STOCKHOLM – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish President Abdullah Gül showcases Turkey's first domestic attack helicopter production, the ATAK, during Jordanian King Abdullah’s visit to the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) on March 6. AA photo
Turkey will have one of the strongest economies in the next 10 years and become the first economy of the continent in 2050, the Turkish president said in a special interview with Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter that was published March 9, two day before his official visit to the country. Gül emphasized that Turkey was a country similar to Sweden just located a different region, adding that many economical indicators such as growth, unemployment and fiscal deficit were in a better shape in Turkey than in EU countries.
President Abdullah Gül will travel to Sweden on March 11 at the invitation of King Carl XVI Gustaf in the first ever state visit by a Turkish head of state to the country. President Gül and the King will participate in the opening ceremony of the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies. During his two-day visit, Gül will deliver a speech at Swedish Parliament. The visit has another historic aspect as Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox
Church Metropolitan Filiksinos Yusuf Çetin will be the first ever representative of a Turkish minority to accompany the Turkish president.
The Turkish President said that during his tenure at the Foreign Ministry he became a good friend of the slain Swedish Prime Minister Anna Lindh, who was murdered in 2003. He also noted that the over 100,000 Turkish citizens living in Sweden were looking to see ties between the two countries strengthened.
Responding to a question on whether he would shake hands with Swedish far-right Democratic Party leader, Jimmy Akesson, before his speech at Parliament, Gül said everyone had a right to express their opinions in a civilized manner. “I am a civilized person. I shake hands with women and men even if I share an opposing view with them,” he said.
Delegation of businessmen to accompany Gül
President Gül will also be accompanied by a delegation of more than a hundred businessman. The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) has announced in a statement that a delegation headed by TOBB’s chair Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu will participate in a Turkish-Swedish Business Forum in Stockholm. The delegation will gather with the representatives of Swedish business sectors seeking to develop commercial and investment ties, the statement read.