President Gul Hosts Dinner in Honor of President Gauck

ANKARA (CIHAN)- President Gul delivered an address at the official dinner he hosted in honor of President Gauck of Germany at the Çankaya Presidential Palace. Maintaining that Turkish-German bilateral relations date back centuries, President Gul accentuated that “today, such common values as democracy, the rule of law, freedoms and free enterprise unite us. Therefore, our countries are parts of Europe, a family of common values and principles.”

The Presidential Couple hosted an official dinner in honor of President Joachim Gauck of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mrs. Schadt at the Çankaya Presidential Palace.

— WHAT THE EU MEANS TO TURKEY

Sharing his pleasure at welcoming his German counterpart and his accompanying delegation to Turkey, President Gul pointed out that Turkish-German bilateral relations can be traced back to centuries ago and recalled that Turkey and Germany “shared a common destiny during both the Great War and the Cold War.”

President Gul further reiterated that “today, such common values as democracy, the rule of law, freedoms and free enterprise unite us. Therefore, our countries are parts of Europe, a family of common values and principles. Therefore, our countries are parts of Europe, a family of common values and principles. Turkey will continue to be an indispensable actor for the future of Europe for the sake of whose security and freedom it has made great sacrifices. The EU project of which we are a part and with which we share common values is also a strategic objective for Turkey. I would like you to recall that Turkey’s negotiation process was initiated with a unanimous decision in the EU. Therefore, it is a must that this technical process be carried out and supported to the end within the framework of the principle of pacta sunt servanda.”

— WHAT IS NEXT WHEN TURKEY CONCLUDES NEGOTIATION PROCESS

President Gul later laid emphasis upon the importance of not acting with hesitation in this regard and noted that all the chapters should be opened for negotiation, pointing out that the conclusion of the negotiation process will not autumatically bring about the membership of Turkey in the EU. “Some countries will hold referenda regarding our membership in the club. Turkey and the Turkish people might have a different approach toward our membership when the time comes, as Norway did. Concluding our negotiation process successfully will bring Turkey together with the EU standards. On the other hand, I must say that we are sad to observe some contradictions pertaining to this issue indeed. It is a great discrepancy that our friends who criticize some problems in our country, which I believe are temporary, prevent the chapters regarding the judiciary and fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey from being opened.”

— THREAT OF ISLAMOPHOBIA IN EUROPE

Another important dimension of the existing relations between the two countries, reiterated the President, is the great contributions of the approximately 3 million Turkish expatriates in Germany-who immigrated to that country 53 years ago- to the German miracle through the sweat of their brow. The land of these people who have built the friendship bridge between the two countries has become Germany, he declared.

Maintaining that in recent years, the German citizens of Turkish origin have reached a point where they represent Germany in politics, in state administrations, at the federal parliament and even the government, President Gul referred to the fact that “Aydan ÖzoIuz serves as a Minister in the German cabinet. We are proud of her. Mr. President, the Turkish community are searching for their future in a liberal, democratic and emancipatory order which you mentioned when you described your political stance. As in the words of great German thinker, Goethe, they imagine a future which ‘regards differences as richness not a tool to divide and separate’. Such old illnesses as racism, Islamohobia and xenophobia which are unfortunately observed to have recurred in recent years in Europe concern the Turkish cummunities as well. It goes without saying that there is no room for such problems in the heart of Europe, the cradle of democracy, freedoms and pluralism. In this regard, we appreciate that you have received the families of the Turkish people who were killed during attacks by extreme rightists in recent years and we are confident that the perpetrators will be found. We also appreciate that when you were elected president, you emphasized that the Muslim community in Germany belong to Germany. The steps Germany has taken toward granting dual citizenship to the Turkish community have enhanced the community’s allegiance to Germany. Only in this way can we establish the understanding of a real pluralism based on equality and respect for differences and tolerance, all of which are our common values and only in this way can we build a brighter future for Europe together.” (www.tccb.gov.tr)

SOURCE: CIHAN