President of the Republic of Turkey, H. E. Mr. Abdullah Gul, receivs a gift of art done by one of Jamaica’s mot celebrated artists, Susan Alexander, from Hon. Arnold Foote at a meeting held at the President’s residence in Ankara on 15th April 2008. The President congratulated the World Federation of Consuls on its work and thanked FICAC for the presentation of the FICAC Gold Star, which is the highest honour given by the World Federation of Consuls, and only to outstanding world leaders.
Hon. Arnold Foote C.D., J.P. Speech at luncheon in honour of H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gul President of the Republic of Turkey
“The business of a leader is to turn weakness into strength, Obstacles into stepping stones, and Disaster into triumph!”
A man of experience, a staunch democrat and a convinced European! A leader par excellence! These are words that appropriately describe the man who we seek to honour today. He is a modern reformer, great leader and the outstanding President of Turkey, who is leading the destiny of the Turkish people to overcome the multi-faceted challenges of the 21st century. No one is more deserving of this honour!
Abdullah Gul became the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey, August 28, 2007, having previously served his country as Prime Minister in late 2002 to early 2003, and as Foreign Minister, 2003-2007.
After receiving his undergraduate degree at Istanbul University, where he studied Economics, President Gul went on to study for two years in London and Exeter, thereafter pursuing an academic career at the higher educational level. During this period, he collaborated in the establishment of a Department for Industrial Engineering, and taught Management courses at the Sakarya University which he helped to found.
Above,President Gul makes a presentation to Hon. Arnold Foote and congratulated him on his work for FICAC and for the Republic of Turkey as its Honorary Consul General in Jamaica for over 12 years.
Having received a PhD degree from Istanbul University in 1983, President Gul’s work experience includes working as an economist at the Islamic Development Bank, and thereafter in 1991 as an Associate Professor in International Management.
His political career received a boost when later that same year, he was elected a Member of the Turkish Parliament for Refah Partisi, “the Welfare Party”, from Kayseri Province, and became a member of the Planning and Budgetary Commission in the Grand National Assembly.
Re-elected to Parliament in 1995, he became a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission.
From 1996 to 1997, he served as Minister of State and Government Spokesman and in 1999 he kept his seat as a member of Fazilet Partisi (FP, “The Virtue Party”).
He was later, however, to be among the founders of the Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP, “Justice and Development Party”). In 2002, he was elected once again to represent Kayseri, in the November 2002 General Election. Gul was then appointed Prime Minister to replace the then Party Leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Following Erdogan’s return to politics, when he took over the post of Prime Minster in March 2003, Gul assumed the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
As Foreign Minister, Gul became the key player in Turkey’s attempts to receive an accession date for the European Union and in its efforts to improve relationships with its neighbours and maintaining its relationship with the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus.
On August 28, 2007, Abdullah Gul was elected President.
His outstanding political career has been marked by the award of the Pro-merito Medal of the Council of Europe and his appointment as Honorary Associate of Council of the Europe Parliamentary Assembly in 2001.
A family man, President Gul is married to Hayrunnisa. The couple has three children.
President Abdullah Gul is a well-rounded man who has performed beyond the call of duty. Duty makes us do things well, but love and commitment make us do them beautifully!
It is therefore with great pleasure and a sense of honour that FICAC acknowledges the outstanding contributions of Abdullah Gul to his country, by decorating him with the FICAC Gold Star, which is the highest honour given by the World Federation of Consuls.
President Abdullah Gul, we salute you!