The activities of the OTS cover a wide range of cooperation between member states and according to the Nakhchivan Agreement, political coopeation is among the main goals and objectives of the organization.
Organization of Turkic States attaches great importance to economic cooperation among the Turkic States and to their economic ties with the rest of the world. Mutually beneficial economic cooperation is the sound basis and the core of Turkic cooperation at large. The Secretariat, in close cooperation with the Ministries in charge of the Economy and other relevant institutions of the Member States, regularly organizes training and experience-sharing programs on various subjects, regularly brings together members of the private sector of the Member States by organizing technical visits for investors/businessmen, holding Business Forums and meetings of the Turkic Business Council, and Round Tables for the Businessmen with the aim of further strengthening economic ties among its members.
Organization of Turkic States attributes great importance to cooperation in area of customs. In this regard, the Heads of Customs Administrations have held 8 meetings and the Working Group on customs has gathered 11 times so far. Training seminars on the authorized economic operator, post clearance audit and risk analysis are regularly conducted by the Ministry of Trade and Customs of the Republic of Türkiye for the Member States and Georgia. Moreover, the “Memorandum of Understanding between Organization of Turkic States and World Customs Organization (WCO)” was signed by the Secretaries General of the organizations in February 2015 in Brussels. Secretary General of the WCO attended the 4th Meeting of Heads of Customs Administrations in July 2015 in Bishkek.
In order to promote joint actions and projects strengthening customs cooperation among the Silk Road countries through concrete steps, the field visits of the delegations consisted from Azerbaijan, Türkiye, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan experts and the Organization of Turkic States Secretariat were organized to certain Border Crossing Points (BCP) of the Member States under the “Caravanserai Initiative” of Türkiye, including Azerbaijan-Georgia, “Red Bridge” BCP and Baku International Trade Sea Port, in Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyz-Chinese “Torugart” and “Irkeshtam” BCP’s, in Kazakhstan: Kazakh-Chinese border “Altynkol”, “Nur-Zholy” BCP’s and “Khorgoz” Free Trade Zone, in Türkiye “Kapıkule” BCP. The aim of the visits was to get familiarized with the current situation in BSPs of the Member States and explore the possibility of introducing the Built-Operate-Transfer system of building and modernizing of BCPs implemented by Türkiye within the public-private partnership framework. Also, the visit to the newly constructed Baku International Trade Seaport was realized in 2019 to update the findings and review the recommendations of the previous field visits.
Along with other activities in this field, the Secretariat of the OTS also supports capacity building in the course of promoting customs facilitation through tangible initiatives such as organizing a series of regional workshops. So far, several regional and international workshops on “Post Clearance and Risk management”, “Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) System”, and “Customs Transit Facilitation”, “Electronic TIR System” have been organized in Ankara, Astana, Baku, Bishkek and Izmir by the support of the relevant authorities from the Member States with the close collaboration of international organizations such as World Customs Organization (WCO), USAID, GTZ, IRU, EU and etc.
One of the important achievements obtained in the field of customs was the signing of the “Memorandum of Understanding among the Customs Administrations of the Member States of the OTS on Cooperation in the field of Customs Enforcement” during the 7th meeting of Heads of Customs Administrations held on 11 March 2019 in Nur-Sultan that aims to strengthen cooperation in customs enforcement by exchange of information, experience, and promotion of training seminars.
The first Working Group meeting on the “Electronic TIR system” (e-TIR) was held on 15 June 2021 in close collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the participation of Customs Authorities of the Turkic Council Member States to exchange views on simplification of customs and transit procedures through establishing the common e-TIR system in the region.
The Turkish-Uzbek Working Group on \"e-Permit\" within the framework of OTS conducted on 30 June 2021 in Tashkent that aimed to discuss technical aspects of the implementation of the \"e-Permit\" system in the transportation of goods among the countries.
The Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) convened an ad-hoc online meeting on the “Caravanserai Project” with the participation of the representatives of State Customs Administrations/relevant Ministries of the Member and the Observer States of the OTS, as well as Georgia on 8 February 2022. The Parties expressed their support to the Project and emphasized the importance of its implementation as a working mechanism for improving the infrastructure of land border crossing points and for ensuring convergence of customs rules and procedures with international standards. The necessity to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor by providing uninterrupted operation of customs-border checkpoints was also emphasized.
Within that framework of the OTS, the ceremony of launching the digital TIR project between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan took place in Uzbekistan on 18 March 2022. It was highlighted that the OTS fully supports the speedy computerization of the entire TIR system and encourages the further extension of the digital TIR to other member and observer countries.
Moreover, the field visit program was conducted by the OTS Secretariat and the Ministry of Trade of Türkiye and Customs and Tourism Enterprises Co. Inc. (GTİ. A.Ş.) under the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) to the border crossing points of Türkiye on 16-18 May 2022. The participants of this field visit were acquainted with the Turkish experience in the modernization and operations of the visited custom border gates.
The 11th Meeting of the Working Group on Customs Cooperation and the 8th Meeting of the Heads of Customs Administrations of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) were held on 8-9 June 2022 in Bishkek. The Heads of Delegations of the OTS Member States, in their statements, emphasized the necessity of continuation of joint activities on regional integration through simplification, modernization, standardization and harmonization of customs procedures, further application of digital tools in customs, sharing best practices and conducting capacity building programs. The main outcome of the meeting was the adoption of the final version of the “Agreement on Establishment of Simplified Customs Corridor among the Governments of Organization of Turkic States”, that scheduled to be signed by Governments of the OTS Member States in September 2022 in Istanbul. The Parties also decided on the completion of the following issues: the further implementation of the “Caravanserai Project”; scheduling of training and capacity building programs for 2022-2023, utilization of additional measures for facilitation of transport and transit procedures in the OTS Member States through applying the modern digital tools (\"e-TIR\", \"e-Permit\" and \"e-CMR\") and organization of joint programs in collaboration with the relevant international organizations; the OTS Modern Silk Road Trade Caravan Demonstration Tour.
In Samarkand Summit of the Organizaition, the “Agreement on Establishment of Simplified Customs Corridor among the Governments of Organization of Turkic States” for facilitating the exchange of information on movement of goods and vehicles between the customs authorities of the OTS Members States was finalized and signed.
Moreover the Heads of State instructed the relevant institutions of the Member States to continue joint activities on regional integration through simplification, modernization, standardization and harmonization of customs procedures, further application of digital tools in customs, sharing best practices and conducting capacity building programs; urged to continue the implementation of the “Caravanserai Project” that will enhance competitiveness and attractiveness of the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor through providing uninterrupted operation of customs-border checkpoints; commended the successful organization of the field visit program conducted by the OTS Secretariat, Ministry of Trade of Türkiye and Customs and Tourism Enterprises Co. Inc. (GTİ. A.Ş.) under the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) to the border crossing points of Türkiye on 16-18 May 2022 with the aim to acquaint with the public-private partnership experience in modernization and operations of the visited custom border gates.
Recently on December 27, 2022, the Customs Administrations of the two countries successfully carried out an eTIR (multimodal) transportation operation performed by an Uzbek carrier on the route from Uzbekistan (t/p Ark-Bulak/Aviayuklar) to Azerbaijan (t/p Airport Baku/Cargo Terminal Baku) using the eTIR electronic guarantee on the UNECE platform. Earlier, within the framework of the OTS and in cooperation with the IRU, the "digital TIR" project was launched between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and extended to Kyrgyzstan in March 2022. This significant achievement is a testament to the commitment of our Member States to promoting practical cooperation and advancing digitalization in transport and transit procedures, as outlined in the Samarkand Declaration of the OTS Summit held on November 11, 2022.
Motivated by the target of promoting comprehensive cooperation among its members, Organization of Turkic States has placed a special emphasis on bolstering transport linkages among the Member States across the Trans-Caspian International East West Middle Transport Corridor (Trans-Caspian Corridor). Eradicating the existing obstacles to efficient, stable and seamless transport and establishing new mechanisms to streamline transport operations in all modes have constituted the basics of cooperation in this area.
