Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“We will defend our rights arising from international law in the Aegean and Mediterranean”

12.09.2020 / İstanbul

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they strongly condemn those trying to meddle with Turkey's rightful and national issue in the Eastern Mediterranean from thousands of kilometers away, saying, “Turkey is able to protect all air, land and sea borders. We will defend our rights arising from international law in the Aegean and Mediterranean.”​

TOBB University of Economics and Technology (TOBB ETU) Faculty of Law Diploma Ceremony was held on the Island of Democracy and Freedoms with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

TOBB President and TOBB ETU Board of Trustees Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech at the ceremony, stated that they strongly condemn those trying to meddle with Turkey's rightful and national issue in the Eastern Mediterranean from thousands of kilometers away, saying, “Turkey is able to protect all air, land and sea borders. We will defend our rights arising from international law in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Let everyone know that if the matter is our homeland, the Turkish nation is one and united. I'd like to underline a matter here. The President of Turkey is Turkey! Those who say 'The president is separate, the Turkish nation is separate', have received their answer. As yesterday, we will not take a step back in protecting our marine homeland.”

Reporting that TOBB University of Economics and Technology is sending off its 13th term graduates, however graduation ceremony is not being held due to the pandemic Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Therefore, we wanted to do something different. This was where democracy and the law were cut down 60 years ago. We wanted to meet with our graduates of TOBB ETU Faculty of Law here. We wanted our country to see the past, what troubles we have been through, to see it in place, to feel it. This ceremony has a different meaning for this reason.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Yassıada is symbol of sadness and a fortitude which expresses love for the nation and the homeland even unto martyrdom, “On this occasion, we remember and pay our respects to three martyrs of democracy, Adnan Menderes, Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan who, while fighting for the country, were forced to pay the heaviest costs. May Allah give them all place in heaven, and may their souls be praised.”

The TOBB President stated that, under the orders and patronage of President Erdoğan, turned this island visited by none and abandoned to its fate, into a giant monument, a symbol of national will and democracy.

“TOBB ETU is the most important work that our community is proud of,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said. When establishing TOBB ETU, we aimed to raise young people who carry our nation to the future, produce technology, and invent. Praise Allah, the seed we planted has taken. Today, TOBB ETU has become a university that exports ideas and technology to the world. We are among the best young universities in the world, according to international indices. Our scientific research programs are developing rapidly. Our number of graduate, PhD students and faculty members are constantly increasing. Our incubator, Garage, has companies competing with Microsoft, exporting technology to Nokia.

Our Faculty of Law students also graduate with 1 year of work experience and 2 foreign languages thanks to our joint education programs. Our faculty is the first in Turkey in judicial examinations. In the Fictional Trial Contests, our students lose to no one. Our graduates are swell our chests with pride not only in Turkey but all over the world in bar exams.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu also addressed the graduates, “Now you are a TOBB ETU graduate! Be fair and listen to the voice of your conscience. I have no doubt that you will be a lawyer who will serve the future of this country. Try to make the right strong, not the strong right. We trust you. We're very proud of you. We expect a lot from you on behalf of our country.”

- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also began his remarks by congratulating all the students who experienced the joy of graduation today.

Wishing the graduating students a lifetime achievements, Erdoğan thanked the families and academic staff of the university who contributed the most to the achievements of the students.

Erdoğan said that during the 16-year period since the founding of the university, it has become one of the most distinguished educational institutions in the country, and said that the majority of Turkey's highest students who have the highest exam success today prefer this university.

President Erdoğan stated that the university's common education model contributes greatly to its success, and said: “This model, which includes sharing experience as well as knowledge, provides our young people with significant advantages in their professional lives. I believe that every single graduate here will serve the development of our country as a well-educated judge, prosecutor or lawyer, and strengthen our justice system. Undoubtedly, it is important to assimilate moral and human values as academic achievement and internalize these values. In particular, our law school graduates need to perform their professions with an understanding that centers on conscience as well as good legal knowledge. I believe that the graduates of our University of Economics and Technology will make their differences in this regard.”

