President Ilham Aliyev's initiatives, new co-op prospects in Organization of Turkic States

Politics Materials 17 March 2023 15:53 (UTC +04:00)
President Ilham Aliyev's initiatives, new co-op prospects in Organization of Turkic States
Elvin Saxavatoghlu
Elvin Saxavatoghlu
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 17. The Turkic world with a 250-million population has witnessed complex historical processes over the past 200 years, Trend reports.

The Turkic peoples, who were occupied at various times, entered their heyday after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the process of rapprochement of independent Turkic states began.

As a result of the signing of the Nakhchivan Agreement on October 3, 2009, the Organization of Turkic States was established in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan city. Since the organization's establishment, it has taken important steps to expand both political and economic ties between the Turkic states.

The most active period of the Organization of Turkic States fell in 2022. In particular, the strengthening of Azerbaijan's influence in the region in the post-war period had a positive impact on the Organization's image.

During this period, on the initiative of Azerbaijan and Türkiye, several important summits were organized, at which statements were made that attracted the attention of the whole world, and unity was demonstrated. The world once again witnessed the unity of the Turkic states after the earthquake in Türkiye on February 6, 2023.

After the natural disaster, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan came to the aid of Türkiye and came up with initiatives. After the earthquake, one of the most important initiatives was put forward by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

The head of state proposed to hold an extraordinary summit of the heads of state of the Organization of Turkic States. This proposal was very effective from the point of view of the discussion by the Turkic states of the elimination of the consequences of the earthquake. Therefore, the initiative of the President of Azerbaijan was unanimously accepted by the members of the organization.

On March 16, an Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States was held in Ankara.

Speaking at the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev spoke about the assistance sent from Azerbaijan to the earthquake zone, mutual assistance between the Turkic states, military, political and economic cooperation, as well as the unity of the Turkic peoples.

The President noted that the government and people of Azerbaijan were mobilized to provide humanitarian aid to brotherly Türkiye the moment the earthquake struck.

"940 people from Azerbaijan, including rescue workers, medical personnel and volunteers, were dispatched to the earthquake region. Azerbaijan topped the list of countries worldwide for the number of rescuers sent to Türkiye. Thanks to the efforts of our rescue workers and doctors, 53 people were saved from under the rubble. Also, the bodies of 780 people were found. Our medical personnel provided medical assistance to more than 3,000 people," President Ilham Aliyev said.

Of course, other countries that are members of the Organization of Turkic States also sent aid to Türkiye. This aid is a vivid example of the unity of the states that are members of the Organization.

The unity demonstrated by the members of the Organization of Turkic States for the restoration of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan should also be emphasized.

Paying special attention to the contribution of the Member States to the construction work, the President thanked the heads of state for supporting the reconstruction and restoration of Karabakh.

"We have started implementing the "Great Return" program to return former internally displaced persons to their homelands.

Turkish companies are actively involved in many infrastructure projects as contractors in the reconstruction process. To date, contracts worth more than 3 billion USD have been signed with Turkish companies. My dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan has visited the liberated lands three times. He has been to Shusha, Fuzuli, Zangilan, and Jabrayil.

Taking this opportunity, I express my gratitude to the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, for the school being built by Uzbekistan and the creative center under construction by Kazakhstan in the liberated Fuzuli city," President Ilham Aliyev said.

In his speech, the head of state also touched upon the transformation of Türkiye into a center of power against the background of the unity of the Organization of Turkic States members, and the union of Baku with Ankara.

“In June 2021, the Shusha Declaration between Türkiye and Azerbaijan was signed in the city of Shusha, the crown jewel of Karabakh, and our relations were officially raised to the level of an alliance.

In the last 20 years, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Türkiye has covered a tremendous and glorious path, Türkiye has gained a say in the whole world, and has become a powerhouse. Today, Türkiye is reckoned with and respected all over the globe,” President Ilham Aliyev noted.

Naturally, it’s important for the entire Turkic world that the member countries of the Organization of Turkic States strengthen their regional and global influence.

As it’s known, peoples with the Turkic gene inhabit territories from Europe to India, from the Middle East to Siberia, that is, the borders of the Turkic world are not limited to the territories of the organization’s member countries.

In his speech, drawing attention to this topic, the President said that the Turkic world covers a wider geography.

“The Turkic world is not limited to the borders of Turkic states. The Turkic world covers a more extensive geography. The number of Azerbaijanis living in the world exceeds 50 million, and only 10 million live in the independent Republic of Azerbaijan.

The decision of the Soviet government in November 1920 to separate West Zangezur, our historical land, from Azerbaijan and hand it over to Armenia led to the geographical separation of the Turkic world,” the President noted.

This speech should be considered as an important message about the future of the Turkic peoples. Because the attention of the Turkic states to the construction of Karabakh, as well as assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Türkiye, have formed traditions of mutual assistance within the Organization of Turkic States.

This tradition of unity and mutual assistance will continue to manifest itself in terms of protecting the rights of the Turkic peoples, who share the same language and culture but are not independent. All this shows that the Turkic world is rapidly moving towards becoming a global power.

Other Turkic states, led by Türkiye and Azerbaijan, also play an important role in this process. Bringing relations between Baku and Ankara to a high level in all areas serves as a roadmap for other Turkic states and forms a new system of values.

For this reason, it can be assumed that in the near future, the military-political cooperation of the Turkic states will reach a high allied level, based on the principles reflected in the documents of the Shusha Declaration. Meantime, Azerbaijan will act as the main initiator of important ideas in the process of the rise of the Turkic world.