In light of this, six regular meetings of the Ministers of Transport, one online meeting among the Ministers of Transport dedicated to the cooperation against the COVID-19 Pandemic, three meetings of the Coordination Council on Transport at the Deputy Minister-level, eleven Working Group meetings with senior experts of the relevant ministries of the Member States, an international workshop on Trans-Caspian Corridor, and five Sister Ports meeting among Baku, Aktau, Samsun and Kuryk ports with a larger participation of representatives from all transport modes and customs authorities have been organized so far. In order to raise awareness of the national projects of the Member States along the Trans-Caspian Corridor, the Organization of Turkic States increased its cooperation and partnership with international organizations specialized in transport, such as; UNECE-EATL, UNESCAP, TITR and OSJD, and attended various international conferences.
In this process, Ministers of Transport of the Member States signed the “Joint Cooperation Protocol on the Development of Transport” at the First meeting of the Ministers of Transport of the Organization of Turkic States. They also established a Coordination Council at the Deputy Minister-level to address problems faced by the freight forwarders on the spot with practical solutions. Organization of Turkic States Secretariat has steered the negotiations among the Member States on the draft “Agreement on the International Combined Freight Transport among the Member States of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States”.
Member States signed a “MoU on the Sister Ports Relation and Cooperation” among the Ports of Baku, Samsun and Aktau in 2013 to enhance cooperation. Kuryk Port of Kazakhstan joined the Sister Ports cooperation at the Fourth meeting of Ministers of Transport held in Bishkek on 17 April 2019, while the participation of Mersin Port of Türkiye is to join the process at the 5th meeting of the Ministers of Transport in 2021. Turkmenbashi Port was also invited to the Organization of Turkic States Sister Ports process. The relationship set by the MoU has streamlined the exchange of technical visits and trade ties among the Ports, as well as enhanced attempts at the creation of an integrated software system for the shipment of goods among the Ports. The Fourth meeting of the Sister Ports was held in Samsun on 8 October 2021, and the Sister Ports process was enlarged with the inclusion of other ports of the Member and Observer States.
Recently, the Fifth Meeting of the Sister Ports was convened on 27 October 2022 in Tashkent with the participation of heads and representatives of the Ports of Baku (Azerbaijan), Aktau and Kuryk (Kazakhstan) and Mersin (Türkiye), and Logistic Centers “Universal Logistics Services”, “Akhtachi” and “Termiz Cargo” (Uzbekistan), as well as CJSC "Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company" (ASCO, Azerbaijan). At the meeting, moderated by Deputy Secretary General Mirvokhid Azimov, representatives of the sea and dry ports exchanged views on the ways to enhance cooperation among the Sister Ports and agreed to take joint measures for developing the online information sharing platform aimed at further integrating their digital systems and exchanging best practices, jointly launching scheduled block trains along the Corridor and implementing joint digital applications. Parties agreed to organize a field trip to the Mersin Port, the largest container port of Türkiye, and to explore the possibilities of realizing joint projects with the participation of PSA International, one of the largest port operators in the world. Following the meeting, the delegations paid a field visit to the Logistic Center “Universal Logistics Services”, where they got acquainted with its capacities and infrastructure development.
OTS, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport of Türkiye, organized a “Workshop on Trans-Caspian Intermodal Route” in 2016 in Istanbul with the participation of high-level bureaucrats and experts as well as representatives of the private companies from the Member States. In the Outcome Paper of the workshop, which was submitted to the Ministers of Transport of the Member States on the following day in their third meeting, experts highlighted the importance of the corridor for the economic gains of our countries and stressed the corridor’s efficiency for East-West transport. Ministers also expressed their will to continue to work to render the corridor stable, competitive and sustainable and underlined that the Member States should exploit the true potential of the Organization of Turkic States in order to activate the untapped capacity zipped in our geography.
Organization of Turkic States has placed emphasis on its relations with the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), an international association aimed at coordinating interaction among the countries along the Silk Road on the transportation of goods and containers between Asia and Europe. Secretariat assisted the TITR in developing relations with relevant organizations of the Member States. With the efforts of the Secretariat, Türkiye (TCDD) acceded to the TITR agreement in 2014. A transport delegation from Kazakhstan comprising officials from the International Association TITR, the Khorgos Gateway/Logistics Center, and the Kuryk Port met with the Turkish transport delegation composed of the representatives of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Türkiye as well as the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) in November 2017 in Istanbul at the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States. During the meeting, organized with the assistance of the Secretariat, Parties made evaluations on the prospective rail transportation across the Trans-Caspian Corridor and agreed that cooperation in the framework of the TITR, which also includes the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States, should be enhanced in the light of the recent developments.
Two separate Memoranda of Understanding were signed between the Khorgos Gateway/Logistics Center located on the Kazakhstan-China border along with the Kuryk Port located on the Caspian Sea and the International Freight Forwarders Association (UND) of Türkiye in Istanbul at the Secretariat. Moreover, the Organization of Turkic States and TITR have joined hands to promote the Trans-Caspian route at the Logitrans International Transport Logistics Exhibition annually organized in Istanbul. On the other hand, the first train from China to Türkiye and Europe (Xi’an-Ankara-Prague train) reached Türkiye on 6 November 2019 through the Trans-Caspian route with the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway (BTK) within the scope of China’s \"One Belt One Road Initiative. The train made use of the TITR route in its operation.
In light of the above-stated efforts, as well as other regional developments that have increased the strategic importance of the Trans-Caspian Corridor, the last 10 years saw significant changes along the corridor. Logistical expenses, which have been the main impediments to lucrative trade and enhanced economic relations among the Member States, went down due to a decrease in the costs of transit passages and Caspian crossings. Institutional arrangements in some Member States for the coordination of transit freight were instrumental. Customs procedures in Caspian ports of the Member States have been streamlined due to the Single Window system, and port charges were reduced, making the transport operations faster and cheaper. The finalization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway (BTK) and operationalization of the Road Transportation Agreement between Türkiye and China further facilitated the cargo flow passing through the Trans-Caspian Corridor. The intensification of the preparations for China’s OBOR initiative and concomitant bilateral transport agreements inked with the enroot countries has added great value to the efficiency of the corridor.
Member States have also been working to organize a “Road Demonstration Tour (Road Trade Caravan)” across the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor starting from Khorgos Logistic Centre (Republic of Kazakhstan) and checkpoint Irkeshtam (Kyrgyz Republic) to Istanbul to demonstrate the efficiency of the corridor to the world as well as of helping spot possible bottlenecks that might hamper transport operations across the line. The tour had to be postponed due to the pandemic in 2020. On the other hand, in order to streamline the transport operations and decrease logistical costs, Member States are currently working on the ePermit system. It is planned to materialize the existing pilot e-Permit project between Türkiye and Uzbekistan within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States.
Furthermore, the MoU between the Organization of Turkic States and IRU (International Road Transport Union) was signed on 8 October 2021 in Istanbul.
The 5th meeting of the Ministers in charge of Transport of the Member and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States was convened on 14 October 2021 in Budapest, Hungary, where the Ministers held discussions on the measures to be taken to facilitate the transport and transit operations along the Trans-Caspian Corridor in the post-pandemic era, the “Road Demonstration Tour” planned to be conducted across the Trans-Caspian Corridor, exchanged views on the draft “Agreement on International Combined Freight Transport among the Member States of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States”, as well as agreed to stir up the digitalization of transport and transit procedures among the Member States with the implementation of eTIR, ePermit and eCMR applications. Parties also touched upon the ways of the qualitative enhancement of the Sister Ports process. At the end of the meeting, a signing ceremony was organized for the accession of the Mersin Port of Türkiye and “Universal Logistics Services” (Tashkent), “Akhtachi” (Andijan) and “Termez Cargo Center” (Surkhandarya) of Uzbekistan to the MoU on Sister Port Relations and Cooperation Among the Ports of the Organization of Turkic States Member States.