- “The cost of the February 28th intervention to our country's economy reaches 380 billion dollars”

Erdoğan stated that the graduation ceremony of the law school also holds meaning as it coincides with the 40th year of the September 12th Coup on the Island of Democracy and Freedoms, and that “September 12th, 1980 is engraved in the memory of our nation as one of the darkest days in our political history. This coup, which has brought Turkey to the brink of great destruction economically, politically, diplomatically and legally, lost ten years for our country.”

President Erdoğan noted that every attempted coup has serious costs to the country, and said, “The 1960 coup condemned our country to the IMF, and the 1971 memorandum condemned our people to gas, flour, sugar queues. The 1980 coup has broken the hearts of our nation for years. The cost of the February 28th intervention to our country's economy is 380 billion dollars. Rather than economic bills, the real impact of coups is the grave destruction it causes on our justice system. In all of the coup attempts, the justice system has served as the stick of oppression, not as the manifestation of justice. As a result of the lawless decisions of the coup courts, a Prime Minister and two Ministers were executed on May 27th, and young people under the age of 18 were sent to their gallows by raising their age on September 12th. All of these, applauded by the coup plotters have undermined our people's trust in the judicial system. This is the mirror of Turkey's struggle for democracy. This place is very important. It is a symbol of the Turkish democracy hitting rock bottom and its consequent rise. Our nation has called it 'Mourning island' for years due to the shame of the Yassıada courts. And the coup plotters wanted Yassıada to be a cautionary tale. The nation has been threatened with the fate of Adnan Menderes and his friends for 60 years.”

Erdoğan said that Yassıada's shadow has lain over Turkish politics for many years, “We have been subjected to the same threats many times in this journey in service to our country. By turning Yassıada into the Island of Democracy and Freedoms, we paid our debt of loyalty to our martyrs and made this a monument of our democracy.”

Erdoğan congratulated TOBB, who took responsibility for the fact that the Island of Democracy and Freedoms became a reality, said: “We strive to move Turkey's fight for stability forward in all areas. With the reforms we have implemented, especially the Presidential System of Government, we have eliminated all the guardianship marks over our democracy, put an end to the bans, expanded the areas of freedom, fortified security and justice. We have made the national will dominant in this country as the President's Alliance. With our July 15th saga, we taught guardianship zealots a lesson they will never forget. Besides democracy, we have moved our country to unimaginable levels in all areas, especially education and health. Today, Turkey is peaking in the economy. And the West is going to lower our score again? No matter what you do, your scoring is worthless. The truth stands. Our facts are very different.”

- “Our greatest desire is not to experience the problems we have experienced in our youth”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan noted that with the reforms made, the rights and freedom of citizens have been expanded; in the field of the judiciary, the belief in the manifestation of justice has been restored. He addressed the youth:

“We have worked night and day to leave a more beautiful, more prosperous, more democratic country for our youth. In this process, young people, our greatest desire is that the youth do not experience the troubles of our past. Thankfully, we were able to build a freer and safer Turkey than 18 years ago. I hope you won't encounter the troubles we've been through. You will not be exposed to the pressures, provocations, tensions and conflicts we were subjected to. I hope you won't suffer our troubles. You will receive, instead of a climate of conflict, a just and solution-producing political tradition. You will live as citizens of a respected, respected country that has solved its chronic problems, strengthened in domestic politics, foreign policy.”

Erdoğan said that the country's success chart will go much higher with the efforts of young people, and that they are focused on implementing the 2023 goals, and that young people will build the Turkey of 2053 and 2071.

Erdoğan expressed confidence in the young people he sees as the guarantee of the future as President of Turkey, and expressed his gratitude to academics for their efforts.

President Erdoğan ended his speech with, “May Allah protect our country and our nation from all kinds of coups, guardianship, and provocations which have pitted brother against brother.”

- TOBB ETU Rector Prof. Dr. Yusuf Sarınay

TOBB ETU Rector Prof. Dr. Yusuf Sarınay said that since the day TOBB ETU was founded, it viewed growing entrepreneurial and innovative manpower as the greatest contribution to Turkey's future in order to enrich Turkey and reach its 'Strong Turkey' goal.

Sarınay reminded that TOBB ETU incorporated the law school in 2009 in order to train qualified lawyers to defend the rule of democracy and law and fair rulings. 

After the ceremony, Hisarcıklıoğlu took a commemorative photo with young lawyers and toured the island.

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