San Francisco

San Francisco



Proceeding to San Francisco after completing his programs in Chicago, President Gül received representatives of Turkish NGOs and was presented the key to San Francisco as he is the first Turkish President ever to have paid a visit to the city during the reception hosted by Mayor Lee.

Welcomed by Mayor Edwin Mah Lee of San Francisco, Turkish Consul General Aydın Topçu and other officials at San Francisco Airport, President Gül, as part of his schedule, separately received a delegation of 25 Turkish NGOs and the Mayor. The President, afterwards, attended a reception given in his honor by Mayor Lee during which he met with Turkish expatriates from the West Coast and he was presented the key to San Francisco as he is the first Turkish President ever to have paid a visit to the city

Offering his thanks to Mayor Lee, the President said the city of San Francisco hosts the most important firms of the social media and evinced his pleasure to be visiting the city.

Calling on the Turkish community residing in San Francisco, the President reiterated that they will enjoy Turkey’s corroboration if they think of coming back to their homeland someday, stressing the great progress the Turkish economy has displayed and the huge investment it has made in education, universities and the youth in the last decade.


President Abdullah Gül, as the second leg of his program in San Francisco, visited Stanford University and delivered an address entitled ‘Leading Change by Reform, Commitment and Innovation: Reflections on Leadership by the President of Turkey’.


Sharing his childhood experiences with his audience at the beginning of his address, the President said he failed in selling the sodas his uncle had wanted him to, which he stated was the end of his business career in his homeland, Kayseri, a well-known Turkish city for tradesmen. “If that very failure had not happened that day, most probably I would not be the President of the Turkish Republic today! So, leadership sometimes comes out of failure. In fact, in our lives failures are important because they leave us with difficult but viable choices. We draw lessons from our failures and work harder to succeed in our endeavors.”


Accentuating that leaders who can understand the transformations taking place quickly adapt to the fast-changing environment, the President averred that leaders must also be fulfilled by envisioning and inspiring destinations and by charting and traversing the course to get there, which he maintained requires imagination and a broad vision.

After all, he continued, leadership is all about vision and noted that a leader should create vision; express his vision; and pursue his vision until he drives it to accomplishment. Most importantly, he evinced, he has to get others engaged in his vision, supporting his vision and rallying around his vision, adding that a leader should not always seek the easy and well-worn path ahead. He or she should be ready to go a new direction and leave a trail behind, reiterated the President.


Thanks to the necessary measures, the President asserted, despite the economic crisis across Europe, Turkey stands out as the second fastest growing economy in the world right after China and said if Turkish democracy somehow functions as a source of inspiration for people in the Middle East, again this was because of the reforms taken by the government since 2002.


President Gül, after exploring Apple Inc., received the Venture Capital corporations, Turkish investors and a delegation of Intel Co.

The officials of several venture capital firms lauded the Turkish economy for the great progress it has achieved in recent years and as for Nihat Ergün, Turkish Minister of Industry, he informed them about the new draft law. The delegation members from 15 US investing firms told the President about how the Silicon Valley was established and shared their experiences with President Gül as to the renewable energy projects and information technologies in such countries as India, Brazil and China.

Receiving a group of Turkish investors afterwards, President Gül asked them to continue to transfer their added value to Turkey from San Francisco and the delegation also requested that Turkish Airlines (THY) launch direct flights to San Francisco.

The officials from Intel Co., during their visit to the President, informed him about the activities of the firm.


President Abdullah Gül, as part of his program in San Francisco, visited Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter.

President Gül, welcomed by founder Sergey Brin and Deputy Chairwoman Rachel Whetstone for Global Communications and Public Affairs upon his arrival, explored the facilities of Google about whose studies and projects he was informed by the officials.

After the briefing, the Tarabya Residence was shown in close-up through the Google Earth application to the President. He later had a memoir photo taken with the Turkish employees of Google.

The First Couple afterwards visited Facebook where he was welcomed by COO of the firm and wrote their names on the ‘Blacboard’. They later explored Microsoft as well.

Welcomed by CEO Dick Costolo of Twitter, the President and the First Lady were briefed about the activites and projects of the firm during their visit as well.

Completing his programs in the States, President Abdullah Gül left for Turkey.