100-year anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye

Text: Martina Hošková and M.Zisso; Photo: Pavel Mikeska

On the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye, the Turkish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr. Egemen Bagis, along with Mrs. Beyhan N. Bagis, held a reception at the Rudolfinum in Prague.

The evening started with the national anthems of Türkiye and the Czech Republic. Then, the Turkish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr. Egemen Bagis, greeted the guests. Here are selected excerpts of Ambassador ́s speech at the event.

“Dear Foreign Minister Lipavský, Dear Mr. President Klaus, Dear Prime Ministers Babiš, Nečas, and Topolánek, Excellencies, Representatives of the Diplomatic Missions in Prague, Deputy Ministers, Members of the Czech Parliament and Senate, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

We are delighted to be here in the Rudolfinum with all our distinguished guests to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye and we express our deepest gratitude to all of you for being with us to share this very proud day.

Since the national day celebration dates are back-to-back for our two nations, I would like to start by extending our sincere congratulations to our ally the Czech Republic and the friendly people of Czechia, on the occasion of the Czech National Day of October 28.

Today, as the Easternmost European, and the Westernmost Asian country, Türkiye promotes sustainable peace and development in her region and she is a driving force for all surrounding basins utilizing deep-rooted traditions of diplomacy with the country’s strength stemming from factors such as the central geographical location, rich historical experience, robust institutions, strong human resources, and a dynamic economy.

At the centennial anniversary of our Republic, we are proud to say that achievement of our goals set by our leaders since and including our founder Atatürk raised the standards of peace and prosperity for our nation. In this respect Türkiye continues to contribute to peace, prosperity, and stability all around the world. Guided by the enduring objectives of our founder to achieve “Peace at Home, Peace in the World” we strive to implement an “Enterprising and Humanitarian Foreign Policy”.

Within this policy framework as our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan always emphasizes, Türkiye actively contributes to all efforts addressing multiple challenges of the world including mass migration, energy and food security as well as the fight against terrorism.

Concerning the regional clashes that we are facing today, particularly the recent ones in Ukraine and Gazza, we believe that the solution to these challenges depends on collective efforts forged by cooperation and effective multilateralism. We believe in dialogue and constantly work for diplomatic solutions based on the principle of win-win.

Besides our common values like democracy and human rights that we share with our host country and longtime NATO ally Czechia, free market economy and bilateral trade always play an important role. We have already reached the volume of 5 billion US dollars last year with room for further growth. As we have almost doubled our trade over the last four years during my tenure, it is now time to set a new target that will further anchor our strong bilateral ties.

Tonight, I would like to underline and thank once again for the strong support and solidarity of the Czech Republic extended after the devastating mega earthquakes in our country last February. Turkish people will never forget their support and all the members of the Czech Search and Rescue Team will remain as our heroes. We are honored their leader General Vlček and some of his brave colleagues could join us tonight.

On the occasion of our centennial celebrations this year, we have tried to lead and complete many initiatives here in Prague and I am grateful to all our sponsors and volunteers for their support. Namely, PPF Holding, Yüce Auto, the distributor of Skoda automobiles in our country, the Czechoslovak Group, Yıldızlar Holding, and Skoda Transport have contributed wholeheartedly to our efforts.

One of these initiatives is a book written by the former Chief Curator of Prague Castle, Prof. Jaroslav Sojka about the amazing history of our residence building which will be published soon. This book will be a lasting tribute to the 100th anniversary of our Republic and the centennial anniversary of Turkish-Czech diplomatic relations in 2024. We are grateful to Prof. Sojka and his team.

These celebrations are never easy to organize. For their contributions, I am grateful to my dear wife Beyhan and to our Embassy and residence team. Actually, my wife Beyhan and I met at a Republic Day celebration just like this one exactly 32 years ago in New York. I was again in a tuxedo.

I would also like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Ensemble and Prague Conservatory String Quartet for their performances. Tonight, we will also have the opportunity to listen to the meaningful performances of three talented artists, Ms. Nora Lubbadová, Ms. Giulia Mazzoni, and Mr. Martin Rufer in our program. We thank every one of them in advance.”