Within that framework of the OTS, the ceremony of launching the digital TIR project between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States took place in Uzbekistan on 18 March 2022.
The OTS Transport Coordination Committee meeting was held in Istanbul on 12 August 2022, with the participation of the Deputy Ministers of Transport.
Lately on 28 October 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the 6th Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Transport of the Organization of Turkic States was convened. The Heads of Delegations expressed their eagerness to continue their efforts on taking the necessary measures to facilitate transport and transit operations along the Middle Corridor by simplifying administrative and visa procedures for drivers, providing discounts for Ro-ro and Ro-pax transportation and the necessary additional transit permits, by stimulating national carriers, as well as joint launch of cargo ferries in the Caspian Sea.
The Parties welcomed the outcomes of the First Meeting of the Heads of the Railway Administrations and the Fifth Meeting of the OTS Sister Ports held within the framework of the Ministerial meeting and encouraged practical cooperation among them in the exchange of experience and best practices, as well as the implementation of joint projects in the field of transport and logistics.
The Ministers endorsed the texts of the “Agreement on International Combined Freight Transport among the Governments of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States” and “Transport Connectivity Program of the Organization of Turkic States” and agreed to prepare them for signing during the upcoming OTS Summit to be held in November 2022 in Samarkand.
The Parties also agreed to carry out close cooperation on the digitalization of transport procedures, including through the introduction by the interested Parties of the e-Permit and e-TIR systems and the intensification of work in the direction of e-CMR system.
Within the margins of the Ministerial Meeting, the launching ceremony of the e-Permit project between Türkiye and Uzbekistan took place and Parties agreed to consider the implementation of a similar system based on their experience. As an outcome document of the meeting, the Heads of Delegations signed the Communique of the Sixth Meeting of Ministers in Charge of Transport.
At the Samarkand Summit of the OTS in November 2022, the Heads of State, supported the outcomes of the ad-hoc meeting of the Transport Coordination Committee and the 6th Meeting of Ministers of Transport respectively held on 12 August 2022 in Istanbul and 28 October 2022 in Tashkent, instruct the relevant institutions of the Member States to prioritize increasing investments for ensuring intra-regional connectivity with well-developed and interconnected hard and soft transportinfrastructure projects among the Member States; praised the signing of the “Agreement on the International Combined Freight Transport among the Organization of Turkic States Member States” and the “Transport Connectivity Program” as an important step to facilitate the transport operations across the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor and to bolster transport cooperation among the Member and Observer States; noted the importance of further development of cooperation to increase the infrastructure along the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor, as well as digitalization of transport, border, and customs procedures to increase the transit potential of the route and to integrate it into regional and international transport systems; supported the endeavours of the Member States for the soonest opening of the Zangazur Corridor, increasing the capacity of the “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars” railway line, and the construction of “UzbekistanKyrgyzstan-China” and “Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar” railway lines, which contribute to enhancing better connectivity and diversification of transport links between Europe and Asia; commended the outcomes of the 1st Meeting of Heads of Railway Administrations of the OTS Member States and 5th Meeting of the OTS Sister Ports held on 27 October 2022 in Tashkent and encourage the close cooperation on further development of transit potential of railways, digitalization of transport operations and enhancement of network among railway administrations, sea and dry ports and logistics centers; supported the efforts within the OTS aimed at the digitalization of transport and transit procedures; commend the launch of “e-Permit” pilot project between Türkiye and Uzbekistan, the extension of the digital TIR pilot project among Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and the establishment of green lanes at the border crossing points for the digital TIR; encouraged the Member States for liberalization of transport, including removing or increasing the number of transit permits and eliminating other non-physical barriers for efficient, stable and uninterrupted transportation within the Turkic region, and further steps in this direction and tasked the relevant Ministries of the Member States to encourage national civil aviation authorities to cooperate and promote a liberal air transport policy to expand existing air transport and air cargo networks and low-cost flights among the Member States to increase trade volume, passenger flow, and touristic activity.
Recently, on 3 December 2022, the first freight train from Türkiye to Uzbekistan arrived in Tashkent. The freight train with 40 wagons loaded with household appliances was launched as part of the implementation of decisions taken at the First Meeting of the Heads of Railway Administrations of the Organization of Turkic States convened on 27 October 2022 in Tashkent. During the Samarkand Summit of the OTS held on 11 November 2022, the Heads of State encouraged the close cooperation among the Member States on the further development of the transit potential of railways, digitalization of transport operations and enhancement of network among the Railway Administrations. In this regard, the above-referred efforts being taken among the Railway Administrations within the Chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the OTS, will contribute to effectively using the existing transport and communication networks and infrastructure in the Turkic region, as well as significantly reducing the time and costs of transport in the direction of the world and regional markets.
Moreover, on December 27, 2022, the Customs Administrations of the two countries successfully carried out an eTIR (multimodal) transportation operation performed by an Uzbek carrier on the route from Uzbekistan (t/p Ark-Bulak/Aviayuklar) to Azerbaijan (t/p Airport Baku/Cargo Terminal Baku) using the eTIR electronic guarantee on the UNECE platform. Earlier, within the framework of the OTS and in cooperation with the IRU, the "digital TIR" project was launched between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and extended to Kyrgyzstan in March 2022. This significant achievement is a testament to the commitment of our Member States to promoting practical cooperation and advancing digitalization in transport and transit procedures, as outlined in the Samarkand Declaration of the OTS Summit held on November 11, 2022.
Structuring an inter-university union for the universities of the OTS Member States with a view to strengthening the existing cooperation among the institutions of higher education has been on the agenda of the Organization since its establishment. In this context, in the course of 2011-2012, the Secretariat carried out preparatory work to put this idea into practice. A core founding group consisting of universities designated by the Member States was structured. In line with the instructions of the Heads of State, the efforts to establish a University Union gained significant ground. Starting from the 1st Summit, the Heads of State welcomed the initiative to establish the Turkic Interuniversity Union, noting that such projects will contribute to the further development of relations between scientific institutions, educational institutions, and scientists, as well as providing enriching experiences for university students. At the 4th OTS Summit, the Heads of State appreciated the endorsement of the “Directive for the Establishment of the Turkic University Union and its Higher Education Area” during the Second Meeting of the Ministers of Education and urged the continuation of technical meetings aimed at full-operationalization of the Union, and instructed relevant Ministries and state institutions to implement necessary measures to this end; and supported the organization of the First General Assembly of the Turkic University Union (TURKUNIB) hosted by Atatürk University, Chair University-in-Office, in October 2014.
Since its First Assembly in Eskisehir in 2014, the number of member universities raised from 18 to 48.
In today’s world youth policies and sports have become important instruments of our lives. They have the power to change the lives of people, especially the youth if true mechanisms are to be generated. Effective youth policies and sport have the power to successfully integrate the youth from all walks of life into society and bring hope to communities with their huge transformative and constructive capacity and their ability to heal some problems that our society faces today.
OTS Member States, having a sizable young population in their respective countries, have emphasized the importance of policies on Youth and Sport considering their educational, cultural and economic role and initiated a cooperation process in this field in 2015. Accordingly, the Sixth OTSSummit in Cholpon-Ata in 2018 was dedicated to the theme of “Youth and National Sports”. In this respect, Organization of Turkic States Secretariat has placed much emphasis on Youth and Sports activities and tried to realize various projects in the very field. So far, six meetings of the Ministers in charge of Youth and Sports and six Working Group meetings comprising the experts of the relevant Ministries were held. Ministers took decisions on the below topics to advance the ongoing cooperation among the Member States.
The importance of establishing coordination and cooperation among the Turkic diasporas as well as the relevant institutions of the Member States is a high priority for the Organization of Turkic States.
