KANADA LALE FESTİVALİNDE BÜYÜKELÇİ SELÇUK ÜNAL TARAFINDAN YAPILAN KONUŞMA METNİ
Distinguished Members of the Canada Tulip Festival Committee,
Dear Friends of the Canada Tulip Festival,
I wish to congratulate you all for organising the Canada Tulip Festival.
Originated from Turkey, tulips constitute a common theme in the Turkish traditional art. They also became a friendship bond between Canadians and Turks. And one of the bonds is the Tulip Festival. Over the past decades, Turkish-Canadians grew as a community both in numbers and contribution to the multi-cultural identity. Today, there is a vibrant Turkish community of around ninety thousand in Canada. Ottawa is home to almost four thousand Turkish-Canadians, where they have also left their marks as part of this beautiful capital city with tulips.
Turkish artwork of Iznik tiles are one of them. They decorate several locations in Ottawa-Gatineau area. Donated by İznik Foundation in Turkey to the former city of Hull in 2001, two different styles of Iznik tiles are located in the Hall of Honour of the Maison du Citoyen in Gatineau. Another donation from Turkey to the City of Ottawa stands as a cultural monument in Rideau Falls Park. The styles shown in these monuments date back to the 16th century. As you know, Turkey has participated to Canada’s 150th Celebration last year with the Turkish Cultural Days. We have organised the second of the Turkish Cultural Days - this time fort he first time in four cities on the same date - 23 April International Childrens Day.
Needless to say, the week of the Tulip Festival coincides with the 19 May Turkish Youth and Sports Holiday. It is widely celebrated in Turkey and by the Turkish-Canadian community since the year 2000 – the formal opening of the Turkish Peace Garden in Montreal which contains a series of İznik tiles with tulip symbols as well.
This year is not only the 25th anniversary of the Tulip Friendship betwen Turkey and Canada, but also the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Turkey and Canada. I wish to announce that another similar gift of İznik tiles will be donated by the Embassy to the City Hall very soon on those occasions.
Furthermore, the Istanbul Greater Municipality who has been hosting International Istanbul Tulip Festivals is the first time supporting the Festival with a photographic exhibition on the history of tulips. I wish to convey their greetings for the success of the festival. And the Turkish community in Ottawa is attending the 66th Festival with a stand and a Turkish Day. Turkey will continue to participate and support the Festival in the future to contribute to the heritage of this lovely city of Ottawa.
And a few words for the Turkish community in Ottawa:
Değerli Vatandaşlarım, 19 Mayıs 1919 Türk halkının milli iradesinin tecelli ettiği ve İstiklal Savaşımızın başladığı gündür. 2000 yılından bu yana 19 Mayıs başta Montreal’deki Barış Bahçesi olmak üzere Kanada’da toplumumuzca kutlanmaktadır. Gerek Montreal Barış Bahçesi’nde her yıl düzenlediğimiz etkinlik gerek Lale Festivali bu anlamlı tarihe denk gelmektedir. Hepiniz ülkemize muhasım lobilerce tarihteki kötü bir gelişme imiş gibi gösterilmeye çalışılan 19 Mayıs’ın gerçek anlam ve önemini biliyorsunuz. Bu gibi lobilerin çalışmalarına yönelik hassasiyetinizin devam edeceğine inancım tamdır. Zira 19 Mayıs Türk milletinin dik durduğu gündür.
Merci beacoup et bonne festival!
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