November 19, 2017

President Erdoğan in Brussels

On the Picture Their Majesties King Philippus and Queen Mathilde together with Turkey’s presidential couple.

 

By Baron Henri Estramant.

4-6 October 2015, Brussels: Turkey’s presidential couple paid a state visit to Belgium at the invitation of Their Majesties King Philippus and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and simultaneously visited several European institutions.

The Belgian Royal Couple hosted President Recep Erdoğan and his wife Emine to a banquet. The president also held meetings with Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel and Foreign Minister Didiers Reynders, albeit the focus of discussions were not bilateral but rather Europe’s migration crisis and the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria.

Highlight of the bilateral visit was the opening by the Turkish presidential couple and the Belgian royals of the international arts festival Europalia which this year honours Turkey.

Belgium's King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, Turkey's President Erdogan and First Lady Emine attend the opening of the exhibition Europalia Turkey in Brussels

Queen Mathilde, President’s wife Emine, King Philippus and President Recep Erdoğan.

 

Outside the EU it may be, but Turkey has a key role on its eastern borders. Europe’s worst migration crisis since the break-up of former Yugoslavia now has EU governments looking to Erdoğan to help stem the flows of refugees as record numbers of people flee Syria’s civil war and the rise of radical militants in Iraq.

As refugees continue to arrive, EU officials have suggested sending financial aid to Ankara to keep migrants in Turkey while they process their asylum requests. EU leaders pledged at least 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries at an emergency summit in Brussels last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan & EC President Tusk - Picture by European Union

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan & EC President Donald Tusk – Picture by European Union.

 

The bilateral state visit to the Kingdom of Belgium was arranged by the Turkish head of mission to the latter country, Ambassador Mehmet Olcay and her staff, whereas the EU meetings were arranged by the Permanent Delegate to the EU, Ambassador Selim Yenel and his staff.

Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership following the Helsinki European Council of December 1999. Accession negotiations started in October 2005.

For more information:

Permanent Delegation of Turkey to the EU: www.avbir.mfa.gov.tr

Embassy of Turkey to Belgium and Luxembourg: www.turkey.be

Embassy of Turkey to the Netherlands: www.lahey.be.mfa.gov.tr

Europalia Turkey: http://europalia.eu/en/home/home_82.html

Turkish State Visit to Belgium on Blauw Bloed: www.eo.nl/blauwbloed/aflevering-detail/blauw-bloed-20151010t194130/

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