Turkish chamber of commerce president Yalim Erez arrived September 8 in Dagestan, at the head of a delegation of 35 Turkish businessmen and officials. Erez, who was introduced to the press as an adviser to Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, told a news conference in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala that Turkey "will thoroughly study the situation in the republic" with a view to investing in it. Dagestan’s government is reportedly interested in Turkish investment in the processing of agricultural products, and in reconstructing the airport and seaport in Makhachkala on the Caspian sea. This move is something of a departure for Turkey. Turkish economic penetration of the former Soviet space has thus far focused on Turkic/Moslem areas outside the Russian Federation, essentially Central Asia and Azerbaijan. The exploratory visit to Dagestan, a Moslem republic, may presage Turkey’s emergence in North Caucasus on Russian Federation territory. (13)
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