Ghana becoming the fourth largest tradingpartner of Turkey in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Address by H.E. the President of theRepublic of Turkey (Recep TayyipErdogan): It gives me great pleasure anda privilege to visit Ghana for the first time,and have the opportunity to address thevery august audience under this roof, you
the distinguished Members of theGhanaian Parliament and I would like totake this opportunity to extend mygratitude to you for having given me thischance. At the onset, I would like to extend mybest wishes and the most heartfeltemotions of the people of Turkey to thebrothers and sisters here in Ghana. In 1957, in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghanawas the first country to declare fullindependence. That is why Ghana holdsa very specific position within the historyof the continent and an exclusiveposition. The independence struggle in Ghanais a shining beacon and an outstandingexample for the rest of the countries withinthe African continent. Mr Speaker, withthe historical role played by Ghana, thefirst President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumahdeserves a respectful commemoration. Under the leadership of Dr Nkrumah,Ghana gained full independence, and inthe last five decades, Ghana managed togain a very respectful position vis-à-visthe international community. Ghana is oneof the pioneering countries to pursue theideal of the unity of the African people. The African United Nations ideologyof the first President of Ghana is still avery vivid dream to be realised. It is anoutstanding example of the foresight ofPresident Nkrumah and I would like tosalute this memorable ideology of theformer President of Ghana as the currentPresident of the Republic of Turkey. Hon Members of the GhanaianParliament, ladies and gentlemen, theRepublic of Turkey has a thousand yearsof experience in Statehood and theRepublic of Turkey is the last name of theState to emerge out of the former
foundations. The 16 stars that we havewithin our presidential emblem signify thevery important States that wereestablished in the last few ages. TheOttoman Empire reigned over threecontinents and in the aftermath of the FirstWorld War, the Ottoman Empire startedto collapse. Our nation has been an object of theattacks of all the influential nations,especially in Europe, forged a war ofindependence, especially in the region ofdiagonals near Istanbul and finally,established the Republic of Turkey out ofthe ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Thisindependence became an outstandingexample and an inspiration for all thenations of the world suffering in the handsof tyrants. Our war of independence left tremen-dous marks behind, not only in Africabut also the rest of the world andfundamentally, our relations with Africadepends very much on a deeply-rootedhistory, especially Northern Africa havingbeen controlled by the Ottoman Empirefor ages. The Ottoman Empire left behindsignificant artifacts worth remembering bythe nations of this region. In the reign of the Ottoman Empire,there had never been a colonialisticapproach. On the contrary, just likeeverywhere else, the Ottoman Empirerespected fully the histories of the people,ethnicity, traditions, customs andreligions, upholding tolerance and justice. This was the governance under-standing of the Ottoman Empire and payclose attention: all the nations under theformer rule of the Ottoman Empire whichhave gained independence have neversuffered from cultural acrimony orcolonialism.
For example, no country had toabandon their own mother tongue andstart speaking Ottoman or Turkish. Nofollowers of a faith had to suffer for acompulsory shift in faith under the rule ofthe Ottoman Empire and Eastern Africa aswell as Northern Africa are theoutstanding example of this mentality. All relations with the African Continentdepends on equality, justice and mutualgains and we are still making tremendousefforts in order to ensure a win-winscenario. A contrary belief or mentality hasnever prevailed neither in our history norin our today. We attach great significance andsensitivity to the re-establishment andreconstruction of Somalia and I am sureyou are closely monitoring our kind oursincere interest in the resettlement and re-establishment of Somalia. We approach all of the nations on theAfrican Continent with the same love andcompassion. Ghana is one of ouroutstanding partners for development inthe Sub-Saharan Region. Ghana withdeeply rooted democracy is a moderncountry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana has a pluralistic democracywhich she enjoys and is very determinedto protect human lives and the rule of lawwhich are well deserving and of closeappreciation. In your struggle fordemocracy and development, you willalways find us supportive by your sideas the Republic of Turkey. Mr Speaker and Hon Members ofParliament, our relations with the AfricanContinent depends on co-operation,fraternity, justice and equality. We aredetermined to pursue or goals and in thelight of our objectives, we are ready toforge close alliance in areas of culture,politics and foreign relations, as well asdefence.
