News Centre – TDO – A reception, hosted by Thailand’s Ambassador to Turkey Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit was held at the Residence of the Ambassador of Indonesia in Ankara to mark the 51sr anniversary of the founding of ASEAN.
The reception was attended by the ambassadors of ASEAN countries, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Head of Asia-Pacific Office Namık Güner, ambassadors of China, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Korea as well as many embassy personnel.
Thai Ambassador Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit, speaking as the President of the Ankara ASEAN Community said the following on the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of ASEAN:
“Mr. Namık Güner Erpul, Director General of the Department of Asia and Pacific Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey,
“My Dear fellow ASEAN Ambassadors,
“Ambassadors of the ASEAN Dialogue Partners, and ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partners,
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
“First and foremost, please allow me in my capacity as the Chair of the ASEAN Ankara Committee, AAC, and on behalf of my fellow ASEAN Ambassadors to extend our warm welcome, and express our appreciation to you for your kind presence today as we celebrate the auspicious occasion of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, on this particular day
51 years ago, with the ASEAN Flag hoisting ceremony.
“I wish to take this opportunity to express our deep apprecıatıon to
H.E. Ambassador Wadana, Ambassador of Indonesia for graciously hosting this important ceremony at his beautiful Residence for another year. May I also congratulate Ambassador Selverajah of Singapore on his leadership as Chair of the AAC during the first half of 2018, as well as for Singapore on-going outstanding Chairmanship of ASEAN in our capitals.
“The ASEAN Day is an opportunity for the members of the ASEAN community around the world to come together, once a year, and celebrate the ties of friendship and solidarity that bounds us together. The presence and participation of so many ASEAN Dialogue partners and ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue partners this year, is indeed a testament to the effort, dedication, and far-sighted vision of the founding fathers of ASEAN who envisaged an ASEAN that not only concentrated on accelerated economic growth, social progress, and cultural development of the region, but also promote regional peace through providing support and assistance to each other, while enhancing cooperation with other nations and international organizations with similar aims and purposes.
“From an initial grouping of 5 nations, ASEAN slowly expanded to finally include all 10 nations of Southeast Asia in 1999, all the while remaining mindful of the fundamental philosophy of mutual respect, non-interference, and cooperation as well as pursuing the approach of integration, outward looking, openness and inclusiveness. It has been built upon the three community pillars of Political-Security Community, Economic Community, and Socio-Cultural Community, and the ASEAN Economic Community since 2015. It has been a long road of trials and errors, of sharing experiences and lessons, best practices and collaboration. This unique ASEAN way have enabled ASEAN to resolve some very demanding, highly sensitive and challenging situations in a peaceful and effective manner throughout the years.
“The partnership and cooperation with the 10 Dialogue Partners (Australia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, United States) and 4 Sectoral Dialogue Partners (Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland and Turkey), as well as the ASEAN-led platforms including the ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, have helped to develop predictability and complementarities amongst its members, thus enhancing confidence-building and contributing towards regional stability, has become an important accomplishment for ASEAN and the region as a whole.
“Although I was not here in Ankara at the time, I have been informed that one year ago, right here in this very room, we extended our congratulations to Turkey on being accepted as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN at the 50th Foreign Ministers Meeting in the Philippines. But even before that, Turkey had been actively engaging with ASEAN since 1999, and with the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Laos in December 2017, Turkey now has Embassies in all 10 ASEAN member countries. In the past few years, Turkey’s economic engagement with ASEAN has also been on the rise, as well as the people-to-people contact with Turkish Airlines now flying direct to 8 ASEAN cities from Istanbul.
“But despite the already close ties and cooperation, there are still more rooms for improvement, as there always are, and the AAC looks forward to working with our Turkish counterparts as well as our network in the private sector, the academic sector as well as the media to further enhance and strengthen the relations between Turkey and ASEAN. ASEAN’s strength comes from our diversity, but I believe the strength of the relationship between ASEAN and Turkey lies in the complementarities, and as our people learn more and more about each other, we will go from strength to strength to raise the relationship onto a new plateau.
“On this note, may I once again express my appreciation for your kind presence. I also wish to express my thanks to the Special Working Group of the ASEAN Ankara Committee, and everyone involved, for their hard in the arrangement of the ceremony today. Please enjoy the ASEAN food prepared by our 7 ASEAN Embassies.
“Thank you. Kob Khun Kha.”
The foundations of the ASEAN Organisation were laid down with a declaration of five articles signed in Bangkok on August 8th 1967 by the foreign ministers of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The declaration listed the aims for the establishment of ASEAN as economic, social, cultural, technical and educational cooperation and the maintenance of regional peace and stability while respecting justice, the law and the principles of the United Nations.
While halting conflicts and establishing political stability were the foremost priorities of ASEAN during its early years, in the post-Cold War world efforts have focused on developing economic cooperation.
The Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia Agreement signed in 1976 and the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Agreement signed in 1995 transformed ASEAN into a legally binding organisation.
Relations between Turkey and ASEAN
Turkey decided to develop its institutional ties with ASEAN in 1999 and in this framework it declared its intention to become a dialogue and sectoral partner. As the first step to developing its institutional ties with ASEAN, Turkey became party to the Amity and Cooperation Agreement (ASEAN/TAC) at the 43rd Meeting pf ASEAN Foreign Ministers held in Vietnam on July 19th-23rd 2010.
In addition to the signing of ASEAN/TAC, Turkey’s Jakarta Embassy was accredited with ASEAN the same year.
Turkey was invited for the first time to the ASEAN Summit and Meeting of Foreign Ministers in 2013, as the special guest of the then term president Brunei. Turkey attended the meeting, represented by former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Turkey was next invited to the 47th Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers held in Naypyidaw on August 8th-10th 2014 as the special guest of the then term president Myanmar, and was represented by Deputy Development Minister Mehmet Ceylan, as the meeting coincided with the presidential election in Turkey.
At the reception Asian dishes were offered to the guests.