Turkey's Minister for European Union (EU) Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said Tuesday that there was a strong Turkish lobby in the United States.
Bagis met with the representatives of the Federation of Turkish-American Associations (FTAA) over a luncheon in Ankara on Tuesday.
Speaking at the luncheon, Bagis said "we need to work together with the FTAA closely in the upcoming term".
Reminding that he was FTAA's two-term president, Bagis said that he was not just hosting the FTAA administration but many friends.
I have spent 17 years with the FTAA. I had many close friends at the FTAA. Back in 1991, we had organized the 10th Turkish Day Parade. The then Turkish consul general was Volkan Bozkir who is now the head of the Turkish Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Bagis said.
We really are proud of you. There is a strong Turkish lobby in the United States. I am confident that you are proud with Turkey. Turkey today has a different status. We are the world's 16th biggest and Europe's 6th biggest economy. We have a leader who can say 'one minute' to the world. We have a prime minister who has become the voice of the world conscience, Bagis stressed.
The Turkish economy continues to grow each passing day. Turkey has become a country its citizens within and outside are proud of, Bagis noted.
We need to work together to accomplish many things in the upcoming term. We will have a heart-to-heart talk today so you can better understand Turkey's feelings in New York and the center of the United Nations, Bagis underlined.
I congratulate the new president of the FTAA and wish you success. I expect an attractive Turkish Day Parade in May. I am confident that you will help Turkey's voice be heard in the streets of New York, Bagis also said.
FTAA President Ali Cinar, in his part, said that "Mr. Minister (Bagis) made great services to the FTAA. He is a statesman we follow closely. I thank him for his services to the federation".
As the new FTAA administration, we have been working for the past two months. We will inform Bagis about what we have done in the past 60 days, Cinar said.
The Turkish Day Parade will take place in New York on May 19. We will hold two other parades on May 5 and 6. We will not merely organize parades but other events as well, Cinar added.
Volkan Bozkir was among Bagis's guests at today's luncheon.