Following is the message President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued on the occasion of the new year:
My Fellow Citizens,
We are leaving behind 2016 and entering 2017 with new hopes and expectations.
I pray to Allah that the new year will lead to favorable developments for all people in our country, region and the entire world.
The year of 2016 unfortunately became a year in which we went through many saddening incidents one after another.
We sustained many bloody terror attacks throughout this period starting with the suicide bomb attack in Sultanahmet and continuing with the incidents in Ankara, Gaziantep, Bursa, Diyarbakır and Mardin.
A large number of our security forces and citizens lost their lives in attacks by DAESH and PKK-PYD terror organizations along our borders.
The July 15 coup attempt, on the other hand, left, without doubt, its mark not only on 2016, but also on our entire Republican era as the most despicable terror attack and invasion attempt of our history.
Turkey has managed to turn this catastrophe into a new resurrection and a new beginning with the strong stand it took, together with its 79 million people, against the coup attempt.
Our nation duly responded that night to all domestic and foreign centers of treason with the unwavering determination it displayed to protect its country, flag, azan, state, independence and future.
Our martyrs, mercilessly massacred that night by FETO-member traitors, will eternally live in our hearts as the symbols of once again rendering these soils our homeland.
We all together once again witnessed the truth of ‘You may dislike a thing while it is good for you, and you may love a thing while it is evil for you’ in the aftermath of the July 15.
Thanks to measures we have taken, terror organizations that have kind of surrounded our state from inside have been dissolved and brought down one by one, and gangs that have tortured our nation for years have been destroyed.
In addition to the comprehensive cleaning in state institutions, these cancer cells have been and are being wiped out, so to speak, from every sphere, ranging from civil society organizations to business world.
This is a long-running struggle throughout which we should always be careful.
Our nation, with its determination to get rid of this scourge, has proved that it has the will strong enough for us to be confident about the future.
2015 was the year when the separatist terror organization’s true face was exposed.
2016, too, became the year when FETO’ ugly and bloody face was disclosed.
Likewise, the operation that started with the support of our country in Syria’s Jarabulus and advanced in the direction of al-Bab helped unmask DAESH and the powers behind it.
Our borders are thus being cleaned of all terror organizations, including PYD, YPG and DAESH.
My dear brothers and sisters,
I would like to express a fact, which I stress from time to time, once again on this meaningful day when we are about to welcome 2017.
We should duly name the period we are currently going through.
Turkey has been putting up a new war of independence in recent years.
Our national unity, territorial integrity, institutions, economy, foreign policy, in short all our assets that keep us on our feet as the state, are under a grave attack.
Terror organizations are just the visible faces and pawns of this struggle.
We are essentially in a fight against the powers behind these organizations.
Not only our country, but also our region and the entire world are all suffering the pains of passing to a new era.
If we can successfully get through this process of passage and can continue along our path without losing sight of our goals, a bright future is awaiting us.
Therefore, we should hold onto our unity, solidarity and brotherhood tightly.
That is what we mean by ‘ONE NATION, ONE FLAG, ONE HOMELAND, ONE STATE.’
As Mehmet Akif Ersoy, whom we remember with grace on his 80th death anniversary, says:
“Without first dividing it, enemy cannot conquer nation;
Hearts beating together, don’t bow down to any weapon.”
Thanks be to Allah, our nation discharges from its system whoever tries to create any division as soon as noticing them.
I am always proud of being a member of this august nation, which unwaveringly stands behind its country and state, just like it did on the night of July 15, against the separatist terror organization and DAESH attacks, and throughout the operations going on in Syria.
As a matter of fact, despite all the incidents we have gone through, we are uninterruptedly carrying on with our investments, megaprojects, and steps for the growth of our economy, with the support we receive from our nation.
We all together lived the happiness of many important achievements in 2016 such as the inauguration of Osmangazi Bridge, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Eurasia Tunnel, Ilgaz Tunnel, dams, power plants, factories, infra- and suprastructure investments, the satellite we sent to space, and the new helicopter we put into service, etc.
Today Turkey still ranks among the top states of the world in terms of growth rates. I suppose there is a Turkey walking towards a balanced budget.
In projections for the future, Turkey is classified as a country that will have upgraded from mid-income category to high-income category.
The fact that we are able to keep developing and growing despite our problems further angers and infuriates the circles that have designs over our country.
We will hopefully both stamp out terror organizations, and undersign much greater economic achievements in 2017.
There is, with the help of Allah, no worldly power that can deter this nation from its path as long as we enjoy our 80 million citizens’ support and hundreds of millions of brothers’ and sisters’ prayers.
Turkey will definitely achieve its 2023 goals, and implement its 2053 and 2071 vision.
May Allah help and bless us!
With these emotions, I remember with grace and gratitude all our august martyrs that have fallen down on the soil just like a rose for our flag and independence, and wish a speedy recovery to our veterans.
I wish success to our brave soldiers on duty along our borders, in Bashiqa, in Jarabulus or in al-Bab, who are working for the security of our citizens, brothers, and sisters.
I hope that 2017 will bring peace and welfare to our country, region and world.
Happy new year! I salute you all with respect.”