ANKARA: Gul: Dialogue, Cooperation And Respect …

Anadolu Agency, Turkey
July 1 2004

Gul: Dialogue, Cooperation And Respect For Others’ Values Are Our
Basic Principles

ISTANBUL – Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday that dialogue, cooperation and respect
for others’ values were their basic principles.

Gul added that the idea of clash of civilizations was not valid for
Turkey and Turkey’s foreign policy.

Gul delivered a speech at the closure session of ”Istanbul
Pan-Atlantic Student Summit” at Koc University in Istanbul.

Stating that half of Turkey’s population consisted of youths under
the age of 25, Gul underlined the importance of NATO Youth Summit’s
convening in Turkey.

Stressing that Turkey was determined to educate youths in political,
economic and other fields, Gul noted that the government had a
reformist structure. He added that they attached great importance to
values of youths.

Gul noted that Turkey expected to start membership negotiations with
the European Union (EU) at the end of 2004, stating that they knew
contribution that Turkey would make to EU, hoping that EU would also
comprehend it.

Stating that NATO alliance was based on democratic ideals, he said
that NATO had responsibility to protect and defend common values.

Gul said that the alliance had fulfilled this task from the very
beginning, stressing that it would also continue to take steps on
protection of freedoms and fight against terrorism.

Foreign Minister Gul said that the alliance adopted exchanging
mutually views on every issue as a principle, stating that NATO was
going through an adaptation process continuously.

Stating that NATO also undertook significant tasks to improve
stability in the world, Gul underlined that Turkey attached great
importance to further improvement of its relations with NATO, EU and
also regional countries.

Gul asked students attending NATO Youth Summit to take Turkey’s
messages of peace and tolerance to their countries.

Replying to a question on their expectations after referenda held in
Cyprus on April 24, Gul said that Turkey and the United Nations
extended great efforts for solution of Cyprus issue.

Noting that Cyprus plan prepared by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
envisaged a two-sided but united Cyprus, Gul said that the Turkish
Cypriot side accepted the plan in the referendum, but a historic
opportunity was missed as the Greek Cypriot side rejected it.

”What Turkish Cypriots expect from now on is the lifting of economic
embargo and travel embargo,” he said.

Stating that Turkey preserved its perspective of a lasting
resolution, Gul called on western countries to keep their promises to
lift embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriot side.

Asked what kind of things could be done to change relationship
between the Islam culture and western culture for the better, Gul
said the Republic of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire which had a 600
years of history attributed importance to tolerance and mutual

Stressing that nobody was messing in religion and language of others
and nobody was assimilated in Turkey, Gul said that it was proven
with existence of worship places of three religions in Ortakoy
district of Istanbul.

Gul said that Turkey would continue contributing to peace in the
world and stability in the region.

Asked what kind of steps that the NATO envisaged to take for
resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at Istanbul Summit,
Gul said that Palestinian-Israeli problem concerned not only those
two regions, but also whole region and the world.

Stressing that steps for resolution of this chronic problem would
relieve firstly the region and later the world, Gul said that a road
map was prepared and a broader platform beyond the NATO discussed the

Gul said Turkey supported such initiatives and would exert every

Asked about matters that had been discussed during his meeting with
the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers, Gul said it was a
very beneficial meeting and both sides were satisfied with the

Noting that problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia could not remain
stagnant while partial progress was recorded in other problems in the
region, Gul said it was a great achievement as the sides were
satisfied with the meeting in Istanbul.

Stating that they would hold another meeting in New York in
September, Gul added that he believed they would record progress in
resolution of problems through dialogue.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS