Speech delivered by H.E. Ambassador Murat Ahmet Yörük on the Occasion of the 95th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Turkey
Dear Speaker of the Parliament,
Dear Deputy Prime Minister,
Dear Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Dear Members of the Parliament and Mayors,
Distinguished Colleagues, Dear Ambassadors,
Our fellow citizens,
Distinguished Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to extend my gratitude to all of you for being with us tonight as we celebrate the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. I welcome you all with sincere regards and deep respect.
Republic of Turkey is the legendary achievement of a nation that prefer to die instead of losing its independence. Proclamation of the Republic signifies the reborn of a nation from the ashes of an Empire following a national struggle for liberation.
Under the leadership of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades-in-arms, our nation has shown a great courage, strong will, wisdom and determination in this struggle, which defined our character. This character is still very much alive today.
We respectfully bow in front of the dear memories of the founder of our Republic and the victorious commander of the War of Liberation Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, his comrades-in-arms and all our veterans.
We commemorate once again with gratefulness our citizens, our daughters and sons who made the ultimate sacrifice to make the lands of our Republic our motherland, during public service, while fighting against terror groups and resisting the treacherous coup attempt of 15 July.
Since its foundation, the Republic of Turkey is rising prosperously by further developing its democracy, the principle of rule of law and individual rights and freedoms of its citizens.
Republic of Turkey is a respected member of the international community. With its young and dynamic population of 81 million, it is the 6th biggest economy in Europe and 17th biggest economy in the world.
Turkey has been transforming its economy while strengthening its physical infrastructure. Today, we have focused on a transformation to technology-intensive and innovative economy. Subsequently, we have made achievements in recent years especially in the defence industry sector.
Turkey has reached to the point of producing drones and tanks with local and national capabilities. In addition to this, we have progressed on projects to build aeroplanes and electric cars with national capabilities
A stronger Turkey means more investments, more employment and more cooperation. A stronger Turkey means more prosperous, more stable and a safer environment in the Balkans and an increased leading power for Europe.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Turkey conducts its foreign policy guided by the principle of “Peace at Home, Peace in the World” as set out by Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Under the visionary and experienced political leadership of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and because of the requirements of our age, we pursue an enterprising and humanitarian foreign policy.
We take concrete initiatives to promote security, stability, sustainable development and prosperity in the Balkans region and beyond.
Because of the humanitarian aspect of our foreign policy, we take principled, responsible and conscientious positions regarding the issues on our agenda.
Turkey stands together with all the oppressed countries and nations in the world from Palestine to Myanmar, from Somalia to Bosnia-Hercegovina. As a result of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Turkey is hosting the largest number of refugees worldwide for the fourth year in row.
Thus, Turkey became the biggest contributor in international humanitarian assistance in 2017.
On the other hand, Turkey plays a crucial role in the fight against terrorism within NATO and international coalitions. Turkey has immensely suffered and lived great losses by the terror attacks of DAESH, Al-Qaeda, PKK, PYD and FETO. We will continue our fight against terror with resolution.
Since 2002, Turkey has ever-increased democratic rights, freedoms, and implemented big scale reforms for the administration of the country. Turkey has been strengthening its financial structure and economy while implementing big-scale infrastructure investments.
In this regard, we have a distinct pride, honour and pleasure to inaugurate the Istanbul New Airport on this day as we celebrate our Republic Day. When completed in 2021 it will be the largest of its kind in the world with a capacity of 200 million passengers per year.
The visit of H.E. Ilir Meta, President of the Republic of Albania and H.E. Damian Gjiknuri to Turkey today for the opening ceremony of the Istanbul New Airport upon the invitation of our President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has a special importance for our relations with Albania.
We have a deep-rooted history of friendly and fraternal relations with Albania.
Although we do not share geographical borders, Albania is one of the countries, which has always been close to our hearts. We consider Albania as a neighbour by heart. Millions of Turkish citizens of Albanian origin are concrete examples of these bonds. It is an undeniable fact that our nations are inseparably connected with family bonds.
The words of Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our Republic and a natural born of this geography summarizes clearly how we should conduct our relations: “We love the Albanian nation, we consider them as brothers and sisters, and do not see them apart from ourselves. We seriously and definitely wish the strengthening of Albania as a country and as a nation and reach to its deserved level in the Balkans.”
Our President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also has a well-known affection for Albania and for our Albanian brothers and sisters as embodied in the important support he has given to the development of Albania especially in the fields of civil aviation, health, education, tourism, energy, infrastructure and agriculture complemented with other strategic investments,
One of the first treaties of friendship we signed in 1923 after the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey was with Albania. The title of this treaty “Treaty of Eternal Friendship and Cooperation” defines the relation between our countries and our nations in the simplest form.
Therefore, in 2023 we will not only be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of our Republic, but also the 100th Anniversary of the establishment our diplomatic relations with Albania.
Turkey aims the strengthening of peace, prosperity and cooperation in the Balkans. In this vein, we attach a special importance to our relations with Albania. Our bilateral relations are based on the principles of respect to the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the domestic policies.
We are cognizant of the key role that Albania has with respect to peace and stability in the Balkans. We support the integration process of Albania with all Euro-Atlantic institutions. We believe that economically and politically stronger Albania as a member of the EU, is in the interest of Turkey, the Balkans and Europe.
We shape our policies towards this end and with our sincere support for Albania. We do not have a hidden agenda towards Albania nor towards other countries in the region. It should not be thought otherwise.
We are pleased to be one of the biggest trading partners of Albania with a total of 480 Million Dollars of trade volume. Our investments in various sectors such as energy, finance, infrastructure, industry, civil aviation, education and telecommunication have reached to almost 3 billion Dollars. Turkish companies employ almost 15 thousand of our Albanian brothers and sisters which roughly corresponds to proving income to 60 thousand people in total.
We aim to further increase our trade and investments. This is a reflection of our trust in the bright future of Albania.
Our relations have clinched with the initialling of the “Joint Political Declaration For Establishing A High Level Cooperation Council” by the Foreign Ministers of our two countries during the visit of H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu two weeks ago. This document will raise our relations to a level of strategic partnership.
As the Ambassador of Turkey, I wholeheartedly believe in the bright future of relations between Turkey and Albania.
Turkey aims for new political, economic and commercial achievements on its 100th anniversary in 2023. I sincerely hope to celebrate these achievements in joint prosperity together with our friend and ally Albania on the 100th Anniversary of our “Treaty of Eternal Friendship and Cooperation”.
Eternal affection and friendship between Turkish and Albanian nations constitute a strong and unbreakable bridge between us.
Wish you all a very happy Republic Day!
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