Turkic States Confirm Commitment to Cooperation at Summit
Turkic states reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation on Monday as Turkey’s Presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) hosted the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) Second Diaspora Forum in northwestern Bursa province. The press statement released after the summit underlined the commitment of the Turkic states to increase cooperation among the union and the OTS’s efforts to maximize collaboration between member countries.
Within the scope of the forum, ministers responsible for the diaspora of member countries, heads of institutions, nongovernmental organization (NGO) representatives and academicians working in the field of diaspora came together in Bursa, the culture and arts capital of the Turkic World.
Speaking at the program, Council of Elders of the Organization of Turkic States chairperson, Binali Yıldırım, said that they aim to reach the European Union model, where barriers to trade are removed, customs systems are simplified, and full freedom in transportation, capital and human circulation is ensured, with a single state understanding.
Noting that they did not establish the organization as a threat, Yıldırım said that they wanted peace, tranquility and prosperity in the region. "Our goal is peace, our goal is a brotherhood, our goal is common development and a more livable world for our nations," he said.
Highlighting the importance of fighting effectively against activities threatening member states and the organization, Yıldırım said that they would not allow smear campaigns against member states.
“We are making an intense effort to increase the visibility and awareness of the organization. Our overall goal is to ultimately lead the organization to a model like the European Union,” said Yıldırım, adding that the organization will do great things for the welfare, infrastructure and the common future of humanity in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans, along the routes of the Silk Road.
YTB President Abdullah Eren, for his part, said that YTB has implemented more than 150 projects for the Turkic world.
Stating that YTB offers more than 1,500 international students the opportunity to study in Turkey, Eren said they had one-on-one meetings with representatives of diaspora institutions in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
“We talked about what we can do about joint education programs and cultural activities. We are planning to camp in the near future. In addition to this, we are planning to organize a joint sharing program with the Azerbaijani diaspora in London," he added.
"Everyone is trying to do something in their own field for the future of the Turkic world within the Organization of Turkic States. We, the diaspora institution of Turkey, aim to develop cooperation opportunities in diaspora and educational activities," said Eren, noting that they will continue these activities.
Meanwhile, Baghdad Amreyev, the secretary-general of the intergovernmental association, said the member countries have a large diaspora of over 20 million worldwide.
“This is a great potential. It is a potential that can produce great benefits for our countries, both politically, economically and socially," he added.