AMBASSADOR ÜNAL’S MESSAGE
I am honoured to be appointed as the 27th Turkish Ambassador to Canada at a time when we are in the 70th anniversary of the Turkish-Canadian diplomatic relations that started in 1944 with the appointment of Mehmet Ali Şevki ALHAN as the first Turkish Ambassador to Canada.
Turkey and Canada share common values such as democracy, human rights, rule of law and free market economy. During the Cold War, both countries have been staunch supporters of these values. Turkey and Canada have strong bonds of alliance within NATO. Likewise, as two members of the G-20, we are sitting around the same table as leading actors of international politics and economics.
The strong presence of our fellow citizens who have come to Canada either for education or work and their contributions to the Canadian society attest the current level of our relations.
Our relations reached today’s level with ever strengthening presence of our fellow citizens in this country.The Newfoundland Regiment who joined the Çanakkale (Gallipoli) Campaign demonstrates the historical dimension of our relations.
I believe that Turkish-Canadian relations have further potentialto develop than reflected on the current state.
Turkish-Canadian relations have been tested and strengthened with many challenges experienced over theyears. Thus, we reached today’s level with the valuable efforts of all the previous Turkish Ambassadors to Canada.
We aim to further develop these relations in political, economic, commercial, cultural and social realms and providea stronger ground to the future.
I think that a mutual will exists to transform our efforts into reality.
Our first priority will be to promote the existing politicaldialogue between Turkey and Canada in an environment basedon mutual understanding and cooperation, free from interferences that do not serve our common agenda andreflecting the requirements of the bonds of alliance.
Our second goal will be to bring our bilateral economic and commercial relations along with mutual investments up to the level of their real potential and to further strengthen contactsbetween business circles.
I am happy with the common understanding on the launch of official negotiations of a new generation Free Trade Agreement at the earliest time possible which willaccommodate the business necessities of our era and give a significant momentum to the bilateral, commercial, economic and investment relations between Turkey and Canada. To this end, the launch of negotiations and its successfulconclusion will be among our first priorities.
The third area which our efforts will be focused is intensive promotion of our country in Canada.
Today distances lost their meaning. Developing social and cultural relations, deepening cooperation in education and strengthening ties between our nations will contribute in the friendship between our countries and to bequeath this friendship to the next generations.
During my tour of duty as the Turkish Ambassador to Canada, I will attach utmost importance to increase our level of representation and the quality of public service throughout the country as much as possible for the benefit of our fellow citizens and to work for their welfare, prosperity and peace.
Since my parents worked in Vancouver between 1967-1969, I believe I am well aware of the issues concerning our fellow citizens in Canada.
I always consider diplomacy as a profession of master-apprentice relationship as well as team work. With this understanding, during my tenure my colleagues and I will spare noeffort to further develop Turkish-Canadian relations to ahigher level in accordance with our goals and priorities.
I thank you.
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