Ambassador Selçuk Ünal's National Day Message
Honourable Minister Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship,
Senators and Members of Parliament,
Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Distinguished members of the Turkish-Canadian Community,
I would like to thank Minister Hussen for honouring us today.
Today marks the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey under the leadership of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Proclamation of the Republic constitutes a historic cornerstone in the journey of the Turkish nation.
Today signifies the reborn of a nation from its ashes who prefer to die instead of losing its independence.
In such days, we also commemorate the memory of the members of our security forces and citizens who lost their lives during the fight against terrorism and the heinous coup attempt of July 15. They will remain forever in our hearts.
Turkey is continuing its mega projects. Those amounting to250 billion USD were completed including big scale energy and infrastructure investments. Last 29 October, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan railway was opened. On the occasion of this 29 October, Europe’s biggest airport is opened in Istanbul today by H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presence of many Heads of States.
Turkeyis currentlythe 6th most popular tourist destination in the world,attracting more than 27 million tourists in 2018 so far with a growth of 4.4% on a yearly basis.Only the city of Antalya has received more than 60.000 tourists on a daily basis thus breaking a new record. 60.000 is the number of the Canadian tourists visited Turkey until today in 2018.
Being a NATO Ally and G-20 member with average growth rate of 6.55 % between 2011 and 2017, being the 6th biggest economy in Europe and 17th
in the worldwith the OECD expectation to be the fastest growing economy among OECD members until 2030
; we will carry on towards the 2023 goals of Turkey.
This year we are also celebrating another important anniversary.
2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Canada which started
in November 1943 with the announcement of Prime Minister MacKenzie King. Actually, the first Turkish Ambassador, Ali Muzaffer Göker, who have come to Canada had started his duty exactly two days after today, on October 31, 1947. However, relations have a longer history before 1943, including the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s participation in the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War in April 1915
while we were defending our country.Gallipoli campaign has also an importance for turning tragedies of the war into friendship between Turkey and the nations that took part in the campaign. That is why, this year also witnessed the symbolic reciprocal ground breaking ceremonies of memorials on the occasion of the participation of the Regiment to the campaign in Çanakkale on September 19, and just 10 days ago on October 19, herein St. John’s, Newfoundland.
I would like to thank the Ottawa Representative of the Newfoundland Advisory Council, Mr. Herb Davis, for being with us today.
This is our fifth national day celebration in Canada. As you know or may not know, we fulfilled our duty and are going to return to Turkey soon. So, this is also a farewell. For us, those four years were completely full. I would like to mention some concrete developments of this period:
- In addition to the one in Toronto, two Consulate Generals opened in Vancouver and Montreal,
- Five new Offices attached to the Consulate Generals opened,
- 175 Turkish delegations of different size visited Canada so far,
- Trade volume almost doubled from 2.2 to 4.2 billion Canadian Dollars,
- As a corollary of increasing trade, 2 cargo flights started in January 2018 in addition to the 9 weekly flights of the Turkish Airlines.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary
and the Year of Troy, our Embassy has organized several cultural activities. And for the 75th anniversary,
my better half, my dear Lerzan has documented those 75 years through the eyes and the history of the two houses that Turkey has been residing herein Ottawa and their place in the cultural heritage of the city.
On the occasion of our National Day, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to our fellow citizens in Canada. More than 65.000 Turkish-Canadians are celebrating our National Day across Canada from coast to coast. Flag raising ceremonies limited to Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver 4 years ago have now reached to 21 and are organized by our community in cooperation with city halls from Vancouver to St. John’s.
Thank you for being with us today.
Cumhuriyet Bayramımız kutlu olsun!
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