Summit of Turkics States Cooperation Council strengthens thanks to participation of Hungary and Uzbekistan

Summit of Turkics States Cooperation Council strengthens thanks to participation of Hungary and Uzbekistan

Sixth Summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States (CCTS) - Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Kazakhstan - ended yesterday today with the signing of declaration on integration of Turkic speaking countries. In addition, a joint statement of heads of participating states regarding development of cooperation in the field of youth and national sports was made. Hungary was granted observer status, while Uzbekistan announced its intention to join this council.

During this event, presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Azerbaijan (Nursultan Nazarbayev, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ilham Aliyev), as well as honorable guests, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyev and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, discussed youth policy and sport, as well as future plans. Invited president of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ignored this event.

President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, said during opening of this summit that "participation of such distinguished guests in this meeting demonstrates increasing importance and growth of the Turkic Council's influence." He expressed confidence that "mutual cooperation and fraternal ties between our countries will rise to qualitatively new level," his press service reported.

The CCTS was created in 2009 at Nazarbayev's initiative. According to his idea, this Council should have all necessary features of political regional union, legal status and certain organizational structures. However, due to the fact that Turkic states have different geopolitical vectors, widespread integration didn't happen yet.

That's why current summit, as Nazarbayev noted, is dedicated to development of national sports and youth policy. Nevertheless, head of Kazakhstan hopes that the CCTS will work on more broad topics in the future, including in the field of economy. 

In order to develop trade and economic cooperation, he suggested to use the Astana International Financial Center, where, according to him, his country created all necessary conditions for development of financial instruments, consolidation of capital and attraction of well-known investors and financial experts. "I invite your countries to take an active part in activities of the Astana Financial Center," Nazarbayev said.

Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev highlighted investment potential and existing opportunities for investors in Uzbekistan. He suggested to hold a business forum of the CCTS in Tashkent, as well as to organize tourist and pilgrimage trips to important monuments of Islamic civilization in Uzbekistan.

Mirziyoyev noted that Uzbekistan participates in such meeting for the first time in 10 years: "We're happy to become a part of this organization and propose to make the city of Khiva (Uzbekistan) the capital of the CCTS."

According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, dependence of international trade on the dollar becomes an obstacle for everyone. He believes that it's necessary to carry out trade between countries in national currency. "The dollar only hurts us. We won't surrender, we will be winners... Americans behave like wild wolves. Don't believe them."

Turkish leader also spoke about the fight against the FETO organization and urged his colleagues to "continue resistance." According to him, structures of this organization were established in educational institutions around the world. Kyrgyzstan, for example, promised to replace all Gulen educational institutions operating in the republic under the brand "Sepat" for the Turkish educational fund "Maarif".

Director general of the "Strategy East-West" analytical center, Dmitry Orlov, questioned survival of the CCTS. Especially since countries of this Council have different economic priorities and capabilities. "If you look at the GDP of Turkey, it's three times bigger compared to the GDP of all other countries (Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan) combined. Economic disparity also has political consequences," Orlov said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza. In his opinion, bilateral format works much more efficiently.

Deputy Director of the Eurasian New Wave Foundation representative office in Kyrgyzstan, Denis Berdakov, said that current attempt to revive the CCTS (members of this union last met in 2016 in Alma-Ata) is interesting because Uzbekistan joined it. "This creates a geographical union from Turkey to Kazakhstan. It's a very positive development," Berdakov said. But, according to him, it's impossible to make forecasts right now, since the CCTS includes very different states, with different economic and political capabilities. "This Council can be compared to the union of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. There are many prerequisites for it, including economic ones, but national policies are more important. That's why full-fledged economic union can't be created," political scientist noted.

In his opinion, there are many constradictions among these countries. For example, Uzbekistan and Turkey will compete for industrial markets of other countries. There's also a huge economic difference between Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, as well as involvement in various blocks. Kyrgyzstan's military-technical and economic development depends on Russia. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are members of the Eurasian Economic Union. Kazakhstan pursues pretty independent policy, Turkey won't be able to dictate its conditions in cooperation with it and vice versa. In addition, they have completely differenteconomies: Kazakhstan is gas and oil producing country, Turkey is an export-oriented country. Accordingly, they have completely different goals.

At the same time, expert believes that there are prospects for humanitarian and cultural cooperation, but there still may be some problems, because big countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will block Turkey's influence.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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