Turkic Council


The Turkic Council, officially the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States, is an international organization comprising some of the Turkic countries consisting of Turkey, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an intergovernmental organization whose overarching aim is promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. It was founded on October 3, 2009 in Nakhchivan. The idea of setting up this cooperative council was first put forward by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2006.

Cooperation Council of
Turkic-Speaking States
(Turkic Council)

Emblem
  Members
  Observer States
Headquarters
41°00′28″N 28°58′21″E[1]
Official
languages
[2]
Demonym(s)Turkic
Membership[3]
Leaders
 Secretary-General
Baghdad Amreyev
 Honorary Chairman
Nursultan Nazarbayev
Establishment
 Nakhchivan Agreement
3 October 2009
 Last polity admitted
15 October 2019
Area
 Total
4,242,362 km2 (1,637,985 sq mi) (unranked)
Population
 2018 estimate
144,074,862
  1. General Secretariat
  2. Parliamentary Assembly
  3. Turkic Academy
  4. Europe Office
  5. Regional Diaspora Center
  6. Spiritual capital

The General Secretariat is in Istanbul. Turkmenistan is currently not an official 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.[4]

History


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 "Turkic Council has become the first voluntary alliance of Turkic states in history".

In 2012, the flag of the Turkic Council was adopted.

On April 30, 2018, it was announced that Uzbekistan would join the Turkic Council[5] and attend the upcoming summit of the organisation in Bishkek.[6] It formally applied for membership on September 12, 2019.[7]

Since late 2018, Hungary has been an observer and may request full membership.[8] In 2020, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Ceppar stated Ukraine wanted to be an observer.[9]

On May 3, 2021, Afghanistan officially applied for observer status at the Turkic Council.[10][11]

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 Turkic Council 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 Turkic Council 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 Turkic Council 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 Turkic Council 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.

Projects


Since its founding agreement defines comprehensive cooperation among Turkic states as the organization's main objective and raison d'être, the Turkic Council 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[12] and writing a common history textbook. The Turkic Council 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.

Affiliated bodies and organizations


The Turkic-speaking areas

The Turkic Council functions as an umbrella organization for all other cooperation mechanisms like:

Flag


The current flag of the Turkic Council was adopted at its 2nd Summit, which took place in Bishkek on 23 August 2012 and officially raised on 12 October 2012.[13] 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.

Summits


7th Summit of Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States in Baku

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.[14]

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.[15][16]

Extraordinary Summit

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.[17] [18] An 18-point list of mutual priorities of all member nations was outlined in the Baku Declaration.[19]

International cooperation


Turkic Council 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, Turkic Council 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.

Members


Current

Country Population (2020) Area (km2) GDP (nominal) 2020[20] GDP per capita (nominal) 2020[21]
 Azerbaijan10,130,100[22]86,600$42.6 billion$4,214
 Kazakhstan18,962,900[23]2,724,900$169.8 billion$9,056
 Kyrgyzstan6,586,600[24]199,900$7.7 billion$1,174
 Turkey83,614,362[25]783,562$720.1 billion$8,538
 Uzbekistan34,588,900[26]447,400$57.7 billion$1,686
 Turkic Council 153,882,8624,242,362$997.9 billion$6,485

Observer states

Country Population (2018)[27][28] Area (km2) GDP (nominal) GDP per capita
(nominal) (2019)[29]
 Hungary[30]9,707,49993,030$161 billion$16,475

Possible future member

Country Population (2018)[27][28] Area (km2) GDP (nominal) GDP per capita
(nominal) (2019)[31]
 Turkmenistan[32]5,850,901491,210$40 billion$6,966

Possible future observers

Country Population (2018)[27][28] Area (km2) GDP (nominal) GDP per capita
(nominal) (2019)[33]
 Ukraine[34]44,246,156603,628$161 billion$3,659
 Afghanistan37,171,921

Events


October 30, 1992TurkeyAnkaraFirst Turkic Speaking States Summit
July 12, 1993KazakhstanAlmatythe Almaty Agreement for founding TURKSOY
October 18, 1994TurkeyIstanbulSecond Turkic Speaking States Summit
August 28, 1995KyrgyzstanBishkekThird Summit
October 21, 1996UzbekistanTashkentFourth Summit
June 9, 1998KazakhstanNur-SultanFifth Summit
April 8, 2000AzerbaijanBakuSixth Summit
April 26, 2001TurkeyIstanbulSeventh Summit
November 17, 2006TurkeyAntalyaEighth Summit
November 21, 2008TurkeyIstanbulthe Istanbul Agreement for founding TURKPA
October 3, 2009AzerbaijanNakhchivanNinth Summit, the Nakhchivan Agreement for founding the Turkic Council
September 15, 2010TurkeyIstanbulTenth Summit (The end of Non-Corporate Summits of Turkic-Speaking Countries State)
October 21, 2011KazakhstanAlmatyEleventh Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Economic Area and Trade Area
August 23, 2012KyrgyzstanBishkekTwelfeth Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Education, Science and Culture[35]
August 16, 2013AzerbaijanQabalaThirteenth Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Transportation[36]
June 5, 2014TurkeyBodrumFourteenth Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Tourism[37]
December 24, 2014UkraineKyivOpening of the first Turkic Council Regional Diaspora Center[38]
September 11, 2015KazakhstanNur-SultanFifteenth Turkic Council Summit, Cooperation in Media and Information
September 2, 2018KyrgyzstanCholpon AtaSixteenth Turkic Council Summit
October 15, 2019AzerbaijanBakuSeventeenth Turkic Council Summit
April 10, 2020TeleconferenceExtraordinary Video Summit [39]
March 31, 2021TeleconferenceInformal Video Summit[40]
2021TurkeyIstanbulEighteenth Turkic Council Summit[40]

List of Secretaries-General of the Turkic Council


No.NameCountry of originTook officeLeft officeNote
1Halil AkıncıTurkey3 October 200916 September 2014End of extended term
2Ramil HasanovAzerbaijan16 September 20143 September 2018End of extended term
3Baghdad AmreyevKazakhstan3 September 2018

See also


References


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