Areas of Cooperation

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.

Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM)

The principal platform of political cooperation among the Turkic States is the annual Summits of Heads of State. The Foreign Ministers of Member States meet on a regular basis on the side-lines of Leaders Summits, at the meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers. Foreign Ministers may also hold additional meetings to discuss the topics of mutual concern, often coming together during some international events. As become customary, the informal meetings of Foreign Ministers have been held annually on the side-lines of UN General Assembly since 2011.

Foreign Ministers also gather at the Extraordinary Meetings. The First Extraordinary CFM was convened on 6 February 2020 in Baku to follow-up and to facilitate the implementation of the decisions of the Heads of States taken at Baku Summit. The Foreign Ministers met at another Extraordinary Meeting with the agenda of “Afghanistan” on 27 September 2021 in Istanbul where they exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and its regional and global ramifications. Upon the initiative of H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye as the Chairperson in the Office of the Organization, the Council of Foreign Ministers held an extraordinary videoconference meeting on to discuss the developments in Kazakhstan, on 11 January 2022. The Foreign Ministers met in Istanbul on 17 October 2022 at the Extraordinary Meeting and discussed the preparations and the agenda of the Summit of the Heads of States to be held in Samarkand on 11 November 2022 and exchanged views on pressing issues on the OTS agenda. Lately , the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of Turkic States convened in Ankara on 16 March 2023 in an Extraordinary Session to finalize the agenda items to be discussed by the Heads of State during the Extraordinary Summit of the OTS. 

The last regular Meeting of the CFM was convened preceding the OTS 10th Summit held on 3 November 2023 in Astana, to finalize the documents to be signed by the Heads of State, as well as discussed various issues in the agenda of the Organization.

Council of Elders (CoE)

In line with the Turkic history and tradition, Member States decided to constitute the Council of Elders (CoE) as an advisory-consultative mechanism while establishing then called Turkic Council. CoE is inscribed in Nakhchivan Agreement as one of the organs of the Turkic Council together with the Council of Heads of State (CHS), Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), Senior Officials Committee (SOC), and the Secretariat.
 
With its high-level members possessing huge experience mainly in bureaucracy, statesmanship or academia, CoE submits opinions, recommendations, programs, projects and proposals to the CFM and CHS for the promotion of the cooperation among the Turkic States within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS). They can also facilitate the implementation of the ongoing projects of the OTS or help overcome some problematic points with their experience.
 
CoEs main purpose is to support the preservation and development of high spiritual and moral values of history, culture, language and traditions of the peoples of Member States. For this purpose, its members attend international conferences, seminars, workshops, and other initiatives aiming at promoting cooperation among the Member States. CoE is also tasked with conducting other activities assigned by the CHS.
 
The CoE, having strengthened its structure with some amendments adopted at the 8th Summit of the OTS held in Istanbul on 11 November 2021, has convened 14 times so far, and the last meeting was held on 17-18 October 2023 in Samarkand.
 
Currently, every Member and Observer State appoints one elder in the CoE from amongst their nationals who are reputable and respected in the Turkic World, for a four-year term. With its new structure, CoE has a Chairman who performs as the Chief Executive Officer. As the elder of the host country of the Secretariat, Türkiye appointed the first Chairman of CoE, which will be followed by the other Member States on a rotational basis in accordance with the English alphabetical order of their official names. Chairman represents the CoE at the meetings of the OTS and Turkic Cooperation Organizations (TURKPA, TURKSOY, Turkic Academy and Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation) and Coordination Committee of Cooperation Organizations of the Turkic States, as well as to participate in relevant meetings of international organizations upon the consent of the Member States.
 
In principle, CoE convenes twice a year. CoE decisions are taken by consensus. CoE may also convene in an extraordinary format if needed by the call of the Chairman or upon a request submitted by one of the Elders. Proposals and recommendations of CoE have an advisory character for the CFM and CHS. Secretarial work of the CoE is performed by the Secretariat of the OTS.

Security Consultations

Security consultations among the Member States have been convened annually since 2013. Three rounds of security consultations have taken place so far. This mechanism serves as a tool to further cooperation among the Member States on issues related to regional and international security. The relations of the Member States with Afghanistan, issues such as prevention of violent extremism and countering the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters prevailed on the agenda of the last round of consultations hosted by Türkiye on 6 February 2016 in Ankara.

First Meeting of the Heads of National Security Council of the Member and Observer States of the OTS was organized on 29 June 2022 in Ankara with the participation of the relevant authorities of the Member States. At the meeting, issues related to global and regional security and the development of cooperation in the field of security were discussed. Within the scope of the visit, delegation also held meetings with Turkish Aerospace, Ministry of Interior and National Intelligence Organization and was received by President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Second Meeting of Heads of the National Security Councils (NSCs) of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held on 19-20 October 2023 in Tashkent with the participation of the Secretaries of the NSCs of the OTS Member States and the Secretary General of the OTS. During the meeting, Parties elaborated on the existing security environment and emerging developments in the OTS region and the world. They discussed at length the current security threats and challenges targeting the OTS countries, as well as potential ramifications of certain regional and global situations and trends to the Turkic region. Heads of NSCs paid a special emphasis on devising mechanisms within the framework of the OTS to enhance the existing security cooperation with concrete projects and programs. Parties agreed to establish an Expert Group and prepare a Road Map for the realization of the decisions taken at the NSC meetings.

Junior Diplomats Joint Training Program

In accordance with the “Cooperation Protocol among the Ministries of Foreign Affairs”, signed at the 3rd Summit of the Organization of Turkic States, “Junior Diplomats Joint Training Program” was incorporated into the activities of the Secretariat. The training program includes language courses aiming at familiarizing the participants with the languages of the Member States at the basic level, stressing common characteristics, as well as sessions on common Turkic history, international organizations,  negotiation techniques, public relations, role of international and regional organizations, security issues and foreign policy priorities, trade and transportation networks, conflicts in the region and common cultural diplomacy of the Turkic States.  The last 6th Joint Training Program was successfully implemented with the close collaboration of ADA University on 12-26 May 2019 in Azerbaijan.

This Training program is also included as a case study under the title of “South-South Cooperation and Diplomacy: Junior Diplomats Training Program (JDTP) to United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation Publication “South-South in Action on Peace and Development”, which was presented at BAPA+40 Side Event: South-South Cooperation on Peace and Development at the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos-Aires, Argentina on 19 March 2019. It is noted in the Publication that the Organization of Turkic States has devised a tailored training initiative in order to support the evolution of cooperation among young diplomats. Since the inception of the Program in 2014, 138 junior diplomats have benefitted from the training program; 65 of them were women.

Due to the pandemic the program was paused. The next is planned be held in Kazakhstan.

Cooperation among Foreign Policy Research Centers

The cooperation process among the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers of the Member States was initiated by the Secretariat of OTS. The first meeting among the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers was hosted by the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SAM Azerbaijan) in Baku on 8 May 2015. The meeting was followed by the signing ceremony of the MoU among the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States.

As the implementation of the decision taken at the first meeting among the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers, SAM Türkiye prepared a special publication, ‘Fifth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States: A Raising Actor in Regional Cooperation in Eurasia’ devoted to the Fifth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States and it was presented to the Heads of State during the 5th Summit. Within the framework of this cooperation process, SAM Azerbaijan launched the internship for researchers from other Research Centers. As a result of this internship, the “Organization of Turkic States Countries: Infrastructure, Trade, Logistics, and Transportation\" Report was released in English as the special publication series of the SAM of Azerbaijan in November 2017. It was co-authored by SAM`s Research Fellow at the Economic Analysis and Global Affairs Department Mahir Humbatov, a PhD candidate at SOAS University of London and Kazım Sarı, Associate Professor at the Beykent University. This report aims to investigate the logistics and transportation potential of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It also sheds light on the trade and economic relations of the mentioned countries, available infrastructure projects and the promising infrastructure development programs planned to be implemented in the near future. Organization of Turkic States and SAM Türkiye also published a special academic edition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Independence of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States on the occasion of the 6th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States.

The 5th Meeting was hosted on 3 October 2019 in Baku by the Center for Analysis of the International Relations (AIR Centre) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On the sidelines of this meeting, AIR Centre also organized an international conference, “Organization of Turkic States: the 10th Anniversary of the Nakhichevan Agreement”. During the meeting and the conference, the Parties discussed the perspectives of further cooperation among themselves, as well as had a panel discussion on problems and prospects of institutionalization and development of the Organization of Turkic States and future perspectives for cooperation among the Member States. Another Special Publication dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Nakhchivan Agreement was issued by the Secretariat and AIR Centre with the contribution of the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers of the Parties and Turkic Cooperation Organizations. The 6th Meeting was hosted by the National Institute for Strategic Studies of the Kyrgyz Republic in the format of a video conference call on 19 November 2020.

The 7th meeting of the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers of the Member and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States hosted by the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye was held in Istanbul on 10 December 2021. The panelists shared their views and proposals on the cooperation among the Member and Observer States along with the Vision document and its further implementation. The importance of strengthening collaboration in the field of economy and trade, and effective utilization of the joint economic and transit transport potential of the Member and Observer States was also underlined in the panel. Furthermore, the experts had productive discussions on the next steps, such as elaborating on issuing special publications on the “Turkic World Vision - 2040”, as well as using scholarship opportunities for their researchers, and exchanging works and publications related to the activities and projects of the Organization of Turkic States. The Parties also agreed to hold a conference in Shusha city, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan.

