29 Ekim Cumhuriyet Bayramı Resepsiyonu Konuşması 2014
Mustafa Pulat 29.10.2014
H.E. Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri, Honourable Minister of State I for Foreign Affairs and Supervising State Minister of Education,
H.E. Deputy Governor of Kano State Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje, representing the Honorable Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso,
Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Aviation, Finance and Defence,
H. E. Amb. Usman Baraya, Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Directors and Ambassadors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Members of the Diplomatic Community,
Members of the Shitta Bey Family from Lagos,
Members of the Turkish Community in Nigeria,
Members of the Press, All Protocols Observed,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Evening,
I would like to start by reading out the message of our President His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey on this august occasion. I quote:
“I would like to congratulate the Republic Day of all our citizens living in friendly Nigeria. I pray the Almighty God that the 91st Anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey will conduce to the benefaction of our country, our nation, and all friendly and brotherly countries.
I convey our peace and solidarity message through the representatives of all friendly and brotherly countries to their nations, who share our enthusiasm on the 91st Anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey; and to all of our mission personnel, and extend the wholehearted greetings of our nation.
The Republic of Turkey has a foreign policy understanding, which defends peace, solidarity, justice and prosperity in the world; respects internal affairs and territorial integrity of each and every country, and upholds human rights and freedoms above everything else.
These values we have carefully preserved and safeguarded for 91 years will remain to be the unshakeable fundamental principles of Turkish foreign policy in the future, as is the case today. Turkey will never hesitate to support justice, righteousness and peace, and will continue to courageously defend the rights of the oppressed and victimized in every single issue.
With its steadily growing economy, its democracy reaching higher standards, its resolute EU strategy, and its membership to the G-20, and its active policies in international platforms, Turkey will never abstain from mobilizing its wide experience for the sake of regional and global peace and the benefit of humanity.
With these thoughts, I congratulate once again the Republic Day of all of our citizens, brothers and sisters, and our relatives living in Nigeria.
On this meaningful day, on behalf of my country and my nation, I would like to convey my gratitude to friendly and brotherly Nigeria, other fellow countries, their people and representatives who share our excitement and sentiments, and I would like to send my deep feelings of affection and greetings.” End of the message.
Ladies and Gentlemen, now with your indulgence, I would like to present my statement:
It is a great honor and pleasure for us to host such a distinguished community, as we are celebrating the 91st anniversary of the founding of our Republic with great pleasure, joy and honor.
91 years ago, Turkish nation led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, organized and won the War of Independence and founded the Republic of Turkey.
After 91 years, Turkey is a democratic and modern country, which upholds the principles of respect to human and social rights, democracy, secularism, pluralism rule of law and open economy.
Turkey is located at the cross roads of different of regions, regimes, civilizations and countries. Our heritage, social and political harmony, political, economic and social development enable us to steer through the major challenges of our region.
Previous decades’ instability, conflicts and terrorism in our region is unfortunately continuing today with the involvement of actors such as ISIS, PKK, PYD and others.
Turkey, as a reflection of our long tradition of helping destitute people, welcomed more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees, escaping from the tragic situation in this country. This figure includes more than 200.000 refugees, whom we welcomed during the previous weeks from the town of Ayn Al-Arab or Kobani, which is under attack from ISIS.
There is a genuine and urgent need to address the Middle Eastern issues in a holistic manner, before the region faces more serious problems and challenge
Turkey assumes responsibility not only in our region, as circumstances dictate, but we also provide humanitarian help to different regions and countries from Myanmar to Somalia.
Such efforts have made Turkey the largest emerging donor country in comparison with our per capita income.
Turkey pursues a multi-dimensional foreign policy. On one hand, while we strengthen our traditional Trans-Atlantic and European ties, on the other hand we try to deepen our relations with Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions in several fields.
Turkey also assumes an active role in her endeavors to foster mutual respect and development of common values among different civilizations, cultures and religions. In this regard, the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain, represents an appropriate response to the scenario of the so-called “clash of civilizations”.
Since establishment, Republic of Turkey has undergone profound political, transformation. Today, Turkey has a well-functioning open market economy, strong financial and fiscal systems, which enabled us to resist the global financial and economic crisis.
Turkey’s relations with Africa have been developing speedily during the previous years. Africa has been a priority in our foreign policy.
Nigeria occupies a special place in Turkey’s relations with Africa. We see Nigeria as a strong and strategic partner with great potential. With this understanding, we encourage Turkish investments in Nigeria, and seek more economic, commercial, cultural and educational ties.
Turkey-Nigeria trade volume has exceeded 1.5 billion USD mark last year. If LNG trade is included, Nigeria is Turkey’s biggest trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Not only our relations, but connections between Turkey and Nigeria are improving. Until December last year, Turkish Airlines had only direct flights from Istanbul to Lagos.
Turkish Airlines launched Istanbul-Kano direct flights in December 2013, and we expect Turkish Airline’s Istanbul-Abuja flights to start soon.
I wish to thank all of our Nigerian partners, and particularly H.E. Prof. Mrs. Viola Onwuliri, State Minister I of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for her achievements and fruitful negotiations in several fields, when she visited Ankara for our Joint Economic Commission meeting.
I would also like to thank all Nigerian authorities, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in facilitating our job of improving and furthering the relations between our two friendly countries and partners.
The recent achievement of Nigeria against the Ebola outbreak demonstrated the abilities of the Nigerian Government and her people.
I would like to emphasize that Turkey did not introduce any restrictions during the Ebola outbreak, which demonstrates our solidarity with Nigeria and other West African countries.
We also believe that Nigeria will win her fight against terrorism with the increasing regional and international cooperation against Boko Haram.
We hope that the recent window of opportunity in finding a lasting solution to Boko Haram terror will lead to success.
We believe that the Presidential and General Elections to be held on 15 February 2015 will further strengthen Nigeria.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to commemorate with deep respect and high appreciation our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our country and made it possible that today we could proudly celebrate the 91st anniversary of the establishment of our Republic.
I wish to share our grief on the passing of the Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, H. E. Tegelsir Mahgoub Ali, and the spouse of H. E. Mrs. L. Ann Scott, Jamaica High Commissioner.
Unfortunately today we have 18 miners trapped in a Karaman mine after a flood. We hope and pray that they will be saved and brought together with their loved ones.
In concluding, I thank my staff for all of their efforts to realize this beautiful event.
I would like to utter the words of our great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, “Peace at Home, Peace in the World”. I pray for more Turkish-Nigerian friendship; long live Turkey, long live Nigeria!
Ahmet Melih Ulueren Büyükelçi
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