The Organization of Turkic States is a Transition Stage – INTERVIEW

  20 February 2023    Read: 885
 The Organization of Turkic States is a Transition Stage –  INTERVIEW

‘The Organization of Turkic States is in a transition stage. The ultimate goal is to build a political-economic and military union of the Turkic states. Only then can the Turkic states become a power hub on a global scale.’

Javanshir Feyziyev, MP, author of the Turkic World, a 5-volume book collection, spoke to and explained that the end goal of the OTS is to bring about the Union of Turkic States. It is absolutely crucial that the Turkic states form a political-economic and military union amongst themselves in a way that would rise to the level of an alliance. This is an essential step in regard to having a strong and reliable stance in the world order.

- Most political scientists believe that the 21st century will be the Turkic era. How would you assess the prospects for the development of the Turkic civilization?

‘There are now 6 independent Turkic states and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the political map of the world. This alone suggests that the states, built by the Turkic peoples, have found their place in the world and within the UN, with outstanding prospects for the development of independence. These states have already successfully passed the first stage of independence that has taken several decades, and their next steps boost our confidence in their ability to pursue a unique policy on a global scale.’

- Doesn’t that require hefty economic, political, military, and scientific-technological potential? Does the Turkic world have big enough potential?

‘My research has allowed me to conclude that we already have enough preconditions in both political and economic sense. The shared historical path, our common cultural identity, and the civilization we have built together all deliver us a foundation of shared values to build our future together.

Let’s start with the political conditions. There are currently 6 or 7 Turkic states. Globalization has already been accelerating as of the mid-20th century, and this process has allowed the European Union to advance. The globalization process itself is establishing a new power centre. We, as Turkic states, must either join certain power hubs within these globalization processes or create a brand new one that belongs to the Turkic states. That power hub might be built in the shape of a union of Turkic states. We have the political conditions and have achieved independence. There are no Turkic states, that need permission from anyone to join an alliance with a given state. Each Turkic state is pursuing its own independent policy and has established and strengthened the foundations of its freedom in the past 30 years.

When it comes to the economic aspect, no political union can blossom without a sound economic foundation. This is an axiom. Once again, my research allows me to say that resources, confirmed in the territories of independent Turkic states total twofold of resources discovered and confirmed in 27 European countries. The population of the Turkic states, on the other hand, is twice as less as that of the European Union. As a result, Turkic citizens have 4 times more natural resources per capita than Europeans. We can also boast fundamental economic basis, albeit still as raw materials. We now require science and technology to transform them into value. In this regard, the Turkic states have a lot of knowledge to aspire to acquire and we have already taken many steps towards this during our 30 years of independence.

The cultural-humanitarian relations, on the other hand, will happen naturally. Peoples living across Turkic states are kindred nations of the same civilization. We need a platform for citizen initiatives, and we already have one. The Turkic communities build rapport and mingle with each other easily. Based on this reality, the cultural values of all Turkic peoples are applied equally everywhere, thus creating one common Turkic society on the territories of 6 states.’

- The Turkic world is one of the 3 constituent parts of Islamic Civilisation. Keeping this in mind, what kind of impulses can the future development of the Turkic world give the Islamic civilisation?

‘It is now believed that the Turks are the ones who are preserving and improving Islam, which is why the growth of the Turkic world also means the development of the Islamic civilisation. The advancements, development trends and other occurrences in the Turkic world resonate and will continue to do so in the entire Islamic world through a chain reaction. The Turkic-Islamic relations are organic, unique, and original. These two worlds are inseparable.

Turkey’s policy aimed at preventing cataclysms that might be caused by other power centres in the Middle Eastern countries, which mainly belong to Islamic culture, can be considered a contribution of the Turks to the Islamic world.

The moral basis of a global society called ‘ummah’ in religion and ‘society’ in our country, Islam must and does protect the interests and morals of both the Turkic and other Muslim nations. Turks play the leading role in this noble work.’

- What is the contribution or impetus the development of the Turkic world may give to global processes? What can the world gain from such growth?

‘If we, the Turkic states, are stepping towards political union and this is our goal, this will definitely serve the stability and security in Eurasia. Otherwise, who can benefit from this endeