Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

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29 Ekim Milli Gün Resepsiyonu Konuşması (İngilizce), 29.10.2011

TURKISH NATIONAL DAY SPEECH


GIVEN BY THE CONSUL GENERAL OF TURKEY SALİH MUTLU ŞEN


(29 October 2011, Jeddah)


 


Dear Colleagues, Distinguished Consuls-General


Distinguished Assistant Secretaries General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,


Distinguished Vice-Presidents of Islamic Development Bank,


Dear friends of Turkey, Distinguished guests,


 


Welcome to our National Day Reception on the occasion of the 88th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.


 


As you know, last week we had some sad developments both in Saudi Arabia and in Turkey. In your presence, let me wish Allah’s mercy for Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, who departed this world on 22 October. I would like to express my shared sorrow and my heartfelt condolences to the Saudi people. H.E the Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a condolence visit to royal family in Riyadh on 26th of October. Before that, Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Bülent Arınç attended the funeral ceremony on 25 October in Riyadh. I would like to congratulate also H.E Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, for his assignment as the Crown Prince.  


 


On the other hand, in recent weeks, according to increasing terrorist attacks in Turkey, we had several martyrs. Most recently, 24 Turkish soldiers were killed in a treacherous attack in Çukurca. Just after these attacks, our deep sorrow has doubled by a big earthquake of 7.2 magnitude which occured in eastern Turkey and which caused nearly 600 people death. More than 2500 people got injured. On this occasion, I would like to express my condolences and I wish patience to our nation. I pray Allah Almighty speedy recovery for injured people. I also would like to thank Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that showed its great solidarity with Turkish people aftermath this earthquake.


 


Turkish nation showed its close sensitivity for brother Somali people during the brutal hunger and famine in the country. H.E. Prime Minister Mr. Erdoğan paid a visit to Somalia in order to show our solidarity and sensitivity on this issue. As of October, within the framework of the humanitarian assistance campaign launched by the Prime Ministry, more than 60 million Dollars have been collected. Likewise, to date, the total amount of aid sent to Somalia under the coordination of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency reached 30 million Dollars. All amount that have been collected within the assistance campaigns for Somalia both in Turkey and in other countries, are planned to be used for humanitarian assistance and development in Somalia under the coordination both the aforementioned Management and Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency.


 


Dear guests,


 


In the 88th Anniversary of its foundation, the basic principle of foreign policy of Turkey is “the Peace at Home, Peace in the World” which is pointed by Great Ataturk. In the same vein, Turkey continuously supports the steps taken in our brother countries, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya for their prosperity, peace and stability and continues its humanitarian and political assistance. Our sincere and greatest wish in Syria is that the people’s aspirations are met and expectations of reforms are done so that it will facilitate the stabilization of the country.


 


Turkey will always continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian brothers. Turkey gives its full support for the candidacy of Palestine to be a United Nations member State. Our humanitarian and development aid for Palestine will also keep going.


 


Turkey continues to follow an active policy for Afghanistan’s peace, prosperity and development. Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan will be held in Turkey in early November.


 


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, undertaken by Secretary General Mr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, occupies a crucial place in Turkish Foreign Policy and Turkey supports fully the efforts of Mr. Secretary General and the Organization. Turkey also established tight relations with Islamic Development Bank. In 2011, Turkey became a full member of two institution of IDB Group, namely International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation and Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector.


 


Since 2008, everday the global financial crisis reveals its different aspects, particulary in developed countries. Today many governments are facing very serious social challanges. As for Turkey, it is one of rare countries which could continue its high growth rate and increase its credit rate during this period. 


 


Big infrastructure projects are implemented rapidly. Recently, Canal Istanbul Project, announced by H.E. Mr. Prime Minister Erdogan, will bring an accurate solution to the dense crude oil carrier traffic in Istanbul Bosporus. Two high speed railway lines between Ankara-Eskişehir and Ankara-Konya are projected to be extended to İstanbul and Sivas in two years. Likewise, more than 15.000 kilometers of double highway have been already constructed within last 10 years.


 


Distinguished guests,


 


The relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia keep on developing, progressing and diversifying on all spheres on the base of historic friendship and brotherhood between two countries. In 2011, high level visits are paid from Turkish side. In this regard, H.E. Mr. President Abdullah Gul met with the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and also with Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy of Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, during his visit to Saudi Arabia in August. Moreover, Mr. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the Jeddah Economic Forum in March and addressed to the Forum. In July, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Ahmed Davutoğlu also came to Jeddah and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia to deal with the regional issues.     


 


Needless to say, Hajj and Umrah have a special place in our relations with Saudi Arabia. In 2011, Saudi Arabia hosted more than 400 thousand Turkish people for Umrah. It’s a record. We are expecting this number to reach 1 million in medium term.


 


The trade volume between two countries is about 6 billion Dollars which means that we are about to pass the figures of the trade volume before financial crisis.


 


Turkish Construction company Eser-Onur and its partner in Saudi Arabia Nesma, are now conducting an infrastructure project for rain water drainage in the city of Jeddah. Another Turkish company Yapı Merkezi, will construct Madinah and Makkah train stations within the Haremeyn Railway Project with Bin Ladin Group. Lastly, TAV, a Turkish construction company has assumed the construction and operation of the new terminal in Madinah Airport with Saudi Oger and Al Rajhi Groups. All these projects are very important and prestige projects for Kingdom. I avail myself of this opportunity to thank Saudi authorities for their confidence to Turkish construction companies.  


 


Finally, I would like express our sincere thanks to the esteemed Kingdom for providing appropriate conditions to live in peace and work in Saudi Arabia for Turkish nationals.


 


I wish to express my sincere and best regards and respects to all.