East Turkestan: Turkish President Visits
Andolu news agency said the Turkish president arrived in the capital city of East Turkistan on Sunday, the last leg of his formal visit to China. President Gul is visiting the region upon an invitation of the Beijing administration.
The meetings at Yin Du Hotel were closed to press. Gul later attended a luncheon hosted in his honor by Bekri.
Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Turkish ambassador in Beijing Murat Esenli, Chinese officials and local officials from East Turkistan, that China calls it "the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region", attended the luncheon as well.
"Uyghurs like a bridge of friendship"
Gul said on Monday that the region was an important element that connected Turkey and China to each other.
Paying a visit to "Xinjiang" University, Gul was presented with the title of Honorary Professor by the university's rector.
Addressing a group of academicians and students, Gul said that Turkey desired to improve its economic relations with all the regions in China.
Gul said, "Uyghurs act like a bridge of friendship between Turkey and China. Such role will contribute to the further improvement of our relations".
Gul also visited Kiziltepe Park of Urumchi together with the city's mayor and Turkish ambassador in Beijing Murat Esenli.
Gul is the first Turkish president visiting this autonomous region where almost 9.3 million Uyghur Turks are living.
Historical records show that the Uyghurs have a history of more than 4000 years. Throughout the history the Uyghurs developed a unique culture and civilization and made remarkable contribution to the civilization of the world.
After embracing Islam the Uyghurs continued to preserve their cultural dominance in Central Asia. Uyghur earned world renowned-scholars in many fields.
East Turkistan was occupied by the communist China in 1949 and its name was changed in 1955. The communist China has been excersizing a colonial rule over the East Turkistan since then.