The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), of which I had the honour of presiding over for two years, will celebrate its 65th Anniversary on 10 August 2014. We are currently in a period of important and critical regional and global challenges. All assuming responsibility in the construction of Europe should act with this awareness. Human dignity should be at the heart of all policies. In the construction of Europe and neighborhood relations, there is a need for a bold vision that embraces peace, prosperity and solidarity. We have to make intense efforts to adopt a citizen-oriented understanding which accommodates the dynamics of change. I believe that the fundamental message of the PACE since its foundation has been and will continue to be furthering the norms of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights. We need to accelerate efforts to embrace universal values represented by the Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a founding member. Turkey is fully committed to this ideal.
I would like to extend my congratulations on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to the president and the members of the PACE, and distinguished members of the PACE Turkish Group, who have been my colleagues for more than ten years.
I share the sentiments regarding the future expressed by President Brasseur in her statement. I would like to emphasize on this occasion the need to strengthen the fight against extremism, islamophobia and intolerance, which are prominent in Europe today.