Date posted: April 26, 2013
Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, thankful to Fethullah Gulen for backing the ongoing peace process in Turkey’s Kurdish issue, said, “The peace process is a process in which the entire nation feels the honor of being equal citizens of the same state under the same flag. So I would like to send my thanks to the Honorable Fethullah Gulen who has embraced this process as well.”
On April 20th, Egemen Bagis attended the award ceremony of the Social Sciences Olympiad (SOBİO), organized by Fatih Schools, at Halic Convention Center in Istanbul. In addition to the minister, numerous prominent guests including Presidential Secretary-General Nadir Alpaslan, Ministry of Family and Social Policies undersecretary Ahmet Zahterogullari, Development and Justice Part (AKP) Istanbul deputy Tulay Kaynarca, Journalists and Writers Foundation President Mustafa Yesil, Turkish Language Institute (TDK) President Mustafa Kacalin, TV host Pelin Cift, artists Ahmet Ozhan, Metin Senturk and Omer Benlioglu attended the night.
The Olympiad, in its 9th year, saw the participation of 391 projects from 180 schools in 48 provinces in the categories: performing arts, forum, presentation in English and Turkish and project design. Besides the contestants, exemplary names were awarded in their service to society as well as the artists Ahmet Ozhan and Metin Senturk presented awards honoring their contributions to the arts.
In his remarks, Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis briefly informed the audience about the peace process. Noting that Turkey is going through a very delicate time Bagis went on to say, “Turkey has understood the best solution in this process is “love”. Some are distorting what the solution process is, but, it can be summed up, in deed, in one sentence. We define the solution process as the true implementation of the constitutional article “All citizens of the Turkish Republic are equal”. Through this process, all the citizens of this country, as equal individuals, will again collectively sweat over the development of this county in the same way they martyred side-by-side in Gallipoli Wars, collaborated for the advancement of Turkey in Independence War and performed sajdah before the same qibla facing the same direction. This what the solution process is all about. It is not a recent phenomenon. It is a process initiated on November 3, 2012 and continuously gaining momentum every passing day.”
“The Deceased Turgut Ozal put a lot of effort into this country for its development. He served as the undersecretary at State Planning Organization, as prime minister and as president. He became even the president but not a Kurd. He said “My mother is a Kurd, my aunt cannot speak Kurdish”, however, he couldn’t say “I am a Kurd.” We witnessed a president visiting a cemevi for the first time since Ataturk and a prime minister breaking bread with Alevis at a Muharram iftar (fast-breaking dinner). The solution process is thus the process through which everyone in this country will be able to say “This is my country”. It is a process in which the entire nation feels the honor of being equal citizens of the same state under the same flag. So I would like to send my thanks to the Honorable Fethullah Gulen who has embraced this process as well.”
“Students raised with love at the Turkish schools give us hope”
Having touched on also the Blessed Birth week, Egemen Bagis spoke highly of students at the Turkish school abroad. “Tonight, we are definitely commemorating a unique celebration too. We are observing a truly Blessed Birth. Here tonight, with our children, we are celebrating the birth of our Prophet Muhammad who was sent as a mercy to the worlds” Bagis said.
He further said, “I have always thought about the question on the bumper stickers on the cars in Europe and the US. They frequently ask themselves the question “What would Jesus do?” If only we could embrace the messages and teachings of our beloved Prophet as the Westerners do Jesus’s; ask the question “What would the Prophet Muhammad do?” whenever we raged and were faced with a critical decision, we would be living in a different world today. Students raised with love at the Turkish schools worldwide are instilled these feelings, which gives us hope for tomorrows.”