Amir Bashbayev

Amir Bashbayev

Baku/02.11.23/Turan: The Organization of Turkic States (OTG) is set to mark its tenth anniversary with a landmark summit scheduled for November 3 in Astana, Kazakhstan. As preparations for the event are underway, Amir Bashbayev, the head of the analysis and forecasting group at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, shared his opinion on the agenda and the significance of this event with Kazinfrom.

The OTG, formerly known as the Turkic Council, underwent a significant institutional transformation in November 2021. This transition saw the adoption of key strategic documents, most notably the "Vision of the Turkic World – 2040," and the corresponding roadmaps for practical implementation. These developments injected fresh momentum into the organization, shifting its role from a mere dialogue platform to a dynamic union of states with a keen interest in expanding trade and economic cooperation.

Today, the combined domestic trade turnover of OTG member countries stands at an impressive $27 billion, a notable increase from $21 billion in 2021. This emphasis on trade and economic collaboration is particularly timely amidst the backdrop of global geopolitical uncertainties. Energy cooperation also plays a pivotal role, with Central Asian nations such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan boasting substantial oil and gas reserves. Turkey, as the leading member of the OTG, aspires to become a regional energy hub for Europe and the Middle East, further fueling cooperation within the organization.

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, often referred to as the Middle Corridor, is gaining prominence within this framework. OTG collaboration contributes to the development and significance of this transport route. Additionally, China's plans to construct an alternative route through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, as well as the potential opening of the Zangezur Corridor in the South Caucasus, promise to interconnect Central Asia, the South Caucasus, and Turkey, facilitating direct access to Europe and greatly boosting trade among participating OTG nations.

Kazakhstan, as a key member of the OTG, plays an active role in various spheres of cooperation, including culture, humanitarian efforts, and education. Notably, Kazakhstan is contributing significantly to the development of a unified Turkic alphabet through the Turkic Academy and the creation of common textbooks on history, geography, and literature. This endeavor aims to foster linguistic unity among Turkic peoples, strengthening their bonds and facilitating collaboration during turbulent times.

The recent earthquake in Turkey in February 2023 served as a test of solidarity among Turkic states, with Kazakhstan among the first to provide humanitarian aid. This crisis underscored the importance of unity among member countries during challenging moments.

The upcoming anniversary summit is expected to evaluate past achievements and outline future plans for the OTG. Key discussions will include the facilitation of unhindered cargo transportation, as outlined in the "Vision of the Turkic World – 2040." Additionally, the summit will address the creation of a civil protection mechanism within the OTG, including a regulatory framework for joint emergency responses, a pressing concern in light of increasing climate-related challenges.

The overarching goal of the OTG, as articulated in its strategic documents, is to become economically robust and developed by 2040. This vision entails the establishment of the necessary regulatory and legal foundations to enable the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor among member countries. This transformation not only promises economic growth for OTG nations but also aims to shift them from raw material-based economies to technological powerhouses.

A noteworthy development is Hungary's observer status within the OTG. Hungary, a member of the European Union, positions itself as an integral part of the Turkic world and a gateway to Europe for the organization. This observer status holds promise for future synergies, as Central Asian nations, along with Azerbaijan and Turkey, work alongside Hungary to harness their collective economic, financial, transport, investment, and legal potential. These collaborative efforts could position the OTG as a regional center of power, unifying diverse strengths for the benefit of its member countries.

The forthcoming summit in Astana stands as a testament to the OTG's evolution and its growing significance in fostering collaboration among Turkic nations, not only in the realms of culture and humanitarian efforts but also in trade, economics, and infrastructure development. As the organization charts its course for the next decade and beyond, its members are poised to embark on a journey of greater unity and prosperity.

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