LJUBLJANA/BLED, 7 May 2012 - On Monday, 7 May 2012, the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) presented the award "World Personality of the Decade" to Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The award was officially presented by former President of the Republic of Croatia and the Honorary President of the IFIMES International Institute Stjepan Mesić and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Vice-President of the Advisory Board of the IFIMES International Institute Zoran Živković.
At the award ceremony, a speech was delivered by the Director of the IFIMES Institute Zijad Bećirović, and the letter from the President of IFIMES Council Craig T. Smith, former White House Political Director, was read.
Prime Minister Erdogan thanked for the award and delivered an extensive speech in which he presented the role Turkey plays in international relations, stressing that the country will continue its active co-operation in the international community.
During the last decade, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has become a recognisable leader in the world. During his leadership, Turkey has managed to make an economic breakthrough which has brought numerous positive changes in all fields. His contribution to global stability and security is especially visible in the Middle East and Balkan regions. Under his leadership Turkey has become a country needed by both the East and the West, and Erdogan has become a recognised world leader. "He wins special praise for his efforts to establish cooperation and dialogue within Turkey as well as in the neighbouring countries, the region and the world," was stated in the laudatory speech, pointing also to numerous initiatives he has taken. Special stress was laid on the Alliance of Civilisations initiative he proposed together with the former Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero to United Nations in 2005. The initiative was marked as an attempt to unite societies against extremism and to overcome various inter-civilisational prejudices, misconceptions and polarisation that represent a potential threat to world peace.
The most difficult task for every politician and prime minister is to win recognition in their own country, especially in the period of the global economic crisis. Erdogan and his government managed to make an economic miracle. He has thus won recognition not only at home but also in the wider region and in the world. The numerous initiatives he has taken have shown that he does not follow selfish interests but aims to contribute to regional and global stability and security.
Prime Minister Erdogan has proven that the modern world needs Turkey and that Turkey needs the modern world. Therefore the award also represents a form of recognition to his closest friends, co-workers and all the citizens of the Republic of Turkey, was stated at the conclusion of the laudatory speech.
Ljubljana, May 7, 2012