World Bulletin / News Desk
Shared Turkish and Palestinian culture was celebrated by Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avci and Palestinian Culture Minister Ihab Bessaiso at a Wednesday meeting in Ramallah.
While emphasizing the two peoples’ close historical ties, the two men pledged to further enhance bilateral cooperation in the artistic, cinematic, theatrical and musical fields.
Avci also confirmed that Turkey was planning to open a Turkish Cultural Center in Ramallah -- the Palestinian Authority’s administrative capital -- to mirror an existing cultural center in Jerusalem.
"A Palestinian consulate will soon open in Istanbul and… we hope to have a ‘Palestinian cultural week’ in Istanbul," the minister said.
Avci is the first Turkish government minister to visit Ramallah since Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations were restored last year following a six-year hiatus.
Bessaiso, for his part, agreed that the Turkish-Palestinian relationship enjoyed a special cultural and historical significance.
"We hope to build on this and develop ways to actively promote the Palestinian cause and culture," he asserted.
While in Ramallah, Avci also met with the Palestinian tourism minister and visited the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
On Tuesday, Avci met his Israeli counterpart, Yarin Levin, in the first ministerial-level meeting between the two countries since diplomatic ties were restored last summer.