Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Nov. 21 that the map of the Turkic world that was presented to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli should mark with a red star Russia’s Altai as its center rather than Turkey itself.
"Our Turkish partners are cherishing the idea of Turkic unity, and it is normal. But the only thing I regret is that this map doesn’t have a big red star in the center of the Turkic world. And this center is located not in Turkey but on Russia’s territory, in the Altai," TASS cited Peskov as saying.
The Altai "is a sacred place for any Turk, because it is where they originated from. You can take it from me as a Turkologist," he added.
Earlier this week, Bahçeli presented Erdoğan with a map of the Turkic world, which included Russia’s southern regions and the bulk of Siberia, including the Altai.