In 25 years of diplomatic cooperation, Turkey and Moldova targets want to increase their mutual relationship. In Chisinau on the occasion of the Moldovan-Turkish intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation, Ankara Deputy Prime Minister od Turkey, Hakan Cavusoglu offered an interview for Publika TV. The official noticed that the trade is developing dynamically, and Moldova is one of the country's main partners.
Lucia Cujba: "Mr. Cavusoglu, this year, Turkey and the Republic of Moldova have 25 years of diplomatic relations. How do you appreciate this quarter of a century?"
Hakan Cavusoglu: "Moldova is a friendly country, a very close country, for Turkey. In 2002, the volume of trade between the two countries was 40 million dollars and currently is 490 million dollars, which shows the development. In our 25 years, Turkey has supported development projects worth 60 million dollars. However, the volume of our trade is not at the desired level, but we aim to raise it to $ 1 billion. We have the necessary potential for it. Also, within ten months of the Free Trade Agreement between Moldova and Turkey we understand that this goal is achievable. In these 10 months the export of the Turkish production in Moldova increased with 20 percent and Moldovan imports to Turkey grew with 82 percent. I want to say that our relations are at a very good level, both economic, political and diplomatic ones. "
Lucia Cujba: "Turkey is one of the top five investors in the Republic of Moldova, especially Turkish business is very dynamic in Gagauzia." What investment projects are planned for the next period?
Hakan Cavusoglu: "Turkish companies opened about 10,000 jobs in Moldova." Recently, we offered an office to open a Moldovan commercial representative office in Istanbul, and Turkish construction companies made 290 projects in Moldova. It is about 28 projects, and Turkey will continue to invest in infrastructure. "Returning to your mention of Gagauzia ... Gagauzia, being our brothers and your citizens, is our common denominator, I believe that this common denominator will create new development opportunities. In Gagauzia there were pened free economic zones where we will continue to make investments. The mayoralties, non-governmental organizations and the TIKA agency make investments in Moldova an those are ready to implement the projects proposed by Moldova through the TIK agency A, anywhere in your country. We are now working on expanding the Free Trade Agreement. The taxes on agricultural products have already been discussed, and we believe that they may be eliminated in the future. "
Lucia Cujba: "Gagauzia is an important factor for the development of the relations between the Republic of Moldova and Turkey." Paradoxically, even if they speak Turkish in Gagauzia, people feel closer to Russia, how do you explain this attachment to Moscow? Could Chisinau and Ankara encourage the people from Gagauzia not to give up their identity and the cultural heritage? "
Hakan Cavusoglu: "In order to answer this question, we need to analyze the past. We have to ask whether Turkey and Moldova have fulfilled their responsibilities towards the Gagauzia, and we have to admit that after a period of communism it lasted for about 10 years and had an impact on this situation, and stability in politics is important. In fact, stability is important for any country, for the peace of society and for the economic development of this country. Gagauzia has begun to change its vision of Chisinau. Turkey surely wants Gagauzia to keep its identity and culture.Through the TIKA Agency, the Union of Turkish Towns and Organizations non-governmental organization, we do a lot of investment projects including the "Recep Tayyip Erdogan" retirement home, the "Recep Tayyip Erdogan" kindergarten. Another kindergarten was furnished by the Turkish side to clean the Stratan river from Ceadir-Lunga. In the coming period, we plan to invest in education. Against this background, the Ankara City Hall builds a youth center in Comrat. We will make all the possible efforts to develop our cooperation with Gagauzia. Of course, Turkish language in education is very important in Gagauzia. But the policies that will approach Moldova and Turkey are decisive. Regarding to the Gagauz attachment to Russia, I do not know if they have an explanation in this respect, but we want them to show respect to the Republic of Moldova, to respect their belongings and to be loyal citizens of this country. "
Lucia Cujba: "I wanted to ask - The visit of the Turkish President to Moldova was planned long ago. At what stage are those discussions?"
Hakan Cavusoglu: "In May, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim paid a visit to the Republic of Moldova, and a visit by the President of Turkey to Moldova is also expected, unless unpredictable situations occur." The visit is planned for spring 2018 . "
Lucia Cujba: "How do you appreciate the geopolitical context of the Republic of Moldova and what solutions does Turkey see for the Transnistrian conflict?"
Hakan Cavusoglu: "We believe that Moldova's strategic position is a very important and very valuable one." Moldova is a bridge connecting Europe with the Balkans and the Caucasus, which is an essential position. We support the current regulatory format, which also involves the OSCE mission. "
Lucia Cujba: "Thank you very much for accepting the interview for Publika TV.
Hakan Cavusoglu: "I want to thank you too. On this occasion, I want to give the people of Moldova the best feelings of friendship."