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Turkic Council members agree to change body’s name

The leaders of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States, also known as the Turkic Council, held a virtual summit on March 31 under the theme “Turkistan – A Spiritual Capital of the Turkic World” and agreed to change the organisation’s name.

According to a declaration issued by the council, the leaders supported an initiative of the council’s Honorary Chairman, Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev (above) , “to change the name of the Turkic Council and instructed the foreign ministers and the secretariat to prepare the relevant documents to lay the basis for this decision at the 8th Summit of the Turkic Council envisaged to be held in the fall of 2021 in the Republic of Turkey”.

The council was established in 2009 as an inter-governmental organisation with an overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states.

It consists of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan as member countries and Hungary as an observer state.

The meeting was presided by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (below) and attended by Mr Nazarbayev, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Kyrgysthan President Sadyr Zhaparov, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán and Secretary-General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev.

The declaration also proclaimed the city of Turkistan as “a spiritual capital of the Turkic World”.

The Kazakhstan city is home to the mausoleum of 11th-century Sufi sheikh Khoja Akhmet Yassawi, the first Turkic-language poet.

The council’s leaders “agreed that other prominent ancient cities of the Turkic world might be accorded with similar statuses on a rotating basis in the future”.

They also highlighted the remarkable political and socio-economic progress that the Turkic-speaking states achieved during the last decades and highly valued the evolution of multilateral relations in the Turkic world and expressed their strong commitment to further deepening cooperation among the Turkic States.

The organisation’s leaders hailed the secretariat “for the preparation of the initial drafts of the “Turkic World Vision 2040” and “Turkic Council Strategy 2020-2025” and instructed the relevant authorities of the member states to work with the secretariat to prepare for possible approval in line with their respective national procedures at the next summit.

Expressing solidarity with the government and people of Azerbaijan in their efforts to rehabilitate, rebuild and reintegrate the liberated lands of Karabakh, the council also “supported the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognised borders”.

Noting the importance of the economic outlook for enabling the Turkic Council to set more ambitious and achievable goals, the declaration by the leaders also stressed the significance of the council for undertaking and effectively implementing regional projects of strategic importance, in particular in the fields of transport, customs, energy and infrastructure.

The 8th summit of the Turkic Council is planned in Istanbul, Turkey on Nov 12, 2021, depending on the COVID-19 situation, said Mr Erdogan (above).

Key declarations:

1. Proclaimed the city of Turkistan as the “Spiritual Capital” of the Turkic World. Agreed that other prominent ancient cities of the Turkic World might be accorded with similar status on a rotating basis in the future and instructed the Secretariat to prepare a regulation on this matter in cooperation with the Member States to be adopted by the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) prior to the 8th Turkic Council Summit in Turkey.

2. Supported the initiative of Kazakhstan’ Frist President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Honorary Chairman of the Turkic Council to change the name of the Turkic Council and instructed the Foreign Ministers and the Secretariat to prepare the relevant documents to be adopted by the 8th Turkic Council Summit in Turkey.

3. Commended the Secretariat for the preparation of the initial drafts of the “Turkic World Vision 2040” and “Turkic Council Strategy 2020-2025” and instructed the Member States to work with the Secretariat for approval at the next Summit in Turkey.

4. Expressed solidarity with the Government and the people of Azerbaijan in their effort to rehabilitate, rebuild and reintegrate conflict-affected territories and supported the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognised borders.

5. Stressed the importance of the economic outlook for enabling the Turkic Council to set more ambitious and achievable goals, undertake and effectively implement regional projects of strategic importance, in particular in transport, customs, energy and infrastructure.

6. Noting the great merits of the famous poet and statesman Mir Alisher Navoi who made a great contribution to the development of literature, art, social-economic, scientific and cultural life in the Turkic world. And in connection with the celebration of his 580th anniversary this year agreed to establish the Alisher Navoi International Prize.

7. Decided to hold in collaboration with Turkic Cooperation Organisations events to celebrate the 1005th anniversary of Zhusup Balasagyn, 880th anniversary of Nizami Ganjavi, the year of Yunus Emre and the Turkish language, the 580th anniversary of Alisher Navoi, 175th anniversary of Zhambyl Zhabayev, 155th anniversary of Alikhan Bokeikhan and 120th anniversary of Huseyin Karasaev. Ther are prominent poets, philosophers and statesmen who made significant contributions to the development of literature, art, science and culture in the Turkic world.

8. Commended the significant achievements of the Turkic Council Secretariat.

9. The Heads of States expressed profound thanks to Mr Nazarbayev for initiating the Turkistan Informal Summit and Mr Tokayev for steering the deliberations at this meeting to a successful conclusion.

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