The 8th meeting of the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers of the Member and Observer States of the Organization of Turkic States hosted by the Institute for Strategic and International Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tashkent on 14 October 2022. The meeting that was held on the topic “OTS space: prospects to develop trade and economic cooperation and transport and logistics interconnectedness”, brought together representatives of the Center of Analysis of International Relations of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies Under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Institute for Strategic Studies of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye, the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. Profile scientists and specialists from universities of Uzbekistan, including the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies, Tashkent State Transport University also participated in the Conference.

The experts had detailed panel discussions on prospects of cooperation in the new geopolitical conditions, the untapped potential in the fields of industry, energy, agriculture and trade as well as transport and logistics connectivity of the OTS countries and shared their recommendations with the Secretariat of the OTS. The heads of delegations signed the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation among the official research centers of the Member and Observer States for maintaining regular contacts and developing comprehensive cooperation in order to facilitate the further process of integration within the OTS. The Parties also agreed to hold the next regular meeting of the Research Centers in Kazakhstan in 2023.

Election Observer Missions

The Organization of Turkic States participates in the election processes of the Member States by commissioning international observer missions to ensure fair, transparent and democratic elections. The Missions are composed of officials from the Organization of Turkic States Secretariat and the representatives of the Central Election Commissions of the Member States. Since 2011, the Organization of Turkic States has sent more than 30 observer missions to presidential and parliamentary elections as well as referenda taking place in the Member States to support the political participation in respective countries.

Turkic World Vision 2040 

Turkic World Vision 2040 document was approved by the Heads of State at the 8th Summit of the Organization on 12 November 2021 in Istanbul.

Turkic World Vision – 2040 aims to develop a framework to support the capacity of its members to address, individually and collectively, the challenges of our time. The existing spirit of cooperation will be harnessed to serve the fundamental objective of each Member State to raise the political, economic, social and cultural standards of their societies. Through cooperative mechanisms and joint projects, pooling of experiences and offering material and intellectual resources when needed, the Organization will provide a robust and transparent platform of growing cooperation and solidarity. Cognizant of global and regional geopolitical realities, the Organization will endeavor to function as a positive and increasingly capable group ready to engage all partners willing to cooperate constructively towards the attainment of regional and international peace, stability and prosperity. In this process, the Organization will uphold international law and the culture of multilateral cooperation aimed at supporting a predictable state of affairs internationally.

The document will provide direction for individual and joint action by the Member States to further build their administrative capacities to serve the needs and aspirations of their people. The Vision, based on four pillars, provides a strategic approach promising to render each Member State stronger with its people and stronger as a group, without prejudice to their already existing international commitments. The space of cooperation, development and solidarity the Organization aims to build will rest upon mutual interests, trust and respect facilitated by the fraternal affinities between the Member States. Given its broader goals, positive engagement with other countries and international organizations will be a key course of action for the Organization.

Policy Planning Consultations

The First Policy Planning Consultations of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held on 24 June 2022 in Istanbul, Türkiye. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye at the Headquarters of the OTS Secretariat. At the meeting, Parties exchanged views on the global strategic overview and perceptions on major current and future events to take place in the upcoming period. Parties further discussed the regional strategic outlook, political and economic developments in Europe and in Asia, as well as the role of the Organization of Turkic States in the contexts. Referring to the “Turkic World Vision 2040”, which was adopted at the 8th Summit of the OTS in Istanbul, Participants stressed the importance of enhanced and institutionalized cooperation and solidarity among the Member and Observer States to tackle the impacts of the regional and global implications. Political and economic developments, including the security and interconnectivity in Europe, Asia and beyond, were raised during the meeting. Parties agreed to transform the policy planning consultations into a regular mechanism among the relevant authorities of the Member and Observer States to discuss the issues high on the regional and global agenda.

During the Second Policy Planning Consultations of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), which was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 18 May 2023 in Baku, the consultations focused on the global and regional strategic outlook, future development scenarios for the OTS, and the assessment of the spread of Turkic culture and languages around the world. Referring to the “Turkic World Vision 2040” and OTS Strategy for 2022-2026 documents the participants also stressed the importance of enhanced and institutionalized cooperation and solidarity among the Member and Observer States to tackle the impacts of the regional and global challenges. 

Based on the growing emphasis that the Heads of State have paid on holding consultations on regional and international issues affecting the interests of the Turkic World in order to develop a consolidated position among the Member States and their clear instruction to organize such consultations in case of emeging issues that would affect the interests of the Member States and hence require their common action, the Policy Consultations are decided to be organized among the Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the respective OTS countries.

Representation Office in Budapest 

Hungary became an observer member of the then called Turkic Council and the Turkic Academy at the 6th Summit of the Turkic Council in Cholpon-Ata on 3 September 2019. It was a historic occasion for the OTS since the Organization realized its first enlargement since its foundation with Hungary’s obtention of observer status. 
 
In the aftermath of its official involvement with the OTS, Hungary has become a valuable partner of the brotherly Turkic States and was deeply incorporated in the ongoing cooperation structure of the Organization in a short span of time. Indeed, with its robust foreign policy orientation called “Eastern Opening”, Hungary has made valuable contributions to the OTS’s sectorial efforts particularly in the economic field. 
 
As a token of its committed cooperation with the OTS, Prime Minister of Hungary, H.E. Viktor Orbán, proposed to gear up the ongoing cooperation through the establishment of the “European Office of the OTS” in Budapest. Inaugurated in September 2019 with an official ceremony participated by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States and Hungary, the European Office has become a new center of attraction for boosting lucrative cooperation among the sides. The Office has been working to enhance relations of OTS with Hungary as well as to strengthen its ties with the European countries and institutions such as the EU, OSCE and Visegràd Group. The Office has been conducting and supporting programs and projects in the political, economic, historical, cultural areas and other fields of mutual interest; and facilitating the cooperation between business communities of the Member States and Hungary. It also has strong cooperation with the brotherly Turkic Cooperation Organizations, TURKSOY, TURKPA, Turkic Academy, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, and organize joint activities in Hungary.   
 
As for economic relations, over the past 10 years Hungary has more than doubled the turnover of trade with Turkic countries. Hungary’s Eximbank has offered around 1 billion dollars in loans aimed at assisting Hungarian companies with initiatives in Turkic countries. In this direction, the OTS is currently working with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (HEPA) and Hungarian Eximbank to establish closer ties between the business communities of the brotherly countries of OTS and Hungary while providing access to available resources.    
 
In the period following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, OTS countries showed considerable solidarity and supported each other with medical equipment, including face masks, safety glasses, gloves and test kits, among others. These aids were highly appreciated by the public opinion. In reference to this strong solidarity, Foreign Minister of Hungary, Mr. Peter Szijjártó once eloquently expressed: “Real friends show up in times of trouble”, which reflects the true essence of the cooperation within the Turkic World.   
 
Furthermore, Hungary has elevated its relations with all Turkic country to a “strategic partnership level” with its recent decision to open Embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In light of the Turkic World Vision-2040 and the OTS Strategy 2022-2026 aiming at closer cooperation and deeper integration, brotherly ties and cooperation opportunities between the OTS and Hungary will continue to increasingly strengthen in the years to come. Establishment of the “Drought Prevention Institute” within the framework of the OTS Representation Office in Budapest at the Samarkand Summit in November 2022 is yet another testament to the productive cooperation between Hungary and the Turkic States.
 

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.

Working Group/Ministerial Meetings

Since the establishment of the Organization, a total of 11 ministerial and 13 working group meetings on economic cooperation have been organized under the umbrella of the Organization of Turkic States since its establishment. Close cooperation in this field resulted in the signing of several concerete Memoranda of Understanding on faciliatating trade relations among the Member and Observer States.

At the 7th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States on the theme “Developing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises” (SMEs) held in Baku on 15 October 2019, the Heads of States reiterated their commitment to the purpose of facilitating mutual trade and investment, as well as enhancing cooperation and exchanges among the private sectors; called on the national agencies in charge of trade registry to work on potential cooperation in order to facilitate the cross-border affairs, movements and cooperation of entrepreneurs in the Member States for boosting mutual cooperation and international trade among them. They also instructed Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) member organizations to for increasing business programs and projects to increase intra-trade and ensure the socio-economic development of the Member States.

The 10th Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Economy of the Organization of Turkic States was held on 10 September 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. During the meeting, the Ministers held discussions on the agenda items, including “Feasibility Study” and “Agreement Establishing of the Turkic Investment Fund; legal statute and further activities of the Turkic Chambers of Commerce and Industry (TCCI); the establishment of the Turkic Trade Houses in the Member States. The Ministers also elaborated the organization of the Business and Investment Forums in Hungary (Budapest) in 2021 and Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek) in 2022. The Signing Ceremony of the “Memorandum of Understanding on Information and Experience Sharing among Various Types of Economic Zones by the Ministers” and the Award Ceremony of the “Turkic Business Prize” was organized after the meeting. Following the Ministerial Meeting, the Press Conference and presentation of “Research Paper on Trade and Investment Relations among the Organization of Turkic States Member States” prepared by the Secretariat in cooperation with SESRIC were organized with the participation of mass media.

