89 th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey

H.E. Mr Ömür Sölendil, Ambassador of Turkey to Bucharest

“Today, we are celebrating the 89th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. I wish to extend my appreciation to the daily Nine O’Clock for issuing this special supplement and thus giving me the opportunity to address the friendly people of Romania on this occasion. The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was a nation builder and a great reformer whose vision has become a source of inspiration not only for the Turkish people, but also for nations which were following in the footsteps of Turkey in their march towards independence and nation-building process. Atatürk’s vision has paved the way for the young Turkish Republic to take its highly regarded place among modern and prosperous states. Atatürk’s famous motto “peace at home, peace in the world” has laid down the foundations of Turkish foreign policy. Pursuing this approach, Turkey has made significant contributions to peace, stability and security around the world. Today, through a proactive and dynamic foreign policy, Turkey builds its relations on political dialogue, economic interdependence and mutual interests. At bilateral level, I would like to put a special emphasis on the close relations between Turkey and Romania in every field.

Two important actors of the same geography, Turkey and Romania share a common historical heritage, similar culture and traditions. Existence of approximately two thousand words in common in our languages is the testimony to centuries-old relations and intensive people-to-people contacts.The excellent political climate between Turkey and Romania constitutes the ground for expanding the cooperation in every possible field. Turkey and Romania exchanged many high level visits over the past few years. In 2011, we upgraded our traditional relations of friendship and cooperation to the level of Strategic Partnership. We have also finalized the Action Plan, which will put the priorities and modalities of our Strategic Partnership into motion. Therefore, once signed, we will have a full-fledged mechanism for exploiting the vast potential to further improve our relations through concrete joint projects in a wide range of areas. We also nourish close cooperation at international fora such as the UN, NATO, OSCE, BSEC, etc. The excellent political relations between our countries have also been translated into concrete achievements in bilateral commercial and economic relations. Our bilateral trade volume reached almost 7 billion US Dollars in 2011. In the first eight months of this year, our trade exchange has amounted to almost 4 billion US Dollars. Over 6,000 Turkish companies are functional in Romania in various sectors. The total value of Turkish investments in Romania together with investments via third countries has exceeded 5 billion US Dollars, ranking Turkey as the third biggest investor last year. We strongly believe that our Strategic Partnership will be highly instrumental in further enhancing the economic cooperation between our countries.    In today’s world, it has become obvious that formal diplomatic engagement is not enough to establish strong bilateral relationships. Along with increased contacts between our Parliaments, non-official interactions and people-to-people contacts also bear importance than ever in enhancing overall ties. Turkey and Romania have every means in this regard.   Around 18,000 Turkish citizens live in Romania. Tens of thousands of Romanian tourists visit Turkey annually. In 2011, this figure reached up to almost 400.000. During the first eight months of this year 275.000 Romanians visited Turkey. I would also like to highlight the valuable contributions of Romanian citizens of Turkish and Tatar origin to our friendly bilateral relations. Existence of this strong human bond further strengthens our ties and serves as a cultural and social bridge between our nations. I wish to extend our appreciation to the Romanian authorities for their exemplary benevolent treatment of minorities. With the inauguration of Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centers in Bucharest and Constanta last November, we have established another means for fostering cultural and social exchanges between our two nations. We believe that the Turkish Cultural Centers in Romania and the Romanian Cultural Center in Turkey will further contribute to discovering and developing the common aspects of Turkish and Romanian cultures and bringing two nations even closer.Taking all these into consideration, I would like to firmly express that Turkey will continue to attach utmost importance to its valuable relations with this beautiful country and her people. I am confident that deep-rooted and multifaceted ties between Turkey and Romania will continue to be an important asset for our people, as well as for the entire region.”

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