PM Gruevski's address in honor of Day of Education in Turkish Language

By observing such holidays, we nourish tolerance, mutual respect, learn about and live with each other, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said late Friday at the main event organized in Skopje in honor of December 21 - the Day of Education in Turkish Language - national holiday of Turks living in Macedonia.

For the last few years Macedonia's Government has invested a lot of hard work and energy in creating a developed country that will provide climate for meeting the interests, needs of all ethnic communities in the country, Gruevski said.

"The cooperation and respect do not start and end on great holidays. Such attitude is constant and encompasses all spheres of our mutual interest," Gruevski said, remanding that Macedonian and Turkish Ministers of Culture signed a Programme for Cultural Cooperation 2013-2015, which envisages new projects towards intensification of cooperation and increased communication among institutions and associations, as well as an agreement over opening of cultural centers in both countries.

Namely, the Macedonian culture center will be situated in Istanbul's Taksim square, whereas the Turkish culture center in Skopje's Kursumli An.

Referring to the bilateral cooperation in education, Gruevski said that that in addition to lessons in Turkish language at numerous primary, secondary schools and universities throughout Macedonia, a new student program for learning the old-Turkish language was opened at Skopje University 'Ss Cyril and Methodius'. The universities of both countries have been also nourishing excellent cooperation, namely 1.000 students from Turkey are in Macedonia at the moment and large number of Macedonian nationals are enrolled in some of Turkey's universities, he added.

Gruevski reminded that the two countries had also signed Protocol for cooperation in the sphere of education and would soon sign an agreement on diploma nostrification.

"Furthermore, we have made progress in the economic cooperation, investments, health care and many other spheres, significant for our citizens and our two countries, which speaks about deepening, advancing of the overall Macedonian-Turkish relations. Macedonia's Government will keep working on advancing these inter-state relations, as well as on preserving the identity specifics of Turkish and all other communities in the country," Gruevski said.

The event, taking place in Skopje Universal Hall, was attended by President Gjorge Ivanov, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, representatives of MATISITEB - Union of Turkish NGOs in Macedonia, Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) ...

By a decision of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 2007, the Day of Education in Turkish Language - December 21 became a national and non-working day for the Turkish community in the country.