Lately the 11th Meeting of Ministers in charge of Economy and Trade of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held on 9 November 2022, in Samarkand, on the eve of the 9th Summit of OTS. The Economy and Trade Ministers and Deputy Ministers, in the framework of the agenda of the meeting, exchanged their views and expressed positions on establishment of the Turkic Investment Fund, Turkic Trade Houses and “TURAN” Special Economic Zone,  establishment of the “Research Center for Trade Cooperation of Turkic States” and the “Engineering and Technologies Centers” on the basis of specialized organizations of OTS Member States. The Parties also discussed and made proposals on the multilateral “Free Trade Agreement on Services and Investments”, “Partnership Agreement on Digital Economy” within the OTS; the enhancing cooperation among investment promotion agencies of the OTS Member States and preparation of joint OTS catalogue of potential investment projects and concrete measures for the development of cooperation in the field of trade and economy set out in the OTS Strategy for 2022-2026. Following the meeting, Heads of delegations signed the Communiqué of the 11th Meeting of Ministers in charge of Economy and Trade of the Organization of Turkic States and endorsed the “Trade Facilitation Strategy Paper” which will develop new measures and initiatives to increase the volume of trade, as well as eliminate trade barriers and restrictions in the Member and Observer States.

During the historic Samarkand Summit of the Organization in November 2022, “Trade Facilitation Strategy Paper of OTS” was adopted in order to increase trade figures among the Member States through simplification and harmonization of trade and customs procedures, among others, as well as to reduce trade costs and expedite clearance of goods. The OTS Heads of States also tasked the relevant Ministries to carry out the proper work, including the necessary analysis in order to continue discussions on the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement on Services and Investments inline with national legislations of the Member States; and instruct the Secretariat to finalize the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement among the OTS Member States and prepare these Agreements for signing before the next OTS Summit; supported the initiative of Kazakhstan to establish the “TURANSEZ” special economic zone for the Turkic States in Turkistan to strengthen economic cooperation and connectivity among the Turkic States; welcomed the concept of establishing the “Research Center for Trade Cooperation in Turkic Countries” and “Engineering and Technology Center”; welcomed also the initiative to establish Turkic World Investment Forum as a platform providing B2B relations among the investors of the Member and Observer States and third parties which will be held annually, appreciated the activities of the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) to strengthen cooperation among the private sector in the Turkic World, such as the business forums jointly organized with the Secretariat in Shusha and Bishkek, respectively on 16 September 2022 and 14 October 2022; and instruct the relevant Ministries and institutions of the Member States to complete necessary procedures for obtaining the international legal status of TCCI; emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation among the Member States in the fields of digital economy and the 4th industrial revolution.

The 1st Meeting among the Official Economic Policy Research Centers on Economic Cooperation and Integration in the Turkic World was convened on 17-18 February 2023 in Astana.  

The “Information Exchange Programme on R&D and Innovation Support for SMEs” was organized by the Secretariat of Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (KOSGEB) of Türkiye and support of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on 3-5 May 2023 in the premises of OTS.  During the program, KOSGEB experts shared the experience of Türkiye in R&D, P&D and innovation, technology development center (TEKMER) and the international accelerator, SME techno-investment and industrial application Support Programs, as well as evaluation and M&E system. The participants from countries also made presentations about their activities and SME support mechanism. In addition, the participants visited “FARK LABS” and “T-GATE” technology development centers, where they acquittanced with the mechanisms of consulting, technology investment and financial support.

During 2023, more than 20 online meetings were organized at the expert level to discuss the draft "Partnership Agreement on Digital Economy", the concepts of "TURAN” Special Economic Zone, "Turkic Green Finance Council", "Free Trade Agreement on Services and Investments", the concept of establishment “Trade Cooperation Research” Center, "Cooperation Protocol among Metrology Institutions" and others.

In 2023 "Turkic States Economy" Book is published as a comprehensive exploration prepared by the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication (CAERC) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).

The 14th Working Groop Meeting on Economic Cooperation and 12th Meeting of Ministers in charge of Economy and Trade of the Organization of Turkic States and “Turkic World Business Forum” was convened on 13-14 September 2023 in Istanbul. During the meeting, the Ministers outlined the role and activities of the OTS Secretariat in implementing the necessary measures and mechanisms for economic integration, expanding trade cooperation within the Turkic region and strengthening the competitiveness of the OTS economies, as well as developing a trustworthy digital environment that will boost e-commerce transactions of the OTS members among themselves and with the rest of the world. The Ministers also emphasized the importance of regional trade through the creation of a "Common Economic Space" and the prioritization of trade facilitation measures, including the establishment of a Trade Facilitation Committee and the signing of a " Partnership Agreement on Digital Economy (e-commerce)" and "Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Services and Investment" in the OTS region, as well as agreed to strengthen further cooperation in the areas of transport (promotion of Middle Corridor) and customs simplification and harmonization of standards and regulations. In addition, the concept of the project "TURAN Free Economic Zone - TURANSEZ" to be established in the Turkistan region of Kazakhstan was approved, and negotiations on the concept of the establishment of the "Turkic Green Finance Council" are underway. At the end of the meeting, the Ministers signed a “Communiqué of the 12th meeting of Ministers of Economy and Trade of the OTS”.

Moreover, at the 10th Summit of the OTS held on 3 November 2023 in Astana, the “Cooperation Protocol among the Relevant Institutions of the OTS Member States in the field of Metrology” was signed and the concept of establishing the “Research Center for Trade Cooperation in the Turkic Countries” was adopted with the aim of developing concrete proposals and a joint action plan for trade facilitation, the widespread introduction of electronic commerce, and increasing the volume of exports and imports in the Turkic region.

Currently, the OTS Secretariat working on establishing potential institutional cooperation with the leading international organizations functioning in the field of economy, trade and investment, in particular with WTO, OECD, UNIDO, UNECE and etc. 

The “Information Exchange Programme on R&D and Innovation Support for SMEs” was organized by the Secretariat of Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (KOSGEB) of Türkiye and support of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on 3-5 May 2023 in the premises of OTS.  

During the program, KOSGEB experts shared the experience of Türkiye in R&D, P&D and innovation, technology development center (TEKMER) and the international accelerator, SME techno-investment and industrial application Support Programs, as well as evaluation and M&E system. The participants from countries also made presentations about their activities and SME support mechanism. In addition, the participants visited “FARK LABS” and “T-GATE” technology development centers, where they acquittanced with the mechanisms of consulting, technology investment and financial support.  

In the first half of 2023, more than 10 online meetings were organized at the expert level to discuss the draft "Partnership Agreement on Digital Economy", the concepts of "TURAN” Special Economic Zone, "Turkic Green Finance Council", "Free Trade Agreement on Services and Investments", the concept of establishment “Trade Cooperation Research” and Engineering & Technology” Centers, "Cooperation Protocol among Metrology Institutions" and others.

Turkic Business Council / Business Forum Meetings

Upon the instruction given by the Heads of States of Organization of Turkic States at the 1st Summit, the institutions representing business communities of the Member States signed on 20 October 2011 in Almaty, the agreement that established the Joint Business Council in order to initiate and oversee multilateral actions of cooperation based on the principle of mutual assistance and support in line with the priorities described in the agreement.

Under the umbrella of the Organization of Turkic States, 6 Business Council meetings and 5 Business Forum gatherings with the participation of more than 500 businessmen have been held so far. Moreover, one technical visit for investors was organized alongside 3 round-table meetings for entrepreneurs of the Member States, as well as various experience-sharing programs among national trade and industry chambers. Recently, the "Turkic Business Forum "Shusha", devoted to the restoration and socio-economic development of the Karabakh region was held on 16 September 2022 in Shusha, Azerbaijan. The Business Forum was co-organized by the Organization of Turkic States, the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Economy and National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASK) and attended by senior officials of Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as more than 200 business representatives from the Member and Observer States. Following the official remarks of the heads of delegations, the forum proceeded with the special session, moderated by OTS, entitled the “Investment opportunities in Karabakh and East Zangazur economic region”.

The “Turkic World Business Forum” was organized in the sidelines of the 12th Meeting of Ministers in charge of economy of the OTS on 14 September 2023 in Istanbul. More than 250 entrepreneurs from Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Hungary participated in the business forum and B2B meetings held after the opening ceremony.

The Chairmen of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Turkic States and Ministers underlined the importance of SME support and enhance cooperation among the business communities of the Turkic states and removing trade barriers, facilitating customs procedures and establishing free trade in this region.

Turkic Business Portal

The Organization of Turkic States aims to create an online platform that will practically eliminate physical, bureaucratic and linguistic barriers that hamper the trade among the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) of our Member States. This platform will enable instant communication between SMEs without any intermediaries and collect information by presenting trade potential and gathering activities that are currently dispersed among various other fora under a single web portal. While easing communication and centralizing the relevant information, the Organization of Turkic States will greatly facilitate the increase in speed and volume of commercial interactions.

