Inauguration of the 5th Congress of International Social Sciences was held in Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia.
Zorlu Töre, Deputy Speaker of the Assembly of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Hüsnü İsmaili, Minister of Culture of North Macedonia, Mahir Yağcılar, Minister of Public Administration of Kosovo, Dr. Necip Fazıl Kurt, Senior Advisor to the Speaker of the GNAT, Tülin Erkal Kara, Ambassador of Turkish Republic to Skopje, representatives of Turkish institutions and corporations and many invitees attended the inauguration ceremony of the congress which was organised under the auspices of Speaker Şentop and was hosted by International Balkan University (IBU) with the support of various institutions and organizations.
Speaker Şentop expressed in his speech to the participants, “I would like to convey greetings of Turkey, whose heart beats with yours and our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s.”
Şentop indicated that after the end of Cold War, all humankind was optimistic and hopeful however, they were disappointed by bursting of ethnic and religion based conflicts all around the world and the Balkans also had its share.
Şentop emphasized that, uneasiness on a global scale and increasing xenophobia and conflicts related to those are jeopardizing mankind’s common future and is poisoning cohabitation climate and continued his words:
“We are regretfully witnessing corruption of values like democracy, pluralism, coexistence and respect for diversity and rising of a marginalized, exclusionist and hostile discourse. This is an imminent threat to humanity which needs to be eliminated as soon as possible. Eliminating this threat is a common task for humanity.”
Şentop reminded the terrorist attacks towards Moslims targeting churches and hotels on March 15, 2019 in New Zealand and on April 21, 2019 in Sri Lanka and stated that terrorism and violence against civilians can not be legitimized with religion and ethnic belonging or an ideology.
Şentop stated that these attacks and the likes must be strongly condemned and it is a human duty for everyone to stand against these.
Şentop mentioned the fact that we should not consider historical and national values as sources of inspiration to weaken or defeat other nations and continued, “We should not consider our common history as a reason to fight, but rather an opportunity to meet.”
Şentop stated that, “We are observing the friendship and cooperation between Turkey and North Macedonia with great satisfaction. As a token of this friendship, Turkey has announced its support to Republic of North Macedonia’s NATO membership. A relevant regulation which will actualize this support is currently on our Assembly’s agenda and it will be finalized and approved with a resolution of the parliament as soon as possible.”
Şentop emphasized that Turkey is the country of people who take pride in their history and the past continuing his assessment:
“There are two reasons for us to be proud. First of all, we are members of a nation who have won victories in the past that could have been achieved only with courage. Secondly, we are the children of a nation who had adopted a humane attitude towards various communities whom we had lived together and directed and whom we have never bullied or massacred throughout our history. We are confident of ourselves and our history without any exceptions. However, from time to time we observe various countries’ officials’ mistakes of claiming that Turkey has made tyranny and genocide in the past. We reject this indisputably and once and for all. Those who make these accusations are not friends of Turkey whereas those who wish to be Turkey’s friends would not express these allegations. On top of that, we bewilderedly observe that the countries who express these allegations have also experienced difficult times and events in their recent or distant history. An appropriate answer to this is a Russian saying, “If you are living in a house of glass, you should not throw a stone to another person’s window.”
Dr. Hüsnü İsmaili, Minister of Culture of North Macedonia stated that there are strong friendship and brotherhood relations dating back a long time between the states and people of Turkey and North Macedonia and reminded that Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Macedonia.
İsmaili stated that, “(Turkey) has always stood by us through all of our strategic goals and it has always provided full support in each and every field including politics, diplomacy, economy, defence, culture and humanitarian aid.” and added that the presence of the Embassy of Turkey to Skopje, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Yunus Emre Institute, Anadolu Agency (AA), Turkish Radio Television (TRT) and many Turkish institutions in North Macedonia is one of the most significant signs of these strong ties between North Macedonia and Turkey; hence they contribute to strengthening of relations between the two countries.
İsmaili indicated that the International Balkan University (IBU) is one of the most important investments of Turkey in North Macedonia and that Turkey’s relations within the Balkan region mainly with North Macedonia serve as a substantial bridge.
Tülin Erkal Kara, Ambassador of Turkish Republic to Skopje stated that IBU, which is a concrete manifestation of the deep-rooted friendship between Turkey and North Macedonia, contributes to the goal of growing educated generations both in the Balkans and in North Macedonia and achieving a more prosperous society; it has also successfully incorporated cooperation in the field of education to the existing solid bonds between the two countries.
Aydoğan Ademoski, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IBU stated that today is important for IBU and that various issues concerning the world would be discussed at the congress with approximately 500 participants.
Ademoski stated that, “Today, IBU has once again proved that it is the science center of not only North Macedonia but also a wider geographical region.”
Töre, Deputy Speaker of the Assembly of TRNC and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Dursun Erdem, Rector of IBU gave speeches within the framework of the program.
Plaques were presented after the speeches.