The queen, accompanied by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, as well as Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and a large delegation of businessmen, is in Turkey at the invitation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer for a four-day visit.
Upon her arrival in Ankara, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was welcomed yesterday at the airport by the children of Dutch Embassy staff to Turkey singing the song "Long Live the Queen."
The queen, accompanied by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, as well as Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and a large delegation of businessmen, is in Turkey at the invitation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer for a four-day visit aimed mainly at boosting commercial ties between the two countries. Turkey's Ambassador to the Netherlands Selahattin Alpar was also with the delegation.
Turkey's European Union membership process, the situation of the 350,000-strong Turkish community in the Netherlands, the dialogue between cultures and civilizations are also on agenda for the queen's talks in Turkey. Dutch businessmen accompanying the queen will seek investment opportunities in Turkey.
While in Turkey, Queen Beatrix, the first Dutch queen to visit Turkey, will also visit Istanbul, the country's financial and cultural centre, as well as Kayseri, a rapidly industrializing central Anatolian city.
Anýtkabir, the mausoleum of the Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was yesterday the first stop on Queen Beatrix's itinerary. State Minister Nimet Çubukçu accompanied the queen.
"This official visit that we paid to Turkey is a confirmation of peaceful and friendly relationship between the Turkish and Dutch peoples which dates back to 400 years ago. On this occasion, we're paying homage to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk," Beatrix wrote in the mausoleum's special visitor's book. She also wrote that Atatürk's vision and qualities as statesman helped the rapprochement of the Turkish and Dutch peoples.
"The spiritual legacy that he left to his people has been a source of inspiration not only for the maintenance and improvement of the Turkish people's peace and welfare, but has been also a constant source of inspiration for improvement of [Turkey's] relations with the EU," Beatrix also wrote. Her message was written in the book both in Dutch and Turkish.
The Dutch royal family was later welcomed in an official ceremony by President Sezer at the Çankaya Presidential Palace.
Later in the day, the queen was met with both Parliament Speaker Bülent Arýnç and PM Recep Tayyip Erdoðan. State Minister Ali Babacan, who is also Turkey's chief EU negotiator, participated in the royal family's meeting with Erdoðan at the prime ministry residence.
Arýnç welcomed his guests at the Parliament's garden. Later, Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima -- for whom special health precautions have been put in place as she is eight months pregnant with her third child -- greeted the general assembly of the Parliament.
Today's ZamanGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16