Thursday, November 21, 2013

State Visit to Turkey - Day 3

After arriving to Turkey on Monday, their stay in Ankara on Tuesday and a visit to Gaziantep for the first half of the day yesterday, the last leg of the state visit in Istanbul already started last night when Luxembourg's Honorary Consul and businesswoman Suzan Sabancı Dinçer and her husband hosted a dinner in honour of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. Just as one would expect, the Grand Ducal Couple had once again a busy schedule in Turkey's most populous city today.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
The day started off with the opening of the 5th Atlantic Council, an energy and economic summit, which was attended by the Grand Duke, Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Asselborn. Grand Duke Henri was one of the keynote speakers of the opening event; his speech can be found on the website of the cour grand-ducale.
Photo: Charles Caratina / SIP
Next up was the "Turkey-Luxembourg Business Forum" jointly organised by the Luxembourgish and Turkish Chambers of Commerce as well as Luxembourg for Finance and Luxembourg for Business. The event was attended by both Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the head of the Grand Duchy gave yet another speech towards the end of the forum.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
After a luncheon hosted by Istanbul's governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess paid a visit to the Topkapı Palace. Situated on the European site of the Bosphorus, the palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for more than 400 years and also served as the administrative and educational center of the state during that time. The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments included in the "Historic Areas of Istanbul" which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. In 1924, the palace was transformed into a museum containing large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts and murals, as well as a display of Ottoman treasures and jewelry. At some point of the day, the Grand Ducal Couple also seems to have hit the local shops and bazar.
Photo: Charles Caratini / SIP
To round off the day, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa hosted a dinner in honour of President Gül and his wife at the Çırağan Palace, another former Ottoman palace and now a hotel that has also hosted a few royal weddings as of late. The so-called return dinner is a tradition during state visit thanking the hosts for their hospitality.

Visuals of the day are available at the cour, Wort in German, Wort in French, Tageblatt and Haberler. The website of the Turkish President once again has both a video and pictures of the day's events here.

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