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22.11.2012

Chers Mesdames, mesdemoiselles et messieurs,

Avant de m’adresser en anglais à une audience si distinguée je préfère vous saluer en votre très belle langue qui a une longue histoire en mon pays et donc une puissante influence sur notre vie intellectuelle et culturelle.

‘When I saw the house of Artemis that  mounted to the clouds, those other marvels  lost their brilliancy, and I said, “Lo, apart from  Olympus, the sun never looked on aught so  grand.” So wrote Antipater of Sidon when he faced the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished delegates,

I come from that city which shines, even dazzling the very eyes of the sun.

A city, where Asclepius, the God of Health, wandered the antiquity with his snakeentwined staff, curing the sick and the injured.

I come to you from İzmir, from Smyrna. And I come bearing the strong support of the

Turkish Parliament for İzmir’s EXPO 2020 candidacy.

In this city, the mountains face the breaking dawn, casting their shadows upon the waters of the Aegean. The city wakes up into peace, nature and abundance. After all, İzmir was housed by the Goddess of Fertility. Even garlic was created by a long fall of rain on İzmir, causing an ancient recipe to fall to pieces and mingle with the soil. İzmir smiles proudly.

We inherited this city from the glorious civilisations of the past. In turn, we would like to share this heritage with the future of humankind.

Those who regret their recklessness vis-avis nature, come to this city to find daphne leaves, olive groves and free-spirited flamingos.

Across the Gediz Valley, where herbal plants reach towards the bright blue skies, wild mountain flowers that lend their names to songs meet marvelous rivers and together they reiterate a promise: Health for All.

Prejudice can even find fault in a disabled  woman. But on the Kordon esplanade she may sit in her wheelchair and fish in peace, knowing that İzmir has been free of prejudice for long ages. A Levantine enjoying his olive oil and fava beans in Velvet Castle will confirm this without hesitation.

The wonderful city of İzmir  wants to host EXPO 2020.

And promises a wholehearted welcome that  will embrace one and all. Because İzmir knows that a city which can accomodate the disabled, can care for the elderly, the pregnant, the children and the sick alike. Attend closely to this climate, the sea, and the city. You will discover the secrets of a life with fortune and prosperity.

Standing on the pier, watching the ships that connect the world to İzmir and İzmir to the world, as they come and go, you will understand  how greatly İzmir deserves you.

Looking forward with excitement to EXPO 2020 İzmir, I would like to thank you all very much.

Merci de m’avoir écouté , Şükran,  Şişi,  Sbasida,  Obrigado