Turkey opens Consulate General in Serbia’s Novi Pazar
Turkey has inaugurated the Consulate General in Serbia’s Novi Pazar in Sancak, a province where Muslim Bosniac people make up a good portion of the population, in an indication of further improvement of ties between Ankara and Belgrade.
“Today is a historic day. We are inaugurating our Consulate General in Novi Pazar, which has a special place in our hearts,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at the ceremony held in Novi Pazar on Sept. 1. Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic also attended the ceremony along with Turkish and Serbian diplomats.
“Ties between Turkey and Serbia have reached the best point in their history. And this consulate general that we inaugurate today is the result of this,” Çavuşoğlu stated.
Recalling that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had agreed on the opening of the consulate general in 2019, Çavuşoğlu thanked both Vucic and Selakovic for speedily accomplishing necessary procedures for the inauguration of the diplomatic mission.
“It’s an honor for me to attend the inauguration of the first consulate general in Novi Pazar. I am also very happy to hear that Bosnia-Herzegovina will open its Consulate General here,” he said.
For his part, Selakovic said he was feeling proud of seeing the point the Turkish-Serbian relationship has reached. “I am sure that this Consulate General will contribute to seriously further develop this relationship and to the development of our local municipalities,” he stated.
This diplomatic mission will contribute to increasing the trade volume between the two countries, he suggested, adding Ankara-Belgrade ties guide the direction in which every Turk, Bosniac and Serbian should move forward, “because both countries aim prosperity in Balkans.”
Erdoğan issued video message
In the meantime, Erdoğan sent a video message to the inauguration ceremony of the Consulate General. “This Consulate General in Novi Pazar will contribute to further improving our ties with Serbia. It will not only serve our citizens but also the people of Sancak province,” he said.
Turkey and Serbia have developed a relationship based on a “win-win” approach, Erdoğan stressed, informing that many Turkish businessmen were creating jobs in various parts of Serbia. “We also hope to contribute to the development of infrastructure of Sancak,” he said.
On the FETÖ presence in different Balkan countries, Erdoğan recalled that it was Vucic who was among the first world leaders to lend support against the July 15, 2016 coup attempt by the FETÖ members. “I am sure that we will eradicate the FETÖ gang from the Balkan region,” he said.