World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Friday decorated former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw with "Order of Republic."
Gul presented the Turkish state medal to Straw in a ceremony held in the Cankaya Presidential Residence in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Speaking at the ceremony Gul described Straw "a most needed democrat in Europe" to fight racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and a politician who struggled for democracy and justice in the world.
Gul said Straw was one of the rare politicians who truly deserved "the statesman title," adding that Straw had been a true friend to Turkey during his entire career.
Straw, on his part, said he was honored to receive the order, adding that he accepted it as "a symbol of Britain's great respect and friendship for Turkey."
Straw said there was consensus between both the ruling and opposition lawmakers at the British parliament to improve and deepen relations with Turkey, which he said was due to the British admiration and respect for Turkey and the progress the country had made over the past years.