Speech of H.E. Ambassador Yusuf Ziya Özcan at the Opening of “They had Trust in Turkey” Exhibition 15 May 2015, Library of Warsaw University

Yusuf Ziya Özcan 15.05.2015

“Dear Guests, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Vitam Serdeçnie,

I have the pleasure to speak to you in this
outstanding Library of the University of Warsaw for the opening of yet another
important exhibition.

This is the untold story of people of various faiths
and nations, who have due to many different reasons left their countries of
origin and found safe-heavens in the Ottoman Empire and later in the Republic
of Turkey.

Those who sought refuge on Turkish soil were sometimes
the leaders, national heroes, generals, soldiers, scientists, intellectuals,
even crowned heads of their countries; but more often they were modest
citizens.

These people of different origins and cultures had
faith in the Turks and entrusted their very lives, the lives of their children,
of their loved ones. Some later found the means to return home, some went on to
other lands, but many became Turkish citizens and remained forever on Turkish
soil.

Over the centuries, Turkish people have been known for
their strong tradition of hospitality. They have embraced the new comers
always with an open hearth, disregarding their ethnic, religious or other
backgrounds.

This continues today as Turkey is a safe-heaven for
millions of people fleeing from our neighbouring countries.

This exhibition provides information about some of the
famous refugees and major groups of refugees that have settled in Turkey,
including Polish people. Today Prof. Dopierava will speak about the stories of
Polish immigrants.

I would like to thank first and foremost the
University of Warsaw and the Library of the University of Warsaw for hosting
this important exhibition; Prof. Dopierava for his important research and all
of you for attending.

Let me end with a quotation which is dear to our
hearts and minds: Sultan Abdülmecit Han said: “I may relinquish my crown,
I may relinquish my trone, but those who have sought refuge in my country I
will never relinquish”.

Dziekuje barzo”

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