New Year

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H.E. President Abdullah Gül’s Message on the New Year:

“My fellow citizens,

We are leaving behind 2013, with both its encouraging and challenging events and good and bad memories. We are also stepping into 2014 with new hopes and expectations. I hereby celebrate your New Year with my most sincere feelings. I hope that the New Year brings our country and all of humanity peace, happiness and prosperity.

My fellow citizens,

We must accept that 2013 was a tough year for both our country and the world. The world is welcoming 2014 with economic and political upheavals and heart-wrenching events. This is saddening and thought-provoking indeed when we consider the level our civilization has reached. I hope that in the coming year, all agonies in the world including those in our nearby geography will end and that all the problems of humanity will be resolved without further delay.

As for Turkey, we had a busy agenda in 2013. In our country, significant steps were taken to provide for the atmosphere of peace and security, and considerable advancements were achieved in the areas of democracy and economy. While many countries went through financial crises, Turkey steadily continued to grow.

We have become a country that has integrated with the world, that has considerably accomplished its adaptation with the EU acquis, that has become a center of attraction for foreign investments and where capital can move freely. In such a country, stability, security and confidence for the future are all determining factors.

These developments are the products of political stability, good administration and disciplined works. We should cherish and appreciate the level we have reached and make greater efforts to leave an even more peaceful country, which has developed economically and politically, to the next generations. In this regard, we should avoid stances and behaviors that could shake this political stability and the economically safe atmosphere, wear down the state of democratic law, and harm our union and solidarity. After all, we are on the same vessel as free and equal citizens of this strong state.

It is our common responsibility to navigate this vessel toward an even better and brighter future in every way.

Given the dynamic structure of our society, it is natural to see problems and disagreements and different approaches toward these from time to time. Naturally, entirely overcoming the doubts and question marks emerging in the public conscience about some issues is important. We have to solve these issues in a social and political environment where such universal principles and values as the rule of law, justice, transparency and accountability are dominant, without hurting and offending each other and in mutual understanding. The sustainability of prosperity and stability in our country can be achieved only by complying with these principles. Therefore, I would like to draw attention to the cruciality of the continuation of the reforms.

Democracy is a regime of rules and institutions which is based upon the separation of powers. The duties and authorities of the institutions are determined in the constitution and relevant laws. No one and no power can practice an authority that does not take their strength from the constitution.

With the the new year, we should leave behind old political and bureaucratic habits. In democracy, elections are the address of governmental change. Our nation has properly performed its duty of arbitration in political issues up to now and it will continue to do so in the future as well. As for the independent judiciary, it is the place where judicial problems can be solved. It is our common responsibility to avoid behaviors that could harm the understanding and perception of an independent and impartial judiciary.

We have problems as well as great hopes and goals. Such problems should not prevent us from looking to the future with hope and confidence. No power can ever divert Turkey. In our development process, universal values will be our most important beacon.

In this vein, I hope that 2014 brings every happiness and great developments to our country and the whole world.

I once again congratulate our citizens both at home and abroad on the New Year.”

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