Address of H.E. Ambassador, Şakir Özkan Torunlar, Consul General of Turkey in Jerusalem, in the Handover Ceremony of a Coach for Physically Disabled Citizens, Held in Beit Ummar, Al Khalil, 5 September 2012

Şakir Özkan Torunlar 05.09.2012
Your Excellency Minister of Social Affairs of the Palestinian Authority,

Mr Deputy Governor, Mr Mayor,

Dear Palestinian Brothers and Sisters,

It has always been a privilege for me to attend a ceremony held for handing over a Project that is run and completed by the Turkish Government in order to upgrade the living conditions of our Palestinian friends.

So far, in the fields of education, health, water, agriculture, small and medium size enterprises, preservation of common cultural and historical heritage and security cooperation we have achieved a good number of projects and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. All these projects in East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza were carried out in the framework of the pledges of the Government of Turkey made in Paris and Sharm El Sheikh Conferences.

Today, we are here in Beit Ummar, Al Khalil, sister city of Şanlıurfa in Turkey, for a similar occasion. Today, we are handing over a vehicle of transport destined to make the lives of the physically handicapped citizens of Al Khalil easier.

It was some months ago, Her Excellency Mrs Majeda Masri, Minister of Social Affairs of the Palestinian Authority mentioned the real and urgent need of my disabled Palestinian friends of Al Khalil for such a vehicle. The Turkish people, who have lost their 9 brothers on their way to Gaza while bringing humanitarian aid two years ago were undoubtedly ready to meet that need.

Turkish International Cooperation Agency, TIKA, through its Coordination Office in Ramallah, took the file and in couple of months made the bus ready. Beginning from today, with this another small token of our bilateral friendship and common bonds dating back to centuries, our dear friends od Beit Ummar, hopefully, will less suffer while travelling between their homes and the rehabilitation centers everyday.

Your Excellency,

My speech would not be complete without mentioning the names of Mohamed Fannouna and Khamis Zaqout, our two friends who successfully represented Palestine in the London Paralympics of this year, in spite of so many political and physical obstacles put in front of their participation. All our congratulations go to them. Regardless of returning back with or without medals, their participation in the Games was another brick on the wall for Palestine who is heading to the United Nations membership. With such great children of this land, Palestine, soon will have her long awaited and much deserved seat in the main hall of the international community. Turkey and the Turkish people have always been behind Palestine.They are today, and they will be tomorrow.

Thank you.

Ahmet Rıza Demirer Consul General