An Ecuadorian letter

An Ecuadorian letter

It appears that my article “Where is Ecuador” caused some collateral and indeed unintended damage that compels me to extend sincere apologies to Ambassador Augusto Saá Corriere, the ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador.

Naturally, the article has provided the Ecuadorian ambassador the right to reply, which I fully respect irrespective to what extent I agree or disagree. The Hürriyet Daily News has always been a paper that attached great importance to the enhancement of Turkey’s foreign bilateral and multilateral relations.

The article, of course, was not aimed at diminishing the importance of Ecuador, or the efforts of the two governments to strengthen ties between the two countries.

On the contrary, it was a satire aimed at stressing that Turkey was doing almost nothing to further its European integration.

Before running the ambassador’s response I would like to underline that freedom of press is the backbone of democracy. Still, with sincere apologies for any unintended trouble caused, I am allocating my column today to the ambassador’s response:

“Not only experts in international relations, but entire societies perfectly realize that in current times, interaction between countries exists and constitutes a key element for development, no matter how far they are geographically. Modern technology allows most countries to maintain relations in the economic, commercial and financial fields although they are located in distant continents. Taking advantage of this reality is almost mandatory for countries like Turkey which are today becoming emerging leaders.

“The Hürriyet Daily News columnist Mr. Yusuf Kanlı is surprised that Turkey and Ecuador are tightening ties, despite the geographical distance that separates them. He felt the urgency to find my country on Google. Probably his Google search did not reveal: that Ecuador became a republic almost a hundred years before the Turkish Republic; that my country promulgated in 2008 one of the most advanced constitutions in the world as a result of the work of a Constituent Assembly; or the remarkable social development achieved in recent years, due to the fact that my country has granted the most extensive rights to thirteen nationalities and other minorities who live in our territory, all in a fully recognized democracy.

“Fortunately, the governments of Turkey and Ecuador fully understand the benefit produced by diversified relations with other states, no matter if they are located in distant, but important regions. Both countries have the best disposition to share their achievements in the fields of trade, finance, technical cooperation and culture, among others, for mutual benefit.

“There are no distant countries anymore, when people can be instantly communicated however distant they are from each other and there is the willingness of governments to engage on mutual benefit. Every averagely informed person is aware that any item or service we use in our daily life is the result of the interaction of several countries located in the most remote places. Nowadays, this reality is more evident than the sunshine on a clear day.

“Currently, [there] remain few people whose way of thinking cannot overcome the patterns of the 19th century. Happily, their archaic criteria are far exceeded by daily social dynamics.”