Fedactio @ Paleizenstraat 27, 1030 BRUSSELS
European Professionals Network (EPN) is hosting the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Belgium, Mr Mehmet Hakan OLCAY for its 13th traditional breakfast talks. The Ambassador who was assigned as the Brussels Ambassador of Turkey in 2013, will be the guest speaker of our breakfast talks on 31th of March at 10.30 with his speech entitled “A multi-dimensional approach to Turkey-Belgium relations: Social, economic and political aspects”. This meeting will allow to get the opinions of the Ambassador about the various aspects and dimensions of relations between Turkey and Belgium.
Mr Olcay was born in Adisaba in 1962. After having studied at the Los Angeles high school and University of California, he completed his master degree at the University of Amsterdam. The Ambassador has been working as the chief advisor of foreign affairs of prime ministry since 2010. He is married and has one child. He speaks English and Spanish.
Programme details are as follows:
Date: 31 March 2013, 10:30 – 13:00
Speaker: Mr. Mehmet Hakan OLCAY (Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Belgium)
Subject: “A multi-dimensional approach to Turkey-Belgium relations: Social, economic and political aspects”
EPN Traditional Sunday Breakfast with Ambassador Mr. Mehmet Hakan Olcay
European Professionals Network (EPN), for its traditional Sunday breakfast invited the Ambassador for the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Mehmet Hakan Olcay. The event took place on March 31, with the participation of over seventy professionals at Fedactio.
The meeting opened with breakfast during which the guests were presented with a lengthy breakfast of varieties of specialities. After breakfast the Ambassador was introduced to take the floor by Mr. Kaya, president of EPN. Mr. Kaya welcomed all the guests and introduced the Ambassador Mr. Olcay.
Mr. Olcay stated that he wanted the speech to be interactive instead of a monologue and that the guests were welcome to interrupt his speech whenever they felt they needed to add a point or ask a question. He gave accounts of his past experiences in countries he had worked in before Belgium and years long of experience in Europe has presented with an excessive knowledge about European countries and European Turks. He gave his contention that as an ambassador the last thing on his mind is to sit in his office and that he aimed to spend more time with daily people and with associations like EPN as they were the ones who truly knew what they experienced as Turks living in Europe. He highlighted the importance he gave to civil society organizations and the potential power they upheld to change the system for their benefits. He stressed that the Turkish population had thus the responsibility to invest more time, money and effort to civil society for their own position within society. And for this reason, Mr. Olcay added, he would be especially meticulous on spending more time with the civil society.
After Mr. Olcay’s speech the microphone was given to the eager guests who had a lot of questions. Most of the questions concerned their ideas, opinions and questions of how the situation of European Turks could be reversed to progress. The ambassador answered these questions by stating that the state or embassy cannot do this alone and that they were in need of a strong lobby group who had the aspiration to come together and make a statement. As an example he indicated the Turks in France that marched against the proposition of the recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide. There were also questions from the guests concerning the visa issue troubles and the invisibility of short term resident Turks and how they can be beneficial during their stay in Belgium. The rest of the participants including the ambassador himself interactively discussed these problems and their possible solutions for over an hour.
Upon the ending of the speech Mr. Kaya took the microphone and after thanking the ambassador and the guest for sparing their Sunday and their active participation ended the program.