Remarks by Ambassador H.E. Mr. Cihad ERGİNAY on the occasion the Inauguration of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Turkey in Ostrava
Deputy Governor of Moravian-Silesian Region Mr. Josef Babka,
Mayor of Ostrava Mr. Petr Kajnar,
Mayor of Frydek-Mistek Mr. Michal Pobucky,
Director of Consular Department of the Ministry of foreign Affairs Mr. Michal Kral,
Representative from the Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ivo Broskevic,
Turkish Honorary Consul in Brno Mr. Martin Cernousek,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour and a privilege to welcome you all to this reception held on the occasion of the inauguration of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Turkey in the Moravian-Silesian Region.
Allow me to express my highest appreciation to the Deputy Governor of Moravian-Silesian Region Mr. Josef Babka, Mayor of Ostrava Mr. Petr Kajnar and Mayor of Frydek-Mistek Mr. Michal Pobucky as well as the esteemed representatives from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs for being with us here today.
We, in Turkey, regard the Czech Republic among our true friends. We enjoy excellent political relations with the Czech Republic. We are allies in NATO and partners in the EU and numerous other European institutions. We share and defend the same universal values and principles.
Bilateral relations between our countries have never been better. Economic and trade relations are on the rise despite the economic crisis. Our trade volume has for the first time in our history exceeded 3.3 billion Dollars. Mutual investments are flourishing and we are pleased with the continued interest of Czech firms in Turkey. I must say that companies from this region like Vitkovice, Flash Steel Power, PNEUKOM, Ferrit Frydland and many others are contributing to this rapid development.
Cultural relations are also flourishing. The Turkish Government is moving forward with the establishment of a Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center in Prague. We perceive the existing Turkology Chair at Charles University an invaluable and key instrument for closer cultural ties. Also, the establishment of partnership between the cities of Gaziantep and Ostrava on 9 November 2012 is an important mile stone in this regard.
On this occasion, I would also like to mention the Turkish community in the Czech Republic. We have around 2.000 Turkish citizens living and contributing to this beautiful country. They constitute an important link between Turkey and their new home the Czech Republic. However, only several dozens of those live in the Moravian-Silesian Region. We hope with the opening of our Honorary Consulate here the number will grow.
Last but not least, I would also like to bring to your attention that this year marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.
In this very important year, it is a privilege for us to be taking important steps to further enhance our relations. Our first ever Honorary Consulate in the Czech Republic became operational this February covering the regions of South Moravia and Zlin. Now we are taking the second major step and opening our Honorary Consulate in the Moravian-Silesian Region. This is a clear indication of the strong will of the Turkish Government to further improve relations with the Czech Republic.
My first visit to this region was in September 2011 on the occasion of the 11th NATO Days. That year, it was also the first time the Turkish Stars Aerobatic Team participated in this event. Since then Turkey has firmly established itself as one of the pivotal participating nations in this air, military, security and public diplomacy event. We hope to contribute to this event in the future as well.
On that occasion I also had to chance to meet the then Governor of the region. He mentioned the economic opportunities his region offered, the room for foreign investment, the academic nature of Ostrava and the desire to foster closer ties with Turkey. I must say in those 3 years Turkey established itself as an active country in the business life of this region. Today companies like Vitkovice, Flash Steel Power, Ferrit Frydland and others have investments in Turkey and even have started to cooperate with their Turkish counterparts in third countries.
However, I can clearly say that this was only the first step in our endeavours regarding our relations with Moravian-Silesian Region. Turkey’s interest will continue, especially since we have an extraordinary man on our side. We are very fortunate to have found Mr. Martin Pecina and that he has accepted to represent Turkish interests in this part of the Czech Republic. We had to wait quite a long to time to officially have him on our team, however as a great friend and a connoisseur of Turkey I am sure he will pave the way for Turkish–Czech relations to flourish. Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish him all the success in his new role as the Turkish Honorary Consul.
I trust that all the local authorities in the region of Silesia-Moravia and Prague will not fall short of supporting Mr. Pecina in order for him to fulfil his duties to the benefit of our mutual relations.
Once again thank you all very much for your kind participation.
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09.00 - 12.30
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