The presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey have been awarded at Cankaya Palace

12 november 2013, 14:40

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey have been awarded at Cankaya Palace.

The national anthems of Azerbaijan and Turkey were first played at the event.

After that, the decision of the Turkish Cabinet of Ministers to decorate President Ilham Aliyev with the State Medal and the decree of the Azerbaijani President to decorate President Abdullah Gul with the Heydar Aliyev Order were read out.

The Turkish President presented the State Medal to President Ilham Aliyev.

The Azerbaijani President presented the Turkish President with the Heydar Aliyev Order.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev addressed the ceremony.

President Abdullah Gul’s speech

Mr President Ilham Aliyev,

Dear Mehriban khanum, distinguished guests.

We have gathered here today in connection with the ceremony to award the State Medal, which will strengthen brotherhood and friendship between Azerbaijan and Turkey even further. I am pleased to present the highest award of our country, the State Medal, to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, my dear friend Ilham Aliyev. I feel very proud to present another influential representative of the Aliyev family with the State Medal, which was once awarded to the national leader and great statesman Heydar Aliyev. This medal is an indication of our sincere assessment of President Ilham Aliyev, who displayed exemplary leadership in strengthening fraternal relations and friendly ties between our countries - two states of one nation. At the same time, I feel happy to be decorated with Azerbaijan’s highest award - the Heydar Aliyev Order.

The fact that I have been decorated with this order, which bears the name of the late Heydar Aliyev, is clear evidence of ancient and eternal Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood.

Distinguished guests, we attach great importance to the continuation of our relations with Azerbaijan in the most solid form and based on friendship, brotherhood and good-neighbourliness. The existence of a leader who can protect Azerbaijan from dangers at a time of global and regional threats is a guarantee of the future of our relations.

Under the skilful leadership of Your Excellency, Azerbaijan has gained shining achievements in every field. During my every visit to Azerbaijan in the past 10 years, I always personally witnessed how the face of this fraternal country changed in skilful hands and became more beautiful.

With its comprehensive development and growing welfare, Azerbaijan became a country that can be envied in a short time. Every day, Azerbaijan strengthens its strong position in the region and in the international arena. With its successful achievements, Azerbaijan, which was elected a member of the UN Security Council in 2011 and completed its second presidency of the organization last week, proved its diplomatic power. It is pleasing that just 22 years after regaining its independence, the Azerbaijani people gained such important successes with their abilities and strength, which allow them to look to the future with hope. There is no doubt that behind these successes are the healthy foundations created by the late national leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev’s services to the country, which befit this heritage. Thanks to this strong leadership, ancient friendly and fraternal relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan have evolved into specific projects. These projects continue to become richer. By rapidly completing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline projects, we want to add new successful projects to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum energy projects.

Mr President, my dear brother, since you took office in Azerbaijan, you have been making great efforts for the further deepening of fraternal relations between our countries. With your great efforts, you have taken an exceptional place in the history of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations. It is a great honour for me to present Your Excellency with the highest decoration founded by the Republic of Turkey, the State Medal, for the leadership you demonstrated for the sake of the common interests of our countries. I would like to express my most sincere thanks to you and the Azerbaijani people for decorating me with the Heydar Aliyev Order, which I will be wearing with a great feeling of pride. In this regard, with a great feeling of respect I commemorate our ancestors and martyrs who made all kinds of sacrifices for Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and express my strong belief that our perfect brotherly relations will continue in the future.

Long live Azerbaijan! Long live Turkey! Long live Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood and friendship!

President Ilham Aliyev’s speech


Dear Mr President, my dear brother Abdullah Gul,

Dear Mr Prime Minister, my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan,

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Today is a very remarkable and historic day in my life. Today I was decorated with the highest award of the fraternal Republic of Turkey. It is a great honour and happiness for me. I want to assure you and the entire Turkish people that I will continue doing my best for the development of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations. I will try to ensure that Turkish-Azerbaijani friendship and unity strengthen, our joint projects are implemented and Turkish-Azerbaijani unity becomes eternal and unshakeable.

