His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Gül, the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey during the visit
His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Gül, the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey, visited Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy company as well as the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology; the region’s first homegrown, graduate level, research driven institute. This is the first visit of a President of Turkey to the UAE in 15 years and President Dr. Gül’s first visit to the UAE in his capacity as President.
His Excellency’s visit to Masdar enabled the company to showcase, first hand its efforts to accelerate, develop and deploy renewable energy and clean technologies.
Commending Masdar City and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology for the great strides they have taken in less than 6 years, His Excellency President Abdullah Gül Said: “Over the years, the Republic of Turkey has enjoyed very strong relations with the UAE; a relationship that is constantly growing through the various joint partnerships that have been forged ever since we established a mission in the UAE in 1979.”
“In the past five years, Abu Dhabi, through Masdar has become a center of gravity for the dialogue on the development and dissemination of renewable energy and clean technologies – as the President of a country that enjoys great renewable energy potential – it was very important that I ensure that Masdar City and the Masdar Institute of Science and are included in my tour of the UAE.
President Dr. Gül’s visit is one of his stops during his two day stay in the United Arab Emirates. His Excellency previously served as the Turkish Foreign Minister from 14 March 2003 – 28 August 2007 and Prime Minister of Turkey from 18 November 2002 to 14 March 2003.
Turkey’s commitment to renewable energy is reflected in its 2011 announcement of its goal to shift 30% of its power generation to renewables by 2023. Turkey has a substantial amount of renewable energy potential and the utilization rates are growing. Hydro, wind and solar energy resources represent Turkey’s major portions of renewable portfolio. Latest statistics show Turkey’s hydro power installed capacity exceeding 14,500MW. Turkey has increased its installed wind power capacity from 18MW in 2003 to 1,300MW today. It plans to increase its total capacity of solar power plants to 600MW by the end of 2013 through private sector investments.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said, The President’s visit to Masdar is a clear reflection of Turkey’s keen interest in renewable energy, and we are looking forward to positive bilateral and international cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy between both countries.
Turkey is a country that is highly engaged in energy diversification; we see great potential for engaging actively in the dialogue on the acceleration, development and deployment of renewable energy technologies.”
During the visit, President Gül toured Masdar City – the low-carbon, low waste development and the campus of the Masdar Institute – the Middle East’s first home grown, graduate level research driven institute dedicated to renewable energy and clean technologies.
President Dr. Gül is known for his strong support to higher education which is reflected in his career. His Excellency studied Economics at the Istanbul University and received a PhD degree from the Istanbul University in 1983.
In his visit to the Institute, the President was received by two Turkish MI students – Abdullah Kaya, a Masters student specializing in Engineering System Management (EMS) and Sueda Saylan, a PhD student, and experienced firsthand the strategic long-term commitment Abu Dhabi is making towards nurturing the human capital required in supporting the growth of the renewable energy industry.
Diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Turkey include extensive cultural and economic ties. The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey was inaugurated, in Abu Dhabi, on 16th April 1979. Recently, Turkey has become one of the UAE's largest trading partners, with USD 9 billion in annual bilateral trade - triggering a rise of 800 percent in the last seven years. In an attempt to enhance tourism bonds, the UAE launched new Etihad Airways flights to Istanbul in 2009, serving the city four times a week.
In 2010, both nations pledged to improve commercial relations through common projects and convene officials to determine possible areas of cooperation moving forward. Emirati businessmen have been encouraged to invest in Turkey, as part of Turkey's ongoing privatization efforts. According to the Turkish embassy, the number of Turkish companies established in the UAE is over 400, with 75 of those operating in and around Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in 2010, delivered a keynote address at the third annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, highlighting Turkey’s commitment to the development of renewable energy and support of global initiatives to adopt clean energy around the world.
The delegation’s visit started with a short explanation of Masdar City at scale model followed by a ride in one of the Personal Rapid Transit Pods (PRTs). Upon arriving at the PRT station at Masdar Institute campus, the delegation was escorted to sign the VIP guest book before being taken to a tour around the Masdar Institute Campus.