November 3, 2019
On our way to Prague
I want to share with you the opening of a new chapter in my life and career. I have been appointed as the new Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the Czech Republic. My wife Beyhan and I will start living and serving in Prague as of November 11th.
This is an honor and a privilege for us. We will be able to use all the cumulative life experiences acquired within and outside our country during our experiences in non-governmental organizations, political entities and parties, the legislative and executive bodies of our government, our universities and academic platforms as well as various private sector organizations.
It is a privilege to share the same career path with many Turkish diplomats some of whom have become martyrs or veterans without even blinking an eye. We cherish and commemorate their sacrifice and service with immense gratitude.
Our approach to life requires us to provide the best possible service to our nation and to our state wherever and whenever needed. After having served as a member of the Parliament for fourteen years and as a cabinet minister for 5 years, the same noble principles will be our guide during our tenure at this honorable office of the Turkish Embassy.
We will analyze and benefit from the experiences of our predecessors, who have served as ambassadors of our nation after having served as cabinet ministers. The tradition of appointing former Ministers as ambassadors started by our great leader and founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and continued by President İnönü and all of the following Presidents. Such historic appointments included people like Behiç Erkin who saved thousands of lives during the Holocaust, Ahmet Ferit Tek, the very first Minister of Interior, Tevfik Rüştü Aras, Rauf Orbay, and others like Melih Rauf Esenbel, Hasan Işık, Haluk Bayülken, Osman Olcay, and Mehmet Ali İrtemçelik, all of whom served as ambassadors after having served our nation as ministers.
It will be a great honor for myself and my wife, Beyhan, to represent our country in the golden city of Prague that lies in the heart of Europe where Atatürk also lived and healed after he was wounded and became a veteran. These lands are also where Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu, once a Turkish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, wrote some of the classics of Turkish literature, and where Nazım Hikmet wrote some of his best poems during his exile period.
As highlighted by President Erdogan, Turkey has the will to develop our mutual relations even further in all areas between our country and our ally the Czech Republic.
A bilateral trade volume of 5 billion USD was previously targeted in February 2013. The trade volume of 3.65 billion USD realized in 2018 shows us that we are nearing our declared target. My priority along with all my colleagues at the Embassy will be to set new goals with the aim of fulfilling our national goal to increase the cooperation between Turkey and Czechia in the fields of energy, security, defense, tourism, culture, and education; all of these fields have considerable cooperation potential in our respective countries.
The fact that Turkey is one of the top touristic destinations of Czechs, and that the Czech Republic is one of the most preferred countries for Turkish students regarding exchange programs, only reinforce our hope to strengthen the bond between our nations. The most significant bond between our nations is the presence of three cemeteries of our martyred soldiers who fell during the First World War at the Galicia front and are now in their eternal resting places in the Czech Republic.
Furthermore, our nation deeply appreciates the Czech Government’s initiative to restore the Bohemian crystal chandeliers of the Turkish Parliament, which were damaged during the disgraceful coup attempt of July 15th, 2016. That dreadful night, the Turkish Grand National Assembly where our nation has been represented since 1920, was bombed almost a dozen times.
We are grateful to all of our diplomats who have served our nation gracefully in Prague to this day. We will do our best to sustain and further their accomplishments and increase the mutual cooperation between our two great nations. At every chance we get we will underline importance to the Visegrád Group currently led by the Czech Republic and will put forward our best efforts to advance cooperation. We will make every effort to sustain and strengthen the support of the Czech Republic to Turkey’s membership to the EU and to increase the cooperation between two nations under the NATO umbrella and try to contribute to lasting global peace. As the founding President of Czechia Vaclav Havel advised “we shall work for these goals because they are good, not just because they stand a chance to succeed.”
Having lived away from home for 17 years in the United States during our teenage and young adult years, we have acquired the soul and spirit of volunteering, lobbying and working profesionally as a member of the diaspora community. As a natural outcome of this background, we will give the utmost care to the support and cooperation of our loyal, faithful and patriotic citizens, who reside in the Czech Republic and serve as a natural bridge between the homeland of their ancestors and their new home country. In order to serve this community to the best of our ability, we will frequently come together with them, always with the awareness that their concerns are ours as well.
We hope to receive and deserve the support and cooperation of everybody around us while fulfilling this newly assumed honorable responsibility in our lives.
Designated Turkish Ambassador to the Czech Republic
Former EU Minister and Chief Negotiator