′′ Dear citizens living in the Republic of South Africa,
As the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Pretoria, I am returning to Turkey by completing my duty on February 27, 2017
I had the pride of representing Turkey for four and a half years in the South African Republic, our largest commercial and strategic partner in the African continent, where our historical relations are located. During this period, together with my colleagues, we worked hard to improve Turkey-South African relations in all areas.
We are proud of the growing visibility and achievements of our country and Turkish companies in this country, we provided possible support with our Trade Consultancy to overcome the problems faced by our companies and achieve their goals. We made an effort for our investors to enter the South African market, explaining that South Africa is a market rewarding foreign investor fighting stability. I believe that commercial interest from our country to here will continue growing; our dynamic and hardworking entrepreneurs will succeed in the South African market.
We have implemented sounding projects in the field of culture and art. III. From being sent to Auschwitz concentration camp at the Rhodes Island in World War II, we were able to document the story of South African citizen Lina Amato Kantor, who survived the Turkish passport, thanks to the late Consulate General of the period, Selahattin Ulkumen, who provided them with them. Keza, we have supported the occasion of commercial, political, cultural and religious relationships established by the Ottoman Empire with this end of the African continent. Finally, we ended the years of longing and supported Ottoman descendants to gain citizenship of the Republic of Turkey. We generously demonstrated Turkish cuisine and hospitality to our guests whom we hosted on many occasions.
Our countries have become closer in the field of tourism. The number of tourists from South Africa to our country has reached approximately 76 thousand visitors a year by quadrupling from 2016 to 2019 Our embassy has grown rapidly and rapidly with new and young staff following the 15th of July traitor coup attempt. Today, we have become one of our most crowded ambassadors in the African continent, both in terms of the staff of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with our valuable consultants from other Ministries.
Right after I started duty, our family of Turkey Republic in South Africa with the Yunus Emre Institute, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), which established the regional coordination office in Johannesburg, has expanded. The MUSIAD South African branch, launched in August 2016, supported our work. Anatolian Agency’s decision to open an office in Johannesburg made us very happy. Finally in September 2020, despite the difficult conditions brought by the outbreak, an important convenience was provided for our citizens in these regions with my colleague Sinan Yeşildag to serve in Western, North and Eastern Cape states. Besides the active protection and development of our historical cultural heritage in Cape Town, our Consulate General is also an important responsibility in the context of developing our relations with Ottoman families who mostly lived here and descended into the Ümit Nose in 1863 He has taken over. Additionally, I am proud to be a representative of this growing family along with our national flag carrier Turkish Airlines that connects our countries fastest and strongest.
Undoubtedly, the most memorable moments of my time of duty was the visit of our President to South African Republic in the margin of the BRICS Summit in July 2018 and on this occasion the opening of our new Khippers building. Our building for new kennels became a building that allows us to improve the conditions of service to our citizens. The close contacts of the Presidents of the two countries during this visit also gave the good news of our cooperation that we are determined to progress in all areas in the next period. This visit also led us to further bonding with the Muslim community with our special historical ties in the South African Republic, for the time increasing our contacts with South African business environment and finally the two countries ruling parties for the first time.
The time I was on duty has also coincided with significant milestones in terms of internal and foreign politics of South Africa. The 100. th birthday celebrations of the first President of South African Republic Nelson Mandela, once the United Nations Security Council between 2018-2020 and 2020, the President of the African Union; South African Republic ‘ It provided opportunities to get to know and understand you more closely. Throughout this process, we’ve seen that we have similar world views with South African Republic and support each other on international platforms, especially Palestinian lawsuits.
Turkey and South Africa Republic are two important countries that will gain stronger positions in their regions in the next period with fast developing young and dynamic human resources. I’m pleased with the support I’ve given to expand areas of cooperation and establish new alliances so that our country can better understand the sensitivity of the South African Republic and the trials they face. I see South African students who come to our country with increasing numbers every year as a guarantee of the future of our bilateral relations.
Our dear citizens,
During this period, we made our embassy effort to make you feel like home. Our consulate services continued uninterrupted despite the severe conditions of the outbreak. We have reached and helped our citizens who are in difficult situations in different areas of the South African Republic. We carried out extensive evacuation operations with THY for our citizens who could not return to our country during the epidemic.
During my tenure I cared about our country as visible as possible with a positive agenda in South African press and public. Gladly observed that we started getting paid for this. We have been subjected to the growing interest of both South African officials and public opinion in our country.
Our dear citizens,
We now have a powerful diaspora consisting of people living around the world. Your presence in the South African Republic also gives us strength. There is no doubt that we will all be profitable if we maintain our unity and solidarity in the footsteps of Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and keep our unity strong.
With these feelings and thoughts, saying ′′ goodbye ′′ to you with the beautiful memories I made in South Africa, Mr. President of South Africa, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, especially to all citizens of this beautiful country, South African friends of our embassy, us alone to the non-quit DEIC / South African-Turkey Business Council, MUSIAD-SA members, Yunus Emre Institute Johannesburg Center, to the TIKA Pretoria Coordination Office, Turkey’s Educational Foundation, our Religious Affairs Presidency, our flag carrier national airline I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our devoted and hardworking representatives for their contribution to the progress of our relationships and to our work.
Finally, I sincerely thank all my colleagues, our Consulate General of Cape Town and our Fahri Consulate in the Embassy of T.C. Pretoria, including the connected organizations, including all my colleagues, Cape Town Consulate General and our Consulate General in front of the eSwatini Kingdom for their support to me.
On this occasion, I wish success and well-being to my dear colleague Ayşegül Kandash who will take over his embassy duty after me.
This beautiful country will always have a privileged place in my heart.
Sincere greetings and respect,
We have ordered it to God.
Elif Çomoğlu Ulgen
T.C. Pretoria Ambassador
June 23, 2021
The Diplomatic Informer
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