Republic of Turkey: 83 years of progress [Archives:2006/991/Local News]

October 19 2006

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, Oct. 19 ) The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Sana'a will celebrate the 83rd anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic on Sunday, October 29th, on the Embassy premises. The National Day reception will be attended by Yemeni officials, members of the diplomatic corps, Turkish and Yemeni businessmen, media representatives and members of the Turkish community in Sana'a.

Yemen and Turkey enjoy friendly relations stemming from close historical and cultural ties. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries has been increasing continuously since respective embassies were opened in Sana'a and Ankara in 1988. Turkish Embassy officials state that relations between Yemen and Turkey are developing satisfactorily to the benefit of the brotherly peoples of both countries. Cooperation continues in many fields, ranging from international politics to cultural affairs. Numerous agreements and protocols have been signed in recent years covering economy and trade, energy, health, sports, higher education, national archives, transport and aviation, standardization, environment, tourism, security and the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking.

Yemeni students make use of scholarships offered by the Turkish Government to study in Turkey, and the establishment of a Turkish Language Department at Sana'a University is now in the planning stage. Yemeni businessmen engaged in trade with Turkish partners are of the opinion that Turkish industrial products are of good quality and that their prices are competitive.

The start of Turkish Airlines direct return flights from Istanbul to Sana'a in February 2006 has also greatly contributed to rising travel between the countries.

Political relations:

In a press statement the Turkish Embassy in Yemen expressed its wishes to further develop its relations with Yemen in all areas, and Embassy officials believe that a huge potential exists for such increased cooperation. New bilateral agreements in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and maritime affairs are planned for the near future.

“Turkey welcomes the democratic and economic reforms achieved by Yemen after the nation's unification in 1990, and highly appreciates the Yemeni Government's poverty-eradication program as well as Yemen's efforts and cooperation with the international community in combating terrorism. Since 2004, Yemen, along with Turkey and Italy, is also a co-sponsor of the Democracy Assistance Dialogue of the G-8's Forum for the Future.” Mr. Turel zkaro, Chief of Mission said.

A very successful third session of the Turkish-Yemeni Joint Committee, concerning trade, economic and technical cooperation, was concluded in Ankara in September 2005. It was followed in October of the same year by an official visit to Sana'a of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo_an, who was accompanied by a trade delegation of 70 businessmen, as well as 26 journalists. The visit included the signing of an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation between the two countries, which is expected to be ratified soon by both sides. Furthermore, steps were taken between the business circles of the two countries to establish a Yemeni-Turkish Business Council that will commence its activities in the near future.

All these activities and cooperation have naturally given a boost to trade relations between Yemen and Turkey. The bilateral trade volume, which exceeded $192 million in 2005, reached $134 million in the first seven months of 2006 alone. Thus a marked increase in bilateral trade is expected for the whole of 2006. Turkish companies have signed major contracts in Yemen since the beginning of the year, in the fields of real estate development, fisheries, construction, oil and liquid natural gas.

Eight decades of progress:

The Republic of Turkey is a secular, democratic republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. Surrounded by three seas and twelve neighboring states, Turkey is strategically situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The country's physical and cultural role as a bridge between the two continents is also reflected in its international relations. Guided by its founder Ataturk's dictum “peace at home, peace in the world”, Turkey pursues a peaceful foreign policy with Western, Middle Eastern and Asian nations. It is a member of most international organizations including the Council of Europe, NATO and the OSCE as well as the Organization of the Islamic Conference. A founding member of the United Nations, Turkey has contributed to the maintenance of international peace and stability for over fifty years by participating in UN-mandated peacekeeping missions across the globe.

For many years Turkey was an associate member of the European Union and is currently an accession candidate, having carried out comprehensive political and economic reforms in recent years. Accession negotiations with the aim of full EU membership were initiated in 2005 and are still ongoing. With a dynamic population of over 70 million, Turkey is one of the most populous countries in its region. It is also among the most industrialized. After its economy and its financial markets went through a process of liberalization in the 1980s, the private sector became the Turkish economy's driving force. Today, Turkey boasts the world's 19th largest economy, with a GDP of $363 billion. The economy has registered a steady growth in recent years and the GDP growth rate for the year 2006 is expected to reach 5.5 percent. The most competitive Turkish economic sectors are textiles, the iron and steel industry, construction, industrial and agricultural machinery as well as the agro-industry. A wide range of products are manufactured in Turkey, from durable household products to electronics, automobiles and aircraft. At present, over 80 percent of Turkey's exports are industrial goods and 60 percent of its exports are directed towards European markets.

Turkey's geographic placement as a melting pot of civilizations over the millennia has endowed the country with a large number of historical and cultural treasures, including sites dating from the ancient Greek, Assyrian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. The country also has beautiful beaches, fascinating landscapes, a rich culture and world-famous cuisine. Thus Turkey ranks among the nations with the highest tourism potentials and has become one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. 21.2 million foreign tourists visited Turkey in 2005, among them over 2000 Yemenis. The number of Yemeni citizens visiting Turkey for tourism or business purposes continues to increase with each passing year.