Turkey has always stood by Sri Lanka - Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana | Sunday Observer

Turkey has always stood by Sri Lanka - Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana

4 April, 2021

Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise and set up formal diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka after Sri Lanka’s Independence and ever since Turkey has stood by Sri Lanka in many emergency situations, said Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.

He was speaking at the Sri Lanka–Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Association meeting held in the Parliament premises recently.

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Sri Lanka, Rakibe Demet Şekercioğlu and several Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Members of Parliament were present.

The Speaker said he was grateful to Turkey for the donation of medical equipment to Sri Lanka to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

State Minister Susil Premajayantha was appointed as the President of the Sri Lanka–Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Association and Parliamentarians J. C. Alawathuwala, Rishad Bathiudeen and Mohomad Muzammil were appointed as the Vice Presidents of the Association. MP Harshana Rajakaruna was appointed as the Secretary and MP Ishak Rahuman was appointed as the Treasurer.

Before the election of the office-bearers, the Speaker delivering the welcome speech said diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Turkey have a deep history dating back to the 19th century and the ties have been further strengthened and consolidated subsequent to the opening of resident diplomatic representations of the two countries, in Ankara in 2012 and in Colombo in 2013.

He said Sri Lanka–Turkey relations expanded to trade, economic, defence, tourism and educational cooperation and continue to flourish day-by-day.

The Speaker said, “Sri Lankans always admire the friendship of Turkey and Turkey stood by Sri Lankans in many emergency situations. With gratitude, we remember that President Recep Erdoğan, when he was Prime Minister in 2005 visited Sri Lanka after the tsunami in 2004 and gifted a housing settlement in Midigama for the families affected by the Tsunami.”