Speech of Mr. Mehmet Ali Şahin, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
May 23, 2012

Dear speakers and distinguished members of parliament, senior secretaries, guests of honour.

I would like to greet you with deep respect. I feel great satisfaction being here with you in the First Plenary Meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the host of the Meeting and my dear friend Mr. Ogtay Asadov, the Speaker of Milli Mejlis. We really feel ourselves in own home and therefore, I would like to thank Mr. Speaker.

We are states with equal rights which came together under the TURKPA umbrella. We have common values. Our language, religion, history, culture, lifestyle, customs are similar. These values existed throughout the centuries not today. However, due to certain reasons, we could not come together till 1992. But 17 years ago, we came together in the Summit of the Heads of the Turkic-speaking countries. We began to develop power from the gained partnership and established good relations in every field since that date. Besides, the importance of our geographical position began to increase in the international community. TURKPA is the organization with four countries for the present time. If there was not the Summit of the Heads of our countries 17 years ago, today we would not be able to establish this organization. Today we would not participate in the Fisrt Plenary Session, held in Baku.

In 2006, in the Summit of the Heads of States in Antalia, Turkey a message was given to gather the parliaments of Turkic-speaking countries. This suggestion was made by Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan and was accepted by other presidents sincerely. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kurbanbek Bakiyev and Ilham Aliyev, because without their help this organization would not be established. I would like to thank again Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan and Ogtay Asadov, the Speaker of Milli Mejlis as they will hold new Summit of the Heads of Turkic-speaking countries in Nakhchivan after a while. We have such a phrase: One man, no man. We are not alone, there are four of us. I hope Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will join us in TURKPA. All of us have to develop partnership with them. Establishing such an organization means the unity of our nations as being a national deputy we present the interests of our nations. I am sure that our unity will lead to the development of economic, political partnership and generally cooperation in all fields. We have to pass our common values to the future generation.

Today we take historical step. Afterwards, our relations will be closer, and we will work in close contact. We will approach to the problems of our states more sensitively. Our unity obliges us to fulfill some responsibilities. If we are friends, brothers, we have to be more sensitive to the problems of each other. Besides, the unity of our parliaments under the TURKPA leads to the serious exchange of experience. We have to make use from the experience of our parliaments.

I want to make my speech short. We all witness this historical step. All of us feel pride and joy of this moment. I would like to thank all participants. Furthermore, I express my gratitude to our presidents who founded this unity. I deliver the congratulations of Grand National Assembly of Turkey and thank all the parties participated in this meeting. I wish this step will be effective and successful.