Sayın Büyükelçimizin Kosovo's New Diplomat Dergisi'nde Yayımlanan Mülakatı , 30.10.2012NEW DIPLOMAT INTERVIEW
‘’KOSOVO HAS ALWAYS A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE HEARTS OF ALL TURKISH PEOPLE’’
What is the best thing about working and living in Kosovo?
1. Throughout my career, I have always had a special interest in the Balkans. Like many families in my country, a part of my family also originates from the Balkans. I have served in Tirana as a young diplomat. Therefore, the Balkans region is very special to me. Moreover, Kosovo always has a special place in the hearts of all Turkish people. Hence, working for developing friendship between Turkey and Kosovo is exciting for me. Witnessing continuing progress of a young country is very fascinating. I enjoy establishing companionship with many Kosovar people; I especially adore the Kosovar youth who are educated, talented and aware of the changes in the world around them. I have high hopes about the future of Kosovo with such a young population. In Turkey we have a similar young generation profile, as the most valuable asset of my country, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I hope the young people of Kosovo will follow this model and have an important role in establishing a better and brighter future of Kosovo. With these thoughts, I do not distinguish between living and working in Kosovo for I always enjoy my time here.
How big is the Turkish presence in Kosovo?
2. Turkey has been contributing to KFOR, EULEX and other international organizations serving for Kosovo. Besides that, TIKA and Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center have been running ongoing projects in different areas, from the protection of cultural heritage to education and health. Furthermore, well-known and prestigious Turkish companies in the world are also very active in major infrastructure projects as well as banking, education, health, insurance and various sectors in Kosovar economy. These investments contribute to Kosovo to create a productive economy as well as employment opportunities for young Kosovars. Turkey is the 6th largest economy of Europe and the 16th largest economy of the world with one of the fastest growth rate over past decade. Turkey is a member of G-20 and is among the ten emerging market economies of the world. According to the OECD, Turkey will sustain the third highest growth rate after China and India by 2017. Having mentioned all these figures, I aim to emphasize that the Turkish private sector is not only active in the Balkans and Kosovo but also worldwide. The international contracting services (construction) sector of Turkey is the second foreign investor in the world after the Chinese construction sector. In Kosovo, the total value of Turkish investments surmounts 250 million euro and the total value of contracting service is around 800 million euro. Turkish investors employ around 3.400 people in Kosovo. The Turkish private sector is continuously encouraged by the Turkish government to invest more in Kosovo. Our social and cultural ties also encourage our businessmen to work in Kosovo.
How do you see Turkish-Kosovan relations developing?
3. I define the existing relations between our countries as excellent. Our relations are an outcome of a common history, shared culture and values. There are a large number of Kosovars who have family ties with the Turkish people. Moreover, in Turkey, there are numerous members of parliament, mayors, bureaucrats, artists, intellectuals and sportsmen of Kosovar origin. Only over the past six months we had eight consecutive ministerial visits between the two countries. These mutual high level contacts contribute to further enhance our relations. Our politicians, mayors, rectors and NGOs have direct and close cooperation with their Kosovan counterparts. I can emphasize this unique relation by the fact that the poet of the Turkish National Anthem, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, is an Albanian from Peja. Turkey is one of the first countries that recognized Kosovo. Kosovo always has a special place in the hearts of all Turkish people Kosovo’s New Diplomat sep/oct 2012 11 Closed Chapter in the Balkans We have given extensive support to Kosovo not only since the independence but before as well. Turkey attaches utmost importance to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Kosovo. We are of the opinion that lasting peace and stability in the Balkans cannot be achieved without the integration of Kosovo to the European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. Therefore, we promote Kosovo’s independence in both bilateral and multilateral fora. We have a strong will to further develop our relations with Kosovo in all fields. Our state and people have a sincere wish and generous efforts in this direction. And we gladly observe that the Kosovar side has the same attitude towards Turkey. We believe that the future of Kosovo and Turkey will be a shared one within the Euro-Atlantic organizations. Since its independence, Kosovo has undertaken substantial progress in establishing its primary institutions and building a democratic environment on the basis of the rule of law. The preservation of the multiethnic, multi cultural and multi religious fabric of Kosova as well as integration of all communities is vitally important. On this occasion, I would like to stress that the end of Kosovo’s supervised independence in September, 2012, presents a great achievement for young Kosovo and we welcome this development. We are of the opinion that Kosovo will be able to face all the coming challenges through determination and hard work. Turkey will always provide extensive and continuous support to Kosovo in this direction.
What is your favorite part of Kosovo?
4. For me Kosovo is one of the most beautiful countries. I find it difficult to pick a favorite place out of the many lovely cities, towns and villages of Kosovo. Prishtina, Prizren, Mamusha, Mitrovica, Peja, Rugova Valley, Gjakova, Vushtrri, Gjilan, Dragash, Brod, Vitia, Janjeva, Restelica, Ferizaj and many other places have tale-like panorama and very friendly people. I really feel home here.
What is in your current reading list?
5. My reading list is always divided into two parts. The books, which I have read and kept since my youth. I frequently read certain parts, scenes and sentences of these books, which have influenced my personality. The books of Bertrand Russell and Franz Kafka are on the top of this list. The second part is my daily reading list, which necessarily consists of biographies, history books and novels. At present, I am reading ‘Atatürk: An Intellectual Biography’ by Sukru Hanioglu, published by Princeton University last year. A few days ago, I have finished reading a biography of Charles Bukowski, by Howard Sounes. I am also reading the world-famous economist Daron Acemoglu’s and James Robinson’s ‘Why Nations Fail’, which I strongly advise to all readers. As for novels, I have also recently finished reading ‘The Confession’ by John Grisham and currently I am reading ‘The Other Wes Moore’ by Wes Moore.
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- Kosovo's New Diplomat _ Sep-Oct2012