Speech Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Şakir Özkan Torunlar, Consul General of Turkey in Jerusalem, on the Occasion of the Inauguration Ceremony of the Turkish School in Jenin, 15 December 2010

Şakir Özkan Torunlar 15.12.2010
Mr Governor,
Mr Mayor,
Dear Parents and students,

Today, it is a great pride and honour for all of us who gathered here for the inauguration ceremony of the Turkish School in Jenin. On this occasion I would like to extend all my thanks and appreciation to everybody who put their energy and time in bringing this institute into life. My special thanks also go to Mr. Çetinkaya, the Coordinator of TİKA, in Palestine. He and his friends as well as their partners in almost all towns of Palestine did their best to have this and many other schools be completed as examplary monuments of Turkish-Palestinian friendship and cooperation. Last but not the least, I would also like to thank our other guests from TİKA who with their presence today, encourage us in our efforts.

This school will be the second of its kind I have been attending in the inauguration ceremonies in the past two weeks. Jenin Turkish School is also the part and parcel of Turkish Government’s commitment of 150 million Dollars assistance to the Palestinian Authority. It costed around one million Dollars. 650 students will benefit from its 13 classrooms, library and laboratory.

Dear Friends,

Turkey, as a brotherly country attaches utmost importance to the state building programme of the Government of Palestine. This school that we open today, is one of many schools that we have constructed in Palestine. Recently one school in Tulkarem and another one in Qalkiliya were completed and handed over the children of Palestine. Stonelaying ceremony of another school in Al Bireh/Ramallah will take place soon. For next year, we are scheduling the construction and completion of two more schools, one in Nablus and another one in El Halil. I am glad to share with you that Turkey, in addition to these, in the education sector in Jenin, has contributed to the renovation and upgrading works carried in Al Hansaa School for Girls, a former Turkish military barrack dating back to Ottoman period. The total cost of works only in education sector in the last 12 months have already exceeded 3 million Dollars.

We highly praise the efforts of Her Excellency the Minister of Education of Palestine in her ambitious plans in investing in human resources of Palestine. We will continue to support Her Excellency and her team in the Ministry. With its young and dynamic population, having received high quality education, we believe that the State of Palestine, whom Turkey recognized more than 20 years ago will take its seat in the United Nations as an independent actor soon.

With these motives, we will also start building the Jenin Industrial Zone together with you. The Industry for Peace Project, that was initiated by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges and received full support of His Excellency the President of Palestine, the President and the Prime Minister of Turkey, will be brought to life in the months ahead. The final procedures are close to be completed. When finished, this zone will empower Jenin not only by creating jobs for Palestinians, but the goods produced here will reach to the Turkish and European markets. In other words, Jenin will become a driving force in the development of all Palestine.

Mr Governor,
Mr Mayor,

Today, as it has always been, in Turkey, there is a high esteem and sympathy towards our Palestinian sisters and brothers. We believe that unity among the Palestinians will make the road shorter to independence and sovereignty on this beautiful land. The prosperity and happiness of our Palestinian friends will only make us happy. Our people and our Government will always be with Palestine and Palestinians when and where needed.

Thank you.

Ahmet Rıza Demirer Consul General