President Erdoğan Meets With Galatasaray’s Former Ggoalkeeper Mondragon In Colombia

main_292President Erdoğan, who held a joint press conference with President of Colombia, noted that 7 significant agreements were signed between the two countries and said: “We held talks about cooperation in many fields and signed significant agreements today. We had not signed such agreements until today. It is the first time we took such steps and we carried the relations between us to a more determined level.”


Noting that Turkey had an embassy in Bogota and Colombia had an embassy in Ankara, which played a key role in accelerating the relations, President Erdoğan said: “With these steps, I believe that Turkey and Colombia are determined to overcome their problems and reach their goals together. Today, we held talks in the spheres of military, politics, economy, trade, education and culture and we signed 7 significant agreements. One of them is the agreement of cooperation on defense industry and Turkey has taken serious steps in this field. Cooperation Framework Agreement was signed between Turkey and Colombia. There is a memorandum of understanding in the field of agriculture, an action plan for cultural cooperation and a memorandum of understanding in the sphere of tourism. A letter of intent was signed to promote Turkish and Spanish languages. A protocol was signed regarding the exchange of 1991 Culture Agreement Approval Documents. We had not signed such agreements until today. It is the first time we took such steps and we carried the relations between us to a more determined level.”


Stating that a dream came true in Colombia under the visionary leadership of President Santos, President Erdoğan said: “Colombia is instilling hope and excitement in its region. As Turkey, we are closely following this process and we are pleased by the achievements of Colombia.”

Emphasizing that the struggle against terror is not a local issue, Turkey has greatly suffered from terror and has been struggling against it for 40 years, President Erdoğan said: “As we know what terror has cost Turkey, we are aware of its dire consequences in any country of the world. Therefore we believe that these issues can be overcome and solved through international solidarity and full consensus.”

Pointing out that he had a tete a tete with President Santos and they chaired meetings between delegations, President Erdoğan said that they will meet at a working luncheon and continue their talks.


President Erdoğan stated that Turkey has a significant place in construction sector in the world and is in the top 3, and that Turkish construction companies can participate in projects of infrastructure, superstructure and urban transformation in Colombia. Expressing that he will address to the Turkish and Colombian businessmen in Turkey-Colombia Business Forum with President Santos, President Erdoğan said that only three Turkish construction companies are active in Colombia, which is insufficient and they want Colombian companies to invest in Turkey. President Erdoğan stated that Turkish and Colombian companies can invest in cooperation, establish co-ventures in third countries, and that Turkey’s international company TPIC has invested $70 million in Colombia and it can further increase this investment with new means.

Thanking Colombia for granting the 5th air traffic line to Turkish Airlines, President Erdoğan stated that talks continue with the executives of Turkish Airlines, Turkish Airlines can have direct flights to there when technical problems due to high altitude are solved. President Erdoğan said: “When we overcome this obstacle, more Colombian tourists will visit Turkey than 25 thousand. Because, our tourism destinations are really popular and I believe Colombia is a popular destination also.”

Pointing out that when he assumed Premiership 12 years ago, the number of tourists visited Turkey was 13 million and the revenue was $8 billion, President Erdoğan underscored that the number of tourists visited Turkey increased to 42 million and the revenue exceeded $40 billion. Noting that tourisms is described as a smokeless industry, President Erdoğan said: “It actually is so. We have made substantial investments in tourism and will continue to do so.”


Voicing that he particularly wants to express his sensitivity about free trade agreement, President Erdoğan stated that the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) opened its 2nd branch in Latin America in Colombia, this is TIKA’s 49th office in the world and said: “Our TIKA office will be in cooperation with Colombia in all fields including culture and education. We will have the pleasure of being a social state together.”


President Erdoğan said: “Turkey is the President of G20 now. As the leader of G20, Colombia is the first Latin American country I visited. Other than the steps we will take, the EXPO 2016 in Antalya is of great significance. I know that Colombia is number one in biological agriculture. Our exposition in Antalya will not be temporary, it will be permanent. Thus, we would like to see Colombia in that exposition among us. Regarding education, we allocated 38 quotas to Colombia in 2014-2015 academic year. We can increase this number. This is not only cultural. We can easily see that diplomatic chiefs of mission of the future will be educated here. Similarly, Turkish students can study in Colombian universities. We can take very successful steps with Turkish students here. As Turkey and Colombia, I believe that we can form the vision of the future with my dear friend Santos. I would like to express my best wishes for the bright futures of Colombia.”


President Santos of Colombia stated that this visit is also significant because it is the first Presidential visit and took place during Turkey’s G20 Presidency. Reminding that he is the first Colombian President to visit Turkey, President Santos said that reciprocal opening of embassies and lifting visas strengthened our relations.”

Noting that they view Turkey as an important tourism destination of the world and Colombia has a great tourism potential, President Santos said that they can cooperate in tourism and they want to benefit from Turkey’s experiences in this sector. Expressing that Turkish Airlines wants to have direct flights to Colombia and when that happens, communicational ties will increase between the two countries, President Santos stated that they had an agreement on direct flights and solving some problems of Turkish Airlines.

Stating that the struggle against terror is a common and joint issue of the two countries, President Santos said: “Turkey is currently the joint chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. We are also a part of the global forum and are sharing our field experiences. We have important opportunities of cooperation regarding NATO and the Pacific Pact. We are closely following this matter in Latin America.”

In his statement after the meeting, President Erdoğan said that President Santos gave a meaningful surprise to him and his delegation by inviting Mondragon to the Presidential Palace. President Erdoğan stated that Mondragon played as the goalkeeper of Galatasaray, one of the most prestigious clubs of Turkey, for 6 years, he applauds Mondragon’s achievements in his football career, lastly he watched Mondragon’s performance in the World Cup. Expressing that he just learned Mondragon will visit Turkey with his family in March, President Erdoğan voiced that he will be pleased to host him and his family.

President Erdoğan stated that he talked with President Santos and they granted honorary consulate to Monrdagon. In his statement, Mondragon said that he spent the most significant 6 years of his career in Turkey, which he cannot forget, and he is greatly happy to be with two leaders, who love football.