During his press conference in Ankara yesterday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shared anecdotes of his visit and highlighted the improving cultural ties between Turkey and Venezuela - considered Turkey's Latin American neighbor, despite the geographical distance.
The president accounted the welcoming ceremony by Venezuelan soldiers during which they recited the Turkish national anthem, which he described as a memorable moment for the first ever visit by a Turkish leader to the country.
During the ceremony, one of the soldiers accidentally dropped the Turkish flag he was holding. Seeing that, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro picked up the flag and gave it to the soldier. Erdoğan narrated and described Maduro's gesture as an act of kindness that is impossible to forget.
The soldiers' performance, in which they sang the national anthem in Turkish, was regarded as a brotherly, thoughtful and welcoming gesture by Erdoğan and the Turkish delegation. Videos of the performance quickly spread on social media.
President Erdoğan also referred to first lady Emine Erdoğan's visit to a local school where she was welcomed by children who performed the traditional Turkish folk song "Sarı Gelin." The first lady was informed that the kids in the school had only started practicing the song two days before the actual performance on Monday, which certainly impressed President Erdoğan, the first lady and their delegation. The folk song is also popular among Azerbaijanis, Iranians and Armenians.