Outgoing Turkish envoy bids farewell

National 2 minutes, 35 seconds


TWO Bruneian students will be leaving for Turkey this month to further their studies in History and Chemistry, respectively, said the outgoing Turkish Ambassador Oguz Ates yesterday.

“They will be starting their studies soon. In fact, we just issued their student visas,” Oguz told reporters prior to a farewell luncheon organised by the Diplomatic Corps at The Rizqun International Hotel.

He said that various steps have been taken to develop closer cooperation in the area of education between the two countries following the establishment of the Turkish Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan in 2013. The opening of permanent representations in the respective capitals in 2013 has further cemented ties.

In his farewell remarks during the ceremony, he also mentioned that since the embassy opened here, Bruneian students have been encouraged to apply for Turkish scholarship programmes.

“I am glad to see now that (Turkish educational institutions) are becoming more popular among the Bruneians,” he said, adding that Bruneian students have also started to attend Turkish universities as exchange students.

The outgoing envoy spoke well of the two countries relationship, which he said has grown to new heights. “I believe it is important to maintain and further increase that momentum. There is always potential for further growth and even closer relations,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the significant achievements in foreign direct investment both ways from Brunei to Turkey and from Turkey to Brunei will continue in the years to come. He also said that the agreement on lifting mutual visa requirements for both citizens have opened new avenues for cooperation in the area of tourism.

Both sides formally signed an agreement to abolish visas during His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s state visit to Turkey in 2012.

On a personal note, he said he was honoured to be the first resident ambassador of Turkey to the sultanate. Although Brunei is far from Turkey, both nations enjoy many common bonds, he said.

He also hoped that his successor, who is scheduled to arrive in Brunei soon, will be engaged in activities to follow up what has been started three years ago.

Yesterday’s event was attended by heads of missions. In his speech during the luncheon, Qatari Ambassador Saleh Mohammed Al-Nesef, who is also Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, wished the outgoing Turkish Ambassador and his wife Magda Ates good health and prosperity as well as success in their new assignments.

Ambassador Saleh Mohammed lauded Oguz for the success of the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Brunei in 2013 and for being the first Turkish Ambassador to Brunei.

“We wish you well in your next destination, to a new challenge. We will miss your presence and participation in our events and activities,” said Saleh Mohammed.

The Qatari Ambassador then presented the outgoing Turkish Ambassador with a gift before giving the floor to him for his farewell remarks.

Oguz presented his letter of credence to His Majesty in December 2013. He will return to Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara on November 6.

The Brunei Times