Turkic Investment and Development Fund

Organization of Turkic States works on the establishment of a financial mechanism that would contribute to increasing mutual investment opportunities among the Member States as well as developing entrepreneurship, especially in Small and Medium-sized businesses (SMEs), by creating new job fields and strengthening innovation and ultimately giving impetus to the economic and social development among the Member States. Therefore, the creation of the Turkic Investment and Development Fund endows the Organization of Turkic States with a powerful financial instrument capable of mobilizing the economic potential of Member States. In this direction, the Secretariat meticulously carried out the establishment procedure of the Turkic Investment Fund. Secretariat, in partnership with the consulting company “Ernst & Young”, prepared the feasibility study, which contains an extensive analysis of the market-competition and demand assessment, investment strategy design, administration and organization, financial model and economic impact of the Fund.

The efforts on the establishment of the Fund has become its final stage in Samarkand Summit of the Organization in November 2022. During the Summit, the Presidents of Turkic States has signed a special decision on the establishment of Turkic Investment Fund and appointed its President. The Turkic Investment Fund will be the first and main joint financial institution established by Turkic States and aims to mobilize the economic potential of Member States of the Organization Turkic States to strengthen the trade and economic cooperation between them and to implement joint projects. It will mainly support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by providing them finance through the Fund’s assets as well as other competent financial institutions. The priorities of the Fund will be fostering entrepreneurship, growth, job creation, research and innovation, socioeconomic development of the Member States.

Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry 

Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), with its headquarters in Istanbul, was officially established in 2019 and is composed of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and business communities of the Member and Observer States. TCCI is a fundamental mechanism of economic cooperation carried out under the umbrella of the Organization of Turkic States and assigned by the Council of Heads of State to develop sustainable business programs and projects to increase intra-trade figures among the Member States.

TCCI has managed to organize a large-scale Business Forum on 5 October 2019 in Tashkent and on 15 October 2019 in Baku with the participation of government officials as well as more than 500 businessmen. TCCI, which has carried out important activities in a short time since its establishment, discussed the role of TCCI member Chambers and the private sector in the online meeting on April 7, 2020, within the framework of the efforts of the Organization of Turkic States to prevent the undesired effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the suggestions were presented to the Heads of State during the Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Turkic States held on 10 April 2020.

The Presidents of TCCI Member Chambers came together on 2 November 2020 in Baku with the theme of \"A New Era of Social and Economic Development in Azerbaijan\". Representatives of the Turkic Business World exchanged views on the socio-economic development of Azerbaijan\'s liberated lands in Karabakh. After the meeting, as an expression of the support of the Turkic World to the Azerbaijani people affected by the war in Karabakh, an Aid Supply Truck carrying supplies and equipment was sent to the city of Berde. 

The 3rd General Assembly of the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) was convened in 2021 in Istanbul. During the meeting, the Heads of the business communities of the Member and Observer States exchanged information on the current state of activities and provided recommendations on strengthening further cooperation within TCCI and between business communities, as well as SME’ development. It was highly appreciated the efforts of each TCCI member for their valuable proposals and involvement in strengthening the role of the organization. The Parties voiced the need to establish an electronic platform between the business communities of the TCCI Members and collaborate on creating digital ecosystems. The OTS Secretariat invited the TCCI member organizations to support the initiatives for the establishment of “Turkic Trade Houses” as a new mechanism to encourage joint trade, investments and entrepreneurship among the Member countries. The Parties welcomed this initiative and proposed to launch a working group to draft the feasibility study and action plan of further activities on realizing this project.

Turkic Trade Houses

The Concept Paper on establishing “Turkic Trade Houses” was prepared by the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States that briefly describes the economic potential of the Organization of Turkic States’ Member States and raises trade as a key element for future economic cooperation in the region. The concept also identifies the goals of Turkic Trade Houses, their main activities and functions. The establishment of the “Turkic Trade Houses” will play a significant role in helping the Member States to expand their trade volume, facilitating the export process and strengthening their position in each other markets. Taking into account that the above-mentioned concept of the Turkic Trade Houses was prepared based on the Azerbaijani practice and model, the Secretariat, with the close collaboration of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) currently works on establishment of the first “Turkic Trade House” pilot project in Baku by promoting the project among the private sector.

The further promotion and the implementation of the project will be carried out by the Union of Turkic Chambers of Commerce and Industry (TCCI).

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.

Organization of Turkic States attaches utmost importance to cooperation in the field of tourism among its Member States. It is considered that the tourism potential of the Member States has a privileged place in the multidimensional and in-depth cooperation process created within the framework of OTS.  To this end, 8 Ministerial and 18 Working Group Meetings were held since the establishment. 

As a sign of given significance to the collaboration in the field of tourism, the theme of the 4th Organization of Turkic States Summit, which was held in Bodrum in 2014 dedicated to “Tourism Cooperation”. Following the Bodrum Summit, the efforts to increase cooperation in this field gained momentum. These efforts mainly focused on the transformation of the historical Silk Road into an attractive tourism destination. In this regard, upon the instruction of the Presidents of the Member States given at the Bodrum Summit, the Secretariat developed the Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package. The Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package Project and its materialization as a unique tour package offering an unprecedented opportunity for tourists visiting the Member States constitute the cornerstone of the activities carried out under this cooperation item. The promising role of the Joint Tour Package in increasing the flow of tourists among the Turkic Speaking States and its eventual support for boosting touristic visits from the third parties to these countries present a significant dimension of this project. 

Carrying out joint vocational training presents the cornerstone of cooperation among the Member States in the field of tourism. With the facilitation of the Secretariat, until now, more than 1,000 experts received vocational training on the service sector for tourism employees of the Member States in coordination with relevant Ministries and tourism associations. This capacity-building initiative became subject to several UN reports with its consideration as a best practice for the achievement of SDGs.

The Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package’s destination is designed to follow the landmarks of the cultural and historical heritage of the Silk Road through the Member States. Through the 15 day-trip, tourists would have a unique and adventurous experience. It aims to bring tourists together with the unique cultural, spiritual, historical and gastronomic life of the traditional Silk Road. This joint package will pave the way to increase the flow of tourists among the Turkic States and also boost the touristic visits from third parties to these countries. The Secretariat keeps on promoting the Joint Tour Package. In that regard, Organization of Turkic States delegations are participating worldwide known prominent tourism fairs. The joint tour package is considered as a best practice to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to boost South-South cooperation is ready to be experienced by tourist from the Turkic Speaking States and all over the world. The Secretariat prepared the website of the package (www.modernsilkroadtour.com).

The 6th Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Tourism of the Organization of Turkic States was convened on 24 June 2021 in Kokand, Uzbekistan. As the outcomes of the Ministerial Meeting, the Ministers agreed to launch the “Turkic World Tourism Capital” project in order to promote tourism in the region, in which one of the cities from the Member States will be designated as “Turkic WorldTourism Capital” annually. At the end of the Meeting, the city of Kokand was announced as the first “Turkic World Tourism Capital” until the next Ministerial Meeting on Tourism of the Organization of Turkic States. In this regard, international conferences and various events were held in Kokand with the participation of the public sector, civil society, private sector, academia and other relevant actors from the Member States to promote tourism in the city, as well as promote the city in the Member States and the region. Ministers in Charge of Tourism exchanged experience, information and the precautions taken by the Member States for the safe travel of the tourists during the pandemic; discussed the current tourism relations among the Member States and ways to carry forward the cooperation in the sphere of tourism, as well as prospective plans in the post-pandemic period. Ministers agreed to work on the details of the “Tabarruk Ziyarat” project and expressed their readiness to involve the holy places of the respective countries in the project. Parties consented to prepare the “Tourism Map of the Turkic World” to list the main historical, cultural and touristic destinations in the Turkic World, which will be the reference project in determining the main touristic destinations in the Member States.

Recently, the 7th Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Tourism of the Organization of Turkic States was convened on 23-24 May 2022 in Shamakhi, Azerbaijan. As the outcomes of the Ministerial Meeting, the Parties adopted the regulation on the “Turkic World Tourism Capital”, which presents the general framework for the said program and agreed that Shamakhi will be the Turkic World Tourism Capital for the year 2023, in which various activities, conferences, festivals and other projects will be carried out. Parties further agreed to establish an ad-hoc working group consisting of Ministries of Tourism, Ministries of Transport, and other stakeholders to discuss the opportunities of increasing the number of flights among the major cities of the Member and Observer States. In order to conduct the prospective projects systematically and within a timeframe, Heads of Delegations adopted the joint roadmap, which includes various events, exhibitions, festivals, contests, games, training programs, touristic tours and programs with the aim to contribute to the tourism sectors of the Member and Observer States. 8th Ministerial Meeting on Tourism of the Organization of Turkic States will be held in Turkestan city of Kazakhstan in 2023.

An international conference entitled \"The Role of the Kokand Khanate in the Development of Statehood and Cultural Heritage of the Turkic peoples\" was organized in Kokand on June 8-10, 2022 by the Organization of Turkic States and the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan in close cooperation with a number of higher education institutions of Uzbekistan. Hosted by Kokand University, the event was organized within the framework of the “Tabarruk Ziyarat” \"initiative put forward by the President of Uzbekistan H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Turkistan Summit and in line with the announcement of Kokand as the \"Tourism Capital of the Turkic World\". The opening session was followed by four thematic sessions dedicated to the history of the Kokand Khanate, where scholars presented their scientific analyses and findings and held extensive discussions on various aspects of political, economic and cultural life.

