Turkey and Mongolia share historical and cultural links, so this bit of news comes as no real surprise but nonetheless as a delight.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the first Turkish Prime Minister to visit Mongolia. When I asked him about the importance and the meaning of the visit, I am reminded of promises previously made to Mongolia but not fulfilled.
"Decades have passed. Those in power have always spoken about the Turkish world although no steps have been taken. After we came to power, we took serious steps concerning the Turkish world; we are working to develop present projects. State Minister Besir Atalay is conducting very important projects together with the TIKA (Turkish International Cooperation Agency), and an example of this will be seen in Mongolia, responded the Prime Minister. Erdogan will today participate in a ceremony for the laying of the foundations for the Bilge Kagan Highway in Kharkorin that will create a link to the Orhun inscriptions. "We will finish this road as soon as possible," says Erdogan.Turkey has built a museum in Ulan Bator and that they are planning to open another museum in the region near the grave stones, too, to which Erdogan gives the good news, he also says: "Mongolia thus will be a field of attraction, more people will come here and Mongolia will become an important place in the world of tourism. It will draw attention as a symbol of the Turkish world. The most important factor in tourism is the road. While there is no road, nobody can go there. We are building permanent works for the Turkish world."