Dutch senator decorated with Turkish order of republic medal
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has decorated Dutch Senator Rene van der Linden with the Order of the Republic Medal of Turkey.
Speaking at the ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Thursday, Linden said that Europe needed Turkey, and Turkey needed Europe.
Linden thanked Turkish government, and said that it was a big privilege.
Meanwhile, Gul said that Linden showed that he had been a real friend to Turkey throughout his long international political and diplomatic carrier.
Gul reminded that Turkey started its membership talks with the EU during the Netherlands' presidency in 2004.
Gul said that Turkey and the Netherlands celebrated the 400th anniversary of foundation of diplomatic ties between the two countries last year, adding that many important cultural, commercial and economic activities were held within that scope.
He thanked Linden who helped developing relations between the two countries significantly.
Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek, Deputy PM Ali Babacan, EU Minister Egemen Bagis, Youth & Sports Minister Suat Kilic, Culture & Tourism Minister Omer Celik and several deputies and ambassadors attended the ceremony.