Marking 100th year of Turkish-Czech friendship

I am very happy to visit Ankara exactly one hundred years since our countries entered diplomatic relations. For me, this is a great opportunity to pay homage to our Presidents and founding fathers, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who oversaw the birth of our friendship treaty and diplomatic relations in 1924.

A century later, Türkiye remains our long-standing partner, and a highly important one in many respects. We, Czech diplomats, are taking special care to develop this relationship.

Tomorrow, I am to visit the Grand National Assembly. It is not commonly known that the crystal chandeliers lighting the building since the 1950s were manufactured in a small Czech town, Kamenický Šenov. The chandeliers were badly damaged in the 2016 coup attempt. We promptly renovated them and replaced the destroyed ones. This gift, a symbol of our solidarity with Türkiye's people, was delivered by my predecessor.

In the eight years that have passed since his visit, Czechia and Türkiye have doubled their trade exchange to reach more than six billion euros, which again shows the dynamics of our relationship. Türkiye has always been a major player in our trade and investment, but in recent years, this cooperation has truly flourished. Czech and Turkish companies are entering into strategic partnerships across many sectors and they work together to gain a foothold in third markets. Our trade relations have bright prospects full of opportunities and continued growth.

In the European Union, Czechia is a strong voice for positive development of relations with Ankara. Türkiye is the Union's crucial partner, and the Union is a crucial partner for Türkyie. An even closer cooperation in diverse areas - trade, security, or foreign policy - would...

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