November 24, 2011
Let us remember how Turkey’s president Mr Gül was received in France by Sarkozy. That was a shame. It was so low. For a few days Britain has been teaching a lesson to him and his party the UMP. Britain’s warm welcome towards Mr Gül is symbolic. No doubt that History will remember that.
Welcomed in London with the highest-level protocol by the Queen, President Gül met British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The President and the First Lady went on a sight-seeing tour in London, visiting the outstanding places of historical interest.
Hosted at the Buckingham Palace by the Queen, President Gül and the First Lady saw the Royal Painting Collection.
The Queen personally informed the President and his wife of the paintings displayed in the palace related to the two countries’ relations both in the past and present.
Gül expressed Turkey’s gratitude for the support lent to Turkey’s EU accession and said a more visionary stance was also expected from Europe in that regard.
Gül later said he had called attention to the fact that if the EU were to fail in showing a political will, the reunification of the island could be impossible because of the Greek Cypriot Administration’s reluctance.
British Prime Minister Cameron stressed once again that Britain supported Turkey’s EU accession.
We’ll soon see if Britain – a guarantor power in Cyprus – will stand to that commitment (it’s useful to remind that there are a few British military bases in Southern Cyprus).
(Here is Britain’s previous commitment: Pro-Turkey EU members in action)
That’s how true and dignified heads of state are used to welcoming their foreign counterparts and guests. Thank you very much Britain. But let’s underline that Mr Gül is not a king, he is the president of the secular Turkish republic!
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II formally welcomed Turkish President Abdullah Gül and his wife, Hayrünnisa Gül, to London yesterday at a ceremony that took place near the Buckingham Palace. The queen and her husband, Duke of Edinburgh Philip, arrived at the field followed by a car carrying Gul and his wife, who arrived from the White Hall Gate.
The two heads of state shook hands warmly as the hosts laid on the traditional pomp at the ceremony, which included a 41-gun royal salute and Gul’s inspection of the lines of Coldstream Guards in their grey greatcoats. During the ceremony, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Home Secretary Theresa May accompanied the queen.
Gül noted that talks between the EU and Turkey have been stalled for a long time, saying that almost all of the negotiation chapters have been frozen and that there is little possibility to open any of them at this time. “We have said that this hurts the EU’s reputation greatly. This might greatly discredit the EU starting in the first half of 2012.
Can you imagine? The Greek Cypriot administration joined the EU, violating all the principles of the union, in a half-done manner, in an incomplete way. This was their first example of violating the principles of this family. And now, this half-country, this incomplete nation, will serve as EU president. You have such a union, but the presidency will be that of half a country. It will be half a country leading a miserable union,” Gül told Turkish journalists. Gül said Turkey would not participate in any meetings to be chaired by Cyprus but has no problems with continuing to work with the commission.
Gül also said Turkey had no hidden agendas concerning Syria, stating: “We want security, economic stability and welfare. If there was enough wealth, everybody would take his share of that. This is all we want.” He said it was impossible for a single-party state or other oppressive form of government to survive in this age. “The walls of fear have come down. This was what happened in Egypt, and what is happening in Syria. This is why we want this transitional process to be complete without damaging or weakening Syria, without causing any suffering to the people of Syria. We also think that foreign intervention is not the right way. We hope it won’t reach such a point,” he explained.
Queen Elizabeth II last night gave a dinner in honour of President Gül and the First Lady.
The dinner attended by 170 people took place at the venue where Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz was given a dinner in his honour back in 1867 when he visited England.
President Abdullah Gül and the Queen, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu shared the same table as the one where the Ottoman Sultan once sat in the accompaniment of the same music performed then.
President Gül, in a speech he delivered at the dinner, stressed the determination to enhance cooperation between their countries against international terror, proliferation of mass destruction weapons as well as illegal immigration and economic recession.
Gül said further that the support lent by Britain to Turkey’s EU accession was the sign of its strategic vision, and noted that the strategic partnership between Turkey and Britain would be further advanced in the forthcoming years.
The monarch, in her speech, reaffirmed the support given by her country and pledged the continuation of the support to help Turkey reach the end in its fight against terrorism.
The monarch also recalled the devastating earthquake in Van and expressed her sorrow over the loss of lives on behalf of the British nation.
President Abdullah Gül, in a speech he delivered at the House of Commons, has stressed the importance of cooperation in the critical process the world is in.
He said the world was going through a historic change and the old order from Africa to Asia to Europe and the Middle East was on the verge of transformation.
Gül also said that it was also the Turkish people as much as the EU countries to decide at the end of the process whether Turkey should join the EU or not.
President Gül and the First Lady who attended the dinner given in their honour by the Lord Mayor of the City of London were hosted in a ceremonial fashion.
About 700 guests, including the members of the Royal family and businessmen, attended the dinner.
The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Wootton called attention to Turkey’s growing economy in his speech and expressed pleasure over hosting the Gül couple.
Alderman Wootton is also of Turkish descent.
President Gül said it was just about time the two countries had further consolidated their economic ties.
Turkish president Abdullah Gül said Wednesday that “the EU tem presidency of the half state in Cyprus in the second half of 2012 would show the EU’s weakness”.
Addressing a group of British deputies in London, President Gül said that he was concerned that, under these circonstances, the EU would be responsible for a process that would make an union in Cyprus impossible.
Everyone would have to face the consequences of such a process, Gül said.
President Abdullah Gül and the First Lady have been seen off from the Buckingham Palace in London by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
President Gül will continue his contacts in Portsmouth, where is also the Turkish Naval Cemetery.
The first place to be visited in Portsmouth by President Gül and his wife will be the Turkish Naval Cemetery.
They will also visit the Portsmouth Naval Base, which is also a major dockyard and base for some historical ships and the Royal Army vessels.
The last stop of President Gül and his wife there will be the Stansted Park before leaving for home toward the evening today.
In a friendly manner,