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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 15, 2004


15 January 2004
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Shaimiev Meets New Turkish Consul
Ismail Hakki Musa, the new Turkish consul in Kazan, was officially presented to Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev on 14 January, the presidential press service reported the same day. During his diplomatic career Musa has worked in the European department of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the Turkish Embassy in Algiers, served as Turkish consul in France, and as first secretary and advisor to the Turkish permanent representation in the European Union. Officially Tatarstan and Turkey have maintained economic, scientific, and cultural ties since the signing of the bilateral cooperation treaty on 22 May 1995. Timur Akulov, Tatar presidential advisor on international affairs and director of the presidential Foreign Affairs Department, told reporters after the meeting that in 2003 bilateral trade turnover had increased by 4.5 times as compared to the previous year. Akulov said he was convinced that "2004 will become a crucial year...and by 2005 Turkey will move from the 28th position in Tatarstan's trade partners list to 2nd or 3rd place."

Tatneft And Affiliate To Compete For TUPRAS Shares
The Turkish Zorlu group announced its plans to join forces with the German-based Efremov Kautschuk GMBH in a joint bid for a tender for the state-owned controlling shares package in Turkey's TUPRAS holding, which unites a chain of the country's oil-processing companies, Reuters reported on 14 January. The two have already offered $1.3 billion for the 65.78 percent shares package. Meanwhile, Efremov Kautschuk is said to represent the interests of Tatarstan's Tatneft oil company. The Turkish Anadolu Ortak Girisim Grubu company will also take part in the tender.

Altynbaev's New Appointment Not Confirmed
A number of Russian news agencies recently distributed reports saying that the head of the Russian Party of Life branch in Tatarstan Refget Altynbaev was elected to lead the Tatar national-cultural autonomy in the Penza Oblast, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 14 January. Altynbaev was the former mayor of Chally and a dismissed Tatar senator in the Russian Federation Council. The same day, secretary of the federation-wide Tatar national-cultural autonomy Ferit Urazaev told RFE/RL that, according to his information, the 23 December 2003 conference of the Penza Tatar autonomy effectively elected head of the oblast's Lopatin Raion administration Rishat Altynbaev as the autonomy's leader.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Rakhimov Reviews The Achievements Of 2003
Bashkortostan's Presidential Council announced at a 14 January meeting that 2003 was a year of sports and healthy living in the republic, Bashinform reported the same day. The council also decided to devote the current year to resolving environmental problems. Speaking at the meeting, President Murtaza Rakhimov thanked people who actively participated in the presidential campaign. As a whole, elections were normal and met all the demands of a democratic state, Rakhimov said. "An overwhelming majority of the population has voted for me, and I value this very much. A portion of voters gave their votes to other candidates, and this is a natural thing," he said. "A portion of people also worked in electoral staffs of my opponents and campaigned for them.... This is an absolutely normal thing." Rakhimov said his comment came in reaction to a report that a head of a republican organization reproached one of his employees for showing disloyalty during the election by not voting for Rakhimov. The president called on state officials not to let similar things happen.

BTK Appeals To Rakhimov About Tatar-Language Status
The Executive Committee of the Bashkir Tatar Congress (BTK) discussed at a 13 January meeting the status of the Tatar language in Bashkortostan, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the next day. The committee appealed to the State Assembly to stop considering amendments to the republican law on languages until the issue is resolved. Another appeal will be sent to President Rakhimov calling on him to introduce to the parliament a proposal for Tatar achieving state-language status. Committee members pointed out that the issue should be resolved before the 14 March Russian presidential elections.

Higher Education Review In Bashkortostan
A commission from Moscow, which is assessing the activities of Bashkortostan's higher-education institutions, has deprived the Ufa State Aviation Technical University of its university status, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 14 January. According to the conclusions of the commission, the institution does not meet university standards and in the future will be called an institute. As a result of a similar revision, the Bashkir State University will stop training specialists in several economic and juridical subjects. Meanwhile, 700 Bashkirs, 400 Tatars, and 200 Russians were accepted to the Bashkir State University in 2003.

Russian Deputy Premier Visits Bashkortostan
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin is scheduled to visit Bashkortostan on 15 January for a two-day visit, "Kommersant-Daily" reported the same day. Aleshin is due to visit several of the republic's companies, including two aviation engine plants, the daily said.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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