Receiving this award today, we take a look at the past again. We see that Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are rare in the world. We are united by history, ethnic roots, common culture, and at the same time, political-economic interests. There are enough peoples close to each other in the world. But never have these peoples been as close to each other as Azerbaijan and Turkey. Our unity and alliance are based on deep historical roots today. It is no accident that when Azerbaijan declared its independence, fraternal Turkey was the first to recognize our independence. Since then, our unity, friendship and brotherhood have been continuing and allow our peoples to unite and allow us to deal with issues of importance to our peoples and states together.

Over the past 10 years, I have been trying to ensure that Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are at a high level. The priority of our foreign policy is precisely Turkish-Azerbaijani relations. First of all, these relations determine our foreign policy. Turkey is our closest friend, brother and ally. In recent years, this alliance has risen to new levels. Today Turkish-Azerbaijani relations have become an important factor not only for our countries, but also for the region and the world. The political, economic and energy projects we are implementing unite us even more and make this unity eternal and irreversible. Of course, our unity has a positive effect on regional developments today. Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is the main condition for regional cooperation. Turkish-Azerbaijani unity is the main factor for regional security and stability. When we take a look at these issues again today, we see that Turkey and Azerbaijan have really travelled a great successful path in recent years.

Being in Ankara today, we see development here and are as happy about it as you. I have repeatedly visited Turkey over the past 10 years. This is my 16th visit and 3rd official visit. But I had not visited Ankara for several years. As I see development in Ankara today, I feel really happy. This is your great success and achievement.

Turkey’s development makes us stronger. The stronger Turkey today, the more comfortable Azerbaijan will feel. We are very happy that even in years of crisis Turkey was able to strengthen economic and political stability. The Turkish economy is successfully developing. All initiatives of Turkey are becoming a reality and Turkey is a global powerhouse today.

My brother President Abdullah Gul has special services in the implementation of all this work. Under your leadership, the country is developing and has already turned into an international powerhouse. Turkey is a very attractive country for friends and partners. The number of countries that want to be friends with Turkey is increasing. Your international authority is at a very high level, and as my dear brother said, Azerbaijan became a member of the United Nations Security Council. But before that, Turkey became a member of this organization. I am sure that Turkey will become a member of the United Nations Security Council again, because respect for Turkey is growing day by day in the world.

I and my dear brother President Abdullah Gul have been working together in various stages of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations. We have been working shoulder to shoulder. In Ceyhan, we participated in the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline together. In Kars, we laid the foundation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway together. I am sure that there will be more of such joint ceremonies, because the projects we are implementing are aimed at the future. We must make sure that the next generation keeps in touch in a friendly, united and fraternal environment, because we want our unity to be eternal, unshakeable and irreversible. I am sure that we will achieve that. In any case, the history of recent years allows us to say that.

Turkey’s future development causes no doubt in Azerbaijan and Turkey. Our fraternal country will only continue to develop and implement all tasks facing the country. Using this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to you for your constant support for Azerbaijan.

When Azerbaijan gained its state independence, Turkey supported us. Today our support for each other unites and strengthens our countries even more. Today Turkish-Azerbaijani cooperation stimulates the strengthening of positive trends. This unity is a decisive factor in economic, political and energy spheres. Today’s ceremony and today’s awards have a great symbolic meaning. This is the triumph of our unity, friendship and brotherhood. We will continue to base our relations on these strong foundations.

I would like to thank my dear brother President Abdullah Gul once again for highly valuing my efforts and activities. I want to assure the peoples of Turkey and Azerbaijan once again that I will continue doing my best for Turkish-Azerbaijani unity.

Long live Turkey! Long live Azerbaijan!

X X X

At the end, Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Abdullah Gul and their spouses Mehriban Aliyeva and Hayrunnisa Gul had a memory photo taken.

The State Medal, which is the highest award of the Republic of Turkey, was founded in 1988.

The State Medal, which is presented by the Turkish President, is awarded by the Cabinet of Ministers at the recommendation of the head of state. This award is presented to foreign heads of state for their services in developing friendly relations between states and bringing peoples closer together.