Gul evaluates agenda for Turkish columnists

President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with Turkish columnists who accompanied him on his state visits to Latvia and Lithuania and shared his views on several issues on the agenda.

Stating that presidential visits from Turkey to these countries were very successful in many respects, President Gul said that the current trade volume with Latvia and Lithuania amounted to $300 million and $500 million respectively.

Recalling that Lithuania’s EU term presidency will start in three months, Gul said, “I am glad to see that both countries shared their strong support to Turkey’s EU membership process with the public without any hesitation. They said some chapters would be opened during Lithuania’s presidency. We are waiting.”

In response to a question regarding some sad events occurring in Germany during which some Turkish citizens lost their lives, Gul said the German administration and officials must meticulously investigate into and uncover these incidents and expressed hope that in the end it turns out that they were only accidents.

When asked what he had meant by the phrase, ’Empire Reflection’, and about what stance he holds as to the discussions about the ‘New Ottoman policy’, Gul said, “We are proud of our Ottoman past, but today the Turkish Republic is a unitary state and its policies are certain. We do not have a secret agenda about any other country nor can we impose our own policies on any states. I have always attached great importance to avoiding offending others, especially our neighbors and others with which we were together in the past. Turkey is proud of all its diversities and colors in this regard. What I meant by an ‘Empire Reflection’ is embracing all these differences and colors and seeing them as richness not threats.”

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