The critical role of Diasporas in promoting the image of the Member States as well as raising awareness abroad on issues of common concern to the Turkic Speaking people is crucial. This general will has been highlighted by our Heads of States in the Summit meetings from the outset and reflected in the Summit Declarations of the Organization of Turkic States. With this understanding, Organization of Turkic States so far convened four meetings of the Ministers and Heads of the Institutions in charge of diaspora Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States and six Contact Group meetings comprising the experts of the relevant institutions of the Member States to discuss further actions and cooperation among the Member States. The Ministers and Heads of Institutions approved the “Turkic Speaking Diaspora Joint Activity Strategy” of the Organization of Turkic States in May 2013 in Ankara. The Strategy document set the purposes and main priorities of the Turkic Speaking diasporas as well as the basic assessments about the future course of action. Member States started also to produce “Joint Action Plans” for the Turkic Speaking diasporas in order to generate awareness on collective behavior towards the developments taking place in their environments. Furthermore, the “First Diaspora Forum of OTS” was held in Baku in June 2013. More than 600 representatives from over 50 countries including heads of relevant state agencies and diaspora organizations participated in the event. The Forum was the first of its kind for gathering together the Turkic Speaking diaspora organizations across the world and the diaspora institutions of the Member States in one activity.
Upon the decisions taken at the ministerial meetings, the First Organization of Turkic States Regional Diaspora Center was opened in December 2014 in Kiev, at the premises of Joint Azerbaijan diaspora in Ukraine. Three other Regional Diaspora Centers were decided to be opened in Berlin, Paris and Washington. In order to support Türkiye\'s fight against terrorism, a \"No to Terrorism\" march was held in September 2015 in Kiev with the initiative of the Organization of Turkic States Kiev Regional Diaspora Center. More than 200 representatives from diasporas of Azerbaijan and Türkiye in Kiev participated in the march. A panel titled “The Role of the Organization of Turkic States in Deepening Cooperation among the Turkic Speaking Diaspora” was convened in October 2016 in the Center with the participation of 60 delegates from the various diaspora organizations in Ukraine. Participants discussed the ways to promote the culture and values of the Turkic Speaking States and people in Ukraine. Furthermore, the Meeting of the Executive Body of the Kiev diaspora Regional Center was convened in December 2016 in Kiev where the ways how to create more effective diaspora organization to adapt the Turkic Speaking Diaspora to the changing conditions in Ukraine and the plan of activities for 2017 were discussed.
Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States met with the Turkic Speaking Diaspora representatives based in the USA at the Consulate General of the Republic of Türkiye in New York. He participated in the Annual Turkish & US Flag-raising Ceremony at Wall Street’s historic Bowling Green Park in New York City that marks the Turkish Day Festival. Secretary General and Consul General of the Republic of Türkiye in New York City raised the flags of Republic of Türkiye andOrganization of Turkic States at the Ceremony. Secretary General also attended the \"Traditional Turkish Day Parade\" where all Turkic Speaking States and communities were represented.
Moreover, based on the decision taken at the Third Meeting of the Organization of Turkic States Diaspora Contact Group, 15 youngsters from the diasporas of the Member States living in foreign countries attended the Third OTS International Youth Camp held in Antalya, Türkiye in August 2017.
The 3rd Meeting of Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States was held on 8 November 2018 in Ankara. Updated by the relevant institutions of the Member States upon the recent developments in the world and the region, the “Turkic Speaking Diaspora Joint Activity Strategy of the Organization of Turkic States” was signed by the participating Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of diaspora Affairs and entered into force. On the other hand, within the scope of the cooperation among the Turkic Speaking Diasporas, the Joint Action Plan that contains the concrete steps to be implemented in 2019 was approved by the Parties. With the aim of strengthening the spirit of unity among the institutions responsible for diaspora issues and the Turkic Speaking Diasporas, consolidating the ties of our citizens living abroad and creating awareness through our common values, Member States decided to organize the Organization of Turkic States Second Diaspora Forum in Türkiye with a large participation of the diaspora representatives of the Member States from across the world.
Upon the decision taken at the 3rd Meeting of Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs, the 1st Exchange of Experience Program among the Diaspora Institutions of the Member States was held on 8 February 2019 in Baku. The representatives of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora (SCWD) of Azerbaijan and the Presidency of the Turks Abroad and Related Communities of the Republic of Türkiye (YTB) of Türkiye made presentations about the legal bases of their institutions, their institutional structures, their activities within their respective countries and abroad to bring together their diasporas and exchanged their experiences with Kazakh and Kyrgyz counterparts. Parties discussed their institutional experiences in detail and agreed to trade information and documents about their institutional set up.
The “1st Capacity Building Training Program for the Turkic Speaking Diasporas in Germany” was organized in Berlin on 26 March 2019 with the participation of diaspora NGO representatives from across Western Europe. The Capacity Building Training Program was the first event where the Turkic Speaking diaspora NGOs based in Germany and Western Europe came together, made presentations on their respective activity areas and discussed ways to enhance sustainable cooperation and coordination among themselves. They exchange views on the future course of action among the Turkic Speaking diaspora NGOs and agreed to organize joint cultural, educational and sportive activities to deepen their ties. The officials attending from the central diaspora institutions of the Member States also made presentations on their policies and programs developed towards their respective diaspora groups living in Germany. Parties agreed to deepen the cooperation among their central diaspora institutions to ensure a more coordinated, integrated and sustainable action at the level of diasporas. Central Diaspora institutions of the Member States further agreed to organize joint cultural, educational and sportive activities for the Turkic Speaking diaspora youth to raise awareness on their commonalities and shared identities.
A Nowruz concert was staged at the Embassy of Türkiye with the participation of the Ambassadors of the Organization of Turkic States Member States, members of the corps diplomatic in Berlin, German government authorities, as well as the Turkic Speaking diasporas living in Germany. The concert which was performed by TURKSOY Orchestra provided an atmosphere to celebrate the Nowruz as a common heritage of all Turkic Speaking peoples with the participation of around 300 audiences mostly from the Turkic Speaking diasporas.
The 2nd Capacity Building Training Program for the Turkic Speaking Diasporas was organized in New York on 26-27 August 2019 with the participation of Turkic Speaking Diaspora NGOs from across USA. The Training Program was followed by a cultural program for the celebration of the 650th anniversary of Imadeddin Nesimi’s birthday, considering that 2019 was declared as the “Year of Nesimi” in Azerbaijan by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The 2nd Organization of Turkic States Diaspora Forum is planned to be organized in Türkiye in 2021 with a large participation of the diaspora representatives of the Member States from across the world.
The 4th Meeting of the Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States was held on 19 November 2021 in an online format. Parties elaborated on the decisions of the Heads of State and their main guidelines concerning the diaspora cooperation as reflected in the Declaration of the 8th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States convened on 12 November 2021 in Istanbul and the Turkic World Vision-2040 adopted by the Heads of State at Istanbul Summit. Parties adopted the “Diaspora Joint Activity Plan of the Organization of Turkic States for 2022”; agreed to organize the “2nd Diaspora Institutional Exchange of Experience Program” in March 2022 in Bursa, Türkiye, in its capacity as the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World; agreed to convene the “2nd Diaspora Forum of the Organization of Turkic States” with a large and high-level participation from across the world in Bursa in March 2022 and decided to embolden both events with a vivid celebration of Nowruz, which will be attended by the Turkic diaspora living abroad and Türkiye, as well as the other Turkic Cooperation Organizations. Upon the proposal of the Azerbaijani side, Parties agreed to hold the 1st Diaspora Youth Forum of the Organization of Turkic States in Azerbaijan. Following the meeting, Parties agreed to convene the 5th Meeting of Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States in Kyrgyzstan.
