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Turkish President's Visit To Tatarstan Needs Kremlin Approval

KAZAN (RFE/RL) -- A possible visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Russia's Republic of Tatarstan is making Moscow officials uneasy, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Gul is due to visit Moscow in December, and Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev invited Gul to Kazan in October. But the Russian Foreign Ministry should officially approve such a visit since Tatarstan belongs to the Russian Federation.

Tatar presidential spokesman Ayrat Zaripov told RFE/RL that a visit by Gul in December is still being considered.

Tatars make up an indigenous nation within Russia that has cultural and linguistic ties to Turkey. Earlier this year, Russian officials refused to extend visas for Turkish teachers were working at schools in Tatarstan.