Address By H.e. Osman Koray Ertaş On October 29 National Day Concert, Ateneul Roman
Distinguished members of the Parliament,
Excellences, Dear colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honor to welcome you to our National Day anniversary concert to celebrate the 95th year of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. October 29, 1923 marks the birth of modern Turkey and the culmination of a four-year long struggle for independence. Ever since, the people of the Republic embrace the vision of the founding father of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to establish a democratic, secular, and prosperous state. Today, as we celebrate this day with pride and joy, we remember once again with deep gratitude the architects of our modern state.
2018 is a special year, a year of happy coincidences. First of all, I would like to congratulate the Centenary of Romania. And secondly, this year also marks the 140th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish-Romanian diplomatic relations.
The bilateral relations have made remarkable strides in the last 3 decades. At the basis of this relationship lie a shared history, the strong NATO bond, the existing strategic partnership, and above all the mutual political commitment to advance cooperation.
Today we are happy to see the concrete results of this partnership. Indeed, numbers speak for themselves: Our bilateral trade stands at the level of 5,6 billion dollars and increasing, making Turkey the largest trading partner of Romania out of the EU. More than 15 thousand Turkish companies operate here with an overall investment of more than 7 billion dollars. We are proud to see the successes of the Turkish investors throughout the country, from Gaesti to Barlad, from Reghin to Targovishte, from Buzau to Pitesti. Every year we host about half a million Romanian tourists in Turkey. Direct flight connections between Istanbul and Romanian cities surpassed 50 a week.
The strongest human bond between our countries is certainly the Turkish-Tatar community and the growing Turkish expat community. As integral part of the Romanian society, they contribute both to Romania’s achievements and to the strengthening of our bilateral ties.
Having this solid background, diversity, and dynamism, we firmly believe that Turkish-Romanian relations will continue to develop to the benefit of our peoples.
Personally, I have mixed emotions tonight. I am saddened, because my four-year term in Romania is about to come to an end. Yet at the same time I feel very happy as I have had the chance to build invaluable friendships here. Together with the Embassy team and with the support of both Romanian friends and the local community, we were able to further strengthen our bilateral ties despite challenges of the recent past. I will always remain a friend of this beautiful country and its people. No doubt that, as a successful member of the Turkish foreign service, my successor will continue to further improve our excellent bilateral relations.
Tonight, using the powerful tool of music, a group of Turkish artists will delight us with a colorful program, reflecting the vibrant cultures of our two countries. This special event was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, friends, and volunteers. I extend my gratitude to them. Last but not least, I should thank to the Embassy staff for their dedication and hard work. Hoping that you will enjoy the concert, I thank you for joining us tonight in celebrating Turkish Republic Day.
Now, allow me to say a few words in Turkish for the members of our community.