On November 11, 2022, the first summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) with its new name will be held in Samarkand, the city of culture and science of the Turks. OTS has reached both this name and its current scope as a result of thirty years of studies. Undoubtedly, “Water has flowed and found its way” and many steps have been taken on behalf of Turkish unity since the 1990s. States have organized the Summit of Presidents of Turkic Speaking Countries since 1992. In 2009, the Turkic Council was established in Nakhichevan by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Türkiye.
When Uzbekistan became a member in 2018; Turkmenistan, which has had the “Permanent Status of Neutrality” since 1995, is, together with Hungary, the observer country of the organization. In addition, after the Samarkand Summit, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is expected to be an observer country.
OTS, which has a total population of 150 million people and covers an area of 4.5 million m2, has emerged as the structure that institutionalizes the non-aggressive, common, and strong will of states with a common history and cultural background, trying to protect their independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity come out.
The organization, which operates in more than twenty areas of cooperation from economy to health, from transportation to energy, and from education to tourism, aims to prepare common history, geography, and literature textbooks and create a common alphabet to strengthen the common history, language, and culture that form the basis of solidarity and to raise new generations with the awareness of these common values, aims to achieve its development goals.
In 2021, when Türkiye held the Presidency, many important developments took place. In this context, the Turkish World 2040 Vision Document was put into practice. At the summit held in Istanbul, the heads of state adopted the vision document that will determine the organization’s policy for the next twenty years. While determining the main principles and targets; the strategy document on the five-year implementation of the twenty-year document will be adopted at the summit in Samarkand.
At the Samarkand Summit, leaders will also hold bilateral meetings. Agreements on Turkic Investment Fund, Turkic Trade Houses, energy security, customs, and freight transportation will also be discussed. In addition, the ‘TURANSEZ’ project to be established for the Turkic states in Turkistan to strengthen the economic cooperation between the Turkic states, including Kazakhstan’s Caspian Crossing International East-West Central Corridor, will be discussed. In addition to all these, the person to be selected from among the candidates determined by the member countries at the summit will be awarded the “Ali Shir Nevai Award.”
In light of recent developments, the fact that these states position themselves within the OTS when new power centers emerge and the balance of power changes drastically shows that they give important geopolitical messages. For example, it is a significant development that OTS members support each other, either militarily or diplomatically, whether it is the Karabakh Issue, the Cyprus Issue, or the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border issues and conflicts.
As a result, a century ago, İsmail Gaspıralı pointed out to the Turkish World, “Unity in language, thought, business!” By guiding the world, the Turkish World and OTS have begun to exist as strong actors with an international identity. In fact, in analysis with the theme of “Organization of Turkic States” published in China, the definition of rising power for the Turkish World is made. The articles in the 2040 Vision Document are important for the Turkish World but also point to political changes. For example, the proposal to establish the Central Asia-Caucasus Platform and the efforts to support Afghanistan confirm that the Turkish World has become an active geopolitical subject.
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