EGEMEN BAĞIŞ: Turecko-Česko, Vztahy s EU, Turismus, COVID | Turkey-Czechia, EU, Tourism, COVID | SUB
Turkish, law is governed here i know maybe thousands, of jokes, yes i was in the kitchen. Working with the main chef, corona, is like your wife. You think you can control, it but then at the end it controls, you, don't ask me the names of these towns let's. Foreign. Are we now on the territory, of the republic of turkey, well although it's a rental, building, diplomatic. Conventions. Make this, uh. Land of the turkish republic, so turkish, laws govern here so if you do something against turkish laws if you commit a crime. Uh, according to turkish laws. You would. Be. Responsible, for it and i would be taken to turkey to the israel not to the check police, well, that depends on the bilateral. Agreements. But that's an understanding, so there's, sovereignty, for example we have diplomatic, immunity. If we do commit a crime, for the czech police to arrest, us, our, home country, has to lift our immunity. Or. Pull us back, and. Try us. Prosecute, us, in turkey, this is your first role as an ambassador. And how do you feel to be an ambassador, it's a great feeling to represent, your country, your nation. Abroad. To, represent, the president. The ordinary, people. The artists. The, workers. It's a huge responsibility. To be exact, but it's also great fun, it's an honor. And it's challenging. There are sometimes, political, issues that you have to deal with at times, social issues, at times cultural, or art, issues. And. Most of the time it's the business, issues. Because the job of an ambassador, is also to increase bilateral, trade. And. Ensure, a better understanding. Of your culture, of your nation, of your country, of your. Countrymen. Leaders, decisions. And. An ambassador. Keeps quite busy. But i enjoy every, moment of it, how does the. Regular day of an ambassador, look like, well an ambassador. Doesn't really have. Working hours. Because, it's the responsibility. And. You, are. Just. You wake up into it every morning. And you, sleep, into it every night, so it's not like a nine to five job. There are times when you're, asked to. Attend the meeting. Six o'clock in the morning. There are times when you are asked to travel, there are times when you have to stay up, all night long. And. If, a turkish citizen, is that. Needs something, and needs to reach the ambassador. You have to be available, for them. Or, if the. Leaders of the czech republic, need to convey a message, to the leader of. Leaders of turkey or the other way around. Then you have to be, ready, available. You always have to be reachable. Uh. You don't have the luxury of saying it's my weekend, and. I'm just heading to the forest. If there's an emergency. People need to reach you and you have to be able to act on it. It's a responsibility. But it's also, fun. Was the turkish diplomatic. Mission always, settled in this building or, no. Actually. We have changed the diplomatic. Missions, from. Time to time. But, the residence, which you will see used to be the, embassy. Before. And. It was the same building we started. We purchased in 1976. But we started using that even before. This building was purchased in 1976. And. By, the foreign minister of the time. Mr charlie angel. This. Used to be the, embassy, office. And now it's the official. Reception. Area. Of the. Residence. When it was embassy. This was the ambassador's, room, i still use it as an office, here. Aren't you afraid of box, being here. No, because i have nothing to hide. Even if. There are bugs. It's their problem, it would be very. Boring. Now. This is where we, host our events this is where we, have our. Lunches, or dinners.
