The first EXPO of Turkey EXPO 2016 Antalya was launched with a splendid opening ceremony of sound and light performances with the participation of over 5 thousand invitees.
EXPO 2016 Antalya International Horticulture Expedition was opened in Aksu Town with the participation of the President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Mr. İsmail Kahraman, Prime Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Mr. Faruk Çelik, several ministers, members of parliament, foreign mission representatives, representatives of non-governmental organizations and a great number of invitees.
The President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech in the ceremony and stated "Preparations for EXPO 2016 Antalya were carried out with a great care and sensibility. We have seen this Project as a national one since the beginning. EXPO 2016 is a product of not only common sense of Turkey but also the cooperation among public and private sector".
Mr. Erdoğan: "I expect a record in visitor number"
Referring to the attendance of 53 countries, the President Erdoğan reported "EXPO 2016 Antalya aims at forming a strong platform of dialogue on history, sustainability and green cities. The theme flower and child implies that Turkey attaches great importance to the protection of younger generations who constitute a guarantee not only for environment but also for our future life".
Mr. Erdoğan also talked about the employment share of agriculture sector in Turkey, food safety and control services, organic farming practices, biodiversity and genetic wealth of Turkey in terms of endemic species.
Mr. Davutoğlu: "Anyone who conserves soil best has self-esteem"
Prime Minister Davutoğlu delivered a speech in the ceremony and reminded that some organizations such as NATO Summit and G20 Summit were held in Antalya. Mr. Davutoğlu also thanked to the representatives of 53 countries participating EXPO 2016 Antalya.
Referring to the World Soil Day, Mr. Davutoğlu added that "As the Government of the Republic of Turkey, we will do our best to conserve the soils of Turkey and the World". Mr. Davutoğlu gave information about Turkey's objective of EXPO 2016 Antalya. We aim at improving agricultural practices, horticultural areas and environmental structure in urban area, contributing to greening activities in these areas, creating awareness on a healthy environment and therefore contributing to sustainable development, Mr. Davutoğlu said.
Mr. Davutoğlu added that EXPO 2016 Antalya will keep on the agenda the issues such as biodiversity, sustainability and green cities for 6 months.
Mr. Çelik: "EXPO will serve as a training center for producers, an attraction center for tourism professionals and a school for children"
Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Mr. Faruk Çelik stated in his speech that EXPO Tower, Agriculture and Biodiversity Museum, Turkey Theme Parkour on Biodiversity, Child Science and Technology Center, EXPO Lake, Child Island, Peony Terrace, Restaurants Street, Ottoman Garden, EXPO Greenhouse, sculptures made of plants, gardens special to countries and institutional gardens formed by provinces are waiting for visitors at EXPO 2016 Antalya.
"Flowers herald the spring, children herald the peace"
Minister Çelik gave information about the arable lands in the world and talked about the destruction of agriculture and nature. Minister Çelik celebrated April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day. He also presented his thanks to the President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliamentary Speaker Mr. İsmail Kahraman, Prime Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu'na, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, former Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Mr. Mehdi Eker and other Ministers, officials and staff for their support.