Organization of Turkic States Samarkand Summit: “Towards Common Development and Prosperity” in the Turkish World

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The Ninth Summit of the Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) will be held in the ancient city of Uzbekistan, Samarkand on November 11, 2022 hosted by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, the President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Former President of Turkmenistan, and the Head of the People’s Assembly of the National Council of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, and the Secretary General of the OTS Baghdad Amreyev are expected to attend to the summit.[1]

The summit, which includes the theme of “Towards Common Development and Prosperity”, represents the search for stability, security, and prosperity based on the understanding of common history, culture, and civilization.” In that sense, the decisions at the summit are quite important.

In terms of these decisions, firstly, it should be needed to mention the enlargement processes of the OTS. It is expected that Turkmenistan, which became an observer member in the Istanbul Summit in 2021, in which Turkic Council was renamed as OTS, to be a full member.[2] It can be said that Turkmenistan’s membership in the organization will bring new momentum and will strengthen the search for regional security, cooperation, peace, and prosperity, as Turkmenistan sees “dialogue as the guarantor of peace.”[3] Therefore, the OTS could follow more effective diplomacy against many crises including the Afghan Issue. The other significant development in the OTS Summit is the expectance of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus to be an observer member of the organization.[4]

On the other hand, it is expected that the initiatives towards developing integration of the member states with each other, with the region, and with the world. In that sense, as a significant step towards escalating economic integration, it is planned to establish a “Common Investment Fund.”[5] At that point, it should be underlined that The Council of Banks Associations of Turkic States was established on 4 November 2022.[6] When the two developments were addressed together, it can be expressed that the efforts toward economic integration started to reach concrete outputs.

Another trivet of economic cooperation is energy and transit logistics in terms of routes and corridors. Especially after Russian-Ukrainian War, the deadlock of the Northern Corridor escalated Caspian-centered cooperation processes. As a matter of fact, it is observed that the member states, through both bilateral and multilateral agreements, are increasingly seeking cooperation in the Trans-Caspian Corridor, for instance, the Middle Transport Corridor, which starts from China and extends to Europe. That’s why it is possible that new decisions to be taken at the point of logistic-corridors centered Trans-Caspian. Because, OTS member states do not want a world, which evolves into a rival area on the axis of power struggle and destabilizes, they expressed their aim to establish cooperation bridges. In that context, the OST, specific to Trans-Caspian Corridor, could provide a constructive perspective focused on cooperation against regional and global instabilities.

In addition to all these, it is declared that there will be a platform, on which several agreements on OTS projects and official documents will be resolved.[7]

It should be noted that this platform is important in two aspects. The first is its contribution to economic cooperation, complementing the “Common Investment Fund” and the “Council of Banks Associations of Turkic States.” The second and more important one is related to the strengthening of the institutional identity of the OTS. Indeed, the OTS continues its institutionalization steps in line with the message conveyed by the name change dated November 12, 2021. This shows that the member states want to transform the OTS into a full-fledged international organization. As a matter of fact, the new appointments and some changes to be made in the OTS secretariat are the product of the same approach.[8] Therefore, the OTS is taking firm steps toward becoming a strong international organization.

On the other hand, it is expected to adopt the “Strategy Document”, which will draw the first five-year course of the Vision Document, which was adopted at the Istanbul Summit on November 12, 2021, and which constitutes the twenty-year roadmap of the OTS in the pursuit of common development and prosperity.[9] Thus, it can be said that the member states will demonstrate their determination to strengthen economic, political, cultural, and social ties. At the same time, this document also means that the will to seek a common future will continue. In that context, it can be predicted that the Samarkand Declaration, which will be accepted at the end of the summit, will include messages on the search for cooperation, development, prosperity, and peace at the global level.

In addition, the OTS is preparing to produce policies to develop a new approach in the fields of green energy, climate, ecology, agriculture, water, etc., which are also prioritized issues in the region, to find a solution to the food and energy crisis that the whole world is facing harshly, first with the Covid-19 pandemic and then with the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War. Therefore, it can be argued that various memorandums of understanding will be signed on these issues and that these texts will be complementary to the document in question. In other words, the OTS stands out as a structure that aims to develop and deepen cooperation as an antithesis to crises.

As a result, on the one hand, the OTS focused on the development of economic, political, cultural, and social cooperation within the member states; on the other hand, accelerated its efforts to become a full-fledged international organization by strengthening its own institutional identity. In doing so, the Organization tries to provide constructive roadmaps in the face of regional and global problems, especially food and energy, both by presenting new perspectives and strengthening regional cooperation on logistics corridors, which have begun to turn into a global crisis. This positions the OTS as an actor that contributes to cooperation, prosperity, security, and peace not only at the regional level but also at the global level at a time when crises tend to escalate. In other words, the OTS emerges as a constructive organisation that aims to develop and intensify cooperation as an antithesis in the face of crises. For this reason, it is possible to state that the decisions to be taken at the Samarkand Summit of the OTS are of great importance in terms of achieving the goal of “common development and prosperity” not only in the context of member countries but also in the regional-global dimension.

