REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR AHMET AKİF OKTAY AT THE RECEPTION HELD ON THE OCCASION OF THE 96TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY-Military History Museum, Budapest, 29 October 2019

Ambassador Ahmet Akif OKTAY 29.10.2019

Distinguished Chairman of the Hungary-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group,

Dr. Attila Tilki,

Esteemed State Secretaries,

Excellencies, Colleagues and Friends,

Dear Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to our National Day reception.

Today we are celebrating the 96th anniversary of the founding of our Republic with joy and pride. The centenary in 2023 is only four years away. In the hectic pace of modern life, time indeed appears to fly.

Modern Turkey is the creation of our visionary leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was able to rally his nation behind the ideals of freedom, independence and national sovereignty, under extremely unfavorable conditions. He was not only a great commander on the battlefield, but also a great statesman who, after winning the War of Liberation, took off his military uniform and placed his nation on an irreversible path of reform, renewal and modernization.

Whatever Turkey has accomplished in the past 96 years in terms of economic, social, political and cultural development, we owe it to the sound principles and foundations upon which he established the Turkish Republic. That is why year after year, our nation’s respect and love for him grow even stronger. And on November 10, we will commemorate him on the 81st anniversary of his passing by reaffirming our determination to defend and cherish the land he bequeathed to us.

Our state in its present form may be relatively young, but the history of the Turks and Turkey goes back thousand of years. We are blessed to be living in a homeland richly endowed with the remnants of many ancient civilizations.

In Turkey, the current year was designated as the Year of Göbeklitepe, the site of the oldest temple in the world which is located near Şanlıurfa, one of the historic cities in Southeast Anatolia. Therefore, Göbeklitepe is the main theme of our reception. We hope the videos being shown and the small exhibition we are staging here will provide some insight into this 12.000 year-old landmark which was also included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2018.

History is also one of the defining features of our current friendship with Hungary. The roots of our respective nations can be traced back to the same origins in Asia. That was one of the reasons Hungary became an observer member to the Turkic Council, where it was warmly welcomed. Today Turkey and Hungary enjoy solid and mutually beneficial cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields. We are confident that the upcoming official visit of His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, to Hungary, will give a new impetus to our strategic partnership and make it even stronger.

At this point, allow me to briefly address my compatriots in Turkish.

Değerli Vatandaşlarım,

Sizleri saygıyla selamlıyorum. Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’ün bizlere miras bıraktığı Cumhuriyetimizin 96. yaşını anavatanımızda ve dünyanın her bir köşesinde büyük bir mutluluk, gurur ve coşkuyla kutlamaktayız. Milletçe birlik ve beraberlik içinde omuz omuza çalışmaya devam ettiğimiz sürece her türlü güçlüğün üstesinden gelerek ülkemizi daha da müreffeh ve güçlü kılacağımıza şüphe yoktur. Bu duygularla, resepsiyona katılımınızdan dolayı hepinize teşekkür ediyor, Cumhuriyet Bayramınızı en iyi dileklerimle kutluyorum.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Without further ado, I would now like to invite our Guest of Honor, Dr Attila Tilki, Chairman of the Hungary-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group, to address you.

I thank you all for honoring us with your presence on this occasion and wish you a pleasant evening.

Köszönöm szépen!

Ahmet Akif Oktay Ambassador
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