21st Century, the Century of Turkic-Speaking Countries, Turkish FM Says

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday in Ankara the 21st century will be the century of Turkic-speaking countries as Turkey signed an agreement with the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States to be the council’s host country during the fourth-annual Ambassadors Conference.
Davutoglu said the council, which was formed in 2010, has aimed to boost economic and diplomatic cooperation between Turkic states and will be enlarged by the inclusion of other Turkic states. It currently has only four members: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, the largest member.
The council’s main objectives are to boost economic cooperation between member states, improve mutual cooperation in culture and tourism and preserve the cultural and historic assets of the Turkic world.
Davutoglu pointed out that the Turkic states in Central Asia are now self-reliant and have made remarkable progress in economic and political fields in the 20 years following their independence after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
“I hope the 21st century will be the century of Turkic-speaking countries,” Davutoglu said.
Noting that the headquarters of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States would be located in Istanbul under the agreement, Davutoglu said they want to make Istanbul the center of international organizations. Turkey wants to cast Istanbul as a global diplomatic center, a UN city, the minister noted.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality for close cooperation as Istanbul appears to be a new center of economic and diplomatic relations in the global scene.
Istanbul will be a financial center, positioning it as the main station for the global economic network and transportation routes, Davutoglu said. Another major goal is to make Istanbul a center of cultural and intellectual activity as the city has had an astonishing history, he added.
By signing the agreement for close cooperation with the municipality, he noted that the ministry aims to bulk up its presence with various diplomatic activities in the city. He said municipality officials will receive diplomatic training as millions of tourists annually visit the historic city, which also hosts hundreds of international conferences on diplomatic or economic affairs.
In return, diplomats will take courses on city culture and the history of Istanbul from historians who work as experts and advisors at the municipality.

28 December 2011