Recently, HSH Prince Albert II made his first official visit to the Republic of Turkey, starting last Tuesday, which is intended to kick-off a new period of closer relations between Monaco and Turkey. The Sovereign Prince was met by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and after inspecting a guard of honor, hosted him at a formal dinner at the Cankaya presidential palace. In his remarks on that occasion, the President praised the Prince of Monaco for his 'political vision' and for fostering improved Turko-Monegasque relations and that the visit marks the begining of a new period of cooperation on environmental protection, sustainable development (that vague thing everyone is in favor of these days) and renewable energy. He also remarked on the historic nature of this occasion, the first official state visit by a Prince of Monaco to Turkey though, of course, Prince Albert II had visited Turkey before, unofficially, in a private capacity. The President also said that Turkey could take Monaco as a role model in improving their own tourist industry.
The following day there was a joint meeting of the Monaco Chamber of Commerce and the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce to discuss closer economic ties between the two countries at near opposite ends of the Mediterranean Sea. The Sovereign Prince also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I and visited the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.