The Organization of Turkic States, formerly called the Turkic Council or the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, is an international organization comprising prominent independent Turkic countries consisting of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is an intergovernmental organization whose overarching aim is promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. First proposed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2006, it was founded on October 3, 2009, in Nakhchivan.
The General Secretariat is in Istanbul. Turkmenistan is currently not a full member of the council due to its neutral status. However, by default of its Turkic heritage, it is a possible future member of the council. Turkmenistan received the observer status at the 8th summit in Istanbul.
The organization was established on October 3, 2009, by the Nakhchivan Agreement signed among Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey. According to Halil Akıncı, the founding Secretary-General of the organization the "Organization of Turkic States has become the first voluntary alliance of Turkic states in history".
In 2012, the flag of the Organization of Turkic States was adopted.
On April 30, 2018, it was announced that Uzbekistan would join the Organization of Turkic States and attend the upcoming summit of the organisation in Bishkek. It formally applied for membership on September 12, 2019.
Since late 2018, Hungary has been an observer and may request full membership.
Mission and objectives
The Preamble of the Nakhchivan Agreement reaffirms the will of Member States to adhere to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, and defines the main objective of the Organization of Turkic States as further deepening comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States, as well as making joint contributions to peace and stability in the region and in the world. Member States have confirmed their commitment to democratic values, human rights, the rule of law, and principles of good governance.
The Nakhchivan Agreement sets out the main purposes and tasks of the Organization as follows:
- Strengthening mutual confidence and friendship among the Parties;
- Developing common positions on foreign policy issues;
- Coordinating actions to combat international terrorism, separatism, extremism and cross-border crimes;
- Promoting effective regional and bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest;
- Creating favorable conditions for trade and investment;
- Aiming for comprehensive and balanced economic growth, social and cultural development;
- Expanding interaction in the fields of science, technology, education, health, culture, sports and tourism;
- Encouraging interaction of mass media and other means of communication;
- Promoting exchange of relevant legal information and enhancing legal cooperation.
Structure and operation
Main organs of the Organization of Turkic States include:
- Council of Heads of State
- Council of Foreign Ministers
- Senior Officials Committee
- Council of Elders (Aksakals)
- The Secretariat
The main decision-making and governing body of the Organization of Turkic States is the Council of Heads of State, which is presided over by the President whose country holds the chairmanship. The chairmanship rotates on an annual basis. All activities of the Organization of Turkic States are coordinated and monitored by its Secretariat, which is located in Istanbul in accordance with the Nakchivan Agreement. Presidents meet once a year in a previously determined Turkic city. Senior officials, Aksakals, as well as other Ministers and government officials, all meet on a regular basis.
Since its founding agreement defines comprehensive cooperation among Turkic states as the organization's main objective and raison d'être, the Organization of Turkic States is working on a whole variety of projects. The projects are grouped under six cooperation processes, which are: economy, culture, education, transport, customs, and diaspora. Examples of the projects include establishing the Turkic University Union and writing a common history textbook. The Organization of Turkic States also works on ways to boost economic development in underdeveloped regions of Member States. The Secretariat brings together Economy Ministers, Education Ministers, Transport Ministers, Heads of Customs Administrations, and other senior officials from different ministries and agencies in order to work on ways to promote cooperation in relevant spheres. Prior to being brought before ministers and heads of administrations, projects and issues of cooperation are elaborated by working groups. One recently launched project is the establishment of a mechanism for closer cooperation among Turkic diasporas all over the world.
Joint investment fund
In November 2020, Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruslan Kazakbaev pointed that Organization of Turkic States members have to strengthen their economic relations, they have to establish a joint investment fund and build its center on Kyrgyzstan on his meeting with Turkish Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Baghdad Amreyev visited Minister of Treasury and Finance of Turkey Lütfi Elvan and sides talked about establishment of Joint Investment Fund. In September 2021, on meeting of Turkic ministers responsible for the economy, sides negotiated about a Turkic Joint Investment Fund feasibility work and agreement to establish the fund.
Affiliated bodies and organizations
The Organization of Turkic States functions as an umbrella organization for all other cooperation mechanisms like:
- the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) (administrative capital, Baku)
- the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) (administrative capital, Ankara)
- International Turkic Academy (administrative capital, Nur-Sultan)
- Turkic Cultural Heritage Fund
- Center of Nomadic Civilizations (administrative capital, Bishkek)
- Turkic Business Council (administrative capital, İstanbul)
The current flag of the Organization of Turkic States was adopted at its 2nd Summit, which took place in Bishkek on 23 August 2012 and officially raised on 12 October 2012. The flag combines the symbols of the four founding member states: the light blue color of the flag of Kazakhstan which also evokes the traditional Turkic color of turquoise, the sun of the flag of Kyrgyzstan, the star of the flag of Azerbaijan and the crescent of the Turkish flag.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the newly independent Turkic States of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as Turkey organized Summits of the Heads of Turkic Speaking States, the first of which took place in 1992 in Ankara. With the establishment of Turkic Council, at the 10th Summit it was decided to rename the top-level meetings to Turkic Council Summits.
Turkic Council Summit is the highlight of the year whereby Heads of State evaluate outcomes of the past period and set goals for the next year. The First Summit took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 20–21 October 2011 and focused primarily on economic cooperation. The Second Summit was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 22–23 August 2012 and concentrated on educational, scientific, and cultural cooperation. The Third Summit took place on 15–16 August 2013 in Qabala, Azerbaijan with a theme of transport and connectivity.
