the tourism sector in the Western Cape.

The Western Cape government has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to move to alert level 1 and identify a clear plan to end the National State of Disaster.

They further plan to engaging with the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, requesting an urgent review and approval of the application for the Delta Air Lines triangular Atlanta – Joburg – Cape Town route; and by engaging with the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, requesting the introduction of a ‘Remote Working Visa’ to allow international visitors to stay longer and work remotely while travelling in South Africa.

Weekend Argus

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