New Year Message

31.12.2017

Following is the message President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued on the occasion of the New Year:

Dear Citizens,

Today, we are leaving behind 2017 and entering 2018.

I pray to Allah that the New Year will lead to favorable developments for our country and our nation as well as for the entire humanity.

Having paid 64 visits to 51 provinces throughout 2017, I, as the President, tried to embrace, talk to, and come together with, our citizens at every opportunity.

Having attended a large number of events in Ankara and Istanbul, I had the opportunity to closely monitor the works carried out by our institutions and to convey our messages both to the inside and outside of our country. Likewise, having paid 34 visits to 25 countries, we tried to represent our country in the international arena in the best possible way.

We had completed the previous year under the shadow of the July 15 coup attempt, one of the gravest treasons of our history, and the PKK’s terrorist acts. It had been one of the most important incidents of our history that we had thwarted these terrorist acts both through the operations we had conducted at home and the Operation Euphrates Shield we had launched in Syria. We passed this year as well full of similar struggles.

In 2017, when we took steps of critical importance in the fight against terrorist organizations, particularly the FETO and the PKK, we came under major attacks especially in the field of economy. We, thanks be to Allah, foiled all these attacks with our nation’s sagacity, our government’s discernment and our friends’ support.

We were able to achieve a growth rate of 7.4 percent in the first three quarters, exceeding 155 billion dollars in exports and putting the unemployment back on a downward trend. We decided to maintain in 2018 as “existing employees+2” the employment mobilization which we launched last year under the name of “existing employees+1” with our businesspeople.

We will not stop until we fully remove the unemployment from our nation’s agenda and will keep up the efforts.

The regulation that allows the employees of the firms which provide services to state institutions to obtain permanent staff positions at their institutions was one of the important developments of 2017. With this regulation, which is known in the public as “offering titles to subcontracted workers,” we resolved yet another issue, which had long been spoken about and discussed. I wish this critical regulation yields beneficial results for our country as well as our workers and their families.

We also stepped up our efforts with a view to activating our potential in energy development and domestically manufacturing the products we import. It is our strategic priority to decrease external dependence in energy by mobilizing all our resources including water, wind, solar, thermal and nuclear.

We must absolutely elevate our country to a much higher level in the manufacturing of defense industry tools and hi-tech products, too.

We see this issue as one of the most important aspects of our ability to secure our independence and future. For this reason, we are determined to pursue next year our projects in energy, defense industry, and high technology, with the additional ones.

Dear Citizens,

Another one of the most critical developments of 2017 was the fundamental change we implemented in our country’s system of governance.

With the constitutional amendment approved by our nation in the April 16 referendum, Turkey made its decision to shift to the presidential system of governance.

Therefore, we are now abolishing the current system, which has been unable to prevent coups, memorandums, coup attempts, instability and the resulting economic crisis, and the sovereignty of tutelage. In its place, we will continue our path with a system whereby the state is governed by a president directly elected by the people, ensuring political stability.

We also see this reform, which we implemented on April 16, as a thank you of the political leadership for the sacrifices the Turkish nation made on July 15.

It is our biggest responsibility to leave this nation, who defended its country and state at the cost of its own life, a Turkey which is more powerful, more prosperous and more secure.

We believe that the presidential system of governance will serve as a locomotive for the goal of a great and strong Turkey, whose concrete framework we have drawn up with our goals for 2023 and whose direction we have set with our visions for 2053 and 2071.

Our foreign visits provide us with opportunities to better see Turkey’s true potential and greatness.

Our recent visits to Sudan, Chad and Tunisia are among the best examples of this situation. The interest that was kindly shown to us, to our country and to our nation, particularly in Sudan, reminded us of our historical responsibilities again and again. We had witnessed a similar scene during our visits to Serbia and Greece as well, which we had visited shortly before.

With our openings to Africa, the Middle East, the Central Asia and the Balkans, we are striving to make flourish the seeds that have been waiting in these lands for years.

We see that our brothers and sisters in the places we visit approach and embrace us with the same longing, excitement and hope as ours.

If there is mutual love, respect and affection, then no one can prevent such a situation from resulting in auspicious outcomes for the good of the entire humanity.

Dear Citizens,

The developments in our region, especially in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Libya, closely concern the future of our country and nation.

We know that our nation totally agrees with us on this issue even if some fail to understand the reason behind our sensitivity concerning the developments in this geography.

The fact that it is not possible for Turkey to secure its future unless it resolves the issues in its geography prompts us to pursue a more active and more determined foreign policy which, when the need arises, takes higher risks.

The incidents we have recently experienced have demonstrated in a loud and clear manner that “you cannot be at the table unless you are on the ground.” Last year, we took important steps in this regard by launching the Idlib operation in Syria and by foiling the regional government’s independence attempt in Iraq.

The issue of Al-Quds has turned out to be a new test for our nation and region as well as for all the Muslims and the oppressed around the world.

The step taken by the U.S. has found an echo in no country other than Israel and has on the contrary cleared the way for a favorable development with the recognition of Al-Quds as the capital of Palestine.

I extend my gratitude to my entire people for the firm stance and sincere attitude they displayed on this issue. I thank the 127 countries that supported our proposal in this process. I reiterate my thanks to all the nations that sided with justice, law and peace and that defended the historical status of Al-Quds throughout this process.

We are aware that very important developments await us both at home and abroad in the period to come. We will continue to work day and night maintaining the solidarity between the state and the people so as to be prepared for any trouble we might come across.

The local elections to be held in March of 2019 as well as the parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in November of the same year are of critical importance in terms of our country’s future.

I expect all of my citizens to support and guide the cadres that have excitement, goals, projects and energy for the future of our country and nation.

In this critical process, we must be vigilant against provocations and shouldn’t give any chance to those who seek to set us against one another for political gains.

Finally, I wish Allah’s mercy upon all our martyrs who without blinking an eye risked their lives for the sake of “ONE NATION, ONE FLAG, ONE HOME AND ONE STATE,” and health to our veterans.

I pray to Allah that 2018 will lead to favorable developments for our nation and for the entire humanity.

I hope to meet you in the new year in a new world where sufferings, oppressions and injustices come to an end and peace, happiness and welfare prevail.

I salute you all with respect.

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