And This is. We call it the music room sometimes it's a small group. We meet here the reason we call it music room is because on the walls, you see some. Art, and some musical instruments. That's why, we call it the music room, but this was probably, house of a family. And they had probably some pianos, or some music, uh performances. Here, uh back in uh, olden times, we're now actually trying to. Work with proc6, to find the history of the building maybe we can issue, make, we can make a book. About who lived here before us. Uh this is something. That i'm trying to. Work on right now. The government, owns this house, uh. Government, of turkey. So, now you're 100, on the turkish, land. Owned and. Managed by the republic, of turkey, and then now i can say i've been to turkey, yes. You can actually say that. This. Is, when i presented, my credentials, to president zeman. And this is turkey's, president. He's. Signed, photograph. And that's when prime minister babish was in turkey. In. September. You were responsible, for eu turkish relations, you had you've been a eu minister. I had the. Mission impossible. Trying to convince. A nation. That had skeptical. Concerns, about eu. To be more. Optimistic. And i also had a, more difficult. Task, to convince, 28. Countries. That. Didn't really want turkey, in, but, wanted to give. Maybe a chance. To accept. The idea of turkey's full membership to european union i was turkey's eu minister and chief negotiator. I was conducting, all the talks, between the government of turkey. And the european union institutions. So i was dealing with the. Eu commission, i was dealing with european parliament, i was dealing with eu council, but most, importantly, i was dealing with each and every member state, it was very challenging. It was not easy, but at the end of the day it was important it was critical. Because. Being, a member of european, union. May not be that important. But achieving, the standards, of european, union. For turkish citizens. Lifestyle. To have the same quality. Highways, to, have the same quality. Communication, system to have the same quality, of democracy. Human rights freedom of speech, ngos. Women's rights children's, rights. Workers. Rights. Union. Issues, to have the same. Hygiene, standards. In terms of. Health. Were important, and it was my job. To. Prepare the necessary, legislation. To make to increase turkey's living standards. We like it or not, eu, is, one of the greatest. Achievements. Of history of mankind. It's a huge. Peace project. None of the member states, have fired. A single bullet to another member state, since its. Foundation. And, in addition to being a peace project it's also a prosperity. Project. Because per capita. Prosperity. Is the highest in europe. Uh, i'm not saying per capita, richness, or per capita income, per capita prosperity. Includes. All those. You know richnesses. Income, but also the hope for future, the. Level of oxygen in the air you breathe. The quality of the toys that, children play with. The. Quality. Of. Living, in every aspect. If you ask me what was the most difficult. Obstacle. I would say prejudices. Prejudice. Is. Something that occurs. When, two sides, don't know each other. One thing i realized when i was turkey's eu minister, is if i could bring every european. To turkey for a few days two three days. Alone. It would be much easier. For me to convince, them that turkey, belongs, to, this club or turkey is a part of european. Or western culture. But. Those, people, who were. The most difficult. Had never been to turkey. They never met a turk, they never had a turkish neighbor. They never. Dined with the turk. But they had these prejudices. From the things they read from the things that they hear. From, the, subconscious. That, carries on the historical. Debt. Or, historical. Angers. The, sense of revenge. Those were the ones, who would create the. Most, difficult, problems. But those who had been to turkey, those who had vacationed, in turkey, those who had been. At the table with turks. Sharing a meal. Would be much more. Welcoming. Because they would know, that turkey is not a country, to fear. And that's actually. True, for. Every, prejudice, issue. People, are mostly, concerned, or scared of people that they do not know. Or cultures that they do not. Know about. Once you get to know, the person. In front of you the person in question. Then you, also, realize, that the same, individual, or the same group of people or the same, nation or the same country. Has. Strengths. As well as as well as weaknesses. And once you understand, those. Strengths and weaknesses. Then you try to, relate to them, you find common grounds, to work with. Unfortunately. That. Concept, was the most important, issue, in my, job, and i still think prejudice, is a big problem.
For. Many people, what would you, recommend, like to do in this case to at least, try to overcome. This cultural, barriers, between the people, well in many countries, you have a lot of different nationalities. Ethnicities. Religions. Cultures. That. Live together, for, such a long time, and then they melt, together. Turkey is one of them turkey is a melting pot there are a lot of. Turks. Also. Greeks. Armenians. Assyrians. Jews. People. You know dark skinned. Blunt. Redheads. Everybody. Has. Lived together and have become, family. And. So everyone, has a sense of. Different cultures. But some countries, are not as. Culturally, rich, or as blessed. As we are, and they have, been more. Isolated. Countries, in central europe. Did not have that kind of a, migration. And did not, melt with other nations. So for them. Everyone. Who doesn't look like them is the other. And they are worried about the other because they don't know their culture, they don't know their. Values. They don't know their. Possible, actions. And they have question marks. So, as the others. We have a responsibility. To, educate. The, host. About what we are, so, when i see a prejudice, against turkey, or against, islam, or against, my people. Instead of getting angry. I start to think about the strategy. How. And. When. To educate, those people. So that we cure, that disease. Called discrimination. Or prejudice. One of the things i wanted to do here as soon as i came was to start. A turkish culture festival, where i could bring. Bands, musicians. Choirs. Artists. From turkey. And have them perform, here, and share some of our culture. And maybe. Share, through, conferences. Through symposia. The values. That, govern. Our people. Why does turkey, host, 3.5. Million syrians, today. Just because they came to our border no because it's in our genes. Because, we are accustomed, to. Reach out to those, that, need help. We have helped, jews. When they were, expelled, from spain, during inquisition. We have helped, kurds when saddam hussein, was. Gassing them to death. We have helped iranians. When, they were prosecuted. We have helped the polls. When there was, uh. Oppression. And we even have a. Section of istanbul, called polanerskary. Which is a section built by the polish immigrants. And they still have a church. Everyone, in that village. Speaks. Polish. Turkish. And. Probably, other languages. There's a mosque there's a church, side by side not many people know, but even the constitution. Of. Hungary, was written, in a city called kutaha. Which is in turkey because one of their princes. Had to. Escape. And he built his army. And during his, years of rest. In kutahya. He prepared the constitution. And when he actually. Led into his country, and gained the power.
