Foreign Minister Davutoğlu attends the Somalia Conference held in London

Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey participated in the Somalia Conference held in London on May 7, 2013.

Speaking at the opening session Foreign Minister Davutoğlu pointed out that Turkey considers the Somalia Conference as a highly useful occasion in further galvanizing international support to the peace building and state building process in Somalia. Stating that the accomplishments under the leadership of President Mahmoud for the accomplishments since September 2012 are appreciated, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu emphasized the importance of keeping alive hopefulness in Somalia. He added that the most urgent priority in Somalia is to follow a comprehensive and multidimensional strategy.

Referring the importance of implementation of President Mahmoud’s “the Six-Pillar Policy”, “As Turkey, we would like to underline political reconciliation, rebuilding of the Somali security forces and economic recovery and infrastructure development as immediate priorities in Somalia” said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.

Stressing that the Somali people are in urgent need to have fundamental public services like health, education, transportation, water and energy supplies, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu mentioned Turkey’s efforts to carry out renovation and economic development activities and called the international community to implement infrastructure and development projects.

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, expressing his pleasure that the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM, will be established as of 3 June 2013, stated that one of the main tasks facing the new Mission is to help Somali central and local administrations in preparations for future local and national elections in the country.

“I would like to express that Turkey will do her best to continue the momentum of state-building and peace-building in Somalia” said Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.

Source: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Turkish economy minister in London for new cooperation opportunities

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan rings the opening bell of the London Exchange on April 23 along with the bourse’s CEO, Alexander Justham.

The Turkish economy minister’s London visit has encouraged further economic cooperation between Turkey and the U.K. as it created opportunities yesterday and today for Turkey to ask for U.K. support on touchy issues while the latter explored new investment fields in Turkey.

As the first part of London tour, Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan rang the opening bell of the London Excange. Then he attended the U.K.-Turkey Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting with Britain’s Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green.During the meeting Turkey asked for the United Kingdom’s support for critical economic issues including Istanbul’s Olympic bid and Turkey’s involvement in initiated trans-Atlantic free trade talks.

Nuclear energy was also on agenda of the countries, Çağlayan said. “British companies expressed their desire to participate in the financing of nuclear energy as well as its engineering services and waste production. We pleasantly said this can be in the cards.”

Çağlayan added that Turkey’s actual demand from the United Kingdom is not easing of visa requisites for Turks, but rather that the three-month visa given to other European Union members’ business people be provided to Turkish bosses as well.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

Photo: London Stock Exchange

Baroness Thatcher, Europe and Turkey

As we are getting ready to pay tribute to Baroness Thatcher today, we remember her enduring political legacy, how she transformed British economy and also how her influence went beyond Britain’s borders. We wanted to briefly highlight two related, lesser known facts: her intense efforts to improve the ties between Turkey and the European Community (EC), and her close personal friendships with Turkish political leaders.

EC consisted of 12 members by mid 80’s and it was in the process of trying to absorb the newest additions, Portugal and Spain. Turkey, in the meantime, was back to civilian rule with Prime Minister Turgut Özal and keen to reactivate ties with Europe. Britaintook Presidency of the EC at this critical time and Thatcher played an important role by pushing for a thaw in relations, with a vision ofTurkey eventually joining the Community. Özal was in Britain in February 1986, which was the first official visit by a Turkish leader toWest Europe since 1980. Thatcher then paid a visit to Ankara and Istanbul, first British leader to do so since Churchill. Turkey applied for full EC membership in 1987.

Thatcher’s close affiliation with Özal, with their shared belief in free markets, is well documented. Turkey’s first woman Prime Minister, Tansu Çiller, was also a personal friend. On the day she assumed power in 1993, the only incoming call Çiller took is said to be from Thatcher.

Today, economic policies of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party are often regarded as a continuation of the Thatcherist/Özalist tradition.



For further information, in Thatcher’s own words, you can find below a few of her speeches from 1986 and 1988:

If you wish to share your memories of Baroness Thatcher, or just leave a message of condolence, Conservative Party’s online Condolence Book is available to sign here.

Ex-Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher dies, aged 87

We are deeply saddened to learn that Baroness Thatcher has passed away. She has many great, inspiring quotes but here is a special one on Turkey and UK, from her visit to Ankara in 1988: “… We well understand that you see Turkey’s application for full membership of the European Community as a further step in your progress—in Ataturk’s words—”in the direction of the West” as part of the momentum of your history. The Commission of the European Communities are now preparing their opinion—which is the normal procedure—and that will become the basis for the Community’s collective decision; I cannot predict what that will be but I can assure you that in any event Britain will continue to give full weight to the long history of our relations with Turkey through our many common interests and the fact that we are already partners in so many common endeavours, a partnership that we wish to sustain and indeed to strengthen.”

Full text of the speech can be found here.