The 2nd Diaspora Forum of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) and the 2nd Experience Sharing Program among the OTS Diaspora Institutions were held on 28-30 March 2022 in Bursa, the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World. The organization was Hosted by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and the Secretariat of the OTS. Around 200 participants, including prominent diaspora representatives, academics, diaspora business people, members of press and students from the Member and Observer States participated in the Forum.. The program concluded with the Nowruz celebrations and inauguration ceremony of Bursa-2022 Cultural Capital of the Turkic World.
Hosted by the State Committee on Work with Diaspora of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Heads of State Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs gathered on the occasion of the International Baku/Shusha Diaspora Forum of the Heads of State Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Baku and Shusha on 20-21 December 2022.
During the Forum, Heads of Delegations and the Secretariat of the OTS held discussions on various important agenda items, covering the current state of the diasporas of the Member and Observer States; the efforts of the Diaspora Institutions of the Member and Observer States to develop cooperation and coordination with their diasporas; the ways to enhance coordination and cooperation among the Diaspora Institutions of the OTS countries and among the Turkic diasporas; views and proposals to enhance the efficiency of the diaspora training programs; the organization of the OTS 1st Diaspora Youth Forum, as well as on ways to ensure increasing participation of Turkic diaspora representatives at the youth, economic, and academic initiatives of the OTS (such as youth camps, festivals, entrepreneurs forums, business forums, activities of the Turkic University Union, among others). On the occasion of the Forum, Member States inked bilateral Memoranda of Understanding to enhance their bilateral cooperation in the field of diaspora.
On the second day of the program, the High-Level Diaspora Representatives and the OTS Secretariat delegation visited Shusha where they held in-depth discussions on the “Diaspora Joint Activity Plan of the OTS for the year 2023”, activities planned to take place in Shusha in its capacity as the “Cultural Capital of the Turkic World in 2023”, issues of mutual regulation and coordination of diaspora activities in OTS countries, as well as conducted on-site inspections of the ongoing restoration and construction works in the city.
During the meeting in Shusha, the Secretariat provided detailed information to the diaspora representatives of the Member and Observer States about the decisions of the Heads of State with respect to diaspora cooperation reflected in the Samarkand Summit Declaration, points they underlined in their addresses during the Summit, as well as stipulated in the Turkic World Vision-2040 and OTS Strategy 2022-2026 documents. The Secretariat also coordinated the discussions of the Parties about the “Diaspora Joint Activity Plan of the OTS for the year 2023”.
Pursuant to the decisions of the Heads of State taken at the OTS Summit in Astana, the Organization of Turkic States has engaged in cooperation in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). So far, four meetings of the Ministers in charge of ICT and five Working Group meetings on ICT cooperation took place. The Ministers in charge of ICT also met at an ad-hoc meeting in Baku.
The Secretariat attended Business Forum entitled ‘Organization of Turkic States and World Telecommunication and Information Society Day’ hosted by the Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications of the Republic of Türkiye on 17 May 2017 in Istanbul, the IT conference and exhibition \"WCO IT 2017” that was held on 7 June 2017 in Tbilisi and the International Forum “Taza Koom” (Smart Society) held on 11 June 2017 in Bishkek.
Moreover, ad-hoc Meeting of Ministers in charge of ICT was organized on 9 September 2019 in the margins of “ITU World Telecom 2019” in Budapest.
On 21 September 2020, an online Ad-Hoc Meeting of the Organization of Turkic States Sub-Working Group on Cyber Security was conducted to discuss the measures taken by the Member States in the cyber security area, exchange information and best practices to better respond to the current regional security challenges and security threats expected as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to develop an appropriate mechanism for establishing regional cyber-security platform within the Organization of Turkic States.
Furthermore, field visit programs were conducted by Secretariat to Azerbaijan (“ASAN Service”) and Kazakhstan (“Zerde Holding”) in 2021 to exchange their experiences and best practices in e-government and e-services, as well as to explore the experiences of one-stop-shops and open data.The special Forum on the theme \"Role of Innovation and Technology Development in the Turkic Region\" was organized by OTS Secretariat in the framework of the \"InnoWeek.Uz-2021\" on 23 November 2021 in Tashkent. During two panel sessions on the topics \"Regional Technology Development: from Past to Present\" and \"Turkic Model of IT and Technology Transfer Cooperation\", participants had interactive discussions on the evolution of technology development in the Turkic region and exchanged best practices and views on enhancing coordination among relevant national/regional actors and IT and innovative companies and high-tech parks operating in the region, as well as explored main challenges faced by the Turkic countries in this field.
The First Meeting among the Space Agencies and Relevant Authorities of the Organization of Turkic States was convened on 20 December 2021 in Baku. At the meeting, Parties made presentations regarding their activities and prospective projects in the field of space as well as cooperation opportunities under the roof of the Organization of Turkic States. During the meeting, Parties underlined the importance of increasing cooperation in the field of space and agreed to establish working groups in “spacecraft and infrastructure development projects and programs” and “education and space awareness programs”. Parties further agreed to work on joint-usage of satellite data from the resources of Member States’; sharing the expertise in various applications, such as water management, natural disasters monitoring, ecology, agriculture and others; designing, manufacturing and launching a joint satellite by the Member States; studying the matter of space standards development in order to coordinate future cooperation; as well as promoting capacity building and experience sharing programs in Aero-Space Research and Development Activities. At the end of the meeting, Parties signed the agreed points and joint project proposals to be realized in the upcoming period.
The Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) convened two days online ad-hoc meeting of the Working Group on Information and communication Technologies (ICT) with the participation of experts from relevant authorities of the Member States of OTS in 3 sub-groups namely: digital infrastructure, e-government and cyber-security on 26-27 April 2022. The Member States agreed to further explore opportunities for sharing knowledge, experience and information in the field of information technology, as well as exchanged views on the agenda of the special Meeting of Ministers in charge of ICT to be held on 26 May 2022 in Baku.
The Second Working Group Meeting among the Space Agencies and Relevant Authorities of the Organization of Turkic States was convened on 11 May 2022 in Tashkent. Technical experts from the Member and Observer States in the field of space technologies took place at the Working Group Meeting to discuss the prospective cooperation opportunities with the aim of developing joint projects. In this regard, the Parties discussed the details of developing a joint cube satellite and organizing joint workshops and youth camps within the Organization of Turkic States.
Upon proposal of Azerbaijani side, the Ad-hoc Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of the OTS was convened on 26 May 2022 in Baku in the margins of the Aerospace and Technology Festival “TEKNOFEST” (26-29 May, 2022). During the meeting, Ministers shared information on the developments in the Information and Communication sector and the mobile and internet services, digitalization, public-private partnerships as well as role of start-ups in achieving the technological innovation in their respective countries. Parties further held discussions on the existing cooperation in the ICT field under the sub-working groups namely: Development of Digital Infrastructure, E-Government, Cyber Security as well as cooperation in implementing joint projects for the development of ICT infrastructure in the Member States. Parties supported the initiative to develop a “Common Mobile Device Registration System” among the OTS Member States, establish cooperation among the start-ups from the different spheres of the Member and Observer States as well as raised the issues related to the “Digital Innovation Catalogue of the OTS” project in the upcoming period. At the end of the meeting, Executive Director of the Center for Analysis and Coordination of the 4th Industrial Revolution under the Ministry of Economy of the Republic Azerbaijan and Executive Director of the MEXT Technology Center of Türkiye made joint presentation about the activities of their Centers and communicated their views on establishing close cooperation in the field of technology transformation, implementing capability building programs and the 4th Industrial Revolution among the Member States. The delegation of the Organization of Turkic States headed by the Secretary General participated in the 4th Digital Bridge 2022 International Technological Forum being held on 28-29 September 2022 in Astana. Within the framework of the Digital Bridge Forum, the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) co-hosted a panel session with the theme of “Innovation and Startup Ecosystem Enablers in the OTS Member States” held on 29 September 2022 in Astana, which was initiated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan H.E. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the Istanbul Summit of the OTS. During the panel discussions, the panelists briefed the participants about the development of the innovation ecosystem in their countries and the conditions created for the startups and IT companies in the Turkic region. The heads of the Turkic IT and Techno Parks also discussed the ways to enhance the network and strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation among them and exchanged views on the priority areas of their collaboration including ecosystem development programs, facilitation with R&D, infrastructure, investment attraction, providing access to various markets, and capacity building as well as concepts of planned projects and programs within the Organization.As an outcome of the discussions, the Memorandum of Understanding among Technoparks from the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States was signed within the framework of the Digital Bridge Forum.