He Implemented, that constitution. So. In our culture. Reaching out to the needy, is a very. Important. Daily, routine. I just want to jump a little bit into the history, about the czech and turkish diplomatic, relations. Actually, turkey's, first. Appointed, ambassador, to prague. Started working. Uh, in, 1923. Which is the same year as the foundation, of the turkish republic. So, we, sent a diplomat, an ambassador, here, as soon as the. Country, was established. And that, shows uh. How, important. Prague was. But. If we go back, even before the foundation. Of the modern republic, by, otto turk. He himself. Spent time here. In, czechia. He was actually in karlovari. For treatment. When he was a. Officer, of the ottoman, military. And he had. Problems, health problems. Because of our alliance. With. The. Uh. Austrian, hungarian. Empire. He was in invited, for treatment. To come, and he spent, almost a month in calgary. Where, he drank that water, that people still drink today when they go to kalowari. For treatment. And he took bats. And he was cured. And. When he. Invented. The turkish, republic, when he founded, the turkish republic, and he did, some of the, most important, reforms. Such as the reform of the alphabet. When we, change our alphabet, from the old arabic, letters to latin letters. The, letters. Came. From his time in kalu vari where he saw, that putting an accent under the sea would make. The letter sound ch, or putting an accent under the. S would make it into a. And. He. He actually. Took things from this culture. Into our, language as well because we had the same sounds. And. To, represent, them in the alphabet. The czech language. Played an important role. These glasses. Were, manufactured. These ones, yes, these and also the, water glasses. By a company a check company called moser. Since 1800. The turkish. Sultan. Discovered, moser. And during the ottoman, empire. All of our sultans, used mozilla glasses. And, since then. Many turkish embassies around the world. Get their glasses. From. The czech republic. A company established. In carlo ivari. And. Even to date. You are now enjoying this beautiful, cup of turkish tea with the mozart, glass, made here in czech republic but if you went to the turkish embassy in washington dc, or in moscow. Or in. Karachi. You would be enjoying mosaic, glasses made in the czech republic. Do you have a, special place where you burn down all the secret documents. No, actually, it's not the job of the ambassador, to do that, but we don't, burn, usually. We. When we receive some. Cable. That's classified. We read it we put our initials. And then it's usually. Uh. Taken to. What we call a strong room. And it's kept there on file, in case, my. Future, ambassadors. Want to read that. Or something i wrote, or something that, i read. Is usually, kept in a locked. Room. But if something has to be. Eliminated. It's usually, uh, goes through a shredder, this shred it. And then it's thrown out, but, nowadays. The world is. Not as. Secret, as it used to be. Because everything is communicated, through these devices. And. It's better to be more transparent. That so this concept, of burning documents. Or. Getting rid of information. Is not that, smart, or. Easily, done. So it's better to be very transparent. And that's what we try to do has ever happened, something. Like awkward. Or. Fun, you know just on the. In your general, like outside, the embassy. Well actually i was uh, once. Walking. At letna park, with a mask on, with the hat, and sunglasses. So it was impossible, for anyone to recognize, me and all of a sudden a lady who was, jogging. Stops by and looks at me and says mr ambassador. I said yes. And then she took her mask and said hi, i'm a turkish.