Another event in this framework was the Tourism Forum on the implementation of the pilot project \"Tabarruk Ziyarat\" between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan held on 3-4 October 2022 in Turkistan. The forum was attended by the experts from the ministries and agencies in charge of tourism, customs, migration control and border protection, local administrations as well as tour companies from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The participants were briefed about the tourism potential of Turkistan, Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara and exchanged views on the current state and prospects for the development of pilgrimage tourism and the existing barriers for the effective implementation of the “Tabarrok ziyorat” project. The Forum was continued with the signing ceremony of the bilateral documents between the tourism departments of the administrations of Turkistan and Samarkand, tour operators of the two countries and the International University of Tourism and Hospitality in Turkistan.

During the Samarkand Summit the Heads of State appreciated the activities and events organized by the Republic of Uzbekistan in Kokand, the 1st “Turkic World Tourism Capital” during 2022; and welcome the declaration of Shamakhi as the Turkic World Tourism Capital for the year 2023; supported the outcomes of the 7th Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Tourism of the OTS held on 24 May 2022 in Shamakhi, Azerbaijan; and instruct to ensure implementation of the “Tabarruk Ziyorat”, “Best Tourism Villages of the Turkic States” as well as establishing cooperation in developing winter and golf tourism in the Member and Observer States; commended the outcomes of the Forum on the implementation of the pilot project “Tabarruk Ziyorat” with the participation of government agencies and tour companies of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan held on October 3-4, 2022 in Turkistan; and instruct the relevant institutions of the Member States to take necessary measures for facilitating the soonest implementation of the pilot project and extending it towards the other Member and Observer States; instructed the relevant authorities of the Member States to coordinate their efforts to compile joint nomination files regarding the Silk Road World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination as well as to promote the “Organization of Turkic States’ Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Project” with necessary means including the national and international tourism exhibitions. 

Tourism Training Program of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was organized on 7-12 May 2023 in Hungary with the participation of the representatives of the public and private sector of the Member States. The program was held in line with the decisions taken at the 7th Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Tourism Affairs of the OTS and hosted by the Hungarian Tourism Agency. During the program, tourism professionals from the Member States visited the cities of Budapest, Veszprem, Balatonfüred, Sümeg, Keszthely and Heviz of Hungary and were informed by the Hungarian officials regarding the best practices and developments on the site.

Eventually, 8th Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Tourism of the Organization of Turkic States convened on 11 October 2023 in the city of Turkistan, Kazakhstan. At the meeting, Parties discussed issues related to increasing the number of flights among the Member and Observer States, revealing the potential of the Silk Road Tourism, implementation of the “Turkic World Tourism Capital” and Tabarruk Ziyarat projects, launch of the new website namely www.turkicsilkroad.com, training programs and other issues related to the tourism cooperation agenda within the OTS. At the meeting, upon the proposal of the Kazakh side, parties declared city of Turkistan as the “Turkic World Tourism Capital” for the year 2024 and endorsed the Roadmap which includes various conferences, festivals and other activities to be organized next year in Turkistan.

Parties also agreed to hold the 9th Ministerial Meeting on Tourism of the Organization of Turkic States in Kyrgyzstan in 2024.
 
Common culture, language and history of the Turkic States are the main pillars that underpin the cooperation within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States, making this regional cooperation unique in comparison to others. It was meaningful that the Second Summit of the Organization of Turkic States was held under the theme of “Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation”. Organization of Turkic States stresses the importance of the role of Education and Science. The area is one of the best tools for social change, economic development, and prosperity in our countries.

Ministerial and Working Group Meetings

Organization of Turkic States holds Ministerial Meetings on educational issues to develop and implement special programs that help young Turkic generations to join the existing educational system. 

Since 2010, seven meetings of the Ministers of Education of the Member States were held.

-    The 1st Meeting of Ministers of Education was held on 10 August 2012 in Cholpon-Ata. 
-    The 2nd Meeting of the Ministers of Education was held on 22 November 2013 in Eskişehir
-    The 3rd Meeting of the Ministers of Education was held on 28 November 2014 in Baku.
-    The 4th Meeting of the Ministers of Education was held on 5 September 2015 in Astana. 
-    The 5th Meeting of the Ministers of Education was held on 15 March 2019 in Bishkek.
-    The 6th Meeting of the Ministers of Education was held on 4 November 2021 in Istanbul. 
-    The 7th Meeting of the Ministers of Education was held on 14 June 2023 in Samarkand. 

During the Samarkand meeting Ministers discussed the issues on holding international contests and Olympiads within the framework of the OTS, the implementation of the tasks outlined in the Tashkent Declaration of UNESCO and the prospects of partnership in preschool education, as well as the Sister Schools Partnership Program. They also shared views on the current situation regarding the Orkhun Exchange Program of the Turkic Universities Union and reached a common understanding on the measures directed at strengthening and improving the said Program. The next meeting of Ministers of Education is scheduled in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2024.

Cooperation among Universities 

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, former Chair University-in-Office, in October 2014.

Lately on 23 November 2022, the 6th General Assembly of the Turkic University Union of the Organization of Turkic States was held in the city of Turkestan – the Spiritual Capital of the Turkic World. Hosted by the Kazakh-Turkish International Khoja Ahmed Yassawi University, in its capacity as the chairing University, the General Assembly was attended by University Rectors, Vice-Rectors, high level officials and representatives of 49 universities from member and observer states, namely, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye, Uzbekistan and Hungary. Parties discussed and decided to strengthen “Orkhun Exchange Program” by upgrading the existing Regulation, providing extra sustainable financial support and establishing the Working Group for handling the consolidation process of the Orkhun Exchange Program, which will be composed of relevant experts from the Member and Observer States. 

Rectors accepted the new membership applications and touched upon other agenda items such as reviving the role of Student Council, designating the new Chairman in Office University among others and the need for new programs and projects for enriching the agenda of collaboration among the member universities of the Union. The parties also agreed to provide mutual access to the electronic libraries of the member universities. 
During the meeting the new candidate universities for Union membership presented to the General Assembly their plans, strategies and programs for their prospective membership at the Turkic University Union. In this context, the OTS Secretariat emphasized the importance of all universities participating in the Union to develop a concrete joint project proposal. 

Since its First Assembly in Eskisehir in 2014, the number of member universities raised from 18 to 49. 

Due to the increase in the number of TURKUNIB Member Universities and the intensification of its activities, the OTS Secretariat organized the Special Meeting of Rectors on 6-7 June 2023 in Samarkand – the “Capital of the Turkic civilization”.

In accordance with the agenda of the Meeting, the Parties discussed the modalities of the TURKUNIB, the current opportunities and challenges of the Orkhun Exchange Program, and elaborated the Road Map on the activities of the TURKUNIB for 2023-2024.

Following the Special Meeting, the Parties also participated at a scientific Workshop titled “Afrasiyab (Alp Er Tonga) as a historical figure who laid the foundations of the Turkic statehood”, which was organized by the Uzbek side in cooperation with the OTS Secretariat. 

Currently, the Secretariat is working on the organization of the 7th General Assembly on 16 January 2024, in Baku, the Republic of Azerbaijan, which will be hosted by the Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC) - Chair University-in-Office of TURKUNIB. 

Orkhun Process 

The TURKUNIB has many lines of action, one of them is the Orkhun Exchange Program. The Secretariat has organized 6 meetings at the level of Rectors and Vice-Rectors and 6 General Assemblies. The former helps coordinate the activities within the Union while the latter adopts necessary decisions relating to the organizations of the Union.

The Secretariat advanced intensely on the way to making the Orkhun process a fully-fledged exchange program among students and academic staff of the Organization of Turkic States Member States. Over the past years, the Organization of Turkic States convened a variety of different thematic meetings aiming at integrating diverse educational modalities of the member universities, such as the Bologna Process, Erasmus Plus, and the European Credit Transfer System. These meetings included different sectoral and technical gatherings, field studies on the spot, and extraordinary conventions. As a result, the parties adopted the draft regulation of the program, which was a massive step in its realization. The sides started the pilot phase of the project in the academic year 2017-2018, during which 43 students of member universities from the departments of International Relations and Political Science benefited from the program. 

Cooperation among the Schools 

The cooperation among the schools includes three main focus areas: The Exchange Program for students, the Exchange Program for educational professionals, and the Sister School Project. With the assistance of the respective Ministries of Education, Organization of Turkic States organized two exchange programs for the students of the secondary/high schools in Türkiye (2016) and in Azerbaijan (2018). The projects proved to be useful instruments for the students to understand similar cultural values and perspectives. They also enhance the familiarization of students with other Turkic languages and increase awareness and general knowledge of the students about the brotherly Turkic states.

Considering the role of media and information in the world and realizing the need for developing cooperation in this field, the Organization of Turkic States devoted its 5th Summit held on 11 September 2015 in Astana to the “Cooperation in Media and Information sphere”. Within this cooperation process, the “Organization of Turkic States Joint Cooperation Protocol on Information and Media”, “Protocol of Cooperation among the National TV Channels of the Member States of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States”, and “Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation among official News Agencies of the Member States of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States” were signed.

