Turkish President Erdogan Concludes Visit to Croatia

Total Croatia News

Turkish President devoted the second day of his visit to economy and the 100th anniversary of Islam in Croatia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded on Wednesday his official visit to Croatia, report Jutarnji List and Večernji List on April 27, 2016.

In the morning, he attended the Croatian-Turkish Economic Forum, together with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. The forum brought together about 600 participants. President Kitarović said that there was much which could be done to strengthen economic relations and called on Turkish companies to invest in Croatia. As possible areas of cooperation she cited tourism, agriculture, energy, banking, and modern technologies.

President Erdogan said that economic relations between the two countries were still lagging behind political relations and that his aim was for the annual value of trade to reach a billion dollars. He also said that politicians should work on removing bureaucratic barriers to help entrepreneurs.

The Turkish President then met with Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković who presented the government’s reform plans which will greatly facilitate business conditions and provide a safe environment for investors. President Erdogan said he was satisfied with his visit to Croatia and added that one of the indicators of excellent bilateral relations between the two countries was the presence of 600 businesspeople at the Croatian-Turkish Economic Forum.

Turkish companies are already present in the Croatian market and intend to increase their investments, and Erdogan announced the intention of the Turkish Development Agency to open an office in Zagreb. Orešković welcomed the revitalisation of relations between the European Union and Turkey, stressing that Croatia was committed to the implementation of the agreement reached with the European Union about refugees.

In the afternoon, the Croatian National Theatre hosted the central event marking the 100th anniversary of institutionalized Islam in Croatia. In addition to Croatian political leadership and President Erdogan, the event was attended by President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegović. The guests were welcomed by president of the Islamic Community in Croatia, Mufti Aziz Effendi Hasanović.

President Grabar-Kitarović thanked the Muslim community for everything they had done in Croatia. “Muslims are an integral part of Croatian society, and Croatian culture, science, art, and education are inconceivable without the participation of Muslims.”

Parliament Speaker Reiner thanked everyone in the Islamic Community for preserving the culture of inter-religious dialogue and thus for their contribution to peace and tolerance in the Croatian society.

Prime Minister Orešković said he appreciated that the Islamic Community was promoting the full integration of Muslims in the Croatian society. “One of the greatest contributions for the excellent relations between Croatia and Islamic Community was given by Ševko Omerbašić, who was the Chief Mufti for 24 years and has worked with dedication to promote good inter-religious relations,” concluded Orešković.

President Erdogan said that Croatia was a good example of coexistence of different religions and added that in modern societies we should all foster cooperation and not a clash of civilizations. “Muslims in Croatia feel free to practice their religion and are not exposed to any kind of discrimination and marginalization,” said President Erdogan and added that the cooperation between Turkey and Croatia also contributed to that.

President of BiH Presidency Bakir Izetbegović said that Croatia was an example that it was possible in contemporary Europe to establish good relationship between government and the Muslim community. “The way in which Croatia has addressed the status of Muslims should be a guideline and inspiration to others in Europe,” said Izetbegović.

President Erdogan concluded his visit to Croatia with the opening of the Turkish Cultural Centre in downtown Zagreb, one of 45 such centres located in 37 countries around the world.


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