Speech Delivered By Ambassador Dr. Tuncay Babalı On The Occasion Of The Victory Day Of Turkey And His Farewell -- 28.08.2014
* Kanada Türk toplumuna ve yurttaşlarımıza muhatap Türkçe hitap metnin sonunda yer almaktadır.
Honorable Senators and Members of the Parliament of Canada,
Esteemed Vice Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Thibault,
Esteemed members of the diplomatic community,
Dear guests, Mesdames et Messieurs, Bon soir,
On the occasion of the Victory Day, I would like to welcome you all and extend my sincere thanks to you for joining us today.
Victory Day does not represent only Turkish nations countless great victories for thousand years or juts a a military success and defeat of occupied forces in Anatolia between 1919 - 22, but also marks a historical turning point to start a new struggle in diplomacy, politics, economics and ground-breaking reforms for the new Republic and modern Turkey based on the strong and clear vision set out by our founding father Great Ataturk.
In this regard, this day doesn’t symbolize an end but a joyful beginning in the modern journey of the Republic of Turkey.
Now Turkey stands as a modern, secular and democratic country where rule of law, gender equality, strong market economy and justice prevail and get stronger every passing year. Turkey has become a source of inspiration for countries and nations not only in quest of liberation but also for a participatory and representative modern state system with overwhelming Muslim population reflecting the necessities of the era.
I would like to remember with great respect the legacies of our great founding father Ataturk and his colleagues who did not spare any effort to dream a bright future and lay the strong roots for our country.
Another thing what makes our gathering today meaningful for me to bid farewell for the end of my tour of duty in Canada.
Since the beginning, I have been a true believer of the great potential in bilateral relations. To this end, with my team and real Canadian colleagues, our dear friends we have tried to invigorate long established 70 years of diplomatic relations and allied bonds in order to reflect the true nature of cooperation between Canada, a G-7 member and Turkey, a G-20 member, 17th largest economy of the world to host G20 Summit next year. I am happy to see that strong political will exist and flourish in both countries, our relations have gained the required momentum to make a real positive difference and development in the period ahead.
At the outset of my term of office, I set four priority goals to achieve in Turkey-Canada bilateral relations: 1) High level political dialogue 2) The launch of FTA negotiations and JETCO mechanism, 3) Increase of direct flights between both countries 4) Institutionalization of our relations with new mechanisms, agreements, MoUs and other documents. I can say that we have achieved these goals to a very large extent.
Now let me also say few words on what we have achieved in our bilateral relations with Canada:
Maintenant, je voudrais parler des récents développements concernant les relations turco - canadiens
- Senate Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee conducted a ten months study and made very pertinent suggestions to the Government of Canada as a road map in our relations. I commend the Chairwoman Senator Andreychuck, esteemed members of the Committee for their wonderful study and strategic vision.
- Exploratory talks for the Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and Canada were completed and a Cabinet decision is still awaited for the launch official negotiations. We hope that the successful conclusion of CETA with the EU will pave the way for our own.
- As many of you know, Turkish Airlines and Air Canada has been operating in the Istanbul-Toronto route. Turkish Airlines and Air Canada have increased their flights between Toronto-Istanbul to daily basis. Turkish Airlines has recently started direct flights between Montreal and Istanbul as of June 2014. This new development will have a positive impact in our economic, trade, tourism, education and business relations with Canada.
- In addition to the Turkish Consulate General in Toronto, decisions are taken to open new consulates in Montreal and Vancouver.
This will help us bring Turkey and Canada even closer as stronger partners.
Since I was designated as Turkish Ambassador to Canada two years ago, 8 high level and several technical visits were conducted on both ways.
- In September 2012, after fourteen years of break, H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Foreign Minister visited Canada and inaugurated “Fallen Diplomats Memorial” as we gathered there yesterday with his colleague Honorable John Baird, Canadian Foreign Minister. This visit opened the new era in our relations.
Among the most successful and fruitful of all these visits I can mention the following:
- In August 2013, Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade visited Turkey. During his visit, he and his counterpart, H.E. Zafer Çağlayan announced the establishment of a “Joint Economic and Trade Commission” to be co-chaired at the ministerial level.
Our bilateral trade has increased 15 % in 2013 in comparison to 2012.The number of Canadian tourists who visited Turkey in 2013 has also increased 14 % in comparison to 2012.
With the increase of direct flights, economic and commercial interactions as well as people-to-people contacts will further expand.
