Our Consulate General, which was opened in 1925 in Jerusalem, has been carrying out its mission with an understanding that reflects deep-rooted historical, cultural and humanitarian relations between Turkey and Palestine in an effective and efficient manner.
Palestinian issue has always been at the top of priorities for the Turkish Foreign Policy. Herein, close ties of kinship and brotherhood of our people, who have co-existed for more than four centuries in the Palestinian territories, is undoubtedly the most decisive factor for this. Observing the traces of Turkish cultural existence in the third holiest place, Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as in almost all places of Palestine is a source of pride for a Turkish diplomat.
Turkey has always been a strong supporter of the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State, based on the pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. As a striking and the last sign of this support, Turkey fully backed the efforts of Palestine to gain the “non-member observer state” status at the UN on 29th of November, 2012. Needless to say, Turkey has always encouraged the initiatives to advance the Middle East Peace Process.
In order to advance the human capital of Palestine, in the context of the Turkish Scholarships, every year we offer the opportunity for more than 100 Palestinian students to receive higher education in Turkey. At the occasions of meeting with our Palestinian brothers graduated from Turkish universities, we are proud to see that they are given opportunities to serve at the public and private sector for the good of Palestine.
We also observe with great pleasure that comprehensive development assistance we provide to Palestine through TIKA and other Turkish governmental and non-governmental organizations, especially in education and health sectors, led to strengthening of the institutional infrastructure and capacity increase of Palestine. Being aware of its international responsibilities, Turkey offers humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees, in close coordination especially with UNRWA, related international UN bodies and other international institutions. In this context, Turkish non-governmental organizations together with TIKA, AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent act with great responsibility to provide basic humanitarian needs such as pharmaceuticals, flour and fuel.
Promoting our economic and trade cooperation with Palestine constitutes another important goal of us. We create point of contacts with the industry and chambers of commerce established in the cities that we visit and we come together with the Palestinian businessmen to explore the possibilities of cooperation. Our Commercial Counsellor has been of a valuable asset for the Consulate General striving to meet the expectations of the businessmen from both sides. The most important objective for the next period is to establish an industrial zone in Jenin with the support of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). Important steps have been taken to realize this important project which has been on the agenda for long time. We are certain that, Jenin Industrial Zone will serve as an important production, export and employment facility for Palestine and in this way it will make additional contribution to the peace process. I am also pleased to announce that Turkey and Palestine will be cooperating in the field of tourism.
As a Consulate General, another mission of us is to realize projects introducing Turkey and Turkish culture to wider audiences in Palestine. In this manner, we intend to organize a Turkish Culture Week every year in different cities of Palestine.
Finally, the consular section of our Representation, fulfills all kinds of consular transactions of both Palestinians and our citizens in the most effective and fast way, especially on visa issues.
In brief, we try to accomplish our responsibility as a Consulate General, for the existence of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State, based on the pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem being its capital, living in peace and security with its neighbors, also with the support of our Palestinian brothers.