Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Wellington Büyükelçiliği

Konuşma Metinleri

Sayın Büyükelçi Say'ın Ülkemizle Polonya Arasındaki Diplomatik İlişkilerin Tesisinin 600. Yıldönümü Etkinlikleri Kapsamında Polonya'nın Ankara Eski Büyükelçisi Dr. Ananicz Tarafından Verilen Konferansı Açış Konuşması, 08.04.2014

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me at the outset to thank you all for coming. I am delighted to see so many Wellingtonians from both Turkey and Poland and of course New Zealand who are as enthusiastic as us to celebrate this important occasion.

This year we celebrate 600 years since the establishment of unbroken diplomatic relations between our two countries. The relations between Turkey and Poland have always been remarkably warm, to say the least.

The beginning of our relations was marked by skilled diplomacy on part of King Jagiello of Poland. In spite of pleas from King Sigismund of Hungary to form an alliance against the Turks, King Jagiello chose to send envoys to mediate between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. He thus prevented a protracted conflict. This feat of diplomacy led to a six-year truce between the Ottoman Empire and Hungary.

It is well worthwhile to remember that the Ottoman Empire and Poland used to be neighbours for the most part of those six centuries, up until late 18th century. The two peoples kept interacting and established a variety of contacts across and beyond the border. The famous philosopher and author, Adam Mickiewicz moved to Istanbul after the Crimean War until his death. His house is now a beautiful house museum in Beyoğlu.

There’s also a beautiful village just outside İstanbul, called “Adampol” in Polish and “Polonezköy” in Turkish, which literally means “the village of the Poles”. The Poles who sought refuge in the Ottoman Empire after 1842 were settled there and kept enriching our culture and unique bilateral relations with several notable figures. The famous poet Nazım Hikmet, whose grandfather was Polish; the famous soprano Leyla Gencer, who was born in Polonezköy are only two of the numerous examples.

Examples like him abound, and I don’t wish to take much of your time. Given the excellent state of our relations with Poland, our shared values, direct contacts between our peoples and the ongoing cooperation in many fields, I believe Beata and Dr. Ananicz both join me when I say we are confident that our special relationship will continue to flourish and grow stronger in its 7th century.

Thank you very much.