Engineer, Working, for. A czech company here and i recognize, you i said how did you recognize, me, this is just through your eyes, because that was the only thing, that you could probably see. And, she recognized, me so i was amazed, that people. You know in such crowded, areas. Could recognize. Their ambassador, but it was a, very, interesting. Uh period, you know how many turkish people who live in the czech republic. According to our records we have approximately. 5 000, turks who live in the czech republic. Which is, not too much when you compare, to, four million turks living in germany. Or a million in france. Or at least. 700, 000 in austria. Czech republic, is not very. Heavily. Populated. With turks. We might not have, that many turks. But those who are here. Are predominantly, very successful. And they will, set good examples. And. They are the reasons. More and more people started coming here, for example, these days. Uh czech republic, is one of the, top. Preference. For turkish students to come to, during their erasmus, projects. And, because the level of education, here is very high. The crime rate is very low. People are friendly. And there are very good. English, language, education, programs, in every, field. There are good english, engineering, courses very very good. English. Medical courses, they are very good. Sports, courses. Film courses. And. The czech republic, is becoming more and more attractive. And. The, number of people. Coming to prague as tourists also, increasing. Because prague is a very beautiful and romantic, city. And it has preserved, itself. A lot of the buildings, are. Very old but still very strong. And people like to come here and enjoy the history, and enjoy this, beautiful. Romance. And. The food is good and the prices, are affordable. There is better vacation, in turkey, or in czech republic, well for turks, of course the czech republic, for the czechs of course turkey. I mean turkey is a great country, for vacation. Price-wise. Uh. Geography-wise. Sunshine. Wise i mean in, antalya, you can have the sunshine, 250. Days of a year. Which is a great, uh.
Opportunity. And also we have a lot of history, i mean, if just istanbul, was the capital of the roman empire, it was the capital of the byzantine, empire, it was the capital of the ottoman empire, and today it's the cultural capital of europe. You can find everything there you can find the, places of worship of every religion you can think of you can find the cuisine of every kitchen you can think of, you can find the music of every. Ethnicity. That you can think of. It's, a, city. With the. 16 million, people. Uh. It's the city itself, is bigger than. More than half of the eu member countries. So. It's like a country. And every, part of turkey. Represents, a totally different culture, so the cuisine, you have in, antip. Is. Totally. Amazing. But the cuisine you have in izmir. Or in kaiseri. Or in ankara, or. Bolu, is totally, different. But they're all. Extremely, delicious. And. Turkish hospitality. Is, quite well known. Turkish food is great turkish geography, is great. So all these. Contribute, to turkey being a great spot for tourism. Top three, places that you would recommend. For and to any czech person to visit in turkey. Istanbul. Antalya. And my favorite is gochek. Kochek is not very well known but it's a part of small part of. Where, the mediterranean. Meets the aegean, sea. It's right in the corner. It's a beautiful. Symbol of heaven, on earth. Most of the. Base. You cannot reach by cars. So what we do is we do a blue voyage. So we get on a boat for a couple of days. We sleep on the boat we eat on the boat but we swim in the best waters of turkey. That only boats can go into these bays. It's the. Beautiful. Uh. Turkish. Uh. Coastline. It's the turkish riviera. That you can only enjoy. In so small. Wooden. Glass, boats. Where, some of the local. People, cook the best dishes. And small. Sandals, bring you, fresh bread every morning. And. You can do your shopping. We even have, floating. Negro, supermarkets. So these, boats people staying on the boats can go and do shopping. From these boats huge boats. That are turned into supermarkets. It's a, very unique. Experience. Everyone. Must try it at least once, in their lifetime. Cappadocia, is also, great cappadocia. Is, a very ancient. Part of turkey it's in the heart of turkey. You see a lot of caves. That are carved, into the mountain. Where people, built their homes, churches. Their. Storages. To protect themselves, from invading, forces. Some of the oldest, churches. In the world, are in cappadocia. But the best. Part of cappadocia. These days is, hot air balloon tourism. So people who go to cappadocia. Get up early in the morning, they get on these hot air balloons. And, at times you can see hundreds of balloons. In the air it, creates, a, very, interesting. Photos. Because down below, you have the oldest. Places, of. Residents. Carved in the, mountains. And on top you have the new, technology. The most modern, hot air balloons. Together, they make a very colorful. Scenery. It's something everyone has to try, how many, turkish companies. Operate, in czech republic, and what is the state of the trade relations, between czech republic, and turkey well, between turkey and the czech republic, we have, approximately. 3.5. Billion. Worth of. Trade. Approximately. Turkey, sells 1.5. Billion dollar worth of goods to the czech republic, and the czech republic, sells. Uh 2 billion, worth of goods to turkey. So the. Deficit. Is in favor of the czech republic. We are predominantly. Buying. Automobiles. Skodas. And we are predominantly, selling them automobile, parts. So the czechs. Take the parts from turkey. Assemble them together, and sell it as finished, goods to us, in addition to automobile, sector. We are also. Providing, a lot of textiles. Fruits and vegetables. Different, industrial. Products. Raw materials. Mines. And we're also getting a lot of machinery. From the czech republic into turkey. Uh nowadays, a lot of trams. Made in the czech republic, are also being utilized, in different cities of turkey. But also in the energy sector we have a great cooperation. The. Company energy, pro for example, has, four hydro. Power plants in turkey, they're building the fifth. And the, companies, like chess, are also building, energy, projects, where, they use, different. Sources of energy, to create electricity. And, turkish consumers, are using that electricity. But we are now. Entering a new phase to see, what else can be done because there are a lot of incentives. For, technological. Nanotechnological. Uh. Innovative. Innovations. Uh. So we're trying to bring some investors from turkey, to take advantage of these incentives.
