[Dr. Fuad Şahin with Canadian Governor General Julie Payette after receiving the Order of Canada. AA photo.]
Ottawa: A man known for his contributions to Canada's Muslim and Turkish communities has become the first Turkish person to receive the Order of Canada, which is the greatest award given for outstanding services for the Canadian community.
Dr. Ahmed Fuad Şahin received the "Order of Canada" from Governor General Julie Payette.
In addition to Dr. Şahin, aged 47, other recipients were also awarded the Canadian Honor Medal in the ceremony held at the Governor General's Residence Rideau Hall in the capital Ottawa.
A resident of Niagara-On-the-Lake, a scenic lakeside town in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the 95-year-old Turkish Canadian citizen, has been awarded the Canadian Honorary Medal for his contributions to the Muslim and the Turkish communities across the country, since his arrival decades ago.
"Since I came to Canada in 1958, I have been working hard for the Muslim community, as well as fulfilling my assigned duties," Dr. Şahin told Anadolu Agency in an interview.
Noting that he is happy to be appreciated by the Canadian authorities for more than 60 years of hard work, Dr. Şahin said that the new generation should work really hard.
"I founded the Council of Muslim Association of Canada and gathered all Muslims under one roof 33 years ago. I also founded the International Development Relief Foundation (IDRF), which has helped thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims with millions of dollars. IDRF still continues to serve and works today" said Dr. Şahin.
After the ceremony, Turkey's Ambassador to Canada Selçuk Ünal accepted Dr. Şahin and his family at the embassy.
"Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called me right after I received my award. At the time he was in Vancouver for a meeting. I am honored and pleased with the call with the Minister" said Dr. Şahin.
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