Gul: "Terrorism will no longer be an issue facing Turkey"
All means will be mobilized to eliminate terrorism from the list of issues facing Turkey, said President Abdullah Gul during a visit to the Mediterranean province of Hatay yesterday. Highlighting that people from various religious, sectarian and ethnic backgrounds have coexisted in peace and tolerance throughout Hatay's history, Gul said, "We should appreciate the value of our country, and use our energy to produce more rather than squandering it on futile things." Calling the removal of terrorism from the list of Turkey's issues a top priority for all relevant state bodies and security forces, Gul said Turkey will use all the tools at its disposal to accomplish this. After visiting the city hall, Gul addressed a large crowd of locals outside, pointing to Hatay's importance as a city of tolerance. He later visited Hatay's historical Uzuncarsi bazaar. Chatting with shopkeepers there, Gul was also served Hatay's famous dessert Kunefe, which is made with shredded dough (called kadayıf) and filled with a sweet cheese. Gul's visit also included a tour of Hatay's houses of worship. Along with his wife Hayrunnisa, Gul visited the Habib-i Neccar mosque and the tombs of two of Jesus' apostles, John and Paul, within it, followed by a visit to the city's synagogue. They also visited the Antiochian Orthodox Church. During these visits, Gul stressed the importance of freedom of religion. Stating that people from different religious backgrounds live in peace and solidarity in Turkey, Gul said, "We may have different religions, but all of us are working with mutual respect, love and solidarity to make our country better."