We're Also trying to. Take, some czech investors, into turkey, to see what can be done, so both my trade atesha, and myself, we are, focusing. On this issue. My goal, before coming here, was to increase the bilateral, trade from 3.5. Billion to 5 billion, dollars. I still have that goal, but unfortunately. I had a setback, because of corona. Things have, slowed down, but as soon as the. Effects of corona, are. Diminishing. We will continue, to work on those issues. And increase the bilateral, trade so we need to, sell more to czech republic, and we need to buy more from the czech republic. Additionally, we have to. Create. Some joint ventures. Where turkish and czech companies, can work together in other countries, as well, because, there's huge potential. The czech. Trade, rules. Are very. Beneficial. Compared to some other european countries, so we're trying to, promote that. To turkish companies, so they can. Establish, their logistical, centers, here. And sell, to rest of europe, from the czech republic. And turkey, is also a great hub. For czech companies, to reach. Countries. In central, asia. In the. Middle eastern. Region. So they should invest in turkey, and then use that as a logistical, center, to open. Into new markets. So both countries, have this capability, to become hubs. And we're trying to. Prosper, that, and teach that to. Companies, on both sides. If you compare the members of the turkish government and the czech government, um. What was more effective. Well, i could say that both. Governments, have been very. Successful. Comparing, turkey to czech republic, would not be fair. Because the populations, are not similar. Turkey is eight times bigger than the czech republic. But. Comparing, the czech republic, which has around 300. Deaths. Because of corona. To a country that has, almost. Similar, population. Belgium, which has around 10 000. Death. Because of corona. It shows that, checks. Have been. More successful. 30 times more successful, compared to belgium. So we have to commend. Prime minister babisha and his team. In the way they approached. This, c19. And the most important. Element of success, was, people. Obeying, the rules. Of the government. When. Prime minister babish. And. Deputy prime minister. Amachek. Announced. That everyone, should wear a mask, and cover their. Mouth and nose. Nobody, was out on the streets, without a mask. Everybody. Obeyed. The rules, and the calls of the government. Which was not the case in belgium which was not the case in france or italy or spain and that's why you see a very, high. Ratio. In the. Fatalities. Of corona. Turkey is also. Done, very well. But, turkey's success. Is we have done, more tests. Per. Capita, than many other countries. Some countries, might show. Low. Numbers. But they have not done enough tests. In turkey we have done millions, of tests. Everyone, who, wanted to, be tested. Has received. A result. And as. Because of that, we, we also have high numbers, in the cases, but very low. Uh, in the fatalities. And deaths. Because a lot of people were diagnosed, very early and they were treated early. But in other countries, unfortunately, they did not have enough tests. They did not have enough masks. They did not have enough. Respirators. And that caused. Very, horrible, results. So i would say both the. Czech republic, and turkey, have, passed this test with flying colors. I am blessed, to represent, a country that has, only affection, and friendship, towards. The czech republic, where i'm serving. So i don't have to worry about that. Because we are allies, both turkey and the czech republic, are nato members. We have fought together, and we will fight together if necessary. We are not enemies. We are. I am serving in a very. Friendly. Turf. A friendly, country. So i don't have to worry about that. But if. Your government, is sponsoring, terrorism, and then you have to hide it and then you have to, be involved in some transactions. That are against, the, sovereignty. And against the national interests of the country where you're serving. Then it becomes. A problem. But thank god, i'm not in such a position so i enjoy this beautiful city, this beautiful country. And. Live, among. Great people, like the citizens, of the czech republic.
Have You had a chance to travel around, in. Yes i've been to kailuari. I've been to peruvice. I was planning to go to ostrava, bruno, and other cities, but because of c19. I had to, postpone, my, scheduled. Visits, but now. That, corona, is slowly disappearing. I will reorganize, those meetings, i'm looking forward to going to every region. And, every town, and. Try to learn the culture. The local. Culture, of every. Part of the czech republic, mr ambassador, thank you for hosting, us here that's a great honor for us. Thank you for being my guest, i hope to see you more often, and i wish you success, with your endeavors. Plenty.