Istanbul opens summit for Turkic-speaking states (UPDATED)
Editor's note: Turkish president's statement added after first paragraph
A summit of the leaders of Turkic-speaking countries opened in Istanbul today under Turkey's chairmanship, the TRT Haber television channel reported.
Opening the summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said the participants will discuss issues of common interest for Turkic-speaking countries.
The work undertaken at the summit will be a legacy for future generations, Gul said.
The leaders of Turkic-speaking states will create a new international organization at the summit. The Council of Cooperation of Turkic-Speaking Countries (CCTC) will be headquartered in Istanbul. The leaders will also approve the CCTC Secretary General.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated the establishing of the organization at a summit in Antalya in 2006. A forum in Nakhchivan three years later resulted in the signing of an agreement to establish the new international structure. The CCTC will be the basis for a new regional Turkic union, which is designed to strengthen the unity of peoples with similar languages and cultures environment, and to strengthen their political and trade relations.
The summit will also address a wide range of international and regional issues. In addition, the agenda includes the establishment of a consultative advisory body. The Council of Elders is expected to be led by head of the Turkish Presidential Secretariat Mustafa Isen.