Doctor Honoris Causa for President Ivanov at the Cumhuriyet University in Sivas, Turkey
Friday, 11 May 2018 12:13   

Sivas_3The President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, today in Sivas, Turkey, was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa by the prestigious Cumhuriyet University.

The award was given to President Ivanov him at a solemn ceremony organized by the rector of the University, Dr. Alim Yildiz, after which the Macedonian President delivered a lecture on the topic "Ataturk and Macedonia".

During his lecture, President Ivanov stressed that this title represents a privilege and honor to him, all the more that it is awarded in Sivas, the city where in 1919 at Ataturk's initiative, the historic and revolutionary congress was held marking the beginning of the struggle for independence and the rule of the citizens of Turkey.

- Ataturk considered that with the Congress in Sivas, the Turkish people took sovereignty in their hands again. He believed that the only way that Turkey would become a modern nation is through a political system in which there will be no division, but a unity of power, concentrated in a single authority that reflects national sovereignty. Therefore, the Grand National Assembly emerged as a body that controled the legislative, executive and judicial powers. As elected President of the Grand Assembly, Ataturk gained tremendous power necessary to make essential reforms in the country, Ivanov said.

Sivas_4The connection between Mustafa Kemal and Macedonia, according to the Macedonian president, is not only geographical. Macedonia, said the President, was the window through which Ataturk met these values, it was the space where his character was defined, where his views were built, where the ideas ripened out of which the Republic of Turkey emerged later.

- Macedonia is not only the place where he was born, but the place where his worldview, his character and his perceptions were formed. Ataturk in Macedonia directly studied the importance of coexistence, learned the Macedonian values, such as the acceptance of others. Later, what he learned in Macedonia, he applied in Turkey. Therefore, the source of his model for thorough reforms is in Bitola, which at the time of his stay was the proud city of consuls in which intelligence, but also the wider population, was exposed to Western, European values. Bitola was the window to Europe, a space from where the advanced ideas entered the Empire, the Macedonian President said in his lecture.

In his lecture, President Ivanov referred to the sources from where Ataturk draws his ideals which he applied in the transformation of Turkey.

-He tore the entire political fabric, turned the monarchy into a republic, reduced the empire to a territory, transformed the religious state into a secular republic, overthrew the Sultan, expelled the Caliph and rejected all ties with the Ottoman Empire. He made one of the greatest cultural, political and socio-economic transformations in modern times. That is how Turkey was born, as a national secular state, said Ivanov.

President Ivanov has received numerous awards from higher education institutions and organizations in the world. The Macedonian President was named Honorary Professor at the Moscow University "Lomonosov" and "Southwest University of Finance and Economics" in Chengdu, PR China. Honorary doctorates have been awarded by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, the Istanbul University, the Hadzi Bektashi Veli University in Nevsehir, the TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara, the Academy of Public Administration of Azerbaijan in Baku, Christian Demetrius Kantemir University in Bucharest, and was named member of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences and Honorary Protector of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences in Salzburg.

In the framework of his visit to Turkey, President Ivanov had meetings with the Mayor and the Governor of Sivas, and tomorrow in Istanbul, the Macedonian President will attend and address the Global Leadership Forum.