East Turkestan: Davutoglu says Uyghur region is important for Turkish people
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met on Thursday Nur Bekri, China appointed-chairman of the Uyghur Autonomous Region which Uighurs call "East Turkestan", within the scope of his visit to China.
Below is a press release published by World Bulletin:
The communist China changed name of East Turkestan and named it Xinjiang in 1955. The Uyghur Autonomous Region is the second stop of Davutoglu after Kashgar in his tour to China. Speaking at his meeting with Bekri, Davutoglu said, "this region has a special importance for Turkey and Turkish people. Turkey and China are far away to each other in geographical sense. First of all this farness should be disregarded. There should be often visits between the two countries." Davutoglu said Turkey attached high importance to improvement of relations with Asian countries, particularly China, adding that, "it is normal for the two countries, being the emerging countries of their regions, to cooperate often." Turkish foreign minister said, "we attach importance to improvement of relations with China and 'Xinjiang' region in cultural means," and proposed Bursa and Urumqi to be sister cities and Konya and Kasghar to be sister cities.
Bekri in his part said an organized industry zone would be established in Urumqi and expressed eagerness to boost relations with Turkey in every area. Davutoglu has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region. East Turkestan, that has 8 million Uighurs, borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is largest natural gas-producing region controlled by China.