Award ceremony laudation address by Viktor Orbán in honour of Serdar Çam, President of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA)
30 June 2017, Ankara
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Great and noble goals can be achieved if there is a person leading their pursuit who is fully committed to them, heart and soul. The task which Serdar Çam has committed himself to as head of TİKA since 2010 is a great and noble mission. History has resulted in a major part of a nation’s cultural heritage falling outside the borders of its current state. We Hungarians are all too familiar with this feeling, and the resulting dilemma of what one should do with this cultural heritage. Your answer is the same as ours: if we do not protect it, if we do not preserve it, if we do not research it, if we do not show it to the next generation, we make ourselves weaker and poorer. Under the leadership of Serdar Çam, TİKA has done an enormous amount of work over the past few years in order to research and renew those elements of his country’s heritage located in Hungary: the remnants of the Ottoman era. The results speak for themselves. Thanks to your personal commitment, we have managed to find the remains of the tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent, and thanks to you the tomb and fountain of Idris Baba in Pécs have been restored – as well as the Turkish House in Szigetvár, which is now a museum. Another Turkish-Hungarian cooperation project attributable to the Honourable President – one of outstanding scope and value – will be the restoration in the near future of the Tomb of Gül Baba in Buda.
Under your leadership TİKA has provided Hungarian educational and health care institutions with continuing support, and it also supports the showcasing of Hungarian culture in Turkey. We are grateful to you for this.
With friendship we present you with the Middle Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit, awarded to you by the President of Hungary for the work you have accomplished. This decoration is an expression of the Hungarian people’s gratitude. Finally, I also wish to convey the best wishes of President János Áder. On behalf of the Hungarian nation, we thank you for your valuable and generous contribution.
May God preserve you, Honourable President.