Recently, Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, hosted the 10th - Anniversary summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States.
The Council of Heads of State of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, or the Turkic Council as it is commonly referred to, met on 15 October 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan on the theme of "Supporting the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)". The meeting was presided over by H.E. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and was attended by H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbasy and Honorary Chairman of the Turkic Council, H.E. Sooronbai Zheenbekov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and H.E. Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary. H.E. Purli Agamyradov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan also attended the meeting.
The Turkic Council is an intergovernmental organization that aims at promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States, maintaining peace in the region and beyond; coordinating actions to combat international terrorism, separatism, extremism and trans-border crimes; promoting effective regional and bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest; creating favorable conditions for trade and investment; expanding interaction in the fields of science, technology, education and culture.
The Turkic Council was established by the Nakhchivan Agreement that was signed at the Turkic Summit held in the 5000 year old Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan on 3 October 2009. The founding members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey. Uzbekistan joined the organization at the 10th anniversary summit in Baku. The Turkic Council became operational following the Istanbul Summit of 2010 and is headquartered in Istanbul.
The Turkic Council boasts a wide network of Affiliated Organizations spread across a vast geography of member states.
TURKSOY (International Organization of Turkic Culture) was established in 1993 with headquarters in Ankara. It aims to enhance cooperation among the parties on the issues of education, science, culture and art; introduction and promotion of the common values of the Turkic World on the international level; as well as deepening cultural relations among Turkic states.
TURKPA (Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries) is headquartered in Baku. It aims at deepening inter-parliamentary cooperation among member states.
Turkic Academy is headquartered in Astana. It aims at coordinating and promoting research in the field of Turkic philology, literature, culture, history and ethnography. Also among the goals is conducting research on cultural and spiritual heritage of Turkic peoples, promoting their contributions to world civilization.
Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation is headquartered in Baku. The Foundation provides assistance in the protection, study and promotion of Turkic culture and heritage through supporting and funding activities, projects and programs.
Turkic Business Council aims at enhancing economic cooperation among member states through engaging their business organizations.
The Baku Summit of the Turkic Council coincided with the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Nakhchivan agreement that set up a new institutional format for cooperation among member states. Over the past 10 years, the Turkic Council has come a long way. The Council continues to play an important role in the development of cooperation among member states in the political, economic, transport, humanitarian spheres, in the fields of tourism, ICT etc.
Relations of the Turkic Council with influential international organizations are expanding. Currently, fruitful cooperation is being maintained with the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OSCE, Organization for Economic Cooperation and BSEC PA. These partnerships are important for promoting rich cultural heritage and values of the Turkic nations on a global scale.
Cooperation in the field of transport among member states historically located on the ancient Silk Road is another key point of interaction. Azerbaijan is the only Turkic Council member state that provides its international partners with a reliable access to the booming region of Central Asia and vice versa. The country is an active participant the East-West transport corridor. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, commissioned in October 2017, is a joint contribution by Azerbaijan and Turkey to the restoration of the historic Silk Road. The cargo handling capacity of the Baku International Sea Port stands at 15 million tons of cargo and 100,000 containers and is projected to reach 25 million tons and 1 million containers in the years ahead. Azerbaijan continues its efforts to facilitate the access of member states to global markets: over 8 million tons of cargo were transported from member states through Azerbaijan in 2018.
Cooperation in the field of energy also boasts good results. A significant portion of energy resources of member states from Central Asia is transported to world markets via Azerbaijan. Furthermore, member states have decided on building synergies to attract foreign tourists and encourage intra-organizational tourist exchanges. In nine months of 2019 over 330,000 tourists from Turkic-speaking countries have visited Azerbaijan.
The Heads of State of the Turkic Council also commended the efforts of the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation to promote the celebration of Nowruz holiday in March 2019 in Bulgarian cities of Sofia and Kardzhali (Kircaali), with participation of high-ranking officials.
Regional security problems always feature high on the organization's agenda. The final documents of the Baku summit once again underlined member states' unequivocal support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
During the Baku summit, President of Azerbaijan HE Mr. Ilham Aliyev for the first time presented the Supreme Order of the Turkic World to HE Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of Kazakhstan-Elbasy, Honorary President of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States.
Along with presidents of the member states, the summit was also attended by PM of Hungary Viktor Orban. Hungary has an observer status in the Turkic Council. Last month, a representative office of the Turkic Council became operational in Budapest. This office will serve as a facilitator in strengthening ties of Turkic Council with European institutions.