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Turkic grouping to change its name to Organization of Turkic States: Turkish foreign minister

Turkic Council heads of state to accept 2040 vision of the organization on Friday, says Mevlut Cavusoglu

Busra Nur Cakmak and Ruslan Rehimov   | 11.11.2021
Turkic grouping to change its name to Organization of Turkic States: Turkish foreign minister

ANKARA, ISTANBUL

Amid other changes to boost their institution, the grouping of Turkic countries will change its name to the Organization of Turkic States, Turkey's foreign minister said Thursday.

Addressing fellow foreign ministers of the Turkic Council ahead of a leaders’ summit on Friday, Mevlut Cavusoglu welcomed Turkmenistan, which has attended the council as an observer state.

At the summit, Turkey is due to take over the group’s term presidency from Azerbaijan.

Cavusoglu said the council will accept the revised regulations as recommended by a “wise man council,” an advisory board of senior statesmen.

“In our common culture, the words of our elders are accepted as a guiding light in times of trouble. Our wise men will shine a light on our path with their experiences,” he added.

Cavusoglu said under other upcoming changes, the status of both observer and partner states will be clearly defined, and the council will gain new allure while “our unique identity” is preserved.

The Turkic Council heads of state will accept the group’s vision for the year 2040 on Friday, said Cavusoglu, adding that this will show the perspective of the organization.

“Just as our roots are common, our vision for the future must also be common,” he urged.

“In order to fulfill the objectives in the vision document, we will accept an implementation document during our term presidency. I propose that this document, which is a five-year roadmap, be submitted for the approval of our council in the first quarter of 2022,” he added.

Cooperation to boost Turkic economies

The top Turkish diplomat also said that the economies of the member countries deserve further improvement, adding: “In order to connect our economies, we have to improve our cooperation and collaboration in the field of logistics and transportation.”

The Zangezur corridor will improve logistics between member countries, said Cavusoglu, adding that this will improve to the welfare of the entire Turkic world.

The corridor – set to be built in the wake of last year's Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in which Azerbaijan liberated some 300 settlements from Armenian occupation – is set to connect western Azerbaijan to its autonomous exclave of Nakhchivan.

Cavusoglu also again congratulated Azerbaijan on the first anniversary of its victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which previously had been under Armenian occupation for 28 years.

Speaking at the foreign ministers’ meeting one day before the summit on Friday in Istanbul, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov hailed Turkey’s high-level political and moral support for Azerbaijan in its victory in the Second Karabakh War.

Bayramov thanked the Turkic Council and all friendly countries that supported Azerbaijan during the war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

He said Azerbaijan has started reconstruction in regions liberated from the Armenian occupation: “Transport, communication and infrastructure projects are in everyone's interest. I believe that these projects will contribute to peace, security and development in the region and create additional opportunities for the entire Turkic world and other countries," he said.

Bayramov noted that the Zangezur corridor will further strengthen cooperation and increase trade volume among regional countries, urging friendly and partner countries to take advantage of the opportunity.

Regarding Turkish-Azerbaijani relations, Bayramov said the strategic alliance between the two nations, and their common projects encourage broader regional cooperation.

The Turkic Council was formed in 2009 to promote cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. It consists of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan as member countries, and Hungary as an observer state.

*Zehra Nur Duz contributed to the story from Ankara

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