- In September 2013, Honourable John Baird conducted a very successful visit to Turkey. Along with meeting his counterpart H.E. Davutoğlu, he was received by our President during the visit.
The Ministers also agreed to sign a “Strategic Framework Document” to define certain objectives in our relations. It is expected to be finalized very soon and signed by Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
- In December 2013, we have had the visit of our first ever Turkish Parliamentary Delegation to Canada which has strengthened the parliamentary dimension of our bilateral relations. They have been received by Honourable Speaker Scheer and Honourable Speaker Kinsella.
- In March 2014, Honourable Speaker Scheer has paid a successful visit to Turkey and had fruitful discussions not only with his counterpart, but also with Ministries on specific cooperation areas such as agriculture.
-We are working on Right Honorable Governor General’s first ever visit to my country hopefully for the next year with the occasion of 100th
Anniversary of Gallipoli Wars.
- We are also expecting a Prime Ministerial visit from Canada to Turkey in 2015 with the occasion of G-20 Summit which Turkey will host during its Chairmanship-in-Office.
This new level of strategic engagement and strong understanding in Turkish-Canadian relations will be instrumental to realize the great potential in bilateral relations.
This is also another sign of the strong political will on both sides. I have no doubt that in strong collaboration and shared belief with our Canadian colleagues, new achievements will follow.
I am sure that my successor will pick up where I leave and further contribute to our relations.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my family, my team at the Embassy, Canadian colleagues, Turkish Canadians and members of diplomatic community for their support, friendship and sincerity extended to me during my term of office.
What we have achieved to a large extent could not be materialized without the belief and support of my team and Canadian colleagues in every department. I am sure you will be kind enough to extend helping hand and strong support to my successor.
I would like to finish my speech by thanking each and every one of you for joining us today on this very special day.
Please let me say a few words in Turkish to my fellow nationals.
Değerli yurttaşlarım, Kanada Türk toplumunun saygıdeğer mensupları,
İlk olarak 30 Ağustos Zafer Bayramınızı tebrik ederim. Bize bağımsız ve müreffeh bir ülke bırakmak için tarifsiz azim ve gayret gösteren Ulu Önder Atatürk ve silah arkadaşlarının aziz hatıralarını bu vesileyle bir kez daha saygıyla anıyorum.
Bugün benim için ayrıca özel bir anlam taşımakta. 22 aylık Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Kanada Büyükelçiliği görevim sona eriyor.
İlk Büyükelçilik görevim olması sebebiyle Kanada ve Kanada Türk toplumunun hayatım boyunca benim için özel bir yeri olacaktır.
Konuşmamın başlarında da belirtmiş olduğum gibi iki ülke ilişkilerine dair belirlemiş olduğum dört temel hedef büyük ölçüde başarıyla yerine getirilmiştir. İki ülke ilişkilerinde dönülmez şekilde olumlu bir gündem ve gelişme ivmesi hakim olmuş, ve bu yönde ilerleme iradesi güçlü şekilde ortaya koyulmuştur.
Tabiatıyla büyük, demokratik kültürü olan ve modern bir ülke olarak Türkiye’nin tüm kurumları gibi Dışişlerinin de temel gayesi yurttaşlarımızın hayatlarını kolaylaştırmak, bulundukları ülkedeki profillerini yükseltmek ve onlara hizmet etmek üzere şekillenmiştir.
Görev sürem boyunca bu ilke ve anlayışla siz değerli Kanada Türk toplumu üyelerine nasıl daha fazla katkı sağlayabileceğimiz arayışı içerisinde Büyükelçiliğimiz ile yurttaşlarımız arasında daha sıkı ve samimi bir bağ tesis edilmesi için gayret sarf ettim. Bizlerin görev yaptığımız ülkelerde bulunuşumuzun en temel sebebi sizlersiniz. Güç aldığımız yer de sizlersiniz.
Diğer taraftan, toplumumuzun da kısır günlük tartışmaların esiri olmadan, birlik ve beraberlik içerisinde sesini daha güçlü şekilde duyurması, Kanada’nın çokkültürlü yapısı içerisinde toplumun her alanında mevcudiyetini güçlendirmesi en temel arzumuzdur.
Kanada’daki Büyükelçilik görevim boyunca benden desteğini esirgemeyen siz değerli yurttaşlarıma, Kanada Türk toplumu üyelerine teşekkürlerimi iletir, saygı ve selamlarımı sunarım.
Teşekkürler! Thank you! Merci boucoup!
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