Cumhuriyetimizin ilanının 88. yıldönümünü kutlamak üzere 31 Ekim 2011 tarihindeki resmi kabulde

Ali Yakıtal 31.10.2011
31 October 2011, Ambassador’s Residence, 18:15)

Kia ora,
Tena koe,
Tena korua,
Tena koutou,

Honourable Georgina te Heuheu,
Honourable Members of the Parliament,
Esteemed Ambassadors, High Commissioners,
Members of the Turkish community,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we, the members of the Turkish community in New Zealand, are celebrating with great pride the 88th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. I would like to warmly welcome you all.

As you know, on 23th of October 2011, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Van province of Turkey and claimed 600 hundred lives with a further 4000 injured.
Our hearts and thoughts are with the families of the victims and all those who have suffered in this catastrophe.

I am aware that New Zealand knows all too well the suffering and destruction major earthquakes can cause, and Government and people of New Zealand sympathize fully with the people of Turkey at this difficult time.

In fact, on behalf of the people and the Government of New Zealand, the Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, conveyed to His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, his deepest condolences for the loss of life suffered and the destruction caused by the devastating earthquake and offered assistance. In this context, New Zealand is providing humanitarian assistance through Turkish Red Crescent for the procurement and distribution of shelter materials to those left homeless.

I wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the New Zealand Government and people for this assistance. As you might recall, similarly, the people of Turkey had offered support to New Zealand in the aftermath of the Cantenbury Earthquake which claimed also the life of a young Turkish lady. The solidarity shown by Turkey and New Zealand, on these sad occasions, clearly reflects the strong bonds of friendship between our nations.

I wish to reiterate my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of both calamities. May I invite you now to join for a moment of silence in memory of our lost ones? “May their soul rest in peace”

Ladies and Gentleman,

We are firmly resolved to follow the legacy of Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkey. He had dedicated all his life to raising Turkey to the same level as the modern West. As a result of his reforms, Turkey's political and economic structure was completely changed. The following reforms carried out based on this solid structure, has gained momentum during last decade and today Turkey become a source of inspiration for some countries in our region as clearly shown by the recent events in the Middle East and the North Africa.

Turkey currently represents the 16th largest economy in the world, the 6th largest economy in Europe thanks to its robust economic and financial structure. With its high performance, Turkey is steadily heading for an annual GDP of 1 trillion dollars. Turkey has come out of global economic crises of 2008 and 2009 much more rapidly than many countries. In 2010, Turkey has been the third fastest growing economy of the world with an 8.9% growth rate. According to OECD, Turkey is expected to be the fastest growing economy among OECD members during 2011-2017, with an annual average growth rate of %6.7.

Turkey is one of the top 10 tourism destination across the globe. From 2001 to 2010 the number of foreign tourist visiting Turkey increased from 11 million to 29 million. The tourism revenues for the same period increased from 7.5 billion dollars to 16 billion dollars. These numbers make Turkey 7th in terms of visiting tourists and 8th in terms of tourism revenues in the world. Turkey has, not only infrastructure for seaside tourism, but also for health, culture, faith, congress,
sports, and archaeological tourism. On the other hand, in respect of agricultural product Turkey ranked the 6th in the World and 1st in Europe.

With its population of more than 73 million, its dynamic and open-market economy, competitive industry and the Custom Union with the EU for more than 15 years, Turkey, a negotiating country for full EU membership, is an attractive destination for foreign investors. During the last 8 years, the total inflow of foreign direct investments has reached to 94 billion US dollars.

Turkey’s annual trade volume is around 300 billion dollars and rising. Its exports increased nine times in the last 20 year reaching 114 billion dollars in 2010.

Turkey has been enhancing its foreign aid programs with significant increases in the technical and humanitarian assistance it provides to all corners of the globe. Turkey’s official development assistance has exceeded 3.5 billion US Dollars in the last 5 years.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The relations between Turkey and New Zealand which have transformed into a lasting friendship from the sad experiences of the Çanakkale Land Battles are exemplary in many aspects. This characteristic of our friendship provides a solid base to strengthen and grow bilateral relationship across a range of fields to the mutual benefits of our peoples.

On this occasion, I would like to pay my tribute once again to the great leader Atatürk who provided the seed from which deep respect grows between our nations with his extraordinary message of comfort and compassion to the families who lost their loved ones in the soil of Turkey.

