ANKARA –President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a two-day visit to Turkey’s capital Aug. 27-28 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Two weeks earlier in the first-ever direct presidential elections on Aug. 10, Turkish voters chose the former prime minister and leader of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) as their 12th president. Erdoganreplaced outgoing President Abdullah Gul.
Heads of state, foreign ministers, representatives of international organisations, ambassadorsand media reporters from more than 90 countries of the world attended the handover ceremony that took place at the Çankaya presidential palace.
Meeting foreign leaders and guests at the entrance, Gul warmly welcomed Nazarbayev and invited him to proceed to the palace.
Gul and Erdogan, co-founders of AKP, Turkey’s largest political party, each delivered a speech at the ceremony.
“I am honoured to hand over my post to Mr. Erdogan,” Gul said, addressing Erdogan as “a comrade, dear friend and colleague of more than 40 years.” After thanking the foreign guests, Gulunder scored he worked in harmony with civil society and the judiciary throughout his tenure. He also thanked his family, his wife, parents and friends for supporting him during his long career.
In his inaugural address, Erdogan thanked the outgoing president for his service and stressed theyhad worked in full harmony and coordination over the years. “We are now in the era of a new Turkey, the great Turkey that carries the substance and spirit of the republic,” he stressed.
“Our main priority will be developing the economy, increasing welfare to continue with determination on our strategic path to the European Union and continuing reforms and the solution process to the Kurdish conflict,” Erdogan announced, notingthe Turkish foreign policy is aimed at promoting peace.
At the end of the ceremony, Erdogan and his wife, Emine, said farewell to Gul and his wife, Hayrunnisa, with a military ceremony.
During the official ceremony, Nazarbayev congratulated the newly elected president on his victory and wished him every success in his office.
Nazarbayev held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the event, including with Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Gjorge Ivanov.
Speaking on the margins of the inaugural ceremony, Nazarbayev and Gnassingbe discussed future prospects for developing bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on international issues. The two presidents stressed the need to intensify trade and economic relations, as well as cooperation in a number of fields that have the highest potential for development.
In a conversation with his Turkmen counterpart, Nazarbayev spoke about his upcoming visit to Turkmenistan and the opening of the new Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway. The sides also discussed the main directions of bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, transport and transit and fuel and energy sectors, as well as many topical issues on today’s international agenda.
Speaking about cooperation between Astana and Skopje, Nazarbayev and Ivanov mentioned the positive dynamics of their development and stressed the need to further enhance trade ties between the two countries. The sides also touched upon key bilateral, regional and international policy issues.
On the eve of the inauguration, Nazarbayev held an informal “no tie” meeting in the Kazakh embassy with Turkey’s outgoing president and his good old friend.
Nazarbayev and Gul discussed the major milestones of the Kazakh-Turkish relations, noting that bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly nations has been continuously growing and developing in the past years.
On the occasion, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan attaches high priority to its warm relations with Turkey that are based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. Nazarbayev thanked Gul for the valuable contribution he made to the development of bilateral ties and his strong commitment to strengthening relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey.
The two countries enjoy fruitful, economic bilateral relations and diplomatic ties marked by cordiality, deep mutual trust and understanding. Over the last two decades, the relationship between the two states has transformed into a good neighbourly and all-around strategic partnership, with a strong emphasis on economic collaboration.
Turkey was among the first states to recognise Kazakh independence when the country declared its independence on Dec.16, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on March 2, 1992.The two Turkic-speaking countries also engage in significant cooperation in international organisations such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS) and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).