Turkish President Gül starts historic Sweden visit
STOCKHOLM - Anatolia News Agency
President Abdullah Gül was welcomed by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia on March 11 in Stockholm as he started his landmark visit to Sweden, the first ever by a Turkish head of state.
Two royal carriages accompanied by 60 Royal Cavalry Guards brought Gül and his wife, Hayrünnisa Gül, to the courtyard of the Royal Palace, where a formal military ceremony was held for the visiting Turkish president with a crowd of Turks and Swedes in attendance.
The president was presented the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim by the King, and Gül presented the Turkish Order of State to the King.
Large group of Cabinet members
Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and EU Minister Egemen Bağış, Gül attended a luncheon hosted by Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg in Stockholm.
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 during a visit abroad.