Their Majesties The King and Queen began the second day of their State Visit to Turkey with a Norwegian-Turkish business seminar in Ankara. The King opened the seminar which focused on renewable energy and hydropower.
Turkey has great potential for hydropower development, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish cooperation on energy between Norway and Turkey was signed at the seminar on renewable energy. King Harald made note of this when he opened the seminar:
Our cooperation is broad in scope, and designed to promote Turkish and Norwegian actors common interests. The hydropower sector is a case in point. This clean and renewable energy source furthers economic development and provides energy security. Not only is hydropower climate-friendly, but it also provides well for the energy needs of future generations.
Norway has wide-ranging experience with hydropower, and the King pointed out the potential for transferal of technical as well as administrative expertise.
Change of location
Following the opening of the business seminar, the King and Queen left Ankara and travelled to Istanbul where the remainder of the State Visit will take place. Soon after their arrival, the King and Queen had the chance to view the Bosporus Strait from the deck of the M/Y Sabah Rüzgari (morning breeze). This well-known strait which separates the European and Asian parts of Istanbul – and Turkey – is the sea route for the large number of ships that sail to and from the Black Sea every day.
Following the boat trip, King Harald and Queen Sonja met with representatives of the Turkish public sphere at a luncheon.
Seafood and Boys of Silver
In the evening the King and Queen were the hosts for President Abdullah Gül and Mrs Hayrünnisa Gül and other invited guests at a concert and buffet held at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski.
The dinner menu featured Norwegian seafood, but before the meal was served the guests enjoyed a brief concert with a performance by the Norwegian choir Boys of Silver and Kudsi Ergüner, a master of Ottoman music. Together they performed Den prektigkledde sommerfugl ("The splendid butterfly"), whose lyrics were written by the famous Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland and inspired by the Sufi tradition.
Facts about Turkey
Largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir
Total area: 770 760 km² (Norway: 385 186 km²)
Population in 2010: approximately 76.8 million
Official language: Turkish
Form of government: Republic
Head of State in 2013: President Abdullah Gül
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Norway were established in 1925, and the bilateral ties are excellent.
Norwegian exports to Turkey are increasing, with particularly strong growth in seafood sales. Statkraft has established itself for investing in hydropower development, and the number of Norwegian vessels being built in Turkey is steadily rising.
Over 400 000 Norwegians visited Turkey in 2012, and an increasing number are settling there. As of 2012 over 5 000 held settlement permits. Roughly 16 500 Turkish citizens and Norwegians of Turkish descent live in Norway.
Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.