Recently the Fourth Meeting of the Ministers in charge of ICT of Organization of Turkic States was convened on 26 October 2022 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. During the meeting, Ministers exchanged views on the developments in ICT, transformation of public services and E-gov, digitalization, public-private partnerships as well as role of start-ups in achieving the technological innovation in their respective countries. Heads of Delegations highly appreciated the successful organization of major IT-related events within the OTS in line with theme of the 8th OTS Summit “Green Technologies and Smart Cities in the Digital Age”, such as panel sessions of Turkic Technoparks within “Astana Digital Bridge Forum” and “ICT-Week Uzbekistan”, “Expert conference for IT professionals specializing in \"Smart cities\" in the framework of \"InnoWeek - 2022\", as well as signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation among the techno parks of the OTS Member States.
The Ministers also made proposals on the exchange of experiences and best practices in e-government and e-services, the implementation of projects “Global Public Services Gateway”, “Digital Silk Road” and creation of a startup valley in Turkic space, establishment of joint venture funds as well as exploring the experiences of one-stop-shops and non-stop-shops and open data in OTS region. Following the meeting, Heads of delegations signed the “Memorandum of Understanding on the development of IT field in the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States” and adopted the “Concept on Creation a permanent platform of experts and IT specialists to exchange experience and transfer innovations in building Smart Cities”.
The expert group meeting on alternative energy cooperation was organized on 22 April 2016 in Istanbul. At the meeting, parties shared information on the current situations in their respective countries regarding the development of alternative energy sources. They underscored that all Member States had huge renewable potential, particularly from wind, solar and small hydropower stations. However, they noted that renewable energy production accounted for a small portion of all power installations in the Member States. In this regard, they agreed to consider the signing of a quadrilateral “Cooperation Protocol on Regulating the Efforts of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States in the field of Peaceful use of Nuclear Energy” in the period ahead. On the other hand, the Secretariat attended the 23rd World Energy Congress held on 10-11 October 2016 in Istanbul and a speech was delivered by the Secretariat in the panel session entitled “Regional Crossroads: Bringing Caspian Basin gas to world markets”. The Secretariat also participated in the 4thInternational Nuclear Power Plants Summit held on 8 March 2017 in Istanbul, and Ministerial Conference ‘Meeting Challenge of Sustainable Energy’ and the `Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development` held on 11 June 2017 in Astana.
During the 7th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States held on 15 October 2019 in Baku, the Heads States underlined the importance of establishing cooperation in the energy sector and encouraged the Member countries to cooperate and exchange know-how and expertise regarding security of supply, liberalization of the energy sector, establishment and/or operation of markets. They also emphasized the significant potential for establishing and improving cooperation in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Upon instructions of the Heads of State, the first meeting of the Working Group on Energy Cooperation and Ministers of Energy of the Organization of Turkic States Member and Observer States were organized on 23-24 February 2021 in online format. This working platform established within the Organization of Turkic States will ensure regional cooperation by strengthening coordination of the policies and efficient management of energy resources of the Member States, as well as explore opportunities for enhancing collaboration on applying advanced technologies in energy efficiency and renewable energy within the region. Furthermore, the exchange of experiences and best practices among the Member States, particularly in the exploration and petroleum engineering, design of the modern electrical power systems, green energy, electric vehicles and renewable energy resources will be considered an essential part of the collaboration.
The 2nd meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Energy of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was convened on 28 September 2022 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Ministers were reported on execution of the agreed minutes of the 1st Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Energy of the OTS held on 24 February 2021 online and appreciated the preceding meetings of the OTS Working Group on Energy Cooperation, shared their views on the current situation in energy in their respective countries as well as in the region, having expressed their commitment to the further development of the Turkic cooperation in this vital field.
In this regard, parties adopted the OTS Program on Energy Cooperation for 2023-2027 and its respective action plan which include exchange of information and ideas on legislation in energy sector and national programs, renewable and alternative energy sources, fossil fuels energy, nuclear power, energy efficiency, deployment of new technologies, capacity-building programs as well as increasing cooperation in the international arena.
Ministers discussed prospective cooperation opportunities among the Member and Observer States in the Turkic world as well as beyond and creation of effective mechanisms for deepening the energy cooperation, enhancing interconnectivity through joint projects in the Member and Observer States.They stressed the need for further development of the intra-regional connectivity, improvement of renewable and alternative energy sources.
As one of the significant outcomes of the meeting, the Ministers agreed to establish the OTS Coordination Committee on Energy that will also be in charge of implementation of the 5-year documents. Observer State, Hungary expressed its readiness to host the next ministerial meeting. The meeting is continued by international events and sessions in the framework of Kazakhstan International \"Oil & Gas\" Exhibition and Conference (KIOGE) taking place between 28-30 September 2022 in Almaty.
Cooperation in the field of health takes its commencement from the Extraordinary Summit of the Council of Heads of State of the OTS held on 10 April 2020 on the theme of “Solidarity and Cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic”.
As stipulated in the adopted Baku Declaration of the Extraordinary Video Summit of the OTS, the Parties have agreed to establish close interaction among the Ministries of Health of the Member States, to share best practices, assist each other on substantive subjects regarding the pandemic.
Based on this instruction, the Secretariat and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan representing the Chairman-in-Office of the OTS have organized the 1st Video-Conference Meeting of the Ministers of Health of the Member and Observer States of the Turkic Council on 28 April 2020.
Ministers of Health discussed the ways of implementing the decisions made during the Extraordinary Summit and emphasized the significance of cooperation among the Member and Observer States in the fight against COVID-19 and the post-pandemic period within the framework of the OTS.
During this meeting, it was decided to set up Health Coordination Committee and Health Scientific Group to exchange information and experience and best practices in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment of dangerous infections, monitoring, epidemiological studies, and scientific research among the Member and Observer States.
As a result of the Ministerial Meeting, the Parties have established the Health Coordination Committee responsible for coordinating all health cooperation issues among the Parties. Within the Coordination Committee, there is also a “Health Scientific Group” consisting of leading scientists, specialists, and experts to expand coordination in the fight against COVID-19 and other dangerous infections and a “Supply Chain Group” to provide each other with needed pharmaceutical products and medical equipment.
Under this cooperation framework, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Türkiye organized the first face-to-face Vaccine Workshop of the Health Scientific Group on 24-27 August 2020 in İzmir, where Türkiye shared its experience in vaccine development and combatting the pandemic.
The Ministers of Health of the Member and Observer States came together in Istanbul on 30 October 2020 for the 4th Meeting of the Health Scientific Group and adopted the Joint Declaration in which the importance of international cooperation in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and concerted actions to prevent its further transmission was underlined. They also praised the coordination and cooperation efforts of the Turkic Council as an example of institutionalized sub-regional collaboration focusing on the ways to foster solidarity in the interest of the people.
The Ministers underscored the importance of maintaining the achieved level of cooperation, carrying it further with new concrete projects, as well as preparing the OTS’s Pandemic Action Plan.
Since the establishment of this cooperation, the Secretariat have organized 8 meetings of the Health Scientific Group and 4 meetings of the Supply Chain Group where the parties discussed the pressing issues related to COVID-19 and other health priorities of the Member States and exchanged their knowledge with their colleagues.
