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Turkey is Tatarstan's key foreign trade partner

The Republic of Turkey is one of the principal foreign partners of Tatarstan. The Tatarstan-Turkey cooperation is developing on the basis of the intergovernmental Agreement on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation signed on May 22, 1995.

The Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Kazan was opened in September 1996. The Plenipotentionary representative office of the Republic of Tatarstan was opened in Istanbul in September 1997.

The first official foreign visit of RT President Mintimer Shaimiev to the Republic of Turkey took place in October 1992. Meetings of the RT President with the President of Turkey Mr. Ozal and with Prime-Minister Mr. Demirel were held in the course of the visit. Over 1995-2008 the President of Tatarstan visited Turkey on a regular basis; he met with Turkih Presidents Demirel and Sezer as well as with Turkish Prime-Minister Erdogan.

On 14-15 February 2009, President of Turkey Abdullah Gul and his his spouse visited Tatarstan as part of the state visit to the Russian Federation.

In 2008, the Republic of Turkey for the first time headed the list of Tatarstan’s foreign trade partners. Mutual commodity turnover came to almost $3 billion (about 8% of the Russian-Turkish mutual commodity turnover). Oil represents the predominant proportion in the structure of Tatarstan’s export. The RT also exported petroleum products, synthetic rubber, plastic products, organic chemical compounds, inorganic chemistry products, synthetic detergents, polymeric materials, forest products (plywood, timbering), ferrous metal products, pharmaceuticals, mechanical equipment, vehicles etc. Turkish import was represented with vehicles, mechanical and electrical equipment, ferrous and basic metal products; plastic, fur and glass products, furniture, rubber, floor coverings, pharmaceuticals etc. In the first semester of the year 2009 Tatar-Turkish commodity turnover came to $637 mln.

Turkey is first on the list of commercial organizations with participation of foreign capital, registered in the Republic of Tatarstan. Manufacturing of Fiat automobiles at the Microlitrage Automobiles Plant (ЗМА) on the basis of utilities, which are supplied by Turkish plant "Tofash", takes place among large projects, being realized with the participation of Turkish partners. Other major Turkish companies, represented on the RT market are: Efes-Krasnyi Vostok, Turkish Airlines, ZASS Alabuga (manufacturing of household electrical devices), ANSAN Alabuga (manufacturing of plastic slabs, pipes, profiles) etc.

RT supplies petrochemical production on the Turkish market, Tatarstan enterprises develop relations with a range of Turkish banks, Turkish companies participate in projects on construction of petrochemical complexes in Tatarstan. The work on development of Tatar-Turkish cooperation is carried out in the fields of construction, electric-power industry, manufacturing of construction and agricultural equipment, woodworking, glass industry, machinery and others.

Cooperation in the fields of Culture, Education and Tourism

In the year 2006 Istanbul hosted events on the occasion of the 120-years jubilee of the great Tatar poet G. Tukai. In June 2007 Istanbul hosted Days of Tatar culture as part of the Year of Russian culture. Scientific and practical conference, devoted to the 130-years jubilee of Tatar literature classic Gayaz Iskhaki, took place in Istanbul in January 2008.

Exhibitions, concerts and days of Turkish modern cinema were organized in Kazan in the year 2008 as part of the Year of Turkish culture in the Russian Federation.

The same year RT State Ensemble of Song and Dance took part in the national holiday "Nauruz" held in Ankara, a range of Tatarstan musical groups participated in festivals, which took place in Turkey.

In January 2009 a delegation from Tatarstan was engaged in events on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of TURCSOI organization, held in Istanbul. In June 2009 TURCSOI Director general Dusen Kaseinov paid a visit to Tatarstan during the IX International Theater Festival of Turkic Peoples "Nauruz".

In the period from January to July 2009 performances of RT State Ensemble of Song and Dance, amateur students dance groups, children’s ensemble of folk dance "Shayan" (Mendeleevsk district), Menzelinsk State Tatar Drama Theatre named after S. Amutbaev, children’s creative group "Enzheler", children’s vocal and choreographic group "Miras" and others were to be seen in Turkey.

A museum complex presenting decorative and applied arts and traditional culture of the Republic of Tatarstan (Tatar House, situated in Topkapy Park) was opened in Istanbul during Sabantui holiday. Turkish cineastes annually become participants of Golden Minbar cinema festival.

The Agreement on cooperation in the field of education between the Governments of Tatarstan and Turkey was signed in December 2001. RT Ministry of Education regularly sends Tatarstan school leavers to Turkish universities since 1993. At present time about 100 young people study in Turkey under this scheme.

We can see an active development of relations between institutions of higher education. Kazan State Energetic University and Turkish Dumlupinar University, Kazan State Technical University (Kazan Aviation Institute) and Istanbul Technical University, Tatar State Pedagogical University of Humanities and Cappadocia College, Kazan State Technological University and Ankara Middle East Technical University have signed and realize agreements and memorandums on cooperation. 28 young Turks study in institutions of higher education of the Republic of Tatarstan. Turkish language is taught at Kazan State University and Tatar State Pedagogical University of Humanities.

In the last few years the flow of tourists from Tatarstan, destining for Turkey, traditionally comes to 40-42 thousand people. More than 20 charter flights weekly depart from international airport "Kazan" for Antalya and Istanbul.

According to the different estimates, from 4 to 5 thousand Tatars live in Turkey at the moment. They live compactly in Bjugrjudelik, Karakoek, Efende Keprjusju and Geksu settlements, Eskeshekhir, Izmir, Konja and Bursa towns. Tatar community of Ankara city possesses a two-storied house, situated on G.Tukai Street. Idel-Ural Tatar community functions in Istanbul, Tatar non-governmental organizations exist also in other cities.

There is an interaction between the Council of Heads of RT Municipal Districts and the Union of Turkish World Municipalities; two republics develop direct relations between their municipal districts. Twin-cities of Kazan are Eskeshehir (Treaty of Friendship, signed on 2nd April 1997), Istanbul (Treaty of Twin-city relations, signed on 7th October 2002) and Antalya (Protocol on Cooperation, signed on 11th January 2003). Another three towns of Tatarstan also have Turkish twins: Bavly (Kjutakhja), Aznakaevo (Tarsus) and Yelabuga (Safranbolu).

Department of Foreign Affairs to the RT President. September 14, 2009