Remarks by Ambassador Selçuk Ünal on the Occasion of the 17th Anniversary of the Turkish Peace Garden
(Montreal, 14 May 2018)
Madame et Monsieur,
It is a pleasure for me to join my distinguished fellow nationals and esteemed Canadians on the 18th anniversary of the opening of the Turkish Peace Garden in the Botanical Garden of Montréal and 99th anniversary of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. 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. I salute all, including the City Hall of Montreal and the İznik Foundation, who have been instrumental in making this Peace Garden which is based on the cultural heritage of Turkey.
Sur le 18e anniversaire du jardin turc de la paix, je voudrais remercier le jardin botanique, Monsieur Gérard Emin Battika et tous les fonctionnaires et citoyens pour rendre cette rencontre possible une fois de plus dans l'un des plus beaux jardins du monde (On the 18th anniversary of the Turkish Peace Garden, I would like to thank the Botanical Garden, Mr. Gérard Emin Battika ex-Honorary Consul General of Turkey in Montreal and all the officials and citizens, to make this meeting possible once again in one of the most beautiful gardens in the world). Mr. Emin Battika had served as the Turkish Honorary Consul General in Montreal for almost two decades. As he had exerted great efforts during his fulfilled assignment, we once again thank him for his services to the Turkish community. I would also like to thank for the contributions of the Turkish Airlines to this event.
This garden is a statement and commitment of the Turkish community towards the Canadian ideal. It was a gift from the Turkish people, Turkey, the İznik Foundation to the city and people of Montreal on the occasion of the commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day in Turkey - a public holiday celebrated on May 19. Today, there is a vibrant Turkish community of around ninety thousand in Canada. Montreal is home to almost fifteen thousand Turkish-Canadians where they have also left their marks as part of this beautiful capital city with tulips.
Originated from Turkey, tulips constitute a common theme in the Turkish traditional art. They also became a friendship bond between Canadians and Turks. And the bond is actually the Ottawa Tulip Festival. 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 - two staunch allies in NATO and strong partners in G-20 with a trade volume reached to 4 billion Dollars for the first time ever in their joint history.
This day marks the beginning of the War of Liberation led by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades-in-arms for our country which resulted in the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. Therefore, this day was dedicated to all youngsters in Turkey and elsewhere - as they represent the future.
That is why, we deeply regret and reject the adoption of declarations by some some City Councils associating this day with a so-called Greek genocide. They only damage the peaceful bridges between the peoples living in this country.
Today, we are also sharing the grief of our Palestinian friends in Canada due to the violence directed at their compatriots in Palestine on the occasion of the illegal announcement of Jeruslem as Israel’s capital.
Türkiye, I. Dünya Savaşı’nda mağlup olup, bilahare muzaffer olan tük ülkedir. Milletimize, tarihimize, Kurtuluş Savaşımıza, aziz hatıraları önünde her zaman hürmetle eğildiğimiz Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ve silah arkadaşları ile aziz şehitlerimizin ruhuna hakaret niteliğindeki kararları şiddetle reddediyoruz.
19 Mayıs 1919 Türk halkının milli iradesinin tecelli ettiği ve İstiklal Savaşımızın başladığı gündür. 2000 yılından önce de sonra da 19 Mayıs başta Montreal’deki Barış Bahçesi olmak üzere Kanada’da toplumumuzca kutlanmaktadır. Gerek Montreal Barış Bahçesi’nde her yıl düzenlediğimiz etkinlik gerek Ottava'da 66 yıldır düzenlenen Kanada 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, tıpkı 15 Temmuz’da hürriyeti için karşı çıktığı hain darbe girişiminde olduğu gibi, Türk milletinin dik durduğu gündür.
Hepinize en kalbi duygularımla saygı, selam ve sevgilerimi sunuyorum.
Merci beacoup et bonne festival!
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