Tuesday, November 19, 2013

State Visit to Turkey - Day 1 **

After arriving to Ankara yesterday evening, today marked the beginning of a four day state visit to Turkey by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. This visit is the first of its kind since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Luxembourg and Turkey in 1947.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
The Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess started their busy day with a visit to the Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. At the mausoleum, Grand Duke Henri laid down a wreath of flowers for "The Father of the Turks".
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
Subsequently, the Grand Ducal Couple and their entourage including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn, Minister of Finance Luc Frieden and Economy Minister Etienne Schneider made their way to the Çankaya Köşkü, the official residence of the Turkish head of state, where they were greeted by President Abdullah Gül and his wife Hayrünnisa. After the playing of the national anthems, the review of the guard of honour and the obligatory pictures, the Grand Duke and the President had a private meeting which also including their wives.
Photo: Charles Caratini / SIP
The talks of the two heads of state were expanded during further meetings that were also attended by the three Luxembourgish ministers and their Turkish counterparts. Grand Duke Henri also met with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the prime minister of the Republic of Turkey. All together the heads of state, the prime minister, the ministers and likely all kinds of other politicians and diplomats had an official luncheon. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the wife of President Gül, meanwhile, had lunch at the presidential palace that was also attended by Turkey's Minister for Family and Social Affairs, Fatma Şahin.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
During a press conference held after lunch, Grand Duke Henri stressed that despite their geographical distance and differences in terms of size and population, Luxembourg and Turkey managed to establish strong and good relations between their peoples and governments over the years. He also said that the Grand Duchy supports the European project and a possible accession to the EU by Turkey when all democratic and human rights standards are fulfilled. He also thanked the country for their support for Syrian refugees.
Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Afterwards the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess reunited to pay a visit to the Tabiat Tahiri Müzesi. At the museum for mineral research and exploration, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa heard a presentation about Michel Lucius, a Luxembourgish geologist who worked in Turkey between 1924 and 1933 on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Commerce and also taught at the University of Ankara, given by Laurent Mignon, Luxembourgish Turkey expert of Oxford University. During the visit, the Grand Duke was gifted with a book about Lucius' work and in return gave the museum of geological map of Luxembourg. 

The next stop of the Grand Ducal Couple's agenda was the Middle East Technical University (METU) where they met with researchers and visited the Technology Park.
Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
The day was rounded off with a gala dinner hosted by Turkish President Abdullah Gül at the Presidential Palace. Unfortunately for all tiara lovers out there, it wasn't a black tie (or event white tie) event and thus there wasn't any bling on the Grand Duchess.

More visuals of the day are located on the website of the cour, the website of the Turkish President here and here (both links also have videos) as well as here, Wort in French, Wort in German, Wort in English, Wort in Portuguese, L'essentiel, RTL, Tageblatt and AFP

Meanwhile, more videos of the arrival and meeting the President, the meeting with the Prime Minister and the visit to the museum are available at Haberler.com as well as a report about the day at Wort. RTL also has a report (starting at 13:38)


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