The main moment of President Klaus Iohannis’ official visit to Turkey was his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday evening in Ankara.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was welcomed with military honours at the Presidential Palace of Ankara by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was given a 21-gun salute in a military ceremony attended by 132 soldiers.
At the ceremony, the national anthems of Romania and Turkey were played, with Iohannis hailing the guard of honour. A colourful detail was a group of Turkish soldiers dressed up in traditional military attire representing Turkey’s 16 regions. At the end of the talks, the two Heads of State made ample statements about bilateral cooperation, as well as the contribution that the two states bring to cooperation within the North Atlantic Alliance and to resolving the problems that terrorism currently poses in the world.
The President of Turkey emphasised that we are currently marking 130 years of bilateral diplomatic relations between two partner and allied states located in a common geographic space. President Erdogan underscored that the talks with his Romanian counterpart outlined, once more, the strong ties between the two countries. At the same time, he emphasised that bilateral talks confirmed the bilateral economic collaboration potential in strategic sectors such as energy, as well as the determination in the fight against terrorism.
The Turkish Head of State pointed out that after the EU, Turkey is our country’s most important economic partner. In 2015, he said, trade totalled USD 5.4 bln, with outlook of reaching USD 10 bln in the following years. 10,000 Turkish companies are active on the Romanian market. The Turkish President pointed out that the terrorist attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and Brussels have showed that terrorism is the same everywhere, its targets being civilians and innocent people, and for this reason, the fight against this plague has to be intensified even more.
In his speech, the Romanian President emphasised the special importance of the Romanian-Turkish Strategic Partnership, pointing out that his visit to Turkey represents the natural continuation of the dialogue he and the Turkish Head of State had a year ago in Bucharest. He pointed out that relations with Turkey have special importance for Romania, both from a bilateral standpoint, as well as part of joint ties within NATO and as part of the strengthening of security and collaboration in the Black Sea region.
On the first day of his state visit to Turkey, Iohannis toured the Saint Paraskevi Church of Istanbul, a foundation of ruler Constantin Brancoveanu and place of worship of the Romanian Christian Orthodox community of Istanbul. While in Istanbul, he also toured the Blue Mosque and the St. Sophia Museum.