The Rise of an All-Turkic Corridor and Its Impact
In a recent article by Sinan Tavsan published by Nikkei Asia on November 17, 2021, the rise of an all-Turkic corridor was highlighted and its impact discussed.
“When the leaders of six Turkic states convened in Istanbul last week for a summit of the Turkic Council, they were adamant to seize the golden opportunity in front of them.
“Azerbaijan’s decisive victory in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war had created a new reality on the ground. Through a transit corridor awarded to Azerbaijan as part of the ceasefire settlement, regional powerhouse Turkey would potentially regain direct access to its fellow Turkic states in Central Asia.
“It hinted at the possibility of elevating an ethnic bloc into a political force, one that could even disrupt the regional power balance between heavyweights Russia and China. The leaders were keen to leverage their advantageous geography to carve out a new role for the Turkic world.”
The author noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan established a new general secretariat office for the group in an historical building in Istanbul. The members of the group include: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and new observer Turkmenistan. It was announced by Erdogan that the new group would be called the Organization of Turkic States.
The group would be linked by new transportation routes as well as linking up existing ones.
“On the sidelines of the summit, economy ministers of energy-rich Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan told Nikkei Asia that the Turkic states will facilitate further movement of goods and lift trade barriers to boost connectivity and trade.
“Turkey intends for its “Middle Corridor,” the Trans-Caspian East-West corridor that spans from China to Europe, to be the artery that binds the Turkic world.”
The meeting adopted a “Turkish World Vision-2040” document. The Middle Corridor created by the organization was identified as “the shortest and safest transport link between East and West.
And with the impact of the Blitzkrieg withdrawal from Afghanistan on Central Asia, the new group will be in competition with China for influence in Central Asia.
The introduction to the “Turkish World Vision-2040” document is as follows:
We are living in an age that requires a strategic vision to recognize and address the rapid changes worldwide and their impact on us.
We need to adapt our states, societies and institutions to the emerging realities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us once again of the high level of interdependence that exists in relation to our prosperity, development and safety and their cross-cutting dimensions, a fact that we cannot afford to ignore.
In the same vein, the connectedness of our wellbeing in the face of emerging challenges including ecological developments has to be managed urgently and wisely.
Therefore, preparedness, resilience, capacity for adaptation and transformation across a spectrum of political, economic to cultural domains emerge as key concepts that warrant further attention.
Moreover, despite lessons of the past, international peace, security and prosperity are still precarious.
The present phase of globalization with its many uncertainties has accentuated the need to render the international system more effective, cooperative and representative to be able to cater fairly to the needs of all societies across the world. The international system must contribute to the safety and wellbeing of all countries while continuing to promote universal values. Regional organizations can play an important role in support of this much-needed global effort.
It is with this understanding that the present document lays out a vision that derives from actual needs at the regional level and also rests on an awareness of global dynamics. Since its establishment in 2009, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, shortly known as the Turkic Council, has taken its strength from the commonalities in language, culture and shared past of our peoples. This has provided a favorable basis for the gradual institutionalization of cooperation among its Member States to evolve into a regional organization.
The course taken by the Turkic Council is now duly reflected in its new name, Organization of Turkic States.
Over the last several years, the Turkic Council had begun to widen and deepen its cooperative work across a range of fields.
Relying on the political will of its independent and sovereign Member States, the Organization now represents an increasingly effective platform for collaboration that promises to generate greater mutual support and solidarity in line with the needs of its members.
This on-going process needs to be supported by a forward-looking, realistic vision. Turkic World Vision – 2040 aims to develop such 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 predicable state of affairs internationally.
Turkic cooperation has been providing added value for the Member States, both strategically and politically. Strategically, because it offers opportunities for different joint development projects and brings the Member States and their citizens closer.
Politically, Turkic cooperation has been contributing to addressing the regional and global challenges faced by the Member States with a cooperative spirit.
By harmonizing national capacities where appropriate, the Organization will continue to serve as an important tool for achieving this more effectively. In this context, Turkic World Vision – 2040 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 nationally 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.