Venezuela leader honored at Ankara university


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was given the Ankara University Friendship Certificate in the Turkish capital on Friday.

In a speech during a ceremony at the university, he urged Ankara University Rector Erkan Ibis to open a Turkish chair in every state university in Venezuela.

"I would like first of the chairs to be opened at Simon Bolivar University which was founded by our commander Hugo Chavez," the president of Venezuela said.

In his speech, he also said there was not only one America in the world.

"I am coming from the other America which 'fights for its freedom'," he said. "The 21st century has encountered various difficulties but we are against the slavery, racism and colonialism seen in the last two centuries."

"We are sure that a multicentered and multipolar world will be build. And in this world, we believe that people will live their religions and lifestyles freely.

"New powers will rise in the world that based on cooperation, peace and equality. Thus, the world will have a new balance. We need to fight for this world. And this is the reason for us to be in Turkey now. Because we believe in Turkey," Maduro said.

Maduro's comments come after months of pressure from abroad in the form of sanctions -- namely from the U.S. -- and turmoil at home, marked by protests in which more than 100 people were killed during protests as Maduro set up a legislative body that seized power from the country's congress.

Maduro has defended his actions by saying he took steps to stop a revolution that is dedicated to end socialism in Latin America and allow U.S.-backed business elites to gain control of the country's oil assets.

Later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed Maduro with an official ceremony at the presidential complex.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also met Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu, earlier on Friday at the opening ceremony of the Turkey-Venezuela Joint Cooperation Commission.

The first meeting of the joint commission was held in Venezuela's capital Caracas in 2011.

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