Countries on Silk Road to cooperate in tourism
Kyrgyz President Atambayev, Kazakh President Nazarbayev, President Gül, Turkmen President Berdimukhamedov and Azerbaijan President Aliyev pose.Tourism is important to countries along the Silk Road in terms of the economy and humanitarian concerns, President Abdullah Gül said on June 5 at the fourth summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Language-Speaking States held in the southwestern province of Muğla.
“Tourism contributes to people’s getting to know each other more closely and helps them find out their commonalities, reaching beyond the commercial dimension. It paves the way for the consolidation of humanitarian bridges and the bond of love which the people of the Turkic countries feel for each other, building fruitful partnerships as well,” he said at the opening ceremony of the summit.
Gül joined Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the summit, holding bilateral talks with the other leaders before posing for a family photo. The leaders agreed to enhance their cooperation in the field of energy, tourism and culture, stressing the importance of building transport facilities along the historical Silk Road which connected them.
Gül stressed the importance of greeting visiting presidents personally, adding that he attached great importance to reinforcing the bonds with Turkic countries “with whom we share common language, culture, faith, values and history.”
Recalling the history of the council, Gül said the body intended to consolidate mutual economic dependence and socio-cultural interaction among Turkic countries, beginning with the Nakhchivan Summit in 2009. “We founded the council with the idea, ‘united we stand, united we are stronger.’ We aim to strengthen our cooperation with Turkic countries and form new alliances with the help of regional countries,” Gül said.
Gül said the common will to consolidate the Turkish Council would be confirmed at the annual summit, and concluded his remarks by thanking Kazakhstan, which will host the summit next year.
Separately, Gül met his counterparts on June 4 on the sidelines of a meeting of the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) in Bodrum.
He later gave an official dinner in honor of the visits by his counterparts. Bodrum hosted the fourth summit of TURKSOY on June 4, an international cultural organization for countries with Turkic populations speaking tongues belonging to the Turkic language family. TURKSOY has six sovereign member states and eight non-sovereign observer states.