Delegations of the Member States of the OTS also observed the field practices on-site during the Emergency Health Preparedness Exercise held in Izmir on 16-17 December 2021 organized by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Türkiye in partnership with the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). It is planned to organize a similar joint training program for the medical professionals of the Member and Observer States of the OTS in the future.
In the framework of this cooperation, the Secretariat together with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Türkiye has organized the second face-to-face training program for strengthening the laboratory systems and developing the professional capacities of the laboratory personnel of the Member and Observer States of the OTS on 14-27 March 2022 in Ankara.
Turkic Medical World Congress of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held in Istanbul on 30-31 October 2022 with the participation of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Türkiye.
Panel discussions and sessions were held on the first day of the World Turkic Medical Congress, the main theme of which was “Transforming Global Health in the Post-Pandemic Period.” The 2nd Meeting of the Ministers of Health was held on the margins of the Turkic Medical World Congress on 31 October 2022 Istanbul.
The Secretary-General and the Ministers signed the “Joint Declaration of the 8th Turkic Medical World Congress of Turkic States and the Award Ceremony of “Tribute to the History of Medicine and Common Legacy\" reflecting the results of the Ministerial meeting as well as the meeting of the scientists of the Member and Observer States of the OTS.
Among others, the Parties also agreed to strengthen collaboration on exploring possibilities of supplying medicines, medical equipment, and material needs of the Member States and assessment of the joint production and procurement possibilities in the fields of personal protective equipment, vaccines, medicines, medical devices and materials, and removing barriers against free movement of these supplies.
The Parties agreed to hold the next meeting of the Ministers of Health and Turkic Medical World Congress in Samarkand in 2023.
At the end of the program, the Award Ceremony of “Tribute to the History of Medicine and Common Legacy” was held and H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented awards to Secretary General Amreyev and to the Health Ministers of the OTS for their outstanding work during and afterwards the pandemic process and significant contributions to the cooperation between the Turkic States.
As stipulated in the adopted Baku Declaration of the Extraordinary Video Summit of the Organization of Turkic States, the Parties have emphasized the importance of providing support and assistance to the citizens who remained in the territories of the Member States and could not cross the border due to the travel restrictions as a result of the pandemic, including on the visa facilitation without any sanction.
Based on this instruction, the Secretariat and State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan representing the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization of Turkic States have organized 1st Video-Conference Meeting among the Heads of the Migration Services and Related Authorities of the Member and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States on 7 May 2020 to discuss the negative impact of the pandemic on the citizens of the Parties who are staying in each other’s territory and to take joint actions to settle their permit, visa and other migration-related issues.
Heads of the Migration Services and Related Authorities of the Member and Observer States exchanged information on taken measures, applied procedures, and statistics related to settling the visa and residence/work permit of the citizens of the Parties and discussed the ways to support and assist the citizens of the Member and Observer States who are temporarily staying for several purposes such as studying and working in each other’s territories. Parties agreed on not taking administrative/punitive actions against each other’s citizens who violated visa and residence permit during this process. They underlined the importance of providing comprehensive assistance and migration benefits to the citizens in each other’s territories including waiting zones at airports and border crossing points and temporarily relax immigration requirements, allowing migrants to remain in the destination country beyond the usual time limit. Taking into account the considerable number of citizens living in each other’s territories, the Parties agreed to create Migration Coordination Group in order to inform each other timely and coordinate the necessary measures to solve visa and migration issues of the citizens as well as implementation of the agreed decisions and further expansion of cooperation during as well as after pandemic.
The 1st Meeting of the Migration Coordination Group was held on 7 August 2020 in a video-conference format with the participation of the Heads of relevant Departments of the Migration Services of the Member States to discuss legalization of the activities of labor migrants from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in the territories of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States. The Parties also shared requirements of legislation on labor migration, as well as statistical data on citizens residing or currently staying in the territory of the Member or Observer States, including those who are unable to leave their destination countries due to the pandemic and agreed to create a single database in the framework of the Organization of Turkic States.
The First Working Group meeting on Agriculture Cooperation of the Organization of Turkic States was held on 19 October 2021 via an online format. The meeting was attended by more than 35 government officials and experts from the Member and Observer States namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye, Uzbekistan and Hungary. During the meeting, the Parties provided information on their current situation in the field of agriculture, ongoing reforms, new digital transformation tools applied in agriculture, as well as briefed them about the projects and prospects for future collaboration within the organization. The Member and Observer States stressed the need for joint efforts and actions to build up synergies at the regional level to enhance food security and agricultural productivity through cooperation on capacity-building and technology transfer, in close partnership with international organizations, such as IFAD, FAO and South-South cooperation.
Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States held an online meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and National Land Centre of Hungary with the assistance of the Budapest Office of the Organization on 8 December 2021. During the meeting, participants exchanged views on the perspectives of establishing close collaboration in agriculture development, with a particular interest in the knowledge transfer in farming, horticulture, animal husbandry, irrigation development and water-saving technologies. Parties also discussed the engagement of agricultural business communities from Hungary in the “Turkic Agro-Forum” planned to be held in Uzbekistan in 2022 to activate B2B and G2B cooperation between the member countries in the field of agriculture.
The Organization of Turkic States (OTS) convened the First Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Agriculture on 4 July 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Ministers shared the latest developments in the field of agriculture in their respective countries as well as the recovery plans in the post-pandemic period. They also underlined the importance of developing joint program and projects, involvement of private sector and attraction of investments among the Member and Observer States to increase trade in agriculture products in the region. Referring to agriculture as one of the crucial areas for economic development, Parties expressed their willingness to strengthen relations among the Member and Observer States in this sphere and confirmed their readiness to deepen mutually beneficial collaboration in agriculture and develop experience sharing programs with each other.
As the outcome of the meeting, the Parties signed “Communiqué of the First Meeting of Ministers in Charge of Agriculture of the Organization of Turkic States” which presents the general framework for the future collaboration and activities, including the promotion of innovation in institutions, policies, science and technology, improvement of agricultural productivity, inheritance and development of good agricultural practices, creation a balance in the supply of food products based on the maturation of crops, improvement access to inclusive financial services, loans or credit, improvement ICT exchange in agriculture and cooperation, development and implementation of appropriate action plans to address major issues in agriculture and carry out various concrete projects in this field. Parties agreed to establish five sub-groups under the Working Group on Agriculture Cooperation for the implementation of the above-mentioned issues.
The Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TTCI) organized the First Turkic Agro-Forum on 4 July 2022 in Tashkent.
The Forum was held within the framework of the 1st Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture and aimed at creating a single discussion platform on key issues of agricultural cooperation in the Turkic region and promoting the interaction of business circles in expanding trade in agriculture among the OTS Member and Observer States.
More than 300 officials of relevant ministries, representatives of international and regional organizations and leading companies in the field of agriculture from member and observer countries took part in the Forum. Within the Forum program thematic sessions with speeches and presentations of investment proposals in the agricultural sector, company projects and opportunities to expand cooperation with business structures took place. In addition, B2B meetings and bilateral negotiations served as a suitable place for communication and establishing new contacts between forum participants.
In light of the current developments and challenges worldwide, the Organization of Turkic States considers it very important to engage in activities in the field of justice between its Member and Observer States.
To this end, the First Meeting of the Judicial Academies of the Organization of Turkic States was convened in Ankara on 5 October 2021. The meeting was hosted by the Justice Academy of the Republic of Türkiye and attended by the representatives of the Justice Academies and the Judiciary Training Institutions of the Member States.
During the meeting, Parties informed each other about the activities of their respective institutions and discussed the possibilities of determining common strategies and cooperation areas in the field of judicial training. Representatives of the Member States in principle agreed on establishing the “Union of Turkic Judicial Academies” under the umbrella of the Organization of Turkic States with the aim to carry forward the cooperation opportunities among the Member States in the legal sphere.
