On May 15, during his working visit to Turkey, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov held a meeting with the members of Tatar community in Istanbul.
Consul General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul Andrey Podelyshev, Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Milli Shura National Council of the World Congress of Tatars Vasil Shaikhraziev and Aide to Tatarstan President Radik Gimatdinov took part in the meeting.
Opening the meeting, Shaikhraziev emphasized that today Tatarstan and Turkey are developing close cooperation in a number of areas, in particular trade and economic, culture, education, science and education. He added that during last year visit to Turkey, Tatarstan President met Tatars living in Ankara.
Chairman of the Idel-Ural Society of Culture and Mutual support of the Volga-Ural Tatars of Istanbul Gulten Uralla briefed about the history of the organization, established in 1960, aimed at uniting the Turkish Tatars and Bashkirs and establishing cultural and national relations with Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.
Uralla said that the Centre of Tatar Culture aimed at preserving the Tatar national culture and traditions is planned to be opened in Istanbul. Courses for the study of the Tatar language and a school of Tatar dance will be organized, and various scientific and cultural events will be held here.
The meeting discussed such issues as the grant of Russian citizenship to Turkish Tatars, prospects for the establishment of the Kayum Nasyri Institute at the University of Marmara and the possibility of visa facilitation for Turkish citizens.
Giving the explanation to the last question, Podelyshev said that the issue of Russian visa-free regime was discussed at the last meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan. “It was said that we are gradually moving this direction. As a first step, visas for holders of official and special passports and for the citizens who transport using trucks will be canceled,” Podelyshev said.
At the end of the meeting, Minnikhanov thanked the representatives of the Tatar community of Istanbul for their attentive attitude to their traditions, preservation of the language and cultural characteristics and handed in Letters of Gratitude of Tatarstan President to the most active members of the Society.
Later on the same day, Minnikhanov visited the Camlica Mosque, the largest mosque in Turkey, launched in early May.