The Speech of the Consul General at the National Day Reception

Peyami Kalyoncu 29.10.2019

Honorable Chief Secretary

Honorable Deputy Commissioner

Dear Consul Generals

Esteemed members of the Turkish Community in Hong Kong

Distinguished guests

Today we are proudly celebrating the 96th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. 2019 is the centennial anniversary of 1919, the year which our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk sparked the flames of Turkish Liberation War. We remember all our heroes, martyrs and veterans with great respect and gratitude.

Since the founding of the Republic, Turkey has attained great achievements in all fields. Following decades long development campaigns, and thanks to the strong and steady reforms and growth rates since the early 2000s, Turkey has become today the 12th largest economy in the world and the 5th largest in Europe in terms of purchasing power parity.

Under our new initiative, labelled as “Asia Anew”, Turkey is committed to further develop her relations in the Asian region in all fields including investments, trade, technology, culture and education.

Our region has a central place at the crossroads of important transport corridors that are key for the revival of the modern Silk Road. In this regard, Turkey also supports the “Belt and Road Initiative” launched by China since its beginning.

Hong Kong, fully deserving its label as Asia’s world city, constitutes a prominent hub with which Turkey would like to further improve economic and trade relations, strengthen financial cooperation and promote people-to-people ties. We trust that the Hong Kong SAR Government, within the framework of the principle of “one country, two systems”, will successfully overcome the current difficulties and the city and its people will keep prospering in peace and stability.

Distinguished guests

The foreign direct investment in Turkey is strongly protected by both domestic and international laws. Doing business is getting much easier every year thanks to the continuing and extensive reforms.

Turkey has jumped up 10 places in just one year and now ranked 33rd

at the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2020 Report. Against this background, we hope to further increase the FDI stock of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese companies in Turkey.Turkey’s trade with Hong Kong is steadily growing, reaching 1,7 billion US Dollars in 2018. There is a strong potential to further develop our trade.

Distinguished guests,

Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world with more than 45 million tourists visit Turkey every year. The new Istanbul Airport, which has become operational last year, will be the largest airport globally with 200 million annual passenger capacity, when all phases are fully completed. We wish to see more tourists, students and business people travelling between Hong Kong and Turkey. Both being regional and international hubs, Istanbul and Hong Kong can create synergies to serve to greater geographies. Turkish Airlines is currently operating 6 direct passenger flights between Istanbul and Hong Kong. Turkish Cargo has also recently become the biggest Turkish investor in Hong Kong. Direct air cargo connection is growing rapidly between the two cities.

Saygıdeğer konuklar, değerli vatandaşlarımız,

Cumhuriyetimizin kuruluşunun 96. yıldönümünü sizlerle beraber kutlamanın gururunu yaşıyoruz.

Ülkemiz, 1923 yılından bu yana çok önemli başarılara imza attı. Ekonomide, sağlık sektöründe, savunma sanayiinde, kültürde, sanatta, bilimde, sporda, her alanda bugün çok daha büyük, çok daha güçlü bir Türkiye var.

Cumhuriyetimizin en büyük başarıları arasında, rakamların ötesindeki kazanımları belki en başta saymak gerekir. Kadınların seçme ve seçilme hakkını Batı’daki ülkelerin pek çoğundan önce elde etmesi; anayasal demokrasinin başarıyla tesis edilmesi ve korunması; vatandaşlarımıza her alanda fırsat eşitliği sağlanması bu başarıların yalnızca birkaçıdır. Demokratik ve laik yapısı, sosyo-kültürel zenginlikleriyle Cumhuriyetimizin geleceğinin çok daha parlak olduğuna dair inancımız tamdır.

Çevremize baktığımızda, ülkemizdeki barış ve istikrar ortamının önemini her gün çok daha iyi kavrıyoruz. PKK/YPG/PYD, DEAŞ, FETÖ gibi terör örgütleri değerlerimize, kazanımlarımıza, güvenliğimize tehdit oluşturmaya devam ediyor. Son olarak Barış Pınarı Harekatımızla ortaya koymakta olduğumuz gibi Türkiye’nin tüm tehditlerle mücadele etmek için yeterli gücü ve imkanı bulunmaktadır. Demokrasimizi, özgürlüğümüzü, huzurumuzu korumak; ekonomik gelişimimizi ve kalkınmamızı sürdürmek için hep birlikte çalışmaya devam edeceğiz.

Bu itibarla, Hong Kong’da, hem yerel makamların, hem muhatap olduğumuz tüm diğer yabancıların övgüyle bahsettiği küçük ama güzide bir topluluğumuz var. İş hayatında, akademide, ekonomide çok başarılı insanlarımız, yöneticilerimiz bulunuyor. Bu anlamda, Hong Kong’da Başkonsolos olarak göreve başlamış olmak benim için ayrı bir gurur kaynağı.

Bu vesileyle, Cumhuriyet Bayramımızı kutluyor, Cumhuriyetimizin kurucusu Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ve silah arkadaşları başta olmak üzere, tüm şehitlerimizi ve gazilerimizi minnet ve rahmetle anıyoruz.

Before ending my words, I wish to sincerely thank all the sponsors for their very important contributions helping us organize this reception. Also, many thanks to the Music Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong for providing the beautiful photos from the Music of Turkey photo exhibit which they organized earlier this month.

Last but definitely not least, I would like to express my gratitude to all relevant branches of the Hong Kong SAR Government for their efficiency and professionalism, which make our daily conduct of work very easy and comfortable. Since assuming my duties, I have witnessed only the warm welcome of the people and the governments of the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Cumhuriyet Bayramımız kutlu olsun!

Atatürk

Ahmet Peyami Kalyoncu Consul General
Monday - Friday

09:30 - 13:00 / 14:00 - 17:30

Submission of Documents: 09.30-12.30
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