The Republic of Turkey has been giving strong support to the Republic of Macedonia since its independence. Turkey is also supporting us in our road towards transformation into a contributor to global peace and security and growing into an equal partner of NATO. This was stressed by the Minister of Defence, Zoran Jolevski, on today’s ceremony in Bitola marking the anniversary of the completion of the secondary military education of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, where at the same time there was a promotion of the publication “Turkish-Macedonian relations throughout history”.
Minister Jolevski said that shared history gives numerous shining examples of cooperation and friendship, which is the basis upon which strategic partnership is built between the two countries. “The Republic of Turkey is the first country that sent a military attaché in the Republic of Macedonia, the first that signed an Agreement for Cooperation, the first that received officers from the Republic of Macedonia for education and the first that helped equip the Army of the Republic of Macedonia. The Republic of Turkey is among the largest donors of equipment for the ARM”, Minister Jolevski reminded. Today the cooperation with Turkey is the most intensive in the area of military training and education, and possibilities are being discussed for cooperation in the specialized industry, and both countries will have joint activities in the international mission “Resolute Support” in Afghanistan.
The publication that was launched today represents a joint project of both ministries of defence that began in 2010. In more than 600 pages, in two volumes and three languages – Macedonian, Turkish and English, the publication contains papers from 14 professors from both countries. The publication includes papers on Turks in Macedonia, the development of the Macedonian identity, the cooperation between Christians and Muslims, the Ottoman reform plans in Macedonia, the cultural heritage in Macedonia from the Ottoman period and many others. The work also includes articles that focus on the cooperation in the field of defence since 1991.
The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Macedonia, Zeynep Gunduz, the Turkish Brigadier General Suleiman Ertizman, the Deputy Chief of General Staff of the ARM, Major General Muhamet Racaj, and other dignitaries.