'Success of Turkish-German scientists lesson against xenophobia'


By Iclal Turan and Beyza Donmez

ANTALYA (AA) –​​​​​​​ The success of German-Turkish scientists who produced the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine should stand as a lesson against xenophobic trends, said Turkey's foreign minister on Friday.

Praising the efforts of scientist couple Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci to quickly develop a vaccine to the global pandemic, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "The success of two esteemed scientists who moved to Germany from Turkey has also been a lesson to those who look at foreigners with hostility and fear."

In his opening speech at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in the famed Turkish Riviera resort, Cavusoglu said the forum was recognized worldwide before it even held its first physical meeting.

"The world was just getting used to the word 'webinar' when we held our first online meeting on mediation," he said, adding that seven high-level meetings have been held online to date.

"We also had physical meetings from Munich to Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)," he said, also adding that Antalya Diplomacy Forum is an outcome of "new technology and new global conditions."

A total of 25 sessions will be held at the first annual meeting of the forum, Cavusoglu added.

Cavusoglu said the forum especially aims at a strong presence from Africa, Asia, and Europe, as “the world dynamics require us to pay special attention to these continents."

He added that the energy and intellectual momentum from the forum will bring new methods and innovative approaches to diplomacy.

“We are living through one of the most fluid and uncertain periods of relations between states and nations,” Cavusoglu added. “There are constant changes in the balance of power.”

“States are in competition, even in struggle, in addition to cooperation. We hear the screams of an international system that is fighting to survive amid strong turbulence."

Adding that Turkey boasts the fifth-largest diplomatic network with 252 representatives worldwide, Cavusoglu said: “We implement an entrepreneurial diplomacy that tries to solve problems in every corner of the world, at the level of both leaders and embassies."

UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and Volkan Bozkir, The Turkish president of the 75th UN General Assembly also sent pre-recorded video messages to mark the beginning of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Both names highlighted multilateralism in their messages.

Guterres said that now it is the time for strong multilateralism action, while Bozkir said multilateralism is not an option but a necessity.