Furthermore, the First Meeting of the Prosecutors General of the Organization of Turkic States convened in Baku on 1-2 November 2021. During the meeting, Parties underlined the importance of increasing cooperation in the legal sphere and they emphasized that in order to eliminate trans-border threats such as terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and others, the coordination and direct communication among the Member States are of utmost importance. At the meeting, Parties signed the “Regulation of the Council of Prosecutors General of the Turkic Speaking States” in order to establish close ties and provide assistance through cooperation in promoting the effectiveness of the prosecutor\'s profession, using mutual knowledge, experience and technologies for this end.
As another effort to increase cooperation in the field of justice, international seminar on “International cooperation between prosecutors, providing legal aid in criminal cases: current situation and challenges” was held in Baku on 8-9 August 2022 by the Council of the Chief Prosecutors of the Organization of Turkic States. The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan, was attended delegations from the Prosecutor General\'s Offices of the Member States. The seminar continued with presentations, interactive exchanges and an active exchange of ideas among young prosecutors in the delegations of the Member States.
On 12 December 2022, hosted by the Justice Academy of the Republic of Türkiye, the Founding Ceremony of the Turkic Judicial Training Network was held. The meeting was attended by the Heads of the Justice Academies and the Judiciary Training Institutions of the Member and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS). Parties also underlined the importance of the Turkic Judicial Training Network, which will ensure the further development of the cooperation in the multilateral format. Parties further emphasized that training of judges, prosecutors, and candidate/assistant judges and prosecutors serves strengthening the rule of law and stated that establishment of this Network will facilitate cooperation and coordination in the field of judicial training.
As the outcome of the meeting, Parties signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the Turkic Judicial Training Network between the Member and Observer States of the OTS, which will draw the institutional frame for the cooperation among the Judicial Training Institutions under the umbrella of the OTS. Following the signing ceremony, the delegations visited the Istanbul Justice Palace and got acquainted with the Turkey's best practices in the field of justice.
Cooperation on Humanitarian Issues is a newly established area of work of the OTS.
Within this framework, the 1st Meeting of the Heads of the Organization of Turkic States Red Crescent Societies was held online on 21 April 2021. Participants discussed the current state of affairs and activities implemented by the Organization of Turkic States Red Crescent Societies during the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic; ideas and pathways to guide the future cooperation among the Organization of Turkic States Red Crescent Societies; implementing joint institutional capacity building programs, the share of experiences/best practices and organizing training programs in various fields among the Organization of Turkic States Red Crescent Societies; consultations on potential partnership and collaboration among the Red Crescent Societies and non-governmental organizations functioning in the Organization of Turkic States Member States; ways to develop, enhance and solidify cooperation in the field of joint humanitarian response projects among the Organization of Turkic States Red Crescent Societies and of an expert-level Working Group to discuss the technical details of the cooperation areas and prepare plans to move forward.
The Organization of Turkic States has delivered a total of 611,200 doses of Sinovac vaccine to Burkina Faso and Togo on 6 December 2021. The vaccine donation initiative of Member and Observer states under the auspices of the Organization of Turkic States to African countries in need was also welcomed by the Heads of State during the 8th Summit held in Istanbul on 12 November 2021. 400,000 Sinovac doses were delivered to Burkina Faso and 211,200 doses of Sinopharm vaccine were sent to Togo by a military cargo plane of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Türkiye. Immediately after the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Organization of Turkic States held its first Extraordinary Summit on the theme of “Solidarity and Cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic” on April 10, 2020.
On 21 December 2022, the Disaster and Emergency Management Ministerial Meeting of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held in Ankara. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye and inaugurated by the welcoming speeches of H.E. Suleyman Soylu, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Yunus Sezer, President of Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Türkiye (AFAD). The Ministers of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Deputy Minister of Defense of Turkmenistan, Heads of Disaster and Emergency Management Authorities of the OTS Member and Observer States expressed their readiness towards future cooperation in the field of disaster management within the OTS . The Parties exchanged information about the undertakings of their respective institutions and discussed the possibilities of determining common strategies and cooperation areas in this field. As a result of the meeting, the Parties accepted the Road Map on the establishment of Civil Protection Mechanism of the OTS and upon proposal of the Azerbaijani side agreed to hold next Ministerial Meeting in Azerbaijan.
In the context of strengthening human resources and institutional infrastructure, in order to establish a multilateral platform among Member and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States, as well as bilateral relations between the relevant institutions, \"First Meeting of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) on Human Resources \" was held at 28-29 July 2022 in Istanbul, with the participation of the heads of the public administration agencies and academic institutions of the Member and Observer States.
During the meeting, participating agencies and academies presented their activities, exchange their experiences on specific issues of mutual interest, including management of human resources and training, talent development, evaluation methods, information technologies, and digital solutions; and got acquainted with best practices and innovative approaches in these areas.
The Parties agreed on several measures that could be implemented jointly by the OTS States and adopting on an action plan that could include signing of a memorandum of understanding laying out the main directions of future cooperation, formation of thematic working groups, organization of experience sharing programs as well as launch of a prestigious and comprehensive training program for today’s young talented bureaucrats of the OTS Member and Observer States.
Establishing cooperation among Muslim Religious Institutions of the OTS is another newly initiated area of work.
To this end, the First Meeting of the Heads of Institutions in charge of Religious Affairs of the OTS Member States was organized in Istanbul on 15 April 2022. Participants stressed in their speeches the importance of preserving the Turkic-Islamic values and transforming them into solid cooperation among the religious institutions while standing united against Islamophobia and radicalism.
This was followed by the 2nd Meeting of the Heads of Institutions in charge of Religious Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States; along with the International scientific-practical conference “Contribution of the Turkic People to the Development of the Islamic Civilization” was held on 6 May 2022 in Turkistan with participation the highest religious authorities of Turkic States. At the meeting, it is highlighted that the International scientific-practical conference is not limited to the Turkic Muslim world only, but it also addresses issues of the global agenda, in particular, countering islamophobia, xenophobia, extremism and radicalism.
Furthermore, the OTS Secretary General participated in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held on 14-15 September 2022 in Nur-Sultan, the Republic of Kazakhstan.The meeting adopted the Declaration of the 7th Congress of World and Traditional Religions that covers fundamental issues of the agenda of the world inter religious dialogue and may be regarded as a guide for governments, political leaders and international organizations all over the world. On the margins of the Congress, the Secretary General organized a meeting of the Muslim religious leaders of the Organization of Turkic States and had bilateral meetings with a number of world and traditional religious leaders.
Recently, the Third Meeting of the Council of Heads of Muslim Religious Boards of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) took place in Baku and Susha on 19-20 October 2022. The Heads of Muslim Religious Boards of OTS visited the liberated territories of Azerbaijan and Shusha, the Cultural capital of the Turkic World for 2023. In Shusha, the OTS Muslim leaders signed the “Regulation Establishing the Council of Heads of Muslim Religious Administrations of the OTS”, as a significant effort for furthering cooperation in the field of religious affairs among the Turkic States.
The Religious Leaders also adopted the “Joint Statement of the Council of Heads of Muslim Religious Boards of the OTS”, by which they commit to improving religious affairs among the Turkic States, developing concrete projects and strengthening ties between the relevant structures by creating joint scientific and religious centers.
The parties agreed to hold next meeting of the Council of Heads of Muslim Boards in Uzbekistan, and announced that the first experience exchange program on the institutional infrastructures and activities of the Religious Administrations will be held in Ankara in 2023 with the participation of experts. In addition \"Turkic States 1st Ulema Forum\", proposed by the Mufti of Uzbekistan at the 1st meeting held in Istanbul, will be organized in Uzbekistan on the margin of the next meeting.
As a comprehensive and collaborative organization, the Organization of Turkic States attributes particular importance to developing relations with the relevant regional and international organizations. In this regard, the Organization has established ties with United Nations (UN) and its Specialized Agencies, European Union (EU), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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