After the Turkish-Chinese relations gained speed in political, economic and cultural fields, politics, art and business people of both countries joined forces with each other. This association that continued with the “One Belt and One Road” project of China, seems like got both countries closer to each other more, eventually. Such that, China contributes a lot to the cultural association by opening Confucius Institutes at different universities in Turkey. As for that, Turkey both proceeds preparations for the opening of the Yunus Emre Institute in Beijing and tries to create a positive Turkey perception in Chinese public opinion by some cultural organizations.
As well as accelerating these works, the proclamation of 2018 as the “Year of Turkey” in China conduces to bring politics, art and business people of both countries together and let them produce different projects.
Such that as a result of the meticulous and cautious works of the Yunus Emre Institute, journalists, social media members and prominent people of China are invited to Turkey. By means of the works that have been carried out for almost two years, people from different occupations have started to come to Turkey. This is a definite indicator of the significant distance that has been covered.
Within the project of One Belt and One Road that China conceptualized, the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came together with the President of China Xi Jinping one year ago and came to a mutual agreement on the opening of cultural centers and developing tourism. Since that day, it has been seen that the Yunus Emre Institute carried out a lot of activities to produce tangible projects on that issue.
In the previous months, the Yunus Emre Institute and Anhui Province made a meeting in Istanbul to act in unison and to take a joint action on tourism. In the meeting, by stating that “Thanks to the Silk Road, Turkish-Chinese relations have a very a deep-rooted history” the governor of the Anhui Province Yang Guangronng said that “Between east and west, the Silk Road that ties Turkey and China to each other carries the traces of our ancestors. A new journey is starting. Being as far as a collaboration journey, ours is also a journey of spirits.”
The President of the Yunus Emre Institution Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş who said by the project of “Be Our Guest” Turkey’s publicity works have been made in China for two years and Chinese media members and opinion leaders have been hosted in Turkey continued as follows:
“Once there used to be the Silk Road that used to bring societies together by securing shopping and commerce between China and Turkey. Today, there is even a bigger project: “One Belt and One Road” that concerns not just 65 countries now, it will also concern other countries, as well. Turkey has to undertake a key role in the project, due to its strategic location. More than 100 countries can be reached in 3 hours from Turkey. Thus, the connection between east and west, north and south sweeps these lands. As the Yunus Emre Institute, we have been doing activities in more than 60 countries. By means of these activities, we work to bring people together, to improve collaborations among people, to increase the familiarity and recognition of Turkey all over the world.
Our aim, as our Ministry of Culture expressed, is to host one million tourists from China in a year. We are taking these steps to increase the number of people who go from Turkey to China, from China to Turkey.”
According to the agreement signed at the end of the meeting, the promotion activities that have been carried out between Turkey and China have been started officially.
The Deputy Governor of Istanbul İsmail Gültekin, the President of the Yunus Emre Institute Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş, the Governor of the Anhui Province Mr. Yang Guangronng, Anhui the Head of the Tourism Development Office Mr. Wan-Yixue, the General Director of the Huangshan Touring Agency Mr. Zhang Dehui, the Deputy President of Hefei City Mrs. Wu Chun Mei and the President of Chaohu City Mr. Zhang Sheng, Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism of Istanbul Dr. Coşkun Yılmaz, the Board Member of İzmir Chamber of Commerce Ahmet Oğuz Özkardeş, Kuşadası Mayor Özer Kayalı attended the meeting.