Turkish Cuisine Week kicks off in Beijing in scope of ‘Turkish Tourism Year’
BEIJING - Anadolu Agency
In the welcoming speech, Turkey’s Ambassador to Beijing Abdulkadir Emin Önen addressed the crowd at Vangfujing Peninsula Otel.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Xi Jinping have designated this year as the Turkish Tourism Year. We are going to organize a wide range of events across China,” said Önen.
Talking about the official inauguration ceremony of Turkish Tourism Year in China, the envoy pointed out March 19, 2018, when Tianqiao Theatre in Beijing will host a live concert featuring Turkish music.
In his speech, the envoy said bilateral ties between the two countries date back to thousands of years, when the “Silk Road played a prominent role throughout centuries.”
“Bilateral relations have been developing steadily. Turkey and China have enjoyed ‘strategic cooperation’ since 2010. Both geographic gates of the Silk Road in Europe and Asia are now tied again hand in hand, this time for One Belt One Road,” Önen said.
Speaking about Turkey being the sixth most popular destination in the world, the ambassador said Turkey is “well on its way to attracting more than 40 million tourists annually within the next couple of years.”
“Istanbul Atatürk Airport has become the biggest air hub in Europe surpassing the JFK in New York and Frankfurt for the past two years,” said Önen.
“By the way, Turkey is constructing the third airport in Istanbul. It is a $40 billion project. The first phase of the airport will be operational at the end of this year. When completed, the new Istanbul Airport will be the largest airport on earth in terms of annual passenger capacity. So, we need more Chinese tourists,” he added.
Lastly, he believes the Turkish Tourism Year “will make excellent contributions to the ever-lasting bonds of friendship between Turkey and China,” the envoy said.