The newly opened Turkish House (Türkevi) is a symbol of Turkey’s faith in the United Nations, as well as multilateralism, justice and peace, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday during the official inauguration of the historic building in New York, adding that the “masterpiece” The building will serve for decades as an enduring symbol of Turkey’s diplomatic success.
Speaking at his opening ceremony, which also included a music concert, Erdoğan said the Turkish House will reflect Turkey’s place on the world stage ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in 2023.
“We are proud” of the new center, said the president.
“Because for our nation and for our state, we have now been granted a permanent work of art. We are proud because we add to the New York skyline, with a perfect example of our historic and traditional architecture,” said Erdoğan.
“I would like to express my special gratitude to each of you for being with us on this historic day,” he added.
Purchased from American tech giant IBM in 1977, the building served as Ankara’s permanent mission to the UN and the Consulate General until 2013, when major renovations began.
The president said the building will serve for decades as a lasting symbol of Turkey’s diplomatic success.
Among the distinguished guests who attended the opening at 821 First Avenue in Manhattan – a stone’s throw from the UN Headquarters – was UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Other guests included President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ersin Tatar, President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, as well as representatives of foreign missions.
Calling “a huge pleasure” to attend the inauguration of the new Turkish House, Guterres went on to salute Turkey’s unparalleled record in welcoming and assisting refugees.
“I personally know the enormous generosity of Turkey and Turkish host communities towards refugees,” said Guterres, adding: “I offer my sincere gratitude for your support to those in need of protection.
In a pair of tweets, Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said Erdoğan paved the way for the new Turkish home, adding that its doors are open to people of all nations.
“The determined leadership of President Erdoğan is the most important factor in the creation of this incredible new building, Türkevi,” he wrote.
“It combines the Seljuk architectural style with modern technology and is located directly opposite the United Nations.
“The building is a testament to Turkey’s commitment to international solidarity and cooperation for the good of humanity.
“Türkevi will be a home for our citizens and a Turkish connection center with the international community. Its doors are open to all citizens of all nations.”
The historic 36-story skyscraper houses the Permanent United Nations Mission to Turkey as well as the Turkish Consulate General.
The building, which features traditional Turkish architectural motifs, particularly from the Seljuk Empire of a millennium ago, rises skyward in the shape of a tulip and can be seen from downtown Manhattan , the East River and to Long Island.
It was designed as a symbolic skyscraper that will add to the New York skyline, one of the most iconic cities in the world, and reflect Turkish culture, history and diversity.
Fight against terrorism
Erdoğan also said on Monday that Turkey will work to prevent the recruitment and exploitation of children and young people by terrorist groups.
“Whether it’s Daesh, whether it’s the PKK or the FETÖ, we don’t even have a child to lose to terrorist groups anymore,” Erdoğan said in his speech to the Turken Foundation board at Turkish House newly opened in New York. City.
The Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) and its US-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup d’état of July 15, 2016 in Turkey in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
FETÖ was also at the origin of a long campaign to overthrow the state by infiltrating Turkish institutions, in particular the army, the police and the judiciary.
“We feel the pain of all the young people who, knowingly or unknowingly, have fallen into the networks of these structures,” said the Turkish president, adding that the government would work more for young people than terrorist groups.
“If they (the terrorist groups) reach a young person, we will work to reach hundreds, thousands, but we will not let the pack of these traitors poison the minds and hearts of our young people,” Erdoğan said.
His remarks came amid a long sit-in by parents in the province of Diyarbakır, in southeastern Turkey, who demand the release of their children by the terrorist group PKK.
The parents, who demonstrate in front of the office of the pro-PKK People’s Democratic Party (HDP), claim that their children were kidnapped and recruited by the terrorist group through the provincial headquarters of the political party.
So far, dozens of children have been reunited with their families after security forces’ efforts with grieving parents.
President Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also carried out intense diplomatic traffic in New York.
Erdoğan and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a closed-door meeting Monday in New York.
Erdoğan received Johnson at the Turkish House in Manhattan.
Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and Minister of Commerce Mehmet Muş were also present at the meeting, which lasted 40 minutes.
Erdoğan also met with the president of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.
The closed-door meeting between Erdoğan and Volkan Bozkır took place at the Turkish House.
Earlier today, Erdoğan met with Guterres to discuss issues related to Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Cyprus.
Çavuşoğlu also held separate meetings with his Colombian, Venezuelan and Bahraini counterparts in New York.
Meeting with Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez, Çavuşoğlu said the two countries will finalize agreements to encourage trade and investment.
“We will strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and irregular migration,” he said on Twitter.
Following his meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia, Çavuşoğlu said the volume of trade between the two countries had doubled despite the pandemic and stressed that they would continue this momentum.
The Turkish Foreign Minister also met his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and highlighted the positive developments between the two countries.
“We will build on the positive momentum that we have recently achieved in our relations. We wish to further develop our cooperation, especially in the fields of tourism and health,” he said on Twitter.