Chinese PM meets with Tourism Minister Gunay
The friendship and cooperation between Turkey and China is based on the relationship of our peoples, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Saturday. "Cultural contacts continue longer than others," he said at a meeting in Istanbul with Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay and members of the culture and art world. "The friendship and cooperation between Turkey and China is based on the relationship of our peoples. The interaction between these peoples contributes to cultural contacts." He added, "I pay great attention to cultural contacts between Turkey and China. Both countries have ancient civilizations. Despite having different cultures, our countries can learn a great deal from each other." Wen also said, "There are over 10,000 porcelain items from China at the Topkapi Palace." For his part, Gunay said the peoples of Turkey and China have known each other for thousands of years. "Turks and Chinese have not merely fought with each other. They have made peace, cooperated with each other, and at times formed kinship," Gunay said. "We plan to carry our historical closeness to cultural and art activities. A group of 40 artists from the Uighur Autonomous Region will perform in Ankara and Istanbul next week," he said. "2011 will mark the 40th anniversary of relations between Turkey and China. As part of this, we will hold artistic events in both countries. 2012 will be celebrated as the Year of China in Turkey, while 2013 will be celebrated in China as the Year of Turkey. During this time, we want to exhibit items from Topkapi Palace in China and display Chinese items in Turkey. We have a project to display Chinese porcelain from Turkey in China and Terracotta soldiers in Turkey." The meeting was attended by Topkapi Director Ilber Ortayli, UNESCO's Turkey National Committee Chairman and prime ministerial advisor Nabi Avci, artist Husamettin Kocan, Fire of Anatolia dance troupe Art Director Mustafa Erdogan, and other dignitaries.