Address at the Official Dinner hosted
by Prime Minister Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey,
14 October 2004
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Erdogan,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of the Diplomatic Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tonight we have the opportunity to dine together and
to celebrate after a hard day's work.
This morning we paid homage to the Great Founder of
the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who
introduced the philosophy of "Peace at home, Peace
in the World", which Turkey faithfully adheres
to in spite of the turbulent environment surrounding
her. South Africa, as a peace-loving nation, also subscribes
to this philosophy. In a world plagued by conflict and
polarisation, we are both facing a major challenge to
uphold this philosophy.
In sharing this philosophy we both are faced with the
crucial challenge to restore confidence in the multilateral
system as the only legitimate alternative to unilateralism.
Unilaterism itself has become a threat to international
security and stability.
Excellency, we salute Turkey's continuous efforts to
strengthen multilaterism and would like to assure you
of our support in this regard.
We have noted with appreciation that Turkey gives substance
to its support for multilaterism by contributing to
internationally sanctioned peacekeeping operations,
including in Africa.
As I have elaborated earlier today, it is crucial to
resolve conflict peacefully in Africa within the context
of the African Union and its programmes, including the
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
It is our intention to take the renewal of the continent
further, in order to break the endless cycles of poverty,
war and misery that have plagued our continent for so
long, therefore we are actively involved in the efforts
to ensure that sustainable development on the African
continent goes from strength to strength.
Excellency, we are especially pleased with your vocal
support of NEPAD and the AU. South Africa would like
to call on Turkey to intensify her initiatives in Africa
within the framework of her Africa Outreach Policy,
particularly with regard to the mutual exploitation
of joint opportunities by Turkey and Africa. We know
that we can rely on you as partners on this noble journey.
Excellency, as countries with developing economies
we are also facing major economic international challenges,
namely, not to be marginalised in terms of trade and
commercial issues. As emerging markets and major exporters
to the European Union we cannot afford to be excluded
from these markets, especially concerning our agricultural
products. South Africa and Turkey as members of the
G21 should strengthen our efforts and join forces to
address this crucial challenge.
We have noted with interest the vast progress that
Turkey has made to further broaden democracy under your
able leadership in such a short period and we commend
Furthermore, we have also taken note that Turkey has
been on the European Union accession road since 1987
and we wish you all the best and every success in your
negotiations with the EU, which will start at the end
of 2004 or early in 2005.
Excellency, as you are aware, we in South Africa have
struggled a long time and made hard sacrifices to finally
rid our country from apartheid.
Next year, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary
of our democracy, political stability, economic growth
and the improvement of the lives of the poor in our
At the same time South Africa has assumed its full
responsibilities in the international community and
relations with a large number of countries have been
Today we have sown the seeds that will significantly
strengthen the relations between South Africa and Turkey.
Tomorrow in Instanbul we will engage on specific economic
co-operation matters, with our Turkish counterparts
and I am sure that the results will be substantive and
As partners in the international arena I trust that
we will be able to also strengthen multilateralism,
peace and security in the world and in our respective
regions. I am confident that our respective peoples
will pick the fruits of our bilateral and multilateral
partnership as we move further into the 21st Century.
Excellency, allow me, on behalf of the Government and
the People of South Africa, to use this opportunity
to congratulate the Government and people of Turkey
on the forthcoming 80th Anniversary of the Establishment
of the Turkish Republic on 29 October. We wish you well.
In conclusion, I wish to express my sincere appreciation
to you and your colleagues for your kind hospitality
extended to my delegation and I and for contributing
to the success of this visit to Turkey.
Your Excellency, I am looking forward to receiving
you in South Africa in the near future.
I thank you.