Abdullah Gul: ''Do not Expect Everything from the Government''

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gul, during his busy diplomatic schedule in New York, accepted a special interview with Turk of America, and sent a message to the Turkish community living in the United States through our magazine. Mr. Gul said, “We are supporting our citizens living abroad in every aspect. We do not have such policy where we consider these people as a source of foreign exchange. This would be the very last thing that might cross in our minds.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abdullah Gul, who came to New York in order to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), accepted an interview with Turk of America.
Abdullah Gul, former Foreign Minister, current President of Turkey.

Mr. Gul mentioned about the resolutions being offered on the problems of the Turkish community living in the United States as well as the policy of the government regarding Turkish people living abroad. Mr. Gul pointed out that they do not consider Turkish people living abroad as a source of foreign exchange and that it would be the very last thing that could cross their minds.

He further affirmed that the Turkish people living abroad feel themselves lonely. Turk of America asked him whether the government has an extra effort to get Turkish people more organized or not. He said that it is difficult to bring Turkish people together efficiently with the sole effort of the government. He also said that it would be more efficient if Turkish people get organized among themselves within the community.  He added, “We are carrying on efforts in order for the Turkish people living abroad to be the citizens of the country they are living in as well as encouraging them to participate in politics. Being efficient abroad is possible through active participation in the administrative system of the country.

Mr. Gul said that they give all types of support for the activities organized by the Turkish people living abroad, and emphasized that they do not approve of asking the government for money all the time. It is not right to ask the government for 100-150 thousand dollars for minor activities to be organized in Germany or in the U.S. These requests upset us very much. There is something going wrong if our citizens, who currently reached a significant number and power abroad, cannot collect this amount of money. Mr. Gul concluded that the government has a power to certain extend; therefore it would not be possible to fulfill every request.

We mentioned Mr. Gul the increased difficulty in obtaining American visas in the aftermath of September 11, and the problems faced by the Turkish workers and students, who reside in the U.S. during the renewal process of their visas in American consulates abroad. Mr. Gul responded by saying that they intervene immediately when there is an unfair judgment and that citizens should notify his office accordingly. Gul also said that these concerns were voiced during their meetings with their American counterparts.

Mr. Gul pointed out that in order to provide an incentive to young Turkish people who received world-class education in the U.S. to return to their country, their government opens up attractive posts: “We really work hard for this. Our friends who decide to go back assume important positions. Those who went to good schools and received a very good education attract private companies as well. Right now Turkey is in the recovery phase. As the economy improves, wider opportunities will become evident.”

Mr. Gul said that the government took measures to induce foreign investment and ease incorporation procedures for foreigners. He also emphasized that they are working hard to sign a free trade agreement with the United States and that this is one of their top priorities since it would translate into benefits for Turkish businessmen.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that despite his intensive agenda, he is doing his best to inform the American business industry about the investment opportunities in Turkey and reminded the series of information meetings conducted by Mr. Ali Babacan, Minister of Economics, with financial and business communities in Los Angeles and Chicago. Mr. Gul also said that foreign capital will inevitably increase as Turkey is promoted more in the international arena.

Mr. Gul addressed the Turkish community living in a dispersed geography in the U.S.: “As the Turkish community progresses, individuals should not refrain from compromising for the sake of keeping our unity. Successful Turks who have detached themselves from the rest of the community should not refrain from meeting with their people. Solidarity is the only way to be effective.”

Having reviewed the latest issues of the Turk of America during the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gul emphasized that the magazine addresses a very important need of the Turkish community in the U.S. and wished us the best. Mr. Gul also noticed the large number of ads given to the magazine by Turkish companies and commented on the important role of written media for a growing and developing Turkish community.

(August 2003, 9th Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07