Kyrgyz president in Turkey to build on ties, draw support
Turkish President Abdullah Gül welcomed his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambaev to Ankara with a formal ceremony at the Çankaya Presidential Palace on Thursday. (Photo: Cihan)
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has arrived in Turkey on his first visit abroad after resuming presidency to meet Turkish officials, including his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül, to discuss cooperation between the two nations in the fields of culture, economy and defense.
“Relations between Turkey and Kyrgyzstan will not be a formality as it was in the past, god willing. Relations will be from the heart,” Atambayev said in a joint conference held after his meeting with Gül, who also voiced his support for Kyrgyzstan, which is pushing ahead with reforms in a process that resembles the Arab Spring movement. “Our motherland is Kyrgyzstan, we came from there; now the Kyrgyz are watching over the motherland,” Gül said in words that signaled the importance Kyrgyzstan holds for the rest of the Turkic nations on Thursday.
“Kyrgyzstan is treading safely. I can say for definite that the country has left the spring behind and is now entering into the summer,” Gül said, referring to the reforms that are taking place in the Kyrgyz nation. He also expressed hope that the country keeps on this track at the pace it started.
A roadmap for cooperation in 2012-2013 and memorandums were signed between the countries on Thursday prior to the press meeting.
Atambayev, a popular president with a strong electoral backing of just over 63 percent in the last Kyrgyz elections, is scheduled to stay in Turkey until the end of the week and engage in an extensive series of contacts with Turkish officials from all levels, as well as with businesspeople, the Cihan news agency reported.
To reaffirm the strength of ties among the nations that claim to have a common heritage and blood connections, the Kyrgyz leader delivered a speech to the Turkish Parliament on Thursday. Atambayev, the fourth president of Kyrgyzstan, has recently voiced expectations of support from Turkey, which he claims is “a model of democracy,” to his newly established parliament, Anatolia reported on Wednesday.
Atambayev also met with Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek following the meeting with Gül and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Ankara's Bilkent University. His term in office was inaugurated in a ceremony on Dec. 1 last year in the country's capital, Bishkek, which Gül attended to wish the new leader success.
Kyrgyzstan signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Turkey last year and is also part of the Nakhchivan agreement signed in 2009 between Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan to boost relations in all fields among these countries.