The New Pole of the Multipolar World: Organization of Turkic States

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The unipolar international system, which began under the control of the United States after the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), has weakened in time with the emergence of new powers and has been observed to evolve towards a multipolar system. While China’s economic rise and its political and military power made Beijing one of the main actors of the multipolar structure and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s coming to power in the early 2000s and reshaping the interests of his state in line with its energy and military power, although it could not bring Russia to the level of the USA and China, it is among the important developments that were effective in the transition to the multipolar international system.

At the same time, new associations, organizations and pacts have emerged in world politics. These structures, which are generally shaped around the interests of a dominant state, are not in the common interest of existing members; they have become part of the great power struggle. However, except for these unions, the Organization of Turkic States, formerly known as The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council), is a union in which the common will comes to the fore. The Organization of Turkic States aims to establish peace, respect, focusing on local dynamics, prosperity, and integration efforts instead of international interests and competition.

The foundations of the union were laid with the Nakhchivan Agreement signed by Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan at the 9th Heads of State Summit of Turkic Speaking Countries held in Nakhchivan on October 3, 2009. At the 10th Turkic Council Summit held in Istanbul on September 15-16, 2010, the union was officially announced.[1] New decisions taken at the 8th Leaders’ Summit of the Turkic Council, which was held in Istanbul on November 12, 2021, 11 years after the summit held in Istanbul in 2010, point to the emergence of a significant geopolitical pole.

This geography, which starts in western China and extends to Turkey, which is the last stop of the transition to Europe, is becoming increasingly vital today. The increased co-operation of Turkish states among themselves also helps to solve the issues that have been known for years as deadlock and which constitute the basis of instability. For example, the Karabakh Problem, which has not been solved for years, was solved within the framework of United Nations (UN) resolutions, even with war, and the authorization problem between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea was resolved within the common interests of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. In the crisis in Afghanistan, the attitude of all countries that are members of the Organization of Turkish States towards a solution has been a development that raises the hopes of solving the problem.

Considering the entire Eurasian geography, the “Turkey-South Caucasus-Caspian-Central Asia Line” is one of the most important routes through the heart of the region and is at the center of energy, trade, culture and diplomacy routes such as Russia-India, South Asia-Central Asia, China-Europe, Caspian-Black Sea, West Asia-Africa. For this reason, the rise of Turkish geopolitics should be considered as an initiative that many geographies and countries will support because it is not involved in the great power struggle in a way that causes instability.

As a matter of fact, this main factor lies behind Russia’s non-intervention in the war and its constructive stance in the Second Karabakh War is because of this reality. Besides, China’s non-intervention to take sides during the war is due to its accurate evaluating of Turkish geopolitics. Because peace in this region, that is the main geography of the Belt-Road Project initiated by Beijing since 2013, and the cooperation of the countries of the region are essential for the security of trade lines from China. The energy supply and security of European countries also depend on the increase and diversification of lines going from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan and then to Turkey via Nakhchivan and Georgia.

In the international system where economic projects, supply security and supply chain discussions are increasing, it will undoubtedly be in the interest of all countries that transit routes turn into a stable area. For this reason, joining Turkmenistan, which has followed an “active neutrality policy” for many years and is not involved in any international union to the Organization of Turkic States as an “observer state”, rather than other interest-oriented organizations located in the Asian continent; proves that it is a pioneer organization that will contribute to peace.

Because of this feature, it would not be wrong to perceive Turkish geopolitics as “geopolitics of peace” for both regional and non-regional actors. As a matter of fact, the joint statement issued after the last meeting[2] will be took place in the literature as a guiding text prepared in this direction. The articles, which are added solely in the direction of targeting peace without taking sides on regional bilateral and multiple issues, point to a spirit that has centred on the principles of “neutrality” and “respect for the local” that the geography needs. Objectives such as energy projects and ensuring its security, reducing trade barriers between countries, improving cooperation with international organizations such as The Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia (TRACECA) etc. demonstrate the comprehensiveness of the final declaration and its preparation in accordance with the reality of “Rising Asia”.

Ultimately, it should be noted that this period, which is called the Asian century; between dilemmas such as peace-war, stability-instability and wealth-poverty; Turkish geopolitics will positively change the fate of Asia and promote many power centres to look this geography in the eyes of local dynamics.

[1] “Türk Dili Konuşan Ülkeler Devlet Başkanları 10. Zirve Toplantısının Bildirisi (İstanbul, 16 Eylül 2010)” Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Dışişleri Bakanlığı,, (Date of Accession:13.11.2021).

[2] “Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı Sekizinci Zirve Bildirisi Yayınlandı”, Hürriyet,, (Date of Accession:13.11.2021).

Mustafa Cem KOYUNCU
Mustafa Cem Koyuncu, Karabük Üniversitesinde Uluslararası İlişkiler bölümünde Master öğrencisi olup Hint-Pasifik Bölgesi, ABD-Çin Rekabeti, uluslararası güvenlik, jeopolitik ve stratejik araştırmalar alanları üzerinde çalışmalar yapmaktadır. Karabük Üniversitesi’nde eğitimine başlamadan önce, Boğaziçi Üniversitesinde Lisans eğitimini tamamlamıştır. Özel sektörde yöneticilik tecrübesi kazanmasının ardından Koyuncu, kariyerine ANKASAM’da devam etmektedir. Koyuncu, ileri seviyede İngilizce bilmektedir.