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Turkey, Tatarstan to establish ties in all fields'

"The very historical development of the Russian nation President Abdullah Gül said on Saturday that Turkey and Tatarstan, despite not having much history of cooperation, should take new joint initiatives together in as many fields as possible.

Speaking at the Turkish-Tatar Business Forum in Kazan, which was also attended by Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, Gül said: "The world has changed. Relations get developed and brothers discover each other. New cooperative projects are being established in all fields."

The two presidents toured the stands of Turkish firms and received information about investment opportunities and projects as well as on Turkish companies that have invested in Tatarstan.

Gül called on the businessmen of both countries to do more business, seek common goals and cooperate in all fields, rather than just in industry and construction. "The trade volume between Turkey and Tatarstan was $27 million in 2002 and it reached $3 billion in 2008. This is unbelievable progress in five years. I believe such economic relations will continue," he said.

"President Shaimiev and I agreed on encouraging more investments in our respective countries," he added. Shaimiev said Turkey and Tatarstan should cooperate in different areas and show the world how they can establish a strong partnership. "There had been intentions to meet and discuss what we could do together in the past. Today our doors are open to Turkey.

We would like to benefit from Turkey's experience in different fields," he stressed. He said the two countries have the potential to expand mutual cooperation. He also thanked Gül for his visit, which marked the first-ever visit by a Turkish president to Tatarstan.

Journal of Turkish Weekly , 17 February 2009.