‘2019 to be Year of Turkish Culture in Japan’

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is in Japan for talks with Japanese premier, ministers

‘2019 to be Year of Turkish Culture in Japan’

By Fuat Kabakci


Turkey’s foreign minister on Sunday said that the year 2019 will be celebrated as Year of Turkish Culture in Japan. 

Mevlut Cavusoglu’s remarks came during his visit to a Turkish-Japanese Cultural and Trade Association in Nagoya city of Japan, where he met Turkish citizens living in the country.

Cavusoglu said that Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy will also visit Japan as part of Year of Turkish Culture events. 

Turkey, Japan to boost ties

On Turkey-Japan relations, the Turkish foreign minister said that his country wants to boost ties with Japan. 

“Our aim is to increase trade and investment mutually as well as remove barriers for any [future] investment,” Cavusoglu said. 

“Now we are making effort on how we can improve our relations,” Cavusoglu said. “The actualizing of investments in Turkey and our close cooperation on regional issues reinforce even more our relations with Japan in all areas,” he added. 

During his visit, Cavusoglu said, he will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as other ministers and media representatives. 

Earlier, the foreign minister wrote on Twitter: “We are in Japan upon the invitation of my Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, to discuss the momentum gained in #Turkey-#Japan cooperation, and to exchange views on regional and international issues.”

“We started our visit to Japan with a meeting in Nagoya with our esteemed citizens who constitute an important tie between #Turkey and #Japan thousands of kilometers away from home,” he added.


Fight against FETO, PKK

On the activities of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, Cavusoglu said: “[FETO] is also a threat to the countries where they are currently present.”

“They [FETO] continue its activities in Japan,” he added.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

In addition, Cavusoglu said: “We know that PKK supporters are also active in Japan. We will discuss this issue [with Japanese authorities].”

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

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