Anatolian Turkish Festival

Reha Keskintepe 03.03.2013
Good afternoon, everyone!

It is indeed a great pleasure for me and my wife to be in Sydney on the occasion of the Anatolian Turkish Festival and to be among you today. I would like to welcome everyone.

At the outset, I would like to acknowledge the presence of the Honourable John Murphy, Federal Member for Reid, the Honourable Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Aboriginal Affairs, the Honourable John Robertson, Leader of the NSW State Opposition, The Hon. Laury Ferguson, Federal Member, the Honourable Ed Husic, Federal Member for Chifley, the Hon. Craig Kelly Opposition Member for Hughes, Dr. Stephan Kerkheshian, Chairman of the Community relations Commission, Consul general of Turkey Ms. Gülseren Çelik, members of the media, friends, Ladies and gentlemen.

First, I would like to commend Mr. Rıdvan Manav, President of the Turkish Cultural Association for organizing this wonderful festival, and also express my appreciation to all those who contributed to its realisation.

I would like also to warmly greet all the artists, singers and performers who will take part in the festival, staged in one of the most picturesque places in Sydney, the Darling Harbour.

I am confident that like last year, when the festival was launched for the first time, this 2nd festival will be marked with great success and everyone will enjoy the many functions throughout the day and evening.

This colourful festival, I believe, truly reflects the importance that Australia attaches to multiculturalism.

When I think of multiculturalism, I think of harmony, mutual respect and solidarity between people from different background which all contribute to a vibrant society and democracy.

Cultural diversity implies a range of colors, richness, and a wonderful blend and that is exactly what we see here.

By adopting multiculturalism, Australia actually shows her determination for peace, equality, opportunity and respect for all.

Multiculturalism certainly raises Australia’s profile in the world, and gives a clear message as regards to the core values of this country.

The Turkish community is an indispensable part of the peace and harmony in Australia. It is definitely a hard-working community, striving to contribute as best as it can to the prosperity and well-being of this beautiful country and establishing, at the same time, a strong link between Australia and Turkey.

I am sure that in the years to come the contributions of Turkish Australians to every aspect of life will multiply and they will also play a significant role in strenghtening Turkish-Australian relations in the future. This festival is testimony to this role in the cultural field and I would only welcome them to expand their contributions to other areas, such as tourism, trade and investments.

As I stand here on this stage together with the Honourable Members of the Federal Parliament and NSW State Parliament, I wish to thank them for supporting this event with their presence. I feel very proud to see the accomplishments of the members of the Turkish-Australian community and how they actively take part in shaping the future of Australia, embracing and promoting its shared values. Congratulations once again to all of them!

To end my words, I wish that all of you enjoy the Festival and its many cultural events and have a good time. Thank you.

Monday - Friday

09.00 - 12.30 / 13.30 - 17.30

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