Turkey and China have potential to further improve their relations in near future, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Friday.
“Turkey and China may be far away from each other but we have potential to improve our relations in the near future,” Kurtulmus said.
He was attending a tourism event in Shanghai alongside Turkey’s Ambassador to Beijing Abdulkadir Emin Onen and other diplomats.
“We can say that 2018 is a starting point for our tourism relations and I hope it's going to increase every year,” Kurtulmus said ahead of a performance displayed by “Anatolian Fire” dance group.
"I believe our relations will increase with the help of 'One Belt One Road' project," he said.
The New Silk Road refers to the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, which was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. This initiative aims to connect Eurasian countries with China through infrastructure, trade and investment.
Turkey became a permanent member of Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) Association when it signed a protocol on Feb. 16.
The country has become one of the major players of the route described as the Trans-Caspian corridor, which covers Baku, Tbilisi and Kars railway line; it is expected to ease transportation between China and Europe, Russia and South Asia, and Africa.
"The two nations have common interests […] Ankara will continue aiming to increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Turkey in 2018," Kurtulmus said.
Turkey will organize almost 60 events in China to promote Turkey’s tourism.