The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili awarded the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Golden Fleece Order
6 years ago, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Georgia first to encourage us, he told me what his grandmother used to tell him about Batumi - this is a city, with white marble walls, the most beautiful and brilliant city on the Black Sea Coast.
Then Batumi was far from this characteristic, but it is becoming such a city that the Prime Minister’s grandmother and many generations remember.
Today we see the most wonderful hotel on the Black Sea Coast and it represents a symbol of our connection and cooperation.
6 years ago, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan together with us visited the customs he said that there would be visa free regime between Georgia and Turkey and he kept his word.
He at the same time said that there would be free trade between Georgia and Turkey and he again kept his word.
He said that we would have joint airport and it came true as well.
Batumi Airport is a Turkish-Georgian airport on the territory of Georgia.
He said that people would have no obstacles on the borders and more than 2 million people cross out border today.
We are uniting our border crossing points and our citizens, according to the new rules will be able to travel without foreign passports.
I must underline that I have had good connections with many leaders, Georgia cooperates with many countries, but the cooperation between Turkey and Georgia is an example for Europe and the whole region.
I have never heard that concrete issues have ever been solved so fast and I haven’t heard about effective cooperation of the governments, the way Georgian government cooperates with Turkish government.
This is the merit of Turkish Prime Minister.
The author of this hotel is Nuretin Charmikil, he is a great patriot of Turkey. He is Lazi. He told me that the only thing he could see in his childhood from Georgia was Soviet border searchlight.
It is true that this border is already open, but when we first entered this hotel I handed rusty and functionless searchlight to Nuretin Charmikil on behalf of the independent Georgian government.
Nuretin Bei has done a lot for Georgia - when he came to Georgia (the Prime Minister of Turkey called on the Turkish businessmen to do it), nobody could believe that our country would have any perspectives in future.
Today Georgia, according to the World Bank evaluation in regards of investment attraction is on the first place in Eastern and Central Europe and on 11th place worldwide; Georgia is on the first place according to the evaluations of Transparency International and other International research organizations.
Despite the war and world economic crises Georgia’s economy has been growing seriously this year.
We are trying to catch up with Turkish economy, its indicators of growth are increasing daily and this is very important for us.
The Turkish government shows whatever crises can exist in the country, if the government is strong not only from the viewpoint of business, but from the viewpoint of innovations and technologies, the improvement of the situation and development as possible Turkey is establishing standards for the whole region.
In this regards, Georgia has made important steps and we welcome further interest of Turkish business in our country.
In two years there will be more five star hotels in Batumi than in any world cities. There will be the most contemporary infrastructure in Batumi. Batumi will become a special city and the symbol of our unity.
This is a brilliant symbol of all ethnic groups’ co-existence and it is not a Georgian city only.
Side by side there is Orthodox, Catholic and Gregorian churches, Synagogues and Mosques in Batumi.
I express my deed gratitude to Nuretin Charmikli for cooperation.
There is only one case that a street is named after an alive person - several years ago on of the streets in Tbilisi was named after an American President.
The City Council of Batumi made a decision and one of the streets here was named after Nuretin Charmikli, because this very person was the first who believed in us and created the lighthouse of development and freedom.
Many other businesses started after this and thousands of Batumi residents get jobs and thousands of families feel better.
I am glad that when I look at the young people, who have jobs - who learn languages and are being trained professionally, who raise their qualification. This first path on this road was made by a great patriot of Georgia, by an outstanding person and the supporter of our country Nuretin Charmikli.
Yesterday we went to Anaklia, where we practically are going to found a big tourist complex like this. Anaklia must become the symbol of Georgian success and Georgian-Turkish cooperation. I hope that Mr. Prime Minister will support this idea and encourage us the way Nuretin Bay encouraged in constructing this hotel.
As a symbol of our gratitude I wish to pass to you this street sign where his name is written.
I want to thank Turkish Prime Minister.
Today he committed diplomatic heroism, which will be written in history. I know that he is very tired and we worried about if Mr. Erdogan would be able to come here on time. The fortune of each of us depends on what could happen around Iran nuclear program.
This is an issue of life and death and survival for small countries. Mr. Erdogan was had been speaking about a chance of negotiations with Iran, but there were people, who didn’t believe in it. He went to Teheran and turned the situation connected with Iran nuclear program round.
This is a diplomatic breakthrough and diplomatic victory for Iran, Europe, America, Turkey and among them, for Georgia.
If Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not ever done anything else, he would deserve the world praise only by it, but today we stand here, this is a symbol of our unity, breaking of walls and improvement of our people’s lives.
Of course a Turkish investment was carried out in Batumi, but the absolute majority of people employed here are the citizens of Georgia.
This is peace between Iran and the rest of the world, but this is peace for Georgia, because we are in this region. He is doing a great job for Turkey, Georgia and the whole region.
For this all, for a great contribution and merit I wish to award my great friend, an exemplary person for me, Recep Tayyip Erdogan one of the highest awards of Georgia, Golden Fleece Order, made of the gold gained in Georgia.