Queen Beatrix praised the glorious past and the important role Turkey currently plays in the region and the world.
Turkey is a stable factor in a turbulent region where existing powers and relationships are challenged, said the queen to Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Turkey is an example and inspiration for many people, said Queen Beatrix.
Beatrix held her speech during the state dinner in honor of President Gül and his wife in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The Turkish president started his 3-day state visit to Netherlands Tuesday morning.
Gül’s three-day-visit is the highlight of celebrations to mark 400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey.
The Queen hopes that the events, exchanges and contacts during this anniversary year will give special attention to economic opportunities.
The Dutch know not much about modern Turkey in general and I would also imagine that the knowledge about the Netherlands is modest of many of your fellow citizens, said Beatrix against Gül.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül was awarded the Dutch Medal of Honor, the highest honorary medal of the Netherlands. Gül began his visit to Amsterdam by laying a wreath at the Dutch national monument in downtown.
Queen Beatrix welcomed Gül and First Lady of Turkey Hayrünnisa Gül with a formal ceremony at Dam Square. Gül also met with executives of Turkish and Dutch companies while in Amsterdam.
The Netherlands have more than 16 billion dollars of investments in Turkey, Gül said, adding that the trade volume between Turkey and the Netherlands was over seven billion dollars.
President Gül attended the inauguration of the “Amsterdam-Istanbul: Levantine Chamber of Trade” exhibition and met the CEOs of several Dutch companies. Gül also addressed businesspeople at the Dutch-Turkish Business Forum.