Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Abuja Büyükelçiliği

Konuşma Metinleri

Cumhuriyet Bayramı Açılış Konuşması , 28.10.2013

Distinguished Guests, Chief of Protocol Ambassador Baraya of Nigerian Foreign Affairs, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Members of the Turkish Community in Nigeria, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honor and pleasure for us to host such an august community here in our new Embassy premises.
Tonight, we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey with great joy and honor.
90 years ago, our nation led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founded the Republic of Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.
Today, Turkey upholds modern principles of respect for human rights, parliamentary democracy, secularism, pluralism, open economy with an emphasis on social rights as essential tools to modernize our society.
Turkey acts as a responsible member of the international community, which is facing tough challenges and high risks in a time of fast changing world. Taking the necessary steps in keeping with the pace of these changes and developments is one of the great challenges before us.
During such turbulent times, international legitimacy, economic interdependence, respect for democracy and human rights, pursuing sustainable development with appropriate environmental policies and harmony among nations belonging to different religious and ethnic origins stand as the most important tools to build lasting peace, stability and prosperity.
Located in one of the important intersections of different foreign policy dynamics, this extraordinary process shapes Turkey's basic foreign policy issues. In light of the many opportunities created by globalization, we hope for the emergence of a new environment conducive to lasting peace.
However, hot and frozen conflicts, new and evolving risks and threats such as global terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cross-border organized crime, illegal immigration, intolerance and radicalism continue to overshadow our optimism.
The Afro-Eurasian geography, where Turkey is situated at the epicenter, is an area where such opportunities and risks interact in the most intensive way. Under these circumstances, to conduct a stable and constructive foreign policy has become more important for us.
Turkey is trying to generate stability and security; help establish an order that paves the way for prosperity, human development, democracy and lasting peace and stability.
Turkey attaches particular importance to its transatlantic and European ties, while further developing its relations with her neighbors and beyond. In a world where globalization renders distances insignificant, Turkey is deepening its policies of reaching out to Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, which is home to many emerging powers, including Nigeria.
We try to conduct an active diplomacy in the multilateral fora, notably in the United Nations. While we try to contribute to the work of the UN Security Council through non-permanent membership, taking into account of the direct relationship between security and development, we are more engaged in global development efforts, through increasing our development assistance to over 2,5 billion USD per annum. We try to bridge opinions and create synergies by hosting international conferences such as the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries, which adopted the Program of Action for the decade 2011-2020.
As an emerging energy hub and a major transit country, Turkey plays an important role with respect to global energy security. Likewise, as an active member of the G-20, Turkey is pursuing a more representative and democratic global system.
Turkey also assumes an active role in endeavors to foster mutual respect and common values among different cultures and religions. In this regard, the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, cosponsored by Turkey and Spain, for us represents a strong response to the scenario of the so-called “clash of civilizations”.
We try to play a more active role in mediation and resolution of conflicts. We prioritize opportunities and initiatives by improving cooperation and friendship between states based on win-win principle.
Since establishment, Republic of Turkey has undergone profound political, economic and social transformation, especially during the last three decades. It has recorded a remarkable GDP growth rate of almost % 6 on average during the period of 2002-2011. Thus, Turkey’s per capita income increased 3 folds to 10,500 USD in 2012.
Today, Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world with a GDP of about 800 billion dollars in 2012.
Turkey has been pursuing an export-led growth since 1980’s. By virtue of economic reforms, restrictions on imports have been lifted, safeguard practices were reduced, and foreign exchange transactions were liberalized, among other measures to modernize our economy.
As a result of the economic reforms carried out during the last 3 decades, both the volume and composition of the Turkish trade have radically changed. The volume of Turkish exports increased to 152,6 billion USD and imports to 236.5 billion USD in 2012. Our total foreign trade volume reached almost 390 billion USD last year.
Turkey’s relations with Nigeria have been on the ascent. We are trying to convert this growing relationship into a strategic partnership as declared by our Presidents.
High level visits between our countries contribute to the further development of our relations.
We have been recording higher levels of commercial exchange, which leads to further contacts between our nations and businesses.
Turkey-Nigeria trade volume has reached 1.5 billion USD mark last year. If LNG trade included, Nigeria is Turkey’s biggest trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We see Nigeria as a strong partner with great potential. With this understanding, we encourage Turkish investments in Nigeria, and seek more economic, commercial, cultural and educational ties.
As a token of our developing relations in all areas, the first resident Turkish Military Attaché is appointed to Nigeria. Staff Colonel Demiray Demirci has assumed his duties last month.
Last June, we congratulated the first graduates of the Nigerian-Turkish Nile University, from whom we all have high expectations for the further development of this proud nation and strengthen Turkey-Nigeria relations.
The Turkish Nizamiye Hospital opened its doors to the public last August and it has already hosted its first operations, such as heart surgeries and baby deliveries.
We value and cherish our already excellent relations with Nigeria, and as the Embassy we stand ready to do more.
I would like to thank all Nigerian authorities, particularly the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in facilitating our job of improving and furthering the relations of our two friendly countries and partners.
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 90th anniversary of the establishment of our Republic.
I would like to conclude with the words of our great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, “Peace at Home, Peace in the World”, and I would like to say long live Turkey long live Nigeria! Now I raise my glass for the Turkish-Nigerian friendship and partnership!
Thank you very much for being with us here tonight, and I hope you would enjoy food and company.