The traditions of The Republic of Turkey have spread to Maine. For the first time ever, Turkish Cultural Day was celebrated in the State House. On Tuesday, more than one hundred people, including Governor Paul LePage gathered in the Hall of Flags to promote the Turkish culture, cuisines and folk dances.
Governor Paul LePage joined Council of Turkic American Association President, Furkan Kosar, the President of Marmara Spring Businessmen Associations and the President of Turkish Cultural Center of Maine to mark the occasion.
Turkey's economy is the 6th largest economy in the world, making them a strong competitor in today's global economy. In remarks, the Governor included the importance of having such events as today's to build bridges between Turkey and the U-S.
"My goal for Maine is to make Maine a destination for investors from all over the world," said Governor LePage. "With Turkey being a leader in economic growth, it is important we put Maine on the map of places to invest. Whether these investors are considering Maine for agriculture, energy, construction, or food it's a very important connection to make," commented the Governor.
In addition, Governor LePage issued a proclamation to honor Turkish Cultural Day. The language is as follows:
WHEREAS, the history of modern Turkey began with a foundation of a republic on October 29, 1923; and
WHEREAS, Turkey, as the only secular democracy in the Muslim world, has contributed to the United States foreign policy in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus; and
WHEREAS, Turkey has become an integral part of Europe through its membership in NATO, the Council of Europe, and its impending membership to the European Union; and
WHEREAS, American of Turkic origin play a significant role in the ethnic diversity of Maine by incorporating their rich spiritual and cultural heritage and their dedication to the responsibilities of good citizenship; and
WHEREAS, the Turkish Cultural Center of Maine was initiated to foster understanding and mutual respect among the different cultures, and to educate others about the rich heritage and culture of Turkey; and
WHEREAS, as part of these efforts, the Turkish Cultural Center of Maine is hosting its First Annual Turkish Cultural Day in order to showcase the rich mosaic of different cultures, religions, and ethnicities, as well as to educate the legislatures and visitors about the country of Turkey.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2012 as TURKISH CULTURAL DAY throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.