World Bulletin / News Desk
The travels of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been turned into a 460-page book entitled "A Travel Story" chronicling his trips to 93 countries in the last 11 years.
Prepared by the Turkish Prime Ministry's Office of Public Diplomacy, the book includes around 2,000 photographs depicting a total of 305 trips around the world between 2003 and 2014.
The book, which took two years to complete, also details the meetings, ceremonies, conferences, and panels attended by Erdogan as well as various tables, graphs and visuals demonstrating the interest shown in Turkey.
"We are all travellers on earth, where the journey itself is as important as the destination. Ever since the day we set out on this journey, we have been aware of the need to follow a true itinerary in order to reach our true destination. In this journey, we are guided by justice and virtue. .... We have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles both at home and abroad with a view to turning Turkey into a world-class country," says Erdogan in the preface.
"Seeing our flag sway everywhere we go, singing the national anthem, hugging our citizens, meeting with Turkey's friends have all been a special source of excitement and happiness in this holy journey we set out on," he adds.
Europe leads the list of continents visited by Erdogan with 35 countries and 125 trips, followed by the Middle East where Erdogan made 55 trips to 14 countries. Asia is next with 47 trips to 17 countries.
Country-wise, Germany tops the list with 15 trips, followed by the USA (14), Azerbaijan and Belgium (12 each). Russia, Saudi Arabia and Syria are behind with 11 trips each.
With these travels, which are a key indicator of the active foreign policy followed by Turkey, the foreign trade volume between Turkey and the countries visited have skyrocketed by 354 percent, reaching a total of US$358.4 billion.
The visits have also led to a surge in the number of countries where Turkish citizens can travel visa-free. There are currently 69 countries which do not require travel visas from Turkish passport holders.