Organization of Turkic States celebrates 14th year of foundation

Organization carries out activities to lay groundwork for cooperation among member states in various fields

Meiramgul Kussainova  | 03.10.2023 - Update : 03.10.2023
Organization of Turkic States celebrates 14th year of foundation

ASTANA, Kazakhstan

The Organization of Turkic States (OTS) on Thursday marked the 14th anniversary of its foundation.

OTS, whose founding name was Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries (in short, Turkic Council)", was established on Oct. 3, 2009 with the Nakhichevan Agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Türkiye.

Aiming to integrate the Turkic world with common historical and cultural values, OTS carries out activities to lay the groundwork for cooperation among member countries in various fields from economy to politics, from culture to tourism and from education to sports.

OTS, which has gained recognition on a regional scale over time, has become an international organization that strengthens the geopolitical position of the Turkic world with its member countries with approximately 5 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles) of land in 14 years.

The decision of the Turkic Council to change its name to Organization of Turkic States at the 8th Leaders’ Summit held in Istanbul on Nov. 12, 2021 was interpreted as the beginning of a new era in the integration process in the Turkic world in the international arena.

Turkmenistan, Hungary and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are included as "observers" in the OTS, whose number of member countries increased to five with the participation of Uzbekistan at the Baku Summit in 2019.

Headquartered in Istanbul, the OTS consists of the Council of Heads of State, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Elders, the Senior Officials Committee and the Secretariat.

In addition, OTS serves as an umbrella organization for existing cooperation mechanisms such as the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA), the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY), the International Turkic Academy, the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, the Turkic Business Council, the Turkic University Union and the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

OTS also carries out partnerships with many important international organizations such as the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

With a decision to open a representative office in the Hungarian capital Budapest, OTS aims to strengthen its relations with observer member Hungary, as well as with the EU and other institutions such as OSCE, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Visegrad Group, and increase the organization's visibility in Europe.

As stated in the Turkic World-2040 Vision Document, OTS aims to strengthen the environment of mutual trust in the Turkic world, strengthen political solidarity, accelerate economic and technical cooperation opportunities, provide healthy structures to human relations, and ensure the broadest possible use of the historical and cultural accumulations of the Turkic world.

Summits discussed various topics from economy to trade, science to culture, tourism to media and information.

The leaders, who came together at the OTS Extraordinary Summit held in Ankara on March 16 after the Feb. 6 earthquakes in Türkiye, stated that they stand by Türkiye in a close and sincere manner.

In the Ankara declaration signed after the summit, disaster management was determined as one of OTS’ new cooperation areas.

OTS, which has hosted nine summits at the level of heads of state since its establishment, is preparing to organize its 10th summit in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on Nov. 3.

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