Queen Elizabeth visits Turkey

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK and Commonwealth Realms head of state, recently arrived in Turkey. She said in a speech made on arrival that she was "delighted to be back in Turkey more than 36 years after our last visit of which we have many happy memories."

The Queen in 2007

Her Majesty continued, "here in 1971, I remarked on the tremendous achievement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in guiding this country of rich and ancient traditions along a course towards a modern, enlightened and democratic state."

The Queen praised Turkey for its efforts on democracy. "One could hardly have imagined then the further strides that Turkey would take to become today's confident and dynamic democracy. In this new century, we can celebrate the links between our two countries [Turkey and the UK] as being stronger than ever."

On the relationship between Turkey and the UK, the Queen commented as follows:

Thus it is that thousands of jobs in both countries depend on our trade; Turkey is visited by two million British tourists each year; many thousand Britons have made their homes here; and, we are pleased to welcome increasing numbers of Turkish students in the United Kingdom.

—Queen Elizabeth II