Notes following Briefing by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad Regarding
Incoming Official Visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Union
Buildings, Pretoria Tuesday, 1 March 2005
Official visit to South Africa
by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Deputy President Jacob
Zuma will host his Turkish counterpart, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on
an official visit in South Africa from Wednesday - Saturday, 2-5 March 2005.
President Zuma's delegation will include, among others, Ministers Jeff Radebe,
Mosiuoa Lekota, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Mandisi Mpahlwa, Deputy Foreign Minister
Aziz Pahad and South Africa's representative to Turkey, Ambassador Mngqikana.
Minister Erdogan's delegation will include, among others: Ministers of Finance,
Energy and Natural Resources, Transport and State Minister for Co-operation and
Development - Kemal Unatikan, Dr Hilmi Guler, Binali Yildirim and Besir Atalay
respectively and 60 senior businesspeople.
Turkey is one of South Africa's
largest trading partners in the region.
In addition, President Mbeki has
just paid a State Visit to the Hellenic Republic - the visit, the second in as
many weeks of countries of the same region, presents South Africa with an excellent
opportunity to fully assess developments in the region.
South Africa and
Turkey, are countries at similar stages of development, with dynamic transitional
economies and societies and have much to offer each other. In a geo-political
and geo-strategic context both countries continue to play an important, stabilising
role in the international community as well as in a regional setting. Turkey is
now amongst the top 20 economies in the World.
Turkey has declared 2005
as a priority to focus on Africa; and its policy as reflected in the 1998 Action
Plan of Opening up to Africa is aimed at developing relations and enhancing cooperation
with African countries in all areas. These include a comprehensive political dialogue
and establishment of bilateral consultative mechanisms. In terms of NEPAD, Turkey
remains interested in joint ventures with SA construction and engineering entities.
Turkey also wants to discuss expanding educational scholarships for South African
and African students.
The relationship between South Africa and Turkey will
take an important step forward through this highest level visit ever by a Turkish
leader. The visit will introduce new levels of co-operation and an era of strong
growth in our political and economic relations.
South Africa/Turkey Economic
Trade And Investment Relations
In terms of the legal framework the following
bilateral agreements have been concluded or are under consideration by the respective
· Tourism Co-operation
· Police Co-operation Agreement
· Protection of
· Agreement on Air Transport
on Political Consultations
· Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Agreement
Consideration (to be signed during the visit)
· Agreement on Double
Taxation (under consideration - to be signed)
· Customs Agreement (under
consideration - to be signed)
· Economic and Trade Agreement (initialled
- to be signed)
Although Turkey is one of South Africa's largest trading
partners, the balance of trade is strongly in South Africa's favour. In this regard,
SA exports of gold to Turkey were USD 604 million (R3, 7 billion) during January
- November 2004 and increased by 628% as compared to the same period of 2003,
which were $ 83 million (R 502 million). Total gold imports of Turkey were 251
tons with a value of US$ 3.5 billion in 2004.
South African exports to Turkey
consist largely of beneficiated goods: automotive spare parts, woven pile and
chenille fabrics, and woven textiles of synthetic fibres, sanitary paper articles,
small electrical home appliances, hazelnuts and motorcar tyres. South Africa is
also shifting from raw materials especially gold to value added goods and services
including automotive parts, boilers, finished stainless steal products, furnaces,
information technology and security equipment and management services.
African imports from Turkey include:
· Articles of paper, pulp,
and paper board
· Automotive and spare parts
· Tractors and
spare parts, chassis, cars, commercial vehicle brakes drums,disk brakes
· Textiles out of staple fibre and synthetic filament
· Special woven fabrics
· Rubber and
· Iron and steel wires, cables
· Home textiles
Article of stone, plaster (marble)
· Inorganic chemicals
· Gold jewellery
· Dried tomatoes
· Processed and packed fruits and vegetables
believe and have said so quite consistently - the South African private sector
is not sufficiently exploiting the economic potential that exists between South
Africa and the various countries in the world. The Prime Minister's visit to South
Africa with such a high level delegation indicates the opportunity for expansion
of economic relations. Turkey is also used by South Africa as a springboard to
former Asian republics of the former Soviet Union.
Six Turkish companies,
several of them household names in that country, have set up plants in South Africa
- Zorlu-Kortex; Cankurtaran-Conti; Sumo Colliery SA; Sesli Holdings; Uludag Blankets;
Ahlesa Textiles. There are over 50 registered Turkish companies trading or providing
services in the tourism and restaurant sectors in South Africa.
companies in Turkey include Macsteel in Istanbul; Grinaker Construction and Steinmueller
Africa are involved in civil engineering projects. Companies with buying agents
in Turkey are: Conlong, Mossop Western Leathers, Harvey Roofing, Breathetex, Samancor,
Sappi, Sasol, Hulett Aluminium, Trident Midrand Steel, G. Mondiano SA, Aquazure
Hatcheries, BEC/Disavascular Medical, Karoo Livestock Exports.
