The Organization of Turkic States (OTS) is an intergovernmental organization comprising prominent independent Turkic countries (full list of members can be found below).
The organization’s overarching aim is to promote comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. First proposed by the first President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in 2006, it was founded on 3 October 2009, in Nakhchivan. The General Secretariat is located in Istanbul.
10th Summit of the Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States
On November 3, Kazakhstan hosted the 10th summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana.
In addition to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Summit was attended by the leaders of Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Hungary, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as other government representatives of the member and observer states, in addition to the Secretary General of the OTS.
During his speech at the Summit, President Tokayev outlined the priorities of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the OTS, which is held under the motto “Turkic Era – TURKTIME.” This entails eight priorities:
- Traditions: Focuses on deepening the humanitarian and cultural aspect of the OTS.
- President Tokayev said it is vital to mutually promote TV series produced in Turkic countries. Particularly, there’s a pressing need to popularize children’s animated films.
- Unification: Aims at harmonizing diverse elements such as legislation, standards, alphabets, etc., within the Turkic World.
- President Tokayev urged to swiftly review and endorse the proposed legislation, which would enable unrestricted export of Turkic products to a shared market.
- He also advocated for the creation of a Reference Center within the OTS, which would facilitate mutual recognition of product test results.
- Reforms: Pertains to optimizing OTS activities and further institutional evolution.
- President Tokayev said it is worth considering establishing an advisory council for central electoral bodies.
- Kazakhstan advocates for granting the OTS observer status within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and seek collaboration with the Islamic Organization for Food Security.
- Knowledge: Stresses the importance of science and education within the Turkic World.
- President Tokayev proposed opening branches of top global universities in Turkic nations, stating that joint scientific collaborations and knowledge exchange are essential.
- Trust: Concentrates on fostering mutual trust among member states and overcoming developmental gaps.
- Tokayev proposed to hold the third meeting of the security council’s general secretaries in Astana next year.
- He said it’s crucial to conclude an agreement on joint crime combat and the exchange of information between the financial investigation bodies of the Turkic states.
- Investments: Aims at drawing investments from OTS member states, observers, and partners, and boosting economic cooperation.
- It’s essential to cultivate the “green” financing market. Notably, Kazakhstan has suggested establishing a Turkic “green” finance council.
- Mediation ensures synergy, capacity building, sharing experiences, lessons learned and best practices for mediation.
- President Tokayev announced that Kazakhstan will provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people amounting to $1 million.
- Tokayev stated that adherence to the United Nations Security Council resolutions and compliance with international law are essential.
- It is necessary to reform the UN Security Council, ensuring that countries from all regions are represented in the body, including countries from the Global South.
- Energy: intensification cooperation on energy issues, inter alia, in the field of traditional fuels and renewable energy sources.
- Tokayev proposed that Kazakhstan host the International Energy Forum this year.
- In addition, Kazakhstan is planning a regional summit in 2026 to address climate change challenges.
Documents signed at the OTS Summit
The following documents were signed during the 10th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Astana:
- Astana Act
- Declaration of the 10th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States
- Decision by the heads of state to award the President of Uzbekistan, ShavkatMirziyoyev, with the “Highest Order of the Turkic World”
- Decision by the heads of state on conferring the status of Financial Centers of the Turkic World
- Decision on the adoption of new flags for Turkic cooperation organizations
- Decision by the heads of state on appointments
- Decision to grant observer status to the Organization for Economic Cooperation within the Organization of Turkic States
- Decision to designate February 6 as the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the catastrophe and solidarity of the Organization of Turkic States
- Decision on the Budget Management Rules of the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States
- Decision on the development of the “Regulations on Permanent Representatives of the Organization of Turkic States”
- Protocol on cooperation between the relevant institutions of member states of the Organization of Turkic States in the field of metrology
- Joint Action Plan (Roadmap) of the Organization of Turkic States for the implementation of the Transport Connectivity Program for 2023-2027.