I would also like to applaud our leaders and the peoples who had contributed to this rare and significant outcome with their words and deeds deeply enshrined into our conscious which endures as a monumental example of peace and friendship between our nations.

Turkey and New Zealand have much in common. They both share a common vision for
democracy, peace and stability in their region and in the world. They both help secure a peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative regional and international environment that is conducive to human development all over the world, including the Asia-Pacific region.

The political relationship between our countries is excellent, as noted by our Prime Ministers in the Joint Declaration in April 2010. The said Declaration provides guidance to further develop our bilateral relations. We can strengthen and diversify our relationship on the basis of this document which can be considered as a road map.

There have been a series of visits exchanged at various levels. Last year Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Key, Speaker of the Parliament the Right Honourable Lockwood Smith and Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Murray McCully paid official visits to Turkey, while early this year, Ömer Dinçer, Minister of Labour and Social Security had very useful talks with his counterparts in your beautiful country.

I also would like to mention that Honorable Murray McCully and Major General Richard Jones visited Turkey in conjunction with the commemorations held on 24-25 April 2011 in Çanakkale and they had also very fruitful talks with their counterparts.

Both our nations share similar views on a number of multilateral issues, including contributions to international peace and security. Our mutual commitment to international peace and security is highlighted by the fact our Provincial Reconstruction Teams work alongside each other as neighbors in Afghanistan and share their experiences. As a troop contributor to Afghanistan since 2001, Turkey has assumed command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) twice, in 2002 and 2005. Turkey has also led the Kabul Regional Command (RCC) for 8 months in 2007. Furthermore, on 1 November 2009, Turkey once more assumed responsibility for the Kabul Regional Command, and very recently, upon the request of NATO, Turkey decided to extend this term in command until 1 November 2012.

Turkey attaches special importance to the international peace and security. In line with this policy, Turkey makes a substantial contribution to various international peace-keeping activities. Since the end of the Second World War, Turkish troops have served under numerous UN, NATO and EU (ESDP) missions including the Korean War; UN Operations in Somalia (UNOSOM); UN Peace Protection Force (UNPROFOR) and NATO Implementation Force (IFOR/SFOR) in the Former Yugoslavia; EU Operations in Macedonia; UN Operation ALBA in Albania; UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Turkey is currently contributing to the peace support operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sudan, Iraq and Somalia territorial waters.

Distinguished Guests,

We would like to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Çanakkale Land Battles in 2015
together with New Zealand and Australia in conformity with the strong feelings shared by our people. We already have initiated the timely preparations for the commemorations. From our perspective, one of the most important item on the agenda is the development of our economic ties.

During the visit of the Right Honourable John Key to Turkey last year, our Prime Ministers expressed a desire to strengthen this relationship by developing our economic and trade linkages on the basis of mutual benefit. Turkey-New Zealand Joint Economic Commission Meeting was held in Wellington early this year, with the participation of delegations led by Minister of Labour and Social Security of Turkey His Excellency Ömer Dinçer and Minister of Trade of New Zealand Honorable Tim Groser.

We have taken an important step towards completion of the legal framework of our economic and trade relations by signing the Agreement on Air Services and the Prevention of Double Taxation last year.

I also welcome recent bilateral initiatives aimed at strengthening people-to-people and cultural links, including the Working Holiday Agreement which has recently entered into force.

Our bilateral trade had by no means reached its true potential, and there is considerable scope of growth, not only in the volume, but also in the variety of traded goods and services.

During the last Joint Economic Commission meeting two sides agreed to establish a Joint Working Group which will be responsible for developing strategies to further increase and diversify the composition of bilateral trade.

Distinguished Guests,

During the last 9 months that my wife and I have spent in, literally, the coolest capital of the world, we have gladly learnt how friendly and open minded New Zealand people are. Kiwis are high achievers in sport as well, and rugby is a national sport. The Rugby World Cup which was just concluded was a great success for New Zealand. I take this opportunity to congratulate All Blacks for their excellent performance in this tournament.

It is with these thoughts and feelings that I ask all present here to join me in a toast to the personal health and happiness of Her Majesty Elizabeth ?, Queen of New Zealand , to the prosperity and success of the friendly New Zealand people and to the development of Turkish-New Zealand friendship and cooperation.


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