By Muhammet Ikbal Arslan
ANKARA (AA) – Trade between Turkey and Uzbekistan has reached record levels, with the total volume expected to reach $2 billion by the end of this year, the Turkish ambassador to Tashkent said.
Ahmet Basar Sen told Anadolu Agency that the two countries aimed to expand trade to $5 billion in the near future.
Sen said that the decision to form a "high-level strategic cooperation council" between the two countries was made during a visit by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Uzbekistan last April.
Sen added that Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev wanted to see more Turkish businesspeople in his country.
Praising the Uzbeks’ resolve against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Sen said: “Today, not a single FETO school exists in Uzbekistan and this is a source of satisfaction for us.”
According to Sen, Uzbek authorities began closing FETO schools in 1999, becoming the first country to do so.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt that martyred 251 people and injured nearly 2,200.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, including the military, police, judiciary, and schools.
FETO also has a considerable presence outside Turkey, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.