On October 15, 2019, the Seventh Turkic Council Summit was organized in Baku with the participation of Presidents of member states Ilham Aliyev, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as Purli Agamyradov as a guest, Viktor Orban as an observer and heads of Turkic cooperation institutions. The participants celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Nakhchivan Agreement on the establishment of the Turkic Council in addition to Uzbekistan’s joining the organization as a full-fledged member. The title of Honorary Chairman of the Turkic Council was given to the former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. In the conclusion of the Summit, the Heads of States signed Baku Declaration. Besides, the presidency in the Council officially passed to Azerbaijan.
Extraordinary Summit of Turkic Council focused on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic was conducted through videoconferencing by the initiative of the chairman of the organization Ilham Aliyev on April 10, 2020. The conference titled “Cooperation and solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic” was held with the participation of the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus along with the head of states of the member countries. Participants discussed the measures taken at the national level to fight against the coronavirus epidemic, improve multilateral cooperation in the field of healthcare, and undertake the common challenges caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Exchanging views on the ways of overcoming negative effects of coronavirus on the national and global economies, they touched upon trade relations and continuous transportation and entrusted the Ministries of Commerce and Transport of the member States to review the process via videoconferencing and present practical solutions for the free flow of goods among Turkic Council states across the Trans-Caspian Corridor. An 18-point list of mutual priorities of all member nations was outlined in the Baku Declaration.
Organization of Turkic States is an observer at the Economic Cooperation Organization. The Organization has also applied for an observer status at the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Besides, Organization of Turkic States maintains close cooperative relations with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.
|Country||Accession||Population (2021)||Area (km2)||GDP (nominal) 2021||GDP per capita (nominal) 2021|
|Organization Of Turkic States||156,616,392||4,242,362||$1.100.953 trillion||$7,029|
|Country||Accession||Population (2018)||Area (km2)||GDP (nominal)||GDP per capita|
Possible future observers
|Turkic Speaking States Summits|
|I||October 30, 1992||Turkey||Ankara||First Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|—||July 12, 1993||Kazakhstan||Almaty||the Almaty Agreement for founding TURKSOY|
|II||October 18, 1994||Turkey||Istanbul||Second Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|III||August 28, 1995||Kyrgyzstan||Bishkek||Third Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|IV||October 21, 1996||Uzbekistan||Tashkent||Fourth Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|V||June 9, 1998||Kazakhstan||Nur-Sultan||Fifth Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|VI||April 8, 2000||Azerbaijan||Baku||Sixth Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|VII||April 26, 2001||Turkey||Istanbul||Seventh Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|VIII||November 17, 2006||Turkey||Antalya||Eighth Turkic Speaking States Summit|
|—||November 21, 2008||Turkey||Istanbul||the Istanbul Agreement for founding TURKPA|
|IX||October 3, 2009||Azerbaijan||Nakhchivan||Ninth Turkic Speaking States Summit, the Nakhchivan Agreement for founding the Turkic Council|
|X||September 15, 2010||Turkey||Istanbul||Tenth Turkic Speaking States Summit (The end of Non-Corporate Summits of Turkic-Speaking Countries State)|
|Turkic Council Summits|
|I||October 21, 2011||Kazakhstan||Almaty||First Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Economic Area and Trade Area|
|II||August 23, 2012||Kyrgyzstan||Bishkek||Second Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Education, Science and Culture|
|III||August 16, 2013||Azerbaijan||Qabala||Third Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Transportation|
|IV||June 5, 2014||Turkey||Bodrum||Fourth Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Tourism|
|—||December 24, 2014||Ukraine||Kyiv||Opening of the first Turkic Council Regional Diaspora Center|
|V||September 11, 2015||Kazakhstan||Nur-Sultan||Fifth Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Media and Information|
|VI||September 2, 2018||Kyrgyzstan||Cholpon Ata||Sixth Turkic Council Summit|
|VII||October 15, 2019||Azerbaijan||Baku||Seventh Turkic Council Summit|
|—||April 10, 2020||Teleconference||Extraordinary Video Summit|
|—||March 31, 2021||Teleconference||Informal Video Summit|
|VIII||November 12, 2021||Turkey||Istanbul||Eighth Turkic Council Summit, organization status granted.|
|Organization of Turkic States Summits|
|I||(2022)||Uzbekistan||(TBD)||First Organization of Turkic States Summit|
List of Secretaries-General of the Organization of Turkic States
|No.||Name||Country of origin||Took office||Left office||Note|
|1||Halil Akıncı||Turkey||15 September 2010||16 September 2014||End of extended term|
|2||Ramil Hasanov||Azerbaijan||16 September 2014||3 September 2018||End of extended term|
|3||Baghdad Amreyev||Kazakhstan||3 September 2018|
List of Chairmen of the Organization of Turkic States
|No.||Name||Country of origin||Took office||Left office|
|Sooronbay Jeenbekov||Kyrgyzstan||3 September 2018||15 October 2019|
|Ilham Aliyev||Azerbaijan||15 October 2019||12 November 2021|
|Recep Tayyip Erdoğan||Turkey||12 November 2021||incumbent|
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- List of Turkic dynasties and countries
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