The first after Erdoğan: Turkey’s new Prime Minister to bring the forum, advisor to Atatürk and rubles to Kazan

Binali Yıldırım visits Kazan together with seven Turkish ministers

The Turkish delegation, including Prime Minister, several members of the government and major representatives of the business community, is visiting Russia for three days. The objective is not only to establish relations completely after the crisis of the end of 2015 (and to restore the supply of products under sanctions), but also to move to a new level — direct payments in rubles. As the first step in this direction, the Turks have decided to pay all their expenses and accommodation in rubles. Realnoe Vremya recalled that this visit of such level is the first after Erdoğan's one, who visited Tatarstan as Prime Minister.

Seven ministers, the business forum and the monument

The visit of a large Turkish delegation headed by Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim started on 5 December. The official communiqué reports that Yildirim visits to Russia at the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. As the Internet-portal trthaber informs with reference to the press service of the Turkish Prime Minister, bilateral meetings with the Turkish delegation and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected. There will also be a meeting with the chairperson of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko. It is planned that Yildirim delivers a public lecture at MGIMO.

Turhan Dilmac told about the visit's schedule of Prime Minister in Tatarstan. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Today the Turkish delegation arrives in Kazan. As Consul of Turkey in Kazan Turhan Dilmac told Realnoe Vremya, Prime Minister in the capital of Tatarstan will be accompanied by the leadership of seven ministries and business representatives. The Turkish Prime Minister arrives in Kazan on Wednesday morning, he will be here all day and will fly away from here.

According to the trthaber portal, a meeting of Binali Yildirim with Rustam Minnikhanov will also take place today. The meeting will be held at the Kazan Kremlin. The delegation is to take part in Tatarstan-Turkey business forum organized by the Council of foreign economic relations of Turkey. It will be held at the city hall.

Besides, Yıldırım will ceremoniously open the monument to Sadri Maksudi in the Istanbul Park.

Yıldırım will ceremoniously open the monument to Sadri Maksudi in the Istanbul Park. Photo:

Tomatoes and transition into rubles

Initially, the reports on the visit of Yildirim to Russia mentioned that in the agenda will be discussion of trade-economic and investment relations between the two countries. Also during the visit the Turkish delegation it is planned to discuss the projects of Russia and Turkey in the field of industry and energy.

Among the issues, which, according to Turkish media, will be discussed by the Turkish delegation there is 'the abolition of the law on tomatoes' (in Russia still remains the food embargo on 11 kinds of agricultural products, and most Turkish farmers are worried about the tomatoes), resolution of the issue with work visas, as well as the transition in mutual trade operations into rubles and liras.

Curiously, the official report states that 'the first step towards the implementation of the agreements between our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the transition in trade between our two countries on the ruble and Turkish liras will boil down to the fact that during the visit of our Prime Minister to Russia all expenses for accommodation and hotel will be paid in rubles.'

Before the crisis, Nihat Zeybekci was a frequent guest in Tatarstan. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Following Gül and Erdoğan

The visit of such large and representative delegation to Kazan — the first after the Russian-Turkish crisis. However, in October of this year, Minister of Economy of Turkey Nihat Zeybekci attended the opening of factories in the SEZ Alabuga. However, before the crisis, he was a frequent guest in Tatarstan. In 2015, Zeybekci twice visited Kazan officially in March (also for new industrial production facilities) and in July — the opening ceremony of 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

However, the previous visit of Prime Minister of Turkey was in 2011. At that time, Prime Minister was current President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. During the visit they discussed the Kastamonu wood processing plant being under construction on the territory of the Alabuga and Trakya Glass Rus glass industry, as well as future projects for the production of automotive components. By the way, at the same time, they reached an agreement on the monument to Sadri Maksudi.

In February 2009, Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev. Photo: Mikhail Kozlovsky

The only presidential visit to Kazan was held in February 2009: Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev.

By Dmitry Semyagin, Arslan Minvaleyev