The recent steps taken by countries of the Turkic world, which shares a common history, cultural roots and blood ties, help to further strengthen relations between Turkic peoples, whose cooperation will leave a mark on the 21st century, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, adding that they are working to create a different type of formation.
“Back in 2013, I had said that the 21st century would be the century of Turkey,” Erdoğan said Monday, adding that he had also meant that it would be the same for the Turkic people in the world.
The president was speaking to reporters on the presidential plane on his way back from a trip to Turkmenistan to attend the 15th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Asghabat at the invitation of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Highlighting that Turkic leaders have a different kind of communication bond with Turkey, Erdoğan said this will pave the way for them to further enhance economic relations and boost trade volume.
Meanwhile, referring to the recent name change of the Turkic Council to the Organization of Turkic States, Erdoğan said most leaders welcomed it, but some might have been put off by the new initiative. However, he noted that he does not think Russia was displeased by the switch. The president said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in Russia on Friday and said the meeting was fruitful and productive.
“Thanks to this meeting, the issue of constructing railways and highways along the Aras River has been resolved,” Erdoğan said.
He also noted that Turkey’s suggestion to establish a six-member platform consisting of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Armenia and Georgia to solve problems in the South Caucasus has also been welcomed, and he expects positive developments regarding the matter soon.
Earlier this month, the name of the Turkic Council was changed to the Organization of Turkic States amid efforts to further strengthen ties between Turkic countries and transform for the future.
The Turkic Council was established in October 2009 after Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan signed the Nakhchivan Agreement. Uzbekistan finalized its accession to the organization during the seventh summit of the Turkic Council on Oct. 15, 2019, in Baku. Hungary and Turkmenistan are observer states. The council aims to promote comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states.
The organization has various institutions in different fields, including the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) established in 1993, the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) established in 2008, the International Turkic Academy established in 2010, the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, whose founding document was signed in 2012, and the Turkic Business Council, whose founding document was signed in 2011.
Since 2011, Turkic states have convened under certain topics, where the heads of state evaluate the past period and set goals for the next year.
With its subcommittees focusing on special areas, the Organization of Turkic States is committed to the purpose and principles of the charter of the United Nations and other universally recognized principles and norms of international law, including sovereign equality, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states, as well as the maintenance of international peace, security and development of good, neighborly and friendly relations.
It is an organization dedicated to strengthening peace and stability, promoting wide-ranging cooperation and disclosing the potential for common development among its member states. Although it brings together a particular group of countries, the organization does not take an exclusive approach. On the contrary, by promoting deeper relations and solidarity among Turkic-speaking countries, it aims to serve as a new regional instrument for advancing international cooperation in the Eurasian continent, particularly in Central Asia and the Caucasus.