National mobilization does not mean ‘take a gun and hit the streets’: Erdoğan

National mobilization does not mean ‘take a gun and hit the streets’: Erdoğan

National mobilization does not mean ‘take a gun and hit the streets’: Erdoğan

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A presidential drive for “national mobilization” is not a call for people to “take a gun and hit the streets” but a reminder that efforts for security and economy are futile without cultural development, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“Security is important, but if you neglect art, you cannot reach your targets. The economy is important, but if you neglect culture, it produces the same result. For this, we attach special importance to culture and art from the process of the construction of the new Turkey. I said, ‘national mobilization’ for this. I never meant, ‘take a gun and hit the streets,’” Erdoğan said in a speech at a Culture and Tourism Ministry awards ceremony on Feb. 9.

“As I have already expressed, the weakest link in the great transformation which our country has undergone in the last 14 years is culture and education. I am quite regretful that we have not been able to reach the targets that I have been imagining,” Erdoğan said.

“It is a self-criticism but it is true. In the following periods, we have to tackle this weakness by giving priority and special importance to these areas by making up for the deficiencies and by registering under important successes,” he said.

Erdoğan also stressed the importance of the youth for the “mobilization.”

“Is not possible for any activity in which the youth are not included or they do not adopt to become a permanent gain,” he said, adding that the ruling party included the reduction of the minimum age for election from 25 to 18 as part of new charter amendments in this respect.

Slamming criticisms of the article, Erdoğan accused the opposition of “not knowing history.”

“Currently, the minimum age to be eligible to stand for election is 18 in 57 countries in the world. I know those who became foreign ministers at 25 or 26 years of age. My ancestor, Fatih [Mehmed the Conqueror] was 21 when he opened up a new historical era. Are we going to sit down?” he added.

Culture and Tourism Ministry Special Awards handed out

Erdoğan also bestowed ministry awards on Nesrin Sipahi in the music field, Kenan Işık in theater, Mehmet Doğan in literature, Cahit Koytak in poetry and translation and the Museum of Islamic Science and Technology History in the institution field.