|Opening Ceremony of Turkey Country Office of the Islamic Development Bank|
|Date :||19 September 2013||Venue :||Ankara Turkey|
The official opening ceremony of the Turkey Country Office of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group was held on 19 September 2013 in Ankara, Turkey at the SESRIC headquarters. The IDB Group decided to launch its first country gateway office ever in Turkey, following the hosting agreement signed early 2013. The ceremony has been attended by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, H.E. Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Beşir Atalay, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, Dr. Ahmed Mohamad Ali, President of the IDB Group, Ambassadors of OIC Member Countries, high-level government officials, country representatives of international institutions and eminent personalities.
In his welcoming address, Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, expressed his pleasure to host IDB’s Turkey Country Gateway Office within the SESRIC headquarters and highlighted that this would be a good opportunity for increasing the already high level of cooperation between two institutions, and the historical pace towards generating dynamics of change and transformation for the benefit of OIC Member Countries. Prof. Alpay, also expressed his thanks and appreciation to H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, as well as the OIC Member Countries for their continuous support towards the activities of the Centre. In his speech, Dr. Ahmed Mohamad Ali, President of the IDB Group, expressed his pleasure for opening the first country office of the IDB ever, in Ankara, Turkey. He informed the participants that one additional office will also be established in Istanbul, Turkey. He iterated his hope that these two offices, one of which will focus on public and the other on private sector relations, will be strengthening ties and collaborative projects between the IDB and Turkey.
In his address, H.E. Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, recalled the opening ceremony of the SESRIC headquarters he attended one year ago in September 2012 and expressed his pleasure on the opening of the IDB Turkey Country office within the SESRIC headquarters. He indicated that it would increase productivity and the number of jointly implemented projects of SESRIC and the IDB, as they are now located in the same building. H.E. Babacan higlighted the important activities of SESRIC especially in the field of social and ecenomic research and indicated that OIC Member Countries have now recognized and are aware of theses studies and the policy recommendations produced by SESRIC. H.E. Babacan highlighted that while Turkey is one of the important contributors and members of the IDB, it is also effectively utilizing the financial support of the bank especially in infrastructure-related projects. H.E. Babacan indicated that Turkey experienced an increase in the number of projects supported by the Bank especially in the last three years. He highlighted the relatively low percentage of Turkish experts employed by the IDB and suggested to increase this number.
H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, inaugurated the opening ceremony and recalled the days he was working as an economist in the IDB during the 80s. He mentioned that these days have contributed towards his experience in regard with both the weaknesses and strengths of the Islamic World. H.E. Gül, indicated that the IDB has the same member countries as the OIC. He expressed that this profile of member countries is most interesting as it includes both the poorest and richest countries in the world and that it brings another dimension to the responsibilities of the IDB. His Excellency expressed his pleasure and satisfaction in regard with the decision of the IDB to launch its first country office ever in Ankara followed by the office in Istanbul. President Gül indicated he believes that Istanbul will become one of the most important finance centres of the world and the IDB will play an important role in this respect. President Gül, reminded that he closely followed and supported the construction of the SESRIC headquarters and highlighted that the opening of the IDB country office within the SESRIC headquarters is quite meaningful.
The ceremony continued with the cutting of the ribbon by H.E. President Abdullah Gül, Deputy Prime Ministers Ali Babacan and Beşir Atalay, SESRIC Director General Prof. Savaş Alpay and IDB President Dr. Ahmed Mohamad Ali. After the ceremony, H.E President Gül, took this opportunity to visit the newly constructed SESRIC headquarters and the IDB country office.