Turkey is a major tourism destination. We hope that this visit will encourage
the restoration of air links between both countries.
South Africa is considered
as a "Developing Country" by Turkey and is therefore exempt from certain
Turkey has engaged the SA Customs Union (SACU) to conclude a
Free Trade Agreement with SACU. The visit must be used to fast track this process.
Nations Security Council
Turkey in November 2004 formally requested SA's support
for its candidature as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the
term 2009-2010. The elections will take place during the 63rd Session of the UN
General Assembly in 2008.
Turkey also serves as Secretary General of the
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) - this is significant as the OIC
remains a major organisation through which to bring together all Muslim countries
- South Africa has requested observer status of the OIC.
Turkey and EU membership
membership remains Turkey key foreign and domestic policy priority. The EU and
Turkey on 17 December 2004 formally agreed that Turkey would start accession negotiations
on 3rd October 2005.
Turkey and Peacekeeping
Turkey has actively contributed
to preserve international peace and stability at the regional and global levels.
With regard to peace and security, Turkey has provided troops, civilian police
officers and observers to international peacekeeping missions in Asia, Africa,
Latin America, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East. We hope the visit
will provide an opportunity to discuss the sharing of expertise with regard to
Finally, Turkey remains a crucial player with
regard to Middle East politics and dynamics.
Zimbabwean Elections (31
I, last week, handed out a list of delegations that have
been invited to observe the Zimbabwean elections on 31 March 2005.
has received its invitation to observe these elections - the Executive Secretary
of SADC and South Africa as Chair of the SADC:Organ on Politics, Defence and Security
have written to all member states inviting nominations for the SADC observer team.
Mbeki has said that the mandate of this team will not be to merely observe but
to intervene where necessary in order to create the conditions for free and fair
elections to be held, through which the will of the Zimbabwean people can be expressed.
has already nominated a parliamentary delegation - the legislature will determine
whether this delegation will be part of the SADC Parliamentary Forum or observe
the elections in their own capacity.
Questions and Answers
Deputy Minister Pahad, when you say election observers will be deployed soon,
what do you mean? 30 days is hardly sufficient to observe the elections. In addition,
are you in contact with the Zimbabwean authorities - when will foreign media be
allowed access to Zimbabwe?
Answer With regards to the media, you
should let us know when you have applied for accreditation and we will follow
this up with the Zimbabwean authorities. Regarding the SADC delegation to Zimbabwe,
this is a matter of logistics and resources. Resources will determine how many
observers can be deployed and for how long.
Question Deputy Minister,
will South Africa observe the elections only as part of the SADC delegation? Will
you be sending a separate South African delegation?
Answer The Zimbabwean
government has invited South Africa to observe the elections in 5 capacities -
as part of SADC; as Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security; as a
neighbouring country of Zimbabwe; as the ANC; and as part of the Parliamentary
However, we have yet to determine in how many fora we will participate
and how observers will be deployed.
Question Deputy Minister, have
you had any discourse with the Zimbabwean government with regard to the role the
South African observers will play during the elections - ie. not merely to observe?
We have had no indications to the contrary - and this is the role we played in
the last elections - South Africa had two ministers as part of the observer mission
in 2002 with the role specifically to intervene where necessary.
Deputy Minister, what is South Africa's comment on the US State Department report
condemning human rights abuses in South Africa?
Answer The South African government
(Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs) will study this report more closely
and then discuss with the United States directly.
Our view is that our
track record speaks for itself - we do however accept that all countries have
Question Deputy Minister, regarding the Turkish visit -
have the problems with regard to arms sales between both countries been resolved?
Yes, all the problems have been resolved - and both countries have been removed
from each others red lists.
Question Deputy Minister, is South Africa
convinced that the Kurds are not being persecuted?
Answer This matter
must be dealt with and resolved within the totality of the dynamics of the Middle
Question Deputy Minister, with regard to the Ivory Coast -
the rebels have just said that the peace process is dead - what is South Africa's
Answer I am surprised that this is their view. In addition,
South Africa is not intervening on its own but as part of a mandate from the African
Union. I had been under the impression that progress was being made.
Deputy Minister, could you advise on the status of the legal team to the Ivory
Answer The team consisting of lawyers from Burundi and Rwanda
is still in the Ivory Coast studying the synergies between the legislation and
the Lineas Marcoussis Agreement.
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
1 March 2005