[1] “Basın Duyurusu-Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı (TDT) Zirvesi Özbekistan’ın Semerkant Kentinde Düzenlenecektir.”, Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[2] Emrah Kaya, “Turkmenistan’s Full Membership to the Organization of Turkic States”, ANKASAM,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[3] Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, “Turkmenistan, the Address of Continuity in the Search for Peace: “Dialogue is the Guarantee of Peace””, ANKASAM,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[4] “Kalın: KKTC, Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı’na Gözlemci Olarak Katılacak”, TRT Haber,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[5] “Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı Zirvesi Hazırlıkları Devam Ediyor”, Anadolu Ajansı,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[6] “Türk Devletleri Banka Birlikleri Konseyi Kuruldu”, CNN Türk,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[7] “Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı Devlet Başkanları Zirvesi 11 Kasım’da Özbekistan’da Toplanacak”, TRT Avaz,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

[8] “Basın Duyurusu…”, op. cit.

[9] “Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı 9’uncu Zirvesi İçin Semerkant’a Gidiyor”, Anadolu Ajansı,, (Date of Accession: 10.11.2022).

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin EROL
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin EROL
Born in 1969, Dörtyol-Hatay, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol graduated from Boğaziçi University (BU), Department of Political Science and International Relations in 1993. After completing his master's degree at BU in 1995, Erol was accepted to the PhD program at BU in the same year. After completing his PhD at Ankara University in 2005, Erol became an associate professor in the field of “International Relations” in 2009 and a professor in 2014. Erol worked at the Eurasian Center for Strategic Studies (ASAM) between 2000 and 2006 and and served as the General Coordinator of ASAM for a period. In 2009, he served as also Founding Chairman and Board Member of the Institute for Strategic Thinking (SDE). He is also the Founding President of the Center for International Strategy and Security Studies (USGAM) and the President of the International Relations Institute of the New Türkiye Strategic Research Center (YTSAM). Prof. Erol has also served as the Director of Gazi University Strategic Research Center (GAZISAM). In 2007, Prof. Erol received the “Turkish World Service Award” from the Writers and Artists Foundation of the Turkic World (TÜRKSAV), and has received numerous awards for his academic work and his activities in the media. Some of them can be listed as follows: 2013 “Print Media of the Year Award” by the Association of Contemporary Democrats, 2015 “APM 10th Year Service Award”, “2015 Press-Intellectual of the Year Award” by the Writers' Union of Türkiye (YTB), “2016 Volunteer Ambassadors Media Honor Award” by the Anatolian Village Guards and Martyrs' Families, “2016 Türkiye Honor Award” by the Yoruk Turkmen Federations. Prof. Erol has 15 book studies. The names of some of them are as follows: “The United States of Turks from Dream to Reality”, “Türkiye-EU Relations: Foreign Policy and Internal Structure Problems”, “The New Great Game in Eurasia”, “The Search for Strategy in Turkish Foreign Policy”, “The Search for Security in Turkish Foreign Policy”, “The Republic of Türkiye-Russian Federation Relations”, “The Cold Organization of Hot Peace: The New NATO”, “Theoretical Approaches in Foreign Policy Analysis: The Case of Turkish Foreign Policy”, “Crises and Crisis Management: Actors and Case Studies”, “Kazakhstan” and “Current Issues in International Relations”. Since 2002, Prof. Erol, who has carried out radio programs such as “Eurasia Agenda”, “Strategic Perspective”, “Global Perspective”, “Analysis”, “File”, “News Desk”, “The Other Side of the Agenda” on TRT Türkiye's voice and TRT Radio 1 (Ankara Radio), made the programs “Arayış” on TRT INT television between 2004-2007, “Beyond the Border” on Kanal A television between 2007-2010 and “Foreign Policy Agenda” on BBN TÜRK television in 2020-2021. Prof. Erol, whose foreign policy column “Arayış” was published in Milli Gazete between 2012-2018, is consulted for his expertise in numerous national and international media outlets such as television, radio, newspapers, news websites and magazines. Prof. Erol, who also taught at Gazi University Department of International Relations and Ankara University Latin American Studies Center (LAMER) between 2006-2018, has been continuing his academic career as a faculty member at Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Department of International Relations since 2018. Since 2006, Prof. Erol has also taught in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Ufuk University. The main areas of interest and expertise of Prof. Erol and the titles of his courses at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels in this area are as follows: “Geopolitics”, “Security”, “Intelligence”, “Crisis Management”, “Current Issues in International Relations”, “Turkish Foreign Policy”, “Russian Foreign Policy”, “US Foreign Policy” and “Central Asia and South Asia”. Prof. Erol, whose articles-evaluations have been published in many journals and newspapers, has been editor of academic journals such as “Eurasia File”, “Strategic Analysis”, “Strategic Thinking”, “Gazi Regional Studies”, “The Journal of SSPS”, “Black Sea Studies”. He is currently in the editorial boards of “Regional Studies,” “International Crisis and Political Research,” “Gazi Academic View”, “Ege University Turkish World Surveys”, “Ankara International Social Sciences”, “Democracy Platform”. Prof. Erol, who has been working as the Founding President of the Ankara Center for Crisis and Political Studies (ANKASAM) since 2016, is married and has three children.