Speech at the 20th Eurasian Economic Summit

Yazdır Paylaş Yazıları Büyült Yazıları Küçült


Valuable Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen

First of all, I would like to indicate how pleased, happy and honored I am to get together with you all on this 20th Eurasian Economic Summit. I’d like to thank this opportunity to thank the Marmara Foundation and its President Mr. Suver. We have worked with most of the esteemed presidents in here, worked hard to improve the relations between our countries. We had consultations, solidarities not only on the bilateral relations between our countries, but also on multilateral issues, on European, World issues, particularly on Eurasian and Balkans issues. Today, I am also honored to be with you all, my dear friends and Presidents, who have enormous duties on their shoulders as they govern their countries.

Valuable friends,

Surely, we are all aware that the speeches that were made here have been really beneficial. The participants who have great experience have conveyed their experience and thoughts beautifully. Many significant changes happen everywhere, in Europe, Far East, particularly in the United States of America. These changes are political, economic, on security issues. Unfortunately, it is hard to say that these all are getting better. I suppose the concerns are getting higher. Especially the fact that the governors of the countries who are in a world leader position include populism that much, their calm, serious attitudes yet acting as if they are not aware of their responsibilities, development of radical movements, many extreme elements getting more attention, increase of non-governmental, non-state actors in the world and their increase of power, protectionism getting ahead of just a discourse, all of these surely cause an increase of concern for the future. They remind us the fact that the lessons have not been taken enough from history. Our esteemed presidents also made references to history on this matter a lot. The people who know European history will remember that the political actors of the 19th century, who took lessons of the wars caused by Napoleon, united and provided stability, serenity. At least, for a hundred year, Europe went on with stability and made great moves, there have been big developments. However, unfortunately in the 20th century, First and Second World Wars took place, there have been huge destructions, a large amount of deaths. After high costs were paid, surely lessons were learned and many institutions such as the European Union and particularly United Nations were established. At this point, we unfortunately see that these institutions cannot adapt themselves to today’s conditions and improve themselves accordingly. We all have strived for a reform in the United Nations to happen and to be able to address today’s world and today’s leaders also strive for it. Yet, they unfortunately did not happen. When we look at the current situation, unfortunately just like I have previously indicated, new political structures that we are not used to are established. Different security perceptions are established. Different meanings are attributed to geopolitical matters. All these demonstrate the fact that the future is not so peaceful at all. Furthermore, surely in terms of economic matters, especially beginning to resort to the protective measures undermines the existing structure. In here, I would like to emphasize once again that maybe the leaders may resort to populism in their election campaigns, this is the nature of politics. Sometimes this may go too far. However, after the responsibilities are taken upon, as there are responsibilities for the society, nation, states and for major countries there are also responsibilities for the world, it is very dangerous to include populism.

This never leads to salvation, welfare and security. When we look at the European political history, as well as Middle Eastern political history and recent history, they all have populism, racism, chauvinism – I want to keep it separate from patriotism –. Yet, racism, discrimination, issues such as Islamophobia, which we encounter today in some European countries, xenophobia never bring happiness, welfare and security. In fact, the leaders that are doing this have consultation in their countries first and then they fight with their neighbors as things get worse. There are many examples of this in European history as well. I hope that such policies that we often see these days will be abandoned soon and eventually more realist policies will be resorted to. Also, I would like to indicate that seeing that the leaders of the significant countries which shape the world do not make references to issues such as democracy, law, rule of law, human rights and that these are all ignored in their statements, speeches is painful. These never bring good results for humanity, their countries and the whole world. Let’s not forget that the right policies eventually make countries and society happy and strong, they provide stability to their region. When stability, security are not established in a region, economic development and growth become out of the question as well. In every part of the world, if peaceful solutions are established for problems, issues with dialogue, by mutual consent, security is established as well. New orders cannot be established with force, hard power as we do not live in the old world, as we do not live in the world of 100-200 years ago, or in previous years. Today, if new orders are established with soft power, then it becomes sustainable and then it brings happiness. As long as this does not happen, conflicts, chaos occur. We observe the most painful examples in our region. The countries which cannot adapt themselves, or rather their regimes to today’s world, which cannot make democracy sovereign with their initiatives, which cannot develop human rights standards to a degree that is close to the developed countries face sudden bursts and when huge problems occur in those countries, major countries interfere them and proxy wars become inevitable. After all, the current situation, the photos of Syria that we saw yesterday, of which our valuable Presidents have also addressed upon, the conflicts that occurred in meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York, which I presume some of us have seen, are embarrassing for humanity and yet they are also worrisome. The citizens of the countries which get stuck in circle of fire eventually escape to find a more secure place for themselves. The Syria issue demonstrated to Europe specially that you cannot be sensitive to a humanitarian plight that occur even far away from you. If you stay insensitive in the beginning, finally those people come and knock on your doorstep, and you have to open your doors no matter how much you resist. If, today, millions of people fall into the immigrant status on the eyes of Europe and huge problems come up for both themselves and the countries that they go to, this is because the problems are not resolved on time. Surely, as particularly the United Nations and then the major countries do not provide enough solutions for the problems, and as there is nothing left to do when the war becomes a hot issue, both those countries and the whole world face difficulties. Whereas, following things could be made, which also determine the politics and statesman: foreseeing the problems and thinking about how you can solve the problems before they get chronic. History of diplomacy, politics is full of these issues. When you resolve the potential problems through dialogue, talking, contact, mutual consent, you can be successful. Perhaps, in many parts of the world, we suffer from such matters. As Turkey, we have nearly 3 million refugees. Let’s say that Turkey can handle this with its population of 80 million. Turkish society acted very noble, all political parties, the ruling party, the oppositions, despite the fact that we had 3 elections, did not ignore this issue in their campaigns. I would like to state that this is a huge value for Turkey, Turkish society and all politicians in Turkey. We see how in other countries this matter is ignored and how it goes so far as to cause a change in governments. Turkey can manage this with its populations of 80 million and its vast economy yet there are other countries such as Jordan, Palestine, countries that have refugees as much as their half of the population. We see that not enough financial aid is provided for them. The refugee people are in so much pain that even if you put them in a golden cage, they cannot find the serenity of their country. However, there is an issue in here which the whole world and especially Europe must pay utmost attention to; the children, who are caught in all these, should not be a lost generation. If those children cannot have a proper education in the country they went to, no matter in Germany, or in Turkey, or in the Balkans, if this young population cannot have a serious education, if they are not embraced but excluded, then they will be candidates for radical movements as a lost generation in 5-10 years the latest. In this respect, I believe that it is significant for the future of the host countries that accept refugees to care for those children, to take care of their education and integrate them to the society.

Dear friends,

I don’t want to belabor yet I would like to emphasize once again that it is a great value for esteemed statesmen, politicians who have had significant experience, responsibilities to gather and share their experiences sincerely. I hope that they will be benefitted from and will contribute to backing down from the errors, if any, in determining the right policies. Once again, I congratulate the Marmara Group Foundation and all the esteemed Presidents and friends in here, who have honored all of us with their participation. I hope that their presence here will not only be for the valued exchange of views but they will also benefit from the beauty of Istanbul in the best way possible. I once again extend my warmest regards to all of them.

Thank you again…

Yazdır Paylaş Yukarı