Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) is an intergovernmental organization, whose overarching aim is to promote comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States. The organization was established by the Nakhchivan Agreement, which was signed at the Turkic Summit held in Nakhchivan on the 3rd of October, 2009.The founding and current members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey.From the beginning of 1992 Turkic Council reflects the common political will that emanates from the Process of Summits of the Heads of States of the Turkic Speaking States.At the Istanbul Summit of 2010 the Turkic Council began its activities with headquarters in Istanbul.
The summits after the establishment of the Turkic Council were renamed as “Summits of Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States”. Five Summits have been held in Almaty, Bishkek, Gabala, Bodrum, and Astana since the establishment of the organization.
First Summit of the Turkic Council On 20-21 October 2011 in Almaty was organized the first Turkic Summit. This Summit was also the first Summit organized under a specific topic: “Economic Cooperation”.
Second Summit of the Turkic Council
The Second Summit of the Turkic Council was held on 22-23 August 2012 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek Summit was organized under the topic of “Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation”.Third Summit of the Turkic Council
The Third Summit of the Turkic Council was held on 15-16 August 2013 in Gabala, Azerbaijan. The main theme of this Summit was “Transport and Connectivity”.Fourth Summit of the Turkic Council
The Fourth Summit of the Turkic Council was held on 4-5 June 2014 in Bodrum, Turkey. Bodrum Summit was organized under the topic of “Cooperation in Tourism”. Fifth Summit of the Turkic Council
The Fifth Summit of the Turkic Council was held on 11 September 2015 in Astana on the theme of “Cooperation in Information and Media”.Structure of the Turkic Council, Its Objectives and Tasks
Nakhchivan Agreement sets out the main purposes and tasks of the Organization as follows:
- Strengthening mutual confidence among the Parties;
- Maintaining peace in the region and beyond;
- Promoting common positions on foreign policy issues;
- 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;
- Aiming for comprehensive and balanced economic growth, social and cultural development;
- Discussing questions of ensuring rule of law, good governance and protection of human rights;
- Expanding interaction in the fields of science, technology, education and culture;
- Encouraging interaction of the mass media and wider communication;
- Promoting exchange of legal information and enhancing legal cooperation.
- In order to fulfill the objectives and tasks of the Turkic Council, following structures were established:
- Council of Heads of State;
- Council of Foreign Ministers;
- Senior Officials Committee;
- Council of Elders;
The state that hosts the regular meeting of the Council of Heads of State assumes the chairmanship of the Turkic Council until the next meeting.Affiliated Organizations of the Turkic Council
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 of the cultural relations among Turkic states.
TURKPA(Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries)became operational in 2008 with the Istanbul Agreement. Its headquarters in Baku. It is operating with the purpose of deepening inter-parliamentary cooperation among Turkic states.
Turkic Academy was inaugurated as a national institution of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2010. The Agreement on the Establishment of the Turkic Academy as an international organization that would answer the intellectual and academic demands of the Turkic World was signed in August 2012. Its headquarters in Astana. Its aim is to coordinate and promote research in the field of Turkic languages, literature, culture, history and ethnography. Also among the goals is conducting research on cultural and spiritual heritage of Turkic peoples, promoting their contributions to the development of the world civilization and informing the public of their achievements.
Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation was established in August 2012 its headquarter in Baku. The Foundation will provide assistance in the protection, study and promotion of Turkic culture and heritage through supporting and funding various activities, projects and programs. It will carry out its activities in cooperation with TURKSOY and the Turkic Academy.
Turkic Business Council was established in 2011. The joint Business Council has a crucialroleto play in the activities of Turkic Council. Its aims to enhance economic cooperation among Turkic countries through engaging business organizations and entities of the four countries.International Cooperation
As a newly emergent international organization, Turkic Council values cooperation with its counterparts. Currently, for example, Turkic Councilhas developed ties with, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),European Union (EU), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and United Nations (UN), World Tourism Organisation (WTO)
The relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council)
The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) is an international organization which was established on 3 October 2009 by the Nakhchivan Agreement signed at the Turkic Summit of the Heads of States with the overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States. Its members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
Azerbaijan as being one of the 4 founding countries of the Turkic Council and active member closely cooperates with the organization.