Background information on the Organization of Turkic States
Aims & Missions of the OTS
The primary aims of the OTS encompass the strengthening of mutual confidence and friendship among its member states and the promotion of their common purposes and ideals.
The organization also seeks to coordinate political, economic, cultural, and humanitarian efforts among its members.
A significant mission of the OTS is to ensure comprehensive cooperation and to enhance the regional and global influence of its member states.
The structure of the OTS is tiered and includes:
- The Council of Heads of State, which acts as the supreme decision-making body.
- The Council of Foreign Ministers, whose role is to discuss and prepare proposed agreements.
- The Committee of Senior Officials, a working body.
- The Council of Elders, an advisory board.
- The Secretariat (executive body with its headquarters in Istanbul). The Secretariat of the OTS is headed by the Secretary-General.
Membership and Observer Status
The OTS has a growing membership that currently includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Türkiye, and Uzbekistan—the latter having joined the organization in 2021.
Hungary and Turkmenistan have been granted the status of observer states within the OTS.
Since its inception, the OTS has conducted several summits:
The inaugural summit took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2011.
This was followed by summits in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2012); Gabala, Azerbaijan (2013); Bodrum, Türkiye (2014); Astana, Kazakhstan (2015); Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan (2018); Baku, Azerbaijan (2019); Istanbul, Türkiye (2021); and Samarkand, Uzbekistan (2022).
Organizations Under OTS
The OTS oversees several bodies that include:
- The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries (TürkPA) with its headquarters in Baku (Azerbaijan). The Assembly was established on 21 November 2008 with the aim of strengthening inter-parliamentary ties between Turkic countries.
- International Organization of Turkic Culture with its headquarters in Ankara (Türkiye). The organization was established on July 12, 1993, with the aim of reviving cultural and humanitarian ties between Turkic peoples.
- The Turkic Academy, which is dedicated to promoting Turkic history, language, and culture.
- The Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation that focuses on the preservation and global promotion of Turkic heritage.
- Turkic Investment Fund with headquarters in Istanbul (Türkiye). The agreement to establish the Fund was signed on 16 March 2023 in Ankara. At present, the parties are undergoing the document ratification procedure.
Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the Organization of Turkic States
Kazakhstan stands as a foundational pillar of the OTS, being both an initiator and a founding member. Its efforts have been instrumental in the positive developmental trajectory of the organization. As part of its diplomatic strategy, Kazakhstan emphasizes the OTS’s institutional development, broadening of its agenda, and fostering multilateral cooperation across various sectors.
- 10th OTS Summit: Kazakhstan hosted the significant 10th anniversary Summit of the OTS in Astana on November 3 to assess the Organization’s accomplishments in previous years and consider decisions and outcomes from the 9th Samarkand Summit (2022) and the historic 1st Almaty Summit (2011).
- Kazakhstan’s Role:Following this Summit, Kazakhstan assumed the Chairmanship of the Organization, overseeing all its integral bodies, which include the Council of Heads of State, Council of Foreign Ministers, Senior Officials Committee, and various industry meetings within the OTS framework.
Strategic Directions and Goals
- New Phase of the OTS:As the OTS enters its new phase (covering the 10th to 20th Summit), it’s crucial to intensify efforts to promote continuous growth for the Turkic nations. This entails strengthening the inter-Turkic partnership and enhancing integration.
- Guiding Documents:Kazakhstan’s direction will be informed by key documents, including the Nakhchivan Agreement, Turkic World Vision 2040, OTS Strategy for 2022-2026, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Strategic Challenges:Given emerging challenges, a main priority is raising public awareness of the shared identity and heritage of the Turkic World. Amidst global uncertainties, nurturing this unity is essential for mutual understanding, support, and effective cooperation.
- Cooperation & Partnership: Kazakhstan emphasizes the importance of harnessing the potential for beneficial cooperation, with both member and observer states, to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity.
By executing these priorities under its Chairmanship, Kazakhstan aims to harness the potential of the Turkic World, ensuring a prosperous, stable, and integrated future for its members.