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Turks, Norwegians now brothers forever, FM says at Gizem's funeral

1 August 2011, Monday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM
With the memory of Gizem, the Turkish and Norwegian people will now be brothers forever, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said during a funeral ceremony held for Turkish-Norwegian Gizem Doğan, who lost her life in last week's massacre in Oslo.

A funeral ceremony was held for Gizem on Monday in Trondheim. Davutoğlu and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ were also present during the ceremony. The two politicians delivered their condolences to Doğan's family and attended the funeral prayer.

Speaking during the funeral, Davutoğlu appealed to Norwegians and underscored that Norway is a precious friend of Turkey as the two countries have been cooperating on many humanitarian issues such as the Palestinians' case. “With the memory of Gizem, there will be a stronger brotherhood between the people of Norway and Turkey and this will last forever,” he said. He also advised Turks living in Norway to boost ties with their Norwegian neighbors after this incident.

Davutoğlu told Doğan's family that she is, from now, not only their daughter, but “the symbol of a common conscience of humanity.” “Gizem taught everyone a lesson. She told us to not allow the people who killed her to realize the world they have imagined,” he said.

Doğan, a 17-year-old İstanbul-born Norwegian, was recently confirmed to be among the young campers who were shot to death in terrorist attacks allegedly carried out by Norwegian assailant Anders Behring Breivik, who targeted civilians and claimed the lives of dozens of people in Oslo in twin attacks last week.

Doğan's cousin, İlknur Tunç, also delivered an emotional speech during Monday's ceremony, defining Doğan as a person who loved all people according to their heart regardless of their religion and race. “Among her biggest dreams was to go to Gaza on an aid convoy. Among her role models were Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Norwegian Industry Minister Trons Giske. She also admired the energy of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu,” Tunç said.

The cousin said Doğan used to say that she would name her son after Nelson Mandela one day. “Her life was full of democracy, tolerance and solidarity … Terror will not intimidate us. It will not make us give up the path to democracy, tolerance and solidarity,” Tunç noted.

In Oslo, in a joint news conference late on Monday with his Norwegian counterpart, Jonas Gahr Store, Davutoğlu said he had come to Norway to display solidarity, noting that terrorism has no religion or race. He also had talks with Store, and both foreign ministers discussed recent developments in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Libya along with bilateral relations.

Praising Norway’s culture of tolerance, Davutoğlu said regardless of ethnic identity or religious affiliation, all of humanity was targeted in this attack. Store said he is pleased to see Davutoğlu showing solidarity with Norway as the country mourns its 77 victims.

Asked what type of things Turkey and Norway are cooperating on in the Middle East peace process between Israel and Palestinians, Store said he benefited from what he called the “useful analysis” of Davutoğlu with respect to the Middle East, adding that Norway is constantly consulting with Turkey and will handle the issue in the United Nations General Assembly.

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