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Remarks at the Departure Ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey

July 22, 1991

President Bush. Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Prime Minister, and ladies and gentlemen. Barbara and I just want to simply thank you for our visit and for the warmth of this Turkish hospitality. We are very grateful.

A Turkish proverb reminds us, "A long journey is shortened by good companions." Well, our stay here has been brief, but our companions have been splendid. And the proverb applies equally to the quest for peace and prosperity. Its road is arduous, but good companions shorten it, as President Ozal and Prime Minister Yilmaz have proved over these past 2 days.

Mr. President, real peace means the triumph of a better life, not merely the absence of war. This goal requires stout hearts and open minds and will provide a fitting object for our new strategic relationship.

Turkish-American ties date back more than 200 years. But our goal must be more extensive political ties, deeper security ties, broader economic ties, and more enduring commercial ties. And I leave Turkey knowing that our ties are as strong as they have ever been and that they can and will grow even closer. Toward that end, President Ozal and I talked of how to broaden cooperation between our people in fields such as education, the environment, science, technology. And we discussed Turkey's commitment to democracy and the free market and how increased trade and investment can enhance our relationship as allies and friends.

We pledged to expand the military cooperation that helped liberate Kuwait. And our administration supports Turkey's priority objective of military force modernization, including its 160-plane F - 16 development program. We stand side-by-side in maintaining an international force to preserve stability on your southeastern frontier. And in that spirit, I'm pleased to announce that the United States will provide $1 million to Turkish villages along the Iraqi border that suffered economic losses during the refugee crisis.

And we will remain engaged with you, our Greek allies, the Cypriot people, and the U.N. Secretary-General in hopes of building a lasting peace in Cyprus. If a wall in Berlin can fall to human brotherhood, so can ancient hatreds on Cyprus.

I began with a Turkish proverb, so let me close with another one: "The bird with one wing cannot fly." Mr. President, you're a dear friend and colleague. And you know, as I do, that our strategic relationship has two wings, one extending from Maine to Alaska, and the other spanning your vast historic land. And together, let us fly toward a better future.

So, once again, my friend, thank you for this welcome, for the kindness that you and the Turkish people have shown over the past few days. And may God bless Turkey and the United States of America.

President Ozal. Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, ladies and gentlemen. We are coming to the end of the President Bush visit to Turkey. This visit has fulfilled all our expectations.

During this visit we have not only confirmed how strong the foundations of Turkish-American relations are but we have also been able to take new steps for a more comprehensive and deeper relationship, encompassing political security, economic and social fields.

The fact that the second phase of the F - 16 project has been agreed upon with a production target of 160 aircraft, that a steering group has been established to conduct intensive political consultation on all key issues of common interest, and to monitor other aspects of our relationship are some of the concrete steps demonstrating the political will and determination of our two countries to forge ever-closer relations.

This visit has also provided us with the opportunity of exchanging views on all the major issues concerning our two countries and confirming the identity of views among us. But alongside all these important issues, it gave all of us, Mr. President and Mrs. Bush, the opportunity to get to know you even better, to consolidate our friendship, and to appreciate once again how lucky the world, whole world, is in having such a great leader like you as the President of the United States at a time when such important developments are taking place in our globe that will affect all generations to come.

I'm asking you, Mr. President and Mrs. Bush, to convey the greetings and best wishes of the Turkish people to the American people. As we say goodbye we are all proud of the level the Turkish-American partnership has reached through our mutual efforts.

Thank you.

Note: President Bush spoke at 10:10 a.m. at Ataturk Airport prior to departure for Washington, DC. In his remarks, he referred to Kaya Erdem, Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, and Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar de la Guerra of the United Nations. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George Bush, Remarks at the Departure Ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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