The Renewed Face of the Turkish World: Organization of Turkish States

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The Turkish Council, which was established in 2009 following the proposal of the founding President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, convened for the occasion of the 8th Summit of Turkish Council in İstanbul. Various topics were discussed at the summit and the declaration, where significant matters were scrutinized within the scope of 121 articles, was signed.[1]

As it was known, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has been attended the unofficial meeting of the Turkish Council which is held on March 31, 2021, as the guest of honour upon the invitation of Nazarbayev. Also, Turkmenistan gained the status of an observer member at the summit assemble on November 12, 2021. Berdimuhamedov, in his statement concerning the subject, express that being in cahoots with member countries is the background of their inclusion as an observer-state.[2]

At the summit on November 12, 2021, the name of the Turkish Council was changed to the Organization of Turkish States. Additionally, countries were adopted the “Turkish World 2040 Vision”, which is going to formalize their joint positions pertain to the next 20 years. The Turkish World countries have determined the goals they want to achieve within the framework of the Organization of Turkish states by dint of said document.

As a result of the summit, the Organization of Turkish States obtained a more institutional identity is avowable. Especially, the criteria for observer membership and the framework of the organization’s relations with other actors had been designated. The development in question demonstrated that the Organization of Turkish States will become a much more substantial actor in the forthcoming period.

Turkish state no longer establishes relations just on the basis of historical and economic ties, but also act within the scope of common interests and values. The primary common interest is to embolden the Turkish World to transpire as a regional and global centre on the East-West route.

In this sense, with the implementation of the Zangezur Corridor, the Central Asia-Caucasus-Turkey line will become the most stable route of the lines from China to Europe. In particular, the recommendation of the President of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, with regard to the “Central Asia+South Caucasus Platform” will provide a more structural dimension for that stability. The reason is that the countries of the Turkish World wish for the engaging full potential of the middle corridor.

In this context, the Second Karabakh War was not only considered as the just cause of Azerbaijan but also interpreted as the implementation of international law by the member states. Indeed, the members of the Organization of Turkish States have clearly come out on the side of Azerbaijan. On the other side, the positive attitude adopted towards reconciliation between Azerbaijan and Armenia has also revealed that the members of the Organization of Turkish States have a peaceful approach.

Alongside the Karabakh Problem, which was resolved after the Second Karabakh War, one of the most significant issues of the Turkish World is the situation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Looking from the Karabakh and TRNC perspectives, it can be argued that the members of the Organization of Turkish States have adopted a concerted action against the injustices experienced. The request of Turkey, which consisted of the participation of Turkish Cypriot people in activities of the organization, has substantiated that the TRNC is an integral part of the Turkish World.

In other respects, it is known that the common interests of countries are shaped by common threat perceptions. Afghanistan-based security problems do not only threaten Central and South Asia but also engendered apprehension among the whole Eurasian geography. For this reason, at the Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan held on September 27, 2021, it was emphasized that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country in question were respected and the necessity of the Afghan people should live in dignity were underlined. However, in the statement announced after the meeting; The desire to establish an inclusive government that include all identity groups of Afghanistan, to continue the fight against terrorism, to prevent drug trafficking and to ensure a peaceful order has been expressed. In this regard, it has also been stated that the member states of the Organization of Turkish States are ready to contribute to this purpose.[3]

There is also discussion on the economy were held at the summit. In this context, one of the most prominent issues of the Turkish World today is the establishment of a joint financial reserve. The Turkish World is growing day by day, both within itself and with the collaboration and projects it realizes with multifold actors. There is a need for the Organization of Turkish States to the establishment of a joint fund as well as the development of a common will to implement several projects in a freer and more self-confident manner. Within this atmosphere, it has been decided to establish the Turkish Investment Fund until 1 September 2022 through equal capital and equal voting rights.

Moreover, Turkish states have demonstrated a concrete will to remove trade barriers among members. Withal, it is observable that they desire to lead the alteration in the world by taking steps on issues such as green technology, smart cities, renewable energy and agricultural development. In this process, cooperation decisions taken on digitalization, aeronautics, space and technological developments revealed that it was aimed to deepen and expand relations, and it was understood that member states adopted a long-term perspective concomitantly.

As a result of all these, despite the major theme of the leaders’ summit is “Green Technologies and Smart Cities in the Digital Age”, far beyond the estimations, significant decisions have been taken for both the Turkish World and the members of the organization. Considering the speeches of the leaders, it is allegeable that there is a general emphasis on mutual respect, common interests, peaceful attitude, solving security problems jointly and forward-looking common strategies. Based on all this information, the Turkish World countries are not only based on a deep-rooted past; at the same time, they act with the imagination of a common future.

[1] “Türk Devletleri Teşkilatı Sekizinci Zirve Bildirisi”, TCCB,, (Date of Accesion: 12.11.2021).

[2] “Türkmenistan Lideri, Ülkenin Türk Konseyi’ne Üye Olma Kararını Anlattı”, Business Türkmenistan,, (Date of Accesion: 12.11.2021).

[3] “Türk Dili Konuşan Ülkeler İşbirliği Konseyi (Türk Konseyi) Dışişleri Bakanları Konseyinin Afganistan’daki Duruma İlişkin Bildirisi, 27 Eylül 2021”, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Dışişleri Bakanlığı,, (Date of Accesion: 12.11.2021).

Dr. Emrah KAYA
ANKASAM Dış Politika Uzmanı Dr. Emrah Kaya, Akdeniz Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezundur. Yüksek lisans derecesini 2014 yılında Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nde hazırladığı “Latin Amerika'da Sol Liderlerin Yükselişi ve Uluslararası Politikaya Etkisi: Venezuela-Bolivya Örneği” başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Kaya, doktora derecesini de 2022 yılında aynı üniversitede hazırladığı "Terörle Mücadelede Müzakere Yöntemi: ETA-FARC-LTTE-PKK" başlıklı teziyle elde etmiştir. İyi derecede İngilizce bilen Kaya'nın başlıca çalışma alanları; Orta Asya, Latin Amerika, terörizm ve barış süreçleridir.