Press Release on the 106th commemoration of the passing away of the last Ottoman Consul General in Johannesburg, Mehmet Remzi Bey, and unveiling of his tombstone

Pretorya Büyükelçiliği 14.02.2022

The 106th commemoration of the passing away of the last Ottoman Consul General in Johannesburg was realized today in a solemn ceremony at Braamfontein Cemetery. Unveiling of his restored original tombstone also took place.

H.E. Ms. Ayşegül Kandaş, Ambassador of Turkey to South Africa, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) Pretoria Coordinator Mr. Abdulkadir Abukan and Ms. Mignon Gatcke, the grand daughter of Mehmet Remzi Bey delivered speeches at the ceremony.

Turkish Ambassador Kandaş talked about the life and achievements of the Ottoman diplomat. She indicated that especially from the 19th century onwards, Ottoman scholars like Ebubekir Effendi and diplomats like Mehmet Remzi Bey played a crucial role in educating society, shaping Muslim identity and furthering relations. She also emphasized how honoring his memory contributed to enhancing the cultural, social and historical ties between Turkey and South Africa.

TİKA Coordinator Mr. Abukan stressed TİKA's dedication to restoring Otoman cultural legacy all around the world, including South Africa. He explained that after the reburial of Mehmet Remzi Bey's remains in its original graveyard, this new tomb was made out of marble and the original tombstone from 1916 was restored, the Arabic writing was renovated using lead like in the original version.

Members of the Turkish community, Embassy officials, grand daughter of Mehmet Remzi Bey and her spouse, representatives of the Muslim community and NGOs, Directors of Yunus Emre Cultural Center and Turkish Maarif Foundation, representatives of related South African instutitions as well as the diplomatic community and press attended the ceremony.


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