Hosted by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Ninth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States was held in Samarkand on November 11.
During the Summit, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has been admitted to the Organization of Turkic States as an observer member increasing the number of participant states in the Organization to eight.
The summit’s final declaration stated: “The Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States (…) consider Turkish Cypriots as part of the Turkic World and welcome TRNC’s OTS Observer Status”.
The Summit was attended by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán, the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbangulu Berdimuhamedov, and the Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States H.E. Baghdad Amreyev.
Commenting on the decision President Erdoğan said: “We have contributed to the peace process by showing that our Turkish Cypriot brothers and sisters, an inseparable part of the Turkic world, are not alone. I thank each and every one of you for displaying this will of solidarity.”
In his speech in the UN General Assembly in September 2022, President Erdoğan had already called the “the United Nations and the international community to officially recognize the TRNC”.
Türkiye’s Vice-President Fuat Oktay reiterated the position during the summit. “Our stance here is very clear. With the call of our president at the U.N., we have reached another phase in our policies toward the TRNC. Now it is time for the world to recognize the TRNC,” the Turkish vice president said.
Turkish Vice-President: “No Türkiye without the TRNC, and not TRNC without Türkiye”
Calling the TRNC an indispensable part of Türkiye’s Eastern Mediterranean policy, Oktay stressed, “It is an indispensable condition for Türkiye’s security, but it is also an indispensable condition for the TRNC’s security. In other words, we are talking about an equation in which there would be no Türkiye without the TRNC and no TRNC without Türkiye. “
The President of the TRNC, Ersin Tatar commented on the decision of the Organization of Turkic States as follows:
“I am extremely proud to announce that our State, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), has been granted observer member status to the Organization of Turkic States. It is the first time the TRNC has been admitted into an international organization with its constitutional name. This is a momentous event in our history that is a source of pride for us.”
Major step towards international recognition as sovereign state
The TRNC has already 25 diplomatic representations in 18 countries, reaching from the US over Germany to Pakistan. The TRNC has already observer status in the Organization of Islamıc Cooperation (OIC) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the Economic Cooperation Organization, which has its headquarters in Tehran, Iran. Diplomatic sources indicate that with the observer status in the OTS, the process of the TRNC’s international recognition as a sovereign state will accelerate further.
During the historic Summit, which was dedicated to the theme of “New Era for Turkic Civilization: Towards Common Development and Prosperity”, the Leaders underlined the strong commitment of Member and Observer States to Turkic integration and the Turkic World Vision 2040.
Further integration of Turkic States
The main agenda topics among others were the decisions and signing of the protocol on amendments to the Nakhchivan Agreement, the Organization of Turkic States Strategy for 2022-2026, the Trade Facilitation Strategy of the Organization of Turkic States, the Agreement on Establishment of Simplified Customs Corridor, the Agreement on International Combined Freight Transport, Transport Connectivity Program, the Memorandum of Understanding Between Relevant Institutions of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States About Digital Human Resources Systems, and Trade Facilitation Strategy of the Organization of Turkic States.
One of the most important decisions of the Summit was the establishment of the Turkic Investment Fund, which will provide the necessary resources for OTS Member and Observer States’ economies and help to build a more robust Turkic financial integration.
At the Summit, the Chairmanship of the Organization was handed over from Türkiye to Uzbekistan and the Heads of State adopted the Samarkand Declaration. The Leaders also decided to hold the next Summit in Kazakhstan in 2023.