We have a proper -- [Inaudible] --At the heart of our foreign policy withregard to the African Continent. We havebecome a strategic partner to the AfricanUnion and we have invested tremendousefforts within the framework of on Africaoutreach which depends on a visionaryapproach. Our policy vis-à-vis Africa depend onagricultural development, irrigation,energy, education, health care and regularhumanitarian aid on a wide array ofstrategies. We are an emerging donorcountry and Turkey has been undertakingprojects in thirty-seven (37) differentAfrican nations. The Turkish International Co-operation and Development Agency(TIKA) is a developmental agencyproviding significant contributions to thecountries on the African Continent. Our Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) are closely co-operating with thelocal authorities and forming alliances inthe fields of irrigation, education, nutritionand agriculture. We are investingtremendous efforts in order to help Africannations develop at the fastest ratepossible. Our volunteers and French offices areundertaking projects which are bringingour nations closer to one another. Withinthe framework of my current official visit,I came along with150 representatives ofmajor companies in Turkey and they aregetting together with their sectorcounterparts in Ghana. Along with H.E. Excellency, PresidentJohn Mahama, in a very short period oftime, we will be addressing the businessof the two countries and we are hoping toinspire them to further invest in our mutualcountries. The Turkish investors will be
encouraged to come here and invest inGhana. Similarly, Ghanaian businessmenare further encouraged to go and dobusiness in Turkey. They can join theirforces to go ahead and invest in thirdcountries to yield more bountiful results.These efforts will be solidified at thefarthest distance possible in the future. Between 18th August and 22nd August,2008, the Turkish African Co-operationSummit was held in Istanbul, which was amilestone for the relations betweenTurkey and Africa. We attach greatsignificance to the future flourishing ofour relations with African nations. Currently, we have 39 Embassies on theAfrican Continent. Back in the year 2003,the number of our Embassies were nomore than twelve (12). We hope and praythat we will be able to establish TurkishEmbassies in every nation and in everycorner on the entire African Continent. Mr Speaker, at the time when all of theEmbassies of the African countries werebeing shut-down on the AfricanContinent, we took a different approach.We started opening new Embassies andthis is worth paying attention to. Ten countries on the African Continenthad Embassies in Ankara in the past. Now,we have 32 Embassies in Ankara, whichbelong to countries of the AfricanContinent. Turkey is moving towards becomingone of the most influential and greatestten economies on the global scale withUS$800 billion of gross domestic product(GDP) and US$400 billion worth of foreigntrade volumes. We are ranked seventeenthon the global scale in terms of oureconomy.
We have a very dynamic populationand I believe there is a lot to be discoveredin terms of solidifying our co-operationwith the African Nations based on the veryrich resources of our nations. I am cordially inviting you to wintogether and build a prosperous futuretogether. With this belief and ideology,we will continue to open new Embassieson the African Continent and Ghana is ourpriority. Just as my predecessor, I ampaying this official visit to Ghana with thisoutstanding mentality in mind. The Turkish and Ghanaian tradevolume used to be US$41 million only in2002 and in 2011 and 2012, this figurereached half a billion doolars US$500billion. In the last three years, we have sufferedslight diminishing in the foreign tradevolumes between our nations, butsignificant opportunities for co-operation,especially, in the field of constructionand defence were explored. Currently, we enjoy US$400 million offoreign trade volumes between ournations and in the light of the deliberationswith the President this morning, we willincrease this figure to US$1 billion by theyear 2020. The Turkish companies will undertakemajor projects, in Ghana thus contributingtremendously to the development ofGhana. We need a much more robust andproductive co-operation for which weneed to encourage the companies of bothcountries. We have to move toward the commonobjectives and interests of our nations andwe have to improve our relations in everyaspect possible for the prosperity ourpeople.
I would like to reiterate that we arecommitted to the ideal of furtherstrengthening our co-operation withGhana. As stated in the beautiful proverbof Ghana, I would like to remind you thatwhen two people handle a burden, itbecome lighter. We are willing to carry thisburden along with Ghana and make itlighter for you. Mr Speaker and Hon Members ofParliament, terrorism is a plague of thisday and age. The terrorists areundertaking bloody attacks arounddifferent corners of the world, which posea great threat on the national security ofall the nations on a global scale. Therefore,the terrorist attacks which took place inBurkina Faso and Mali have beencondemned significantly by the Republicof Turkey. Primarily, in our fight against terrorism,we have to take a mutual stand on it andespecially in the countries in West African,we can contribute to the establishment ofglobal peace and stability. Turkey has a vast array of experiencecombating terrorism. That is why we understand thecountries suffering in the hands ofterrorism best. In the entirety of counterterrorism platforms, Turkey is aninfluential and active figure. I would liketo vocalise this fact from the GhanaianParliament to the rest of the world. In order to combat terrorism, we haveto base our efforts on principles agreedunanimously by the nations of the world,especially the United Nations and theSecurity Council. There is failure to servethe greater needs of the nations on a globalscale and instead, it is only serving beliefsof a few elite countries.