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Interview of H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to Al Ameen (Newspaper/Canada), 26 January 2018

January 15, 2018 – Mohammed Jafar Bhamji, Editor of AlameenPost had the pleasure to Interview H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey at the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey office in Vancouver.

The Minister was visiting Vancouver for the Foreign Ministers Meeting that was held on January 16th. He was also the chief quest on the occasion of the official inauguration of the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey office in Vancouver that was held on Monday January 15-2018.

About 200 guests graced the occasion for the Inauguration reception, which was by invitation from the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Selçuk Ünal and and Mr. Anıl Bora İnan Consul General of the Republic of Turkey to Vancouver.

In his remarks to the quests, Minister Çavuşoğlu said the Consulate Office “aims to better serve the Turkish citizens and strengthen Turkish citizens and strengthen our relations and bilateral ties with Canada.”

He also announced the establishment of religious services to the Muslim community here in Vancouver.

Turkey’s bilateral trade with Canada has seen a tremendous increase to about 3 Billion dollars and he stated, “our presence here in Vancouver will also strengthen our economic interest in the pacific west.”

The following is an excerpt of the interview. Full interview can be viewed online at www.alameenpost.com and our Facebook page @alameenpost.com

Mohammed Jafar Bhamji started the conversation with how the current Turkish President is playing a leading role in terms of Rohingya Crisis, dealing with ISIS and making bold statements on behalf of OIC and trying to rebuild their connections with the Islamic world in pursuit to unite the Ummah and ask the Minister if Turkey’s trying to get back the Ottoman era model.

Minister Çavuşoğlu said “Not really”, “We are proud of our ancestors”, “Ummah has been facing challenges, sometimes between Muslim countries, sometimes with other countries, sometimes Islamophobia, and in this situation expectation from Turkey is huge, President Erdoğan is very vocal and the expectation of the Ummah is there and as the Chair of the OIC, President Erdoğan has role to bring unity, as well as defend the right of the Ummah in the world”.

On Burma, the Minister also said we were successful in delivery of aid to Myanmar and the Bangladesh Government for the displaced Rakhine refugees. When asked is Turkey going to call it a Genocide in Burma, and how OIC can help in the Myanmar situation. The Minister replied “we should be more active”, “we should be engaged with the authorities in Burma”, “although there is a new regime, but not much change”, “we reacted immediately and brought the issue to the United States and the OIC”, but for “the world Genocide is a legal world and we need a court decision.”

The migrants fleeing from Syria and are heading to Europe and Turkey is playing a major role in accepting them as refugees in Turkey. The Minister said it has been a “big burden on our shoulders” but “we have maintained an open door policy and have spent about 30 Billion on the settlements. We are building schools for them as there are more than one million school aged children” as well as “Turkey is also accepting IDP’s from Iraq about 40.000 of them.” He stated “through the generosity of the Turkish people Turkey is only second to USA in terms of aid in the world.”

Finally the Minister talked about the bilateral trade relations with Canada. “We have been a partner in NATO, the Prime Minister of Canada has been very vocal in many issues, and with the current Prime Minister we have deepened our relations, his role in this region an beyond is crucial, and President Erdoğan and the Canadian prime Minister get along very well and are good friends, also the Foreign Minister is my personal friend, and we have been working together and we have the political will and the determination to further strengthen our bilateral ties and cooperation on regional issues.”

The Minister also acknowledged “more Turkish investment here in Canada and more Turkish people are working here as engineers, architects and vice versa because Turkey is presenting opportunities as we are the fastest growing economy.” He stated “in the last 3rd quarter we grew by 11%.”

Finally, the Minister expects to open direct airline flights from Vancouver to Turkey.