Contact Group was established on the basis of the national TV channels, consisting of technical, financial, news programs specialists which concentrate on education, culture, sport and news themes in order to accelerate the process of exchanging of information and creating joint projects. The official News Agencies of the Member States also continued cooperation within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States and publish in their official websites, on a permanent basis, the news about the international activities of the Organization of Turkic States and its affiliated institutions. The Republic of Azerbaijan hosted the 8th Meeting of the Working Group and the 3rd Meeting of the Ministers and High Officials in charge of Information and Media on 9-10 April 2021 in Baku. As a result of these meetings, the Parties approved the “Action Plan for 2021-2022” to strengthen cooperation with concrete programs and projects and agreed to establish a Media Coordination Committee consisting of the high-level representatives of the Member States to coordinate and supervise the implementation of the relevant instructions of the Heads of States, decisions of the Ministers and Action Plan for 2021-2022. They also agreed to maximize the potential of the established Joint FTP Pool, increasing joint production of video films, serials, video materials on the common history and culture of the Member States, as well as organizing the exchange programs and training courses for media experts.

OTS Social Media Training Program was organized in Istanbul on 29-30 July 2021 in line with the decisions taken at the 3rd Meeting of the OTS Ministers and High Officials in Charge of Information and Media held on 10 May 2021. The Training Program was hosted by the Directorate of Communications of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye and attended by around 100 participants from the Member and Observer States. During the training program, issues related to the use of social media, combating disinformation, cyber security threats and the experience of Türkiye in these fields were discussed. At the margins of the training program, the 1st Meeting of the Media Coordination Committee of the Organization of Turkic States was organized in order to discuss the prospective plans and projects in the field of Information and Media. At the Media Coordination Committee Meeting, Parties informed each other on the activities carried out by the Member States as enshrined in the Action Plan, which is a roadmap in the sphere of information and media for the years 2021-2022. Parties further agreed to ensure deeper coordination and cooperation of the joint activities to prevent the spread of negative trends, provocations, fake news and disinformation against the Member States in social media platforms.

The OTS Media Forum under the theme “Deep-rooted Past, Strong Future” was held on 22-24 October 2021 in Istanbul. More than 500 participants, including prominent media representatives, academics, social media influencers and students from the Member and Observer States also participated in the Forum.

The 4th Meeting of the Ministers and High Officials in charge of Media and Information of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was hosted by the Directorate of Communications of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye on 14 May 2022 in Istanbul. In the margins of the Meeting, thematic panel sessions were held with the different thematic sessions titled “The Rising Power of Public Diplomacy in The Turkic World: Series-Film Sector”, “The Digital Future of The Turkic World: Metaverse”, “Possibilities for Cooperation in Public Broadcasting in Light of the Turkic World\'s Common Future Vision” and “Combating Disinformation in The Post-Truth Era\". At the end of the meeting, the high-level participants agreed to hold the International Media Forums annually, organize training and exchange programs for media professionals in order to ensure exchange of experience, strengthen cooperation in the joint fights against fake news and disinformation, conducting monthly joint television programs and further increase the number of video productions in digital media. The Heads of Delegation further discussed the establishment of an International Turkic News Channel, increasing the capacity and quality of visual exchange between national broadcasters, creating of the common association of journalists and arranging joint training of the spokespersons and press advisors of the official institutions of the Member and Observer States.

Within the cooperation activities in this field, the First Meeting of Audio-Visual Media Regulators of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held in Baku and Susha on 27-28 October 2022 with the participation of the audiovisual media regulatory authorities of the Member and Observer States of the OTS. 

At the meeting, Parties informed each other and delivered presentations regarding the scope of work of their respective institutions and discussed the prospective cooperation opportunities among the Turkic States in the field of audio-visual media regulation. Parties agreed to establish Turkic Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum (TBRAF) under the umbrella of the OTS and signed declaration of will in Shusha, which aims to create institutional framework for the prospective cooperation opportunities between the audio-visual regulatory authorities of the Member and Observer States. On the margins of the Meeting, Second Media Coordination Committee Meeting of the OTS was also organized with the participation of the officials from the Media and Information Ministries of the Member and Observer States. At the meeting Parties updated each other on the establishment of the Turkic News Agencies Union, exchanged views and comments on the draft regulation for the establishment of the “Association of Journalists of the Organization of Turkic States” as well agreed to organize training programs for media professionals/Joint training of the spokespersons/press secretaries of the Ministries in the upcoming period.

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.  

The 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 OTS Summit 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, seven meetings of the Ministers in charge of Youth and Sports were held. Ministers took decisions on the below topics to advance the ongoing cooperation among the Member States.

Ministerial and Working Group Meetings

The 7th Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Youth and Sports of the Organization of Turkic States was convened on 9 November 2023 in Basgal, Azerbaijan.

The Ministers restated their commitment to the common Turkic youth and sports agenda and underlined the importance of the work done in line with the cooperation framework of the OTS in this direction. Highlighting the great impact of the common projects on the unity of the Turkic youth and sports, Ministers showed solidarity in supporting the valuable developments that bolster the ties among the brotherly nations and extended their full support for the deepening of the ongoing cooperation with new initiatives and projects.

The Ministers reached a common understanding to systematize and streamline the youth and sports events with a view to ensure their efficiency. On the margins of the Ministerial meeting, the Ministers welcomed the initiative of Uzbekistan on the establishment of the Turkic Creative Youth Encouragement Center, as well as the initiative of the Turkish side on the establishment of the Sports Agency under the umbrella of the Organization of Turkic States with its headquarters in the Kyrgyz Republic. 

The Ministers also agreed that the 8th meeting of the Ministers in charge of Youth and Sports of the OTS will be convened in Kazakhstan in 2024. 

International Youth Camps

Four International Youth Camps have been organized in various cities of Türkiye and Kazakhstan so far. Over 1500 youngsters from not only the Member States but also regional countries have attended the camps. Member States give a special emphasis on the youth activities with the aim of contributing to the personal development of the future young leaders, promoting socialization among the youth sharing the same history, culture and language, as well as creating a future generation with increased sense of awareness towards the social problems. Camp activities included local trips, cultural and sports activities, as well as thematic debates on issues relating to the problems of today’s youth and possible ways of solutions. In the last Ministerial meeting in Basgal, it was decided to hold the 5th International Youth Camp and 4th International Youth Festivals within one event within the framework of the 5th World Nomad Games to be held on 8-14 September 2024 in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

International Youth Festivals

Three OTS International Youth Festivals were staged in Ganja, the European Youth Capital-2016, in September 2016, Bishkek in July 2018, and Istanbul in December 2019 respectively with the participation of 500 people including from non-member states to the Organization of Turkic States. Festivals served as an opportunity for the youth coming from different countries to get socialized and familiarize with one another. They also provided an opportunity with round table meetings and debates for discussions on the expectations and problems of the youth in our region. Organization of Turkic States 3rd International Youth Festival was organized on 2-6 December 2019 in Istanbul. In the last Ministerial meeting in Basgal, it was decided to hold the 5th International Youth Camp and 4th International Youth Festivals within one event within the framework of the 5th World Nomad Games to be held on 8-14 September 2024 in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Youth Platform

Youth Platform was established under the Organization of Turkic States with the purpose of strengthening the relationship among the youth organizations and National Youth Councils of the Member States by bringing them under one roof and providing them a unified representative capacity in the world. Organization of Turkic States Youth Platform currently has around 100 Youth NGOs as members from the Member and Observer States. Its 1st General Assembly was convened in Baku on 13 October 2019 on the occasion of the 7th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States. The Board of the Platform was elected at the General Assembly and started to work. At the 6th and 7th Summits, Presidents instructed the Secretariat to work to protect the youth from radical ideologies. Presidents also urged the Secretariat to develop measures to expand the youth’s knowledge about the cultural peculiarities of our Member States so that they can represent the culture and language they belong to.

In the last Ministerial meeting in Basgal, it was decided to hold the 2nd General Assembly of the Youth Platform, 6th Young Leaders Forum and 3rd Young Entrepreneurs Forum within one event within the framework of the 5th World Nomad Games to be held on 8-14 September 2024 in the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

Young Leaders’ Forums

1st and 2nd Young Leaders Forum of Organization of Turkic States were organized on 25-29 November 2018 in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan and 22-26 April 2019 in Turkistan, Kazakhstan with the participation of over 300 youngsters from the member states. The purpose of the Forums is to contribute to the personal development of the future of the Turkic Speaking youth, promote socialization among the youngsters sharing the same history, culture and language, and prepare a future generation of leaders with an increased sense of awareness towards social problems. A “Cultural and Arts Festival of the Youth of the Turkic World” was staged in Turkistan on the occasion of the 2nd Young Leaders Forum. 3rd  Young Leaders Forum co-organized by the Organization of Turkic States and the State Agency for Youth Affairs, Physical Culture and Sport of the Kyrgyz Republic, was held on 30 August – 2 September 2021 in Osh with the participation of about 100 youngsters from the Organization of Turkic States countries.

