Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis who attended with his wife Beyhan Bagis the traditional iftar meal given at Darulaceze said in a speech he delivered after the meal that they tried to comprehend the blessing and meaning of Ramadan and he tendered his sincere thanks to everyone who did not leave them alone on that meaningful day.
Indicating that Darulaceze held a special place in the heart of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bagis stated that the Prime Minister had visited Darulaceze several times and he had sent his kindest regards to them.
Indicating that he was proud of being among the grandchildren of such ancestors who had the vision for establishing such a magnificent institution, Bagis pointed out that when this building, the foundation of which was laid 130 years ago, an institution to meet all needs of people had been established and the fact that those people who were in need of assistance could have different beliefs and faith, cultures and languages had been taken into consideration.
Minister for EU Affairs Bagis addressing the audience in Darulaceze said: "There may be many people you long to see. Today please put us in their place. You are the institutional memory of this country. You are our most distinguished citizens who spent energy, endeavoured and sweated blood for this country.
Stating that senior citizens who made an important contribution to Turkey to reach the point where she is today were to be considered as a treasure of services, Bagis said that they knew the history of Turkey better than anyone else and they had witnessed how this country could overcome the most troublesome periods with determination and solidarity.
Pointing out the latest developments concerning the "democratic initiative", Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis continued as follows:
"We want to prevent brothers and sisters from falling out with each other and have a country which everybody calls his or her own homeland. We don't say 'it is none of my business' to the problems of one another stand shoulder to shoulder to solve those problems. We believe that we must establish a system in which everybody can live in peace. Compared to the past, we are all today in a better position but we still have some problems to be solved.
Today we have nothing which we can not share with each other in this country. We are the children of ancestors who had considered the needs of different religions and languages while constructing buildings for the people in need of help. There is not only one group in this country whose democratic standards should be increased. People of different ethnicity, belief and faith and culture in Turkey have some problems. However this is not related only to religion and culture. Women, children, labourers, Kurds, Laz, Assyrians, Alawites and Armenians, that is to say, we all have problems. We get united just as we do at this iftar meal table in order to solve our problems also."
Bagis indicated that individual rights and freedoms had been expanded and everyone would get his/her own share when economic prosperity increases. He said Turkey would have an enlightened future with this spirit of solidarity and they worked hard to carry out the duty delegated to them properly and they needed the experiences, opinions and prayers of everyone.