Based on the rotation principle the Third Summit of the Turkic Council was convened on 16 August 2013 in Gabala, Azerbaijan. Hosted by President of Azerbaijan H.E. Ilham Aliyev, the Summit brought together the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, President of Turkey Abdullah Gul and Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Sapardurdy Toyliyev. The main theme of this Summit was determined as “Transport and Connectivity”. Within the framework of this Summit Foreign Ministers signed “Protocol of Cooperation among the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Member States of the Turkic Council”. TURKSOY celebrated its 20th Anniversary. The meeting was concluded by signing a “Declaration of the Third Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States” by the Heads of State. Following the Gabala Summit chairmanship-in-office passed to Azerbaijan for a year. During the chairmanship of Azerbaijan a number of activities were implemented and new proposals were launched for enhancement of cooperation in various fields.
Additionally, number of events and activities has been organized in economic sphere such as annual meetings of Ministers of economy, customs and transport. As it has been decided during the First meeting of Ministers of Economy in Astana in 2011, the Working Groups on entrepreneurship, improving investment climate and diversification of economy would hold the meetings on regular basis. Thus, Business forum was convened on 19 February 2014 in Istanbul with participation of the businessmen from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. On 19-20 June 2014 the 4th meeting of the Ministers of Economy and working groups of Turkic Council was held in Issuk-Kull. Third Business Forum of the Turkic Council was organized in Nakhchivan in October 2014.
Seen as key to effective and increased economic and trade cooperation among the Member States, transport and customs cooperation are given a special emphasis. The First meeting of Ministers of Transport of Turkic Council Member States was held in Baku on July, 2013. Efforts center on phasing out the existing impediments before efficient transport operations and developing a stable, integrated and seamless transport along the Central Transport Corridor passing through the Member States. Boosting relations among the Sea Ports of Caspian and Black Sea, increasing multimodal transport potential in the region, and regularizing Caspian crossings are high on the agenda of transport and customs discussions among the Member States. The sister ports relationship established among the Sea Ports of Samsun, Baku and Aktau is instrumental to this end.
At the 3rd Summit held on 16 August 2013 in Gabala, Council of Heads of State welcomed the establishment of Working Group on Customs aiming to enhance customs cooperation amongst Turkic Speaking States. The First Meetings of the Heads of the Customs Administration were held on 5 October 2012 in Nakhchivan where Declaration of the First Meeting of the Heads of Customs Administrations of Turkic Speaking States was signed.
At Gabala Summit a decision to establish Working group on tourism was made and the First meeting of the group was held on 10 December 2013. Following the instructions of the Heads of State a joint photo exhibition was organized in the framework of 13th Azerbaijan International Travel & Tourism Fair on 3-5 April 2014 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Second meeting of Working group and the First meeting of Ministers of Tourism were held in Istanbul on 10-11 April. Member States signed a “Joint Cooperation Protocol on Tourism Cooperation among the Member States” at the meeting. The Second meeting of Ministers of tourism was held by initative of Azerbaijan in Baku in May 2015.During the chairmanship of Azerbaijan and at the Second meeting of the Ministers of Education held on 22 November 2013 in Eskishehir, projects like Movlana Exchange Program (student exchange), preparation of joint history books by the Turkic Academy, launching cooperation in the field of technical and professional education, teaching of languages of Member States at the Universities and Education Institutions, establishment of Turkic University Union and etc. were discussed and relevant decisions were adopted.Azerbaijan hosted the First Forum of leaders of diaspora organizations of the Turkic Council Member States on July 21, 2013 in Baku for the first time. At the Forum Member States adopted “Common action strategy of diaspora organizations of Turkic States” and “Baku Declaration”.
Azerbaijan is also active in the sphere of politics and security in accordance with Nakhchivan Agreement the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs is held a day before annual Summits. At the same time within the sessions of UN General Assembly in New York informal meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs are held as customary practice.
Consultations on security issues between Member States have been launched since 2013. The First meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Member States was held in April 2013 in Baku and the Second meeting was held in March 2014 in Astana. Issues like Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Istanbul process on Afghanistan, regional conflicts, fight against international terrorism are the main issues on agenda.
At the Declaration adopted by Heads of States at the Fifth Summit of Turkic Council in Astana on 11 September, 2015 reflects the following paragraph on Azerbaijan: “reiterate the importance of the earliest settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on the basis of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan”.
Azerbaijan also closely cooperates with related and affiliated organizations and institutions of Turkic Councils like TURKSOY, TURKPA (with headquarters in Baku), Turkic Academy, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation (with headquarters in Baku), Turkic Business Council and plays an active role in enhancement of cooperation in the fields of science, education, culture and art, promotion of common values of Turkic world in international level. At the Second Summit of Turkic Council held in Bishkek on 2012 Azerbaijan put forward an initiative to establish the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation which has begun its activity as an international organization in 2015 with its headquarters in Baku.