More than 200 young leaders from the Member and Observer States gathered at the 4th Young Leaders Forum of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in the historic city of Bukhara, which was officially declared as the First Youth Capital of the Turkic World. Co-organized by the Organization of Turkic States, Youth Affairs Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and Bukhara Regional Administration on 3-4 June 2022 in Bukhara, the Forum was attended by the OTS Secretary General of the OTS and various high-level officials from Member and Observer States.

In the last Ministerial meeting in Basgal, it was decided to hold the 2nd General Assembly of the Youth Platform, 6th Young Leaders Forum and 3rd Young Entrepreneurs Forum within one event within the framework of the 5th World Nomad Games to be held on 8-14 September 2024 in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

World Nomad Games

The idea of organizing World Nomad Games to rehabilitate national sport disciplines and reviving the spiritual consciousness and historical memory not only of the Turks, but also of all once-nomadic peoples of the World came to life at the Second Summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Bishkek in 2012.

Based on the decisions of the CHS of the Organization of Turkic States, the first and second World Nomad Games were organized in 2014 and 2016 in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan. Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States and the relevant authorities of the Member States have formed the Organizing Committee of the Games. Several working group meetings were held with the support of the Secretariat to determine the Regulation and the types of the Games. The Regulation was adopted by the Ministers of Youth and Sport of the Organization of Turkic States at their first meeting in Istanbul in 2016.

The First World Nomad Games, organized in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States and the Kyrgyz Government in 2014, brought together more than 400 athletes from 19 countries gathered on the shores of prominent lake Issyk-Kul. The Second Games were staged in 2016 attended by 62 countries and over 1400 athletes. Overall participants are estimated to have been over 20.000 including the spectators as well as high level state officials from all over the world. The Games that were staged in 23 different traditional disciplines were an incredible celebration of diversity and inter-cultural dialogue that highlighted the unique power of sport to bring different communities together under one banner. It also was very instrumental in introducing to the world the ancient culture and traditions of the Turkic Speaking peoples. The Third World Nomad Games were organized by the Kyrgyz Government in 2018 in Issyk-Kul. Around 2000 athletes from 82 countries competed in 37 sports branches.

At the Sixth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States convened in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan on 11 September 2018, the Heads of States decided that the Fourth World Nomad Games to be organized in Türkiye. 

The 4th edition of the World Nomad Games was organized in Iznik, Bursa in 2022. The games hosted over 40 competitions across three main categories – horse riding, wrestling and archery. More than 3,000 traditional athletes from over 102 countries are participated in the four-day event organized by the World Ethnosport Confederation and inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Organization of Turkic States has been giving strong support, including contributing and taking part in the preparatory process for the organization of the World Nomad Games.

The Republic of Kazakhstan will host the next 5th World Nomad Games on 8-14 September in 2024.

University Sports Games

The 1st University Sports Games (Turkic Universiade) was staged in Baku in April 2018. The aim of the Games is to bring together and socialize the young athletes of the countries sharing the same history and cultural heritage through the unifying power of sports, as well as to strengthen ties of friendship and fraternity among the youngsters and brotherly societies. Approximately 400 university athletes and coaches from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Türkiye attended the Games where the teams competed in 7 different sports branches. Games were broadcasted live on a Sports Channel of Azerbaijan. Turkic Universiade will be organized every two years with widespread participation from the Turkic world. The 2nd University Sports Games held on 6-10 November 2023, in Turkestan, The Republic of Kazakhstan. 

In the last Ministerial meeting in Basgal, it was decided to hold the next 3rd University Sports Games in 2025, in the Kyrgyz Republic.
 

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 people is crucial. This general will has been highlighted by our Heads of State in the Summit meetings from the outset and reflected in the Summit Declarations of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), Turkic World Vision-2040 and OTS Strategy 2022-2026 documents. 
 
With this understanding, OTS has so far convened four meetings of the Ministers and Heads of the Institutions in charge of Diaspora Affairs of the OTS and seven 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 OTS in May 2013 in Ankara. The Strategy document set the purposes and main priorities of the Turkic diasporas as well as the basic assessments about the future course of action. Member States also produce annual “Joint Action Plans” for the Turkic diasporas in order to generate awareness on collective behavior towards the developments taking place in their environments. Furthermore, three “Turkic Diaspora Forums” were organized with the participation of hundreds of diaspora NGO representatives from across the world, academics, diaspora business people, members of press and students where they held discussions on the current realities faced by our diasporas, their future needs and expectations to maintain better coordination among themselves.
 
Based on the main guidelines specified at the above-mentioned basic documents of the Organization, the OTS has been organizing regular “Exchange of Experience Programs” among the central Diaspora Institutions of the Member and Observer States. Such meetings allow the respective institutions to share information and experience on matters such as their legal bases, institutional structures, activities within the country and abroad. Programs also allow the OTS countries to exchange extensive information on legal, social, economic, cultural, and educational dimensions of the lives of the Turkic diasporas as the other relevant state institutions make presentations about their activities for the diaspora communities. Two “Capacity Building Training” Programs were held in Berlin and New York in order to bring together the representatives of various diaspora NGOs abroad to secure more coordination and cooperation among them.  
 
OTS celebrates the “3 October-Turkic States Cooperation Day” and “Nowruz” with receptions hosted by an Embassy of the chairman country of the OTS in one of the capitals abroad, with the participation of the diplomatic staff and diaspora representatives of the Member and Observer States as well as the corps diplomatique and the officials of the host country. Similar celebrations are conducted by the Representation Office of the OTS in Budapest as well.
 
OTS brings together the diaspora youth, businessmen, and academics in certain special programs to initiate better coordination among them, and with the purpose of engaging them with stronger bonds in the ongoing cooperation with the framework of the OTS. For that matter, OTS started the Diaspora Youth Forum initiative where the youngsters from the Turkic diaspora in the third countries are gathered in the Member States in special camps to take stock of their main needs and expectations, as well as to discuss the future course of action to ensure more coherence among the Turkic diaspora youth.

Pursuant to the decisions of the Heads of State taken at the OTS Summit held in Astana in 2015, the Organization of Turkic States has engaged in cooperation in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). So far, five meetings of the Ministers in charge of ICT and six 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.

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”.

Recently, the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States in close partnership with “Bilkent Cyberpark” organized a field visit program for OTS Member States to “Technoparks and Innovation Centers of Türkiye” on 9-11 May 2023 in Ankara and Istanbul. 

The primary aim of this visit program was to exchange best practices and experiences of Türkiye, to get acquainted with the advanced ecosystem created in the technoparks (infrastructure, services, incentives, investment and venture capital mechanisms, and etc.), to explore opportunities for future collaboration and networking among technoparks, enabling them to establish connections with potential partners, mentors, or investors.
 
During the program, delegation consisted of representatives of IT and technoparks, innovation centers of the OTS Member States visited “Bilkent Cyberpark”, “Ankara Technology Bridge”, “ODTÜ Teknokent”, “Hacettepe Teknokent”, “Bilişim Vadisi” and “TOGG” Headquarter, “Istanbul Technopark”, “Fark Lab” Technology Development Center, as well as held bilateral meetings with some of the best Turkish IT companies.

The Secretariat met with the Information Technology companies from the Kyrgyz Republic in the Secretariat of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Istanbul on 13 June 2023, where the Parties exchanged their views on potential works and mechanisms of development and strengthening cooperation between public and private sectors within Turkic region. During the program, the delegation visited and explored cooperation opportunities of institutions and technology centers in Istanbul that have an important role in Türkiye's digital transformation, such as “Istanbul Technical University Technopark”, “Bilişim Vadisi” and “Özdemir Bayraktar National Technology Center”. 

An online meeting of respective national mobile/internet operator companies of the OTS Member States on “Digital Silk Way”- Trans Caspian Fiber Optic project was conducted by Secretariat of the Organization on 11 April 2023.  During the meeting, Azerbaijani “AzerTelecom” LLC and Kazakhstan “KazakhTelecom” provided updated information on the ongoing work on realization of the Project and invited the OTS Member and Observer States to participate in the “Digital Silk Way” project. As a result of the discussions, the Parties agreed that the Secretariat will assist in determining the total need for internet traffic of the Turkic states to ensure the necessary overall throughput of the project.

The Secretariat promoted the two "Hero Training Programs" organized by the Astana Hub for technology start-ups from OTS Member States in Silicon Valley, USA.

Extraordinary meeting of the Ministers in charge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was convened on 20 June 2023 in an online format. The meeting was organized and hosted by the initiative of H.E. Bagdat Mussin, Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan and chaired by OTS Secretary General, Amb. Kubanychbek Omuraliev. During the meeting the Ministers discussed and exchanged their views on the initiatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan such as Establishment of the “OTS Digitalization Center”, Integration of e-government and research and development of advanced digital technologies for implementation into national Gov Tech practices, Establishment of the “Turkic IT House” in USA, “Turkic Metaverse” and “Turkic Venture Fund”.

The 6th Working Group meeting on ICT cooperation and 5th Meeting of Ministers in Charge of ICT of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held on 6-7 December 2023 in Bishkek, with the participation of the Ministers and high-level representatives from the Member States and Observers. The Meeting was hosted by H.E. Nuriya Kutnaeva Minister of Digital Development of the Kyrgyz Republic and attended by H.E. Ambassador Kubanychbek Omuraliev, Secretary General of the OTS, and other High-Level officials of the OTS Member States and Observers.

During the meeting, the Parties discussed strengthening cooperation in the field of ICT among the OTS member states, in particular, issues of improving and expanding broadband infrastructure through participation in the Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic Project ("Digital Silk Way"), further implementation of e-government initiatives and digital government services, electronic document exchange, mutual recognition of electronic signatures, establishing a close network and cooperation between technoparks and technology/innovation centers, creating a common protection platform against cyber incidents and cyber-attacks, as well as continuing exchange of experience and knowledge sharing programs. The meeting also featured presentations on e-government of the Kyrgyz Republic's by "Infocom" State Enterprise and "Tunduk" State Agency, as well as the activities of the newly established "Silk Road Innovation Hub" (Silicon Valley, USA).

As an outcome of the meeting, the Heads of Delegations signed the Joint Declaration of the 5th Meeting of Ministers in Charge of ICT.
 

The Meetings of the Ministers in charge of Energy of the OTS have a special importance in terms of its commitment to the energy security architecture of the region covering the vast area from Central Asia to Europe. The OTS endeavors to focus on target-oriented multilateral energy projects involving all the Parties within the OTS, which can deliver concrete results. Moreover, the Turkic World Vision 2040 highlights the need to build strategic partnerships among the Member States through coordination of policies, collaboration for energy diversification and clean/green energy, particularly in the field of renewable energy.

The expert group meeting on alternative energy cooperation was organized on 22 April 2016 in Istanbul. At the meeting, parties shared information on the 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. 

The Secretariat also participated in the 4th International Nuclear Power Plants Summit held on 8 March 2017 in Istanbul, the Ministerial Conference “Meeting Challenge of Sustainable Energy” and the “8th 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 1st Meeting of the Ministers of Energy of the OTS was organized on 23-24 February 2021 in online format. This working platform established within the Organization of Turkic States ensures 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 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 in an online format 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. The Ministers 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.

The 3rd meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Energy of the OTS was held in Budapest on 30 March 2023. During the meeting the Parties expressed satisfaction with the increasing cooperation in energy sector among the Member and Observer States of the OTS and instructed to finalize the establishment of the Energy Coordination Committee at the level of Deputy Energy Ministers to coordinate energy cooperation for overseeing the implementation of the OTS Program on Energy Cooperation for 2023-2027 and its Action Plan. The Ministers appreciated the efforts of the OTS Secretariat to build partnership with relevant international organizations such as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

It was decided to hold the next 4th Meeting of the Ministers of Energy of the OTS in 2024, in the Kyrgyz Republic.

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.

The 3rd meeting of the Minsters of Health of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) and 2nd Turkic Medical World Congress of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) were held on 16 August 2023 in Samarkand.  At the meeting, the Ministers emphasized the importance of the establishment of a joint research and development group in the field of health, the establishment of "TURKTRANSPLANT", the development of "Turkic Pharmacopoeia", which would ensure the mutual recognition of medicines and the joint production of pharmaceutical products, the promotion of medical tourism, the activation of the supply chain group, the establishment of a "Joint Emergency Disaster Response Team", etc.

The views on the future cooperation in the development of the healthcare system within the OTS region were included in the "Joint Declaration of the 3rd OTS Ministerial Meeting on Health" signed by the Ministers of Health on August 16, 2023.

The Action Plan for the implementation of the MoU on cooperation between the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) and the European Office of the World Health Organization (WHO/Europe) for the term 2024-2025 was signed by Secretary General of the OTS Ambassador Kubanychbek Omuraliev and the Regional Director of the WHO for Europe Dr. Hans Kluge on 28 October 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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.

The 3rd Working Group meeting on Agriculture Cooperation and 2nd Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the OTS, as well as the “2nd Turkic Agro-Business Forum” convened on 25-26 September 2023 in Baku. At the 2nd Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture, stressing the importance of agriculture for the economic and social development of the Turkic States, the Secretary General Omuraliev briefed the Ministers about the current activities and further actions to be implemented within the OTS in order to achieve greater economic integration in the field of agriculture.

The Ministers and Heads of Delegations also emphasized the potential for cooperation in all areas of agriculture within the framework of OTS and agreed to use these opportunities to expand mutually beneficial cooperation. Increasing trade turnover in agricultural and food products, promotion of mutual investments, transfer of modern technologies in the field of agriculture, mutual exchange of best practices, effective management of land and water resources, promotion of agricultural insurance system and realization of projects of mutual interest among the OTS countries were identified as the main directions of future cooperation. 

The Secretary General underlined the role of “Drought Prevention Institute” established under the OTS to mitigate challenges resulted from climate change; further promote expertise and knowledge sharing, concentrate the efforts to research and development; to focus more on creating value chains and food security through the establishment of new production and distribution systems.

The Parties also proposed to prepare annual “Turkic Agriculture and Food Security Outlook” as a first step to creation of a single data driven “digital agro-data platform” of the Turkic States, to establish a joint production of agricultural and food products under the OTS brand and declare the city of Quba of the Republic of Azerbaijan as the agro capital of the OTS for the next one-year period in a rotational basis among the countries of Organization.

At the end, the “Communique of the 2nd Meeting of Agriculture Ministers of the OTS” was signed.

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.

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.

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.

Eventually, Fourth Meeting of the Council of Heads of Muslim Religious Boards of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was held in Tashkent on 24-25 November 2023. As the concrete outcomes of the meeting, Parties agreed on releasing the document on “Islam’s Attitude on Extremism”, formation of a “Fatwa Coordination Group”, conducting scientific research on the religious issues, organizing exchange of experience program on religious education institutions and a joint forum reflecting the values of the Turkic-Islamic civilization.

In line with the decisions of the 8th Summit of the OTS held on 12 November 2021 in Istanbul, cooperation in the field of space was launched.

Up to date, two Meetings at the level of Heads of Space Agencies and four Working Group Meetings were held. The most important projects in the upcoming period in the field of space are as follows:

-    Designing, manufacturing and launching a joint cube satellite between the Member and Observer States
-    Promoting capacity building and experience sharing programs
-    Joint usage of satellite data from the sources of the Member and Observer States
-    Experience sharing in various applications such as water management, natural disasters monitoring, ecology, agriculture and others
-    Studying the matter of space standards development

First Meeting among the Space Agencies and Relevant Authorities of the OTS 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 OTS. 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. 

Second Meeting among the Space Agencies and Relevant Authorities of the OTSwas convened on 25 April 2023 in Tashkent. At the meeting, Parties underlined the importance of increasing cooperation in the field of space and sharing experience among the experts in this field. Parties agreed to work on developing joint cube satellite project which will be realized with the earth observation mission and provided information on their national space policies and agreed to establish cooperation among the universities and space centers to conduct scientific studies.

Lately, Turkic Space Explorers Academy of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) organized on 27 August-2 September 2023 at GUHEM (Gokmen Space and Aviation Training Center) in Bursa. The program which was hosted by the Turkish Space Agency aims to raise awareness among the Turkic youth in the field of space and pave the way to raise space leaders of the future as well as to empower solidarity and friendship between the participants. More than 80 students from the Member and Observer States who are participated in the Academy received training in different subjects such as observational astronomy, rocket and space science, astrophysics, solar system and others. The program bears the importance of being the first training program in the field of space organized within the umbrella of the OTS.
 
As stated in “Turkic World 2040 Vision” document, which was adopted by the Heads of State at the Istanbul Summit 2021, strengthening human resources and institutional capacities between Member and Observer States is among the areas of cooperation the Organization of Turkic States should prioritize.

Ministerial Meetings
The 1st Meeting of the Heads of Agencies Responsible for the Development of Human Resources of the OTS held on 28-29 July 2022 in Istanbul with the participation of the heads of relevant agencies and academies of the OTS Member and Observer States.
As the outcome of the 1st OTS Meeting of the Heads of Agencies Responsible for the Development of Human Resources of the OTS, during the period of February – June 2023, the OTS Secretariat and Human Resources Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye organized several online Working group meetings on following topics: 1) Public Employee Training and Development Activities 2) Talent Management 3) Human Analytics and 4) Digital HR Platforms. 

Working Group meetings aim to improve the professional skills of public institutions and strengthen institutional capacities of the OTS countries in providing good management and civil service. At the same time, these new steps help intensify efforts to enable the public sector in Member States to act more synchronized with each other, and to increase the capacity of public personnel.

Furthermore, Human Resources Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye organized an important international forum on “Human Centered Development” in December 2022. Moreover, a specific workshop dedicated to “e-human/e-insan” was organized in the framework of the forum.

The 2nd Meeting of the Heads of Agencies Responsible for the Development of Human Resources of the OTS held on 23 October 2023 in Samarkand, the Republic of Uzbekistan.

At the meeting, the Turkish side suggested the establishment of the Turkic World Human Resources Development Institute under the umbrella of the OTS, which will follow the developments in the field of human resources.

The next 3rd Meeting of the Heads of Agencies Responsible for the Development of Human Resources of the OTS is expected to be held in 2024, in Kazakhstan.
 

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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