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.
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. 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.” 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.
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.” At that point, it should be underlined that The Council of Banks Associations of Turkic States was established on 4 November 2022. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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