Turkey and Turkmenistan signed 12 bilateral agreements in the fields of energy, agriculture, diplomacy and youth and sports which are intended to further boost ties between the countries, on the second day of President Abdullah Gül's three-day visit to the Central Asian country on Thursday.
Gül arrived in Ashgabat on Wednesday upon an invitation by the country's leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. The Turkish president was accompanied by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during his visit.
Yıldız and Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister Baymurad Hojamuhammedov signed an agreement on cooperation with regards to the transfer of Turkmen gas to Turkey.
Ergün, on the other hand, signed an agreement with Turkmen Vice President Annageldi Yazmyradow that will pave the way for technical cooperation in the field of agriculture and a separate agreement on youths and sports with Turkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister Sapardurdy Toyliyev.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu also signed an agreement with his Turkmen counterpart to begin cooperation in judicial issues.
According to another agreement signed between Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) President Serdar Çam and Toyliyev, the two countries will collaborate to locate the tomb of Sultan Alparslan in Turkmenistan and to later build a mausoleum for the Selçuk sultan. Turkmenistan and Turkey will also cooperate to restore the tombs of the companions of Prophet Muhammad under this agreement.
During a joint press conference with Turkmen President Berdimuhamedow, Gül praised Turkmenistan's economic performance, political stability and its successful policy of remaining neutral, noting that its neutrality has given the country a notable place in the international arena. Gül also described Turkmenistan as a “shining star” in Asia with its economic development.
“We are different countries of a very big nation,” noted Gül as he pointed out that Turkey was the first country to recognize Turkmenistan after it gained independence nearly 20 years ago and opened a Turkish consulate in the capital Ashgabat. He also added that Turkey was proud of Turkmenistan's regional and global successes.
Gül was awarded the Turkmenistan State Medal during his visit to the Central Asian country. Berdimuhamedow said that Gül was given the state medal for his contribution to bilateral relations between the two countries. Gül, for his part, said that the state medal symbolized the “eternal friendship” between Turkey and Turkmenistan.
The Turkish president added that security and peace issues were at the top of their agenda during their talks, underlining that the two countries had similarities in terms of security issues. Berdimuhamedow said that they placed great importance on improving relations while also keeping an eye on their international interests. The Turkmen president also added that Gül's visit was a sign of good relations between the two countries and that they had the opportunity to exchange views on regional and international issues.
In the next few days, the Turkish president will be given an honorary doctorate by the Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management which operates under the Turkmen State University. President Gül is also expected to visit Turkish nationals living in Ashgabat and attend a groundbreaking ceremony for Turkmen-Turkish University's new campus.