Posted on 10 November 2010
Abdullah Gul has been given an award for his work in improving international relations. The Chatham House Prize was awarded to Gul in London by the Queen, for the strides he has made in improving Turkey’s relations with its neighbours and internationally, as well as modernising Turkey.
The Queen said: "I am delighted to welcome President and Mrs Gul to London to receive this important award.
"Mr President, I remember with gratitude your very kind hospitality during my state visit to Turkey in 2008.
"You have provided notable leadership and international statesmanship over many years and I offer my congratulations in presenting this award on behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs."
In the last year Turkey, under Gul has improved its relations with many of its neighbours in the Middle East and Europe. Gul himself has been directly involved in successfully bringing the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan together in a bid to resolve their disputes, and mediating between warring factions in Iraq.
These efforts, and those made to integrate Turkey with Europe, and secure membership to the European Union — not least because many of the steps taken in doing so have improved the Turkish democracy and human rights in the country — have all added to the praise for Gul as he was presented the award in Banqueting House, central London.
After receiving his award at a ceremony in, Mr Gul said the prize honoured the "resilience" of the Turkish people.
"Although I take personal pride in receiving it, the award presented to me tonight truly acknowledges the progress achieved by the Turkish nation in recent years despite many internal and external difficulties.
"I remember how Turkish people defined the nation’s misfortune following the unprecedented economic crisis in 2001 in the midst of prospects of war looming in the region."