News from China will make some happy
While you are reading these lines we will be flying to Beijing. Then we will move on to Shanghai.
We usually receive news of missiles, weapons and technology from China. But this time the subject is different. The Chinese Tourism Ministry recently took a historic step, launching a round of networking for tourism instead of weapons or technology.
Turkish Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş will attend the launch event of Turkey’s stand at the 14th China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM) exhibition, which will take place between April 16 and 20.
Turkey could become a gate to China, a giant that is in the process of opening to the world. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey, which stood at 250,000 last year, is estimated to rise to half-a-million this year.
We should think long and hard about China. It has a population of 1.4 billion. It has decided to integrate with the world and has a thirst for opening to the world.
In Beijing we attended a very important meeting of the Communist Party of China with Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) Deputy Chair Mehdi Eker.
We listened to Chinese President Xi Jinping. This guy, who comes from a remote Chinese village, has been carrying China into the future. We also had talks on “communism with Chinese characteristics” with high-ranking Chinese officials.
The Fire of Anatolia (Anadolu Ateşi), the great Turkish dance group, is also part of the Turkish delegation taking part in the tourism fair in China. As is Deniz Ahmet Köse, the world-renowned chef of Turkish cuisine. There are many other individuals from the Turkish arts and culture community.
The history of Anatolia runs along the route of the historic Silk Road to the district of Selçuk in the western province of İzmir, where the ancient city of Ephesus is located.
The new path between China and Turkey will certainly put a smile on the faces of tourism professionals in Turkey, after a difficult few years. I know well that many friends of mine who are in the tourism industry will eagerly be awaiting the results of the exhibition.
“Why do we have a concept of the ‘Far East’? The distance from Turkey to the United States and from Turkey to China are actually almost the same. Why do we deem eastern countries as being far from us?” said the Turkish ambassador to Beijing during our visit. Indeed, China should not be considered as part of the “Far East” anymore.
Why do I have such a high opinion of China? Because their culture and form of civilization are very similar to ours. The power of humanity and the level of civilization cannot be measured by nuclear missiles and state-of-the-art fighter jets but by the power of the hearts and culture. The values forgotten by the West are still standing in China - indeed they are on the rise there.
“Does Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not often express the same thing, saying ‘the world is bigger than five’?” I asked Eker, referring to Erdoğan’s remarks on structural reform proposals for the United Nations Security Council, which has five permanent member countries. That opinion was shared by Eker.
I hope that the path of the Silk Road opens to a new road of civilization between China and Turkey. The visit of the Turkish delegation to Beijing shows that Turkey is a major country that can deal with the risk of a global war on its borders while also planning a tourism move to open a gate to a world power.