16 October 2004
French Ambassador to Ankara, Bernard Garcia is returning home at the end of this month. Garcia who is in Turkey for 5 years, said in a modest farewell ceremony in the French Palace in Istanbul that "Departing is also a little bit of dying."
Garcia tells that one of the two countries that impressed him during his career was Turkey.
Garcia, who will probably appointed to a position related to Turkey in the Foreign Ministry of France, believes that the controversy in his country over Turkey is for domestic policy purposes. He said that; do not forget that France had a referendum for the membership of Britain too. Turkey is bigger than other new countries and is an important country. It is only natural to receive the stance of the French people about it.
However, he adds; Turkey has many things to do. You have to carry out intensive lobbying.
Garcia said he will make some recommendations to PM Erdogan and PM Gul whom he will visit next week and tell them that it was high time to create an influential group in France that will advocate Turkey. He said; this group to include politicians, academicians and businessmen should be able to give the necessary answers whenever necessary, about Turkey.
He also recommends the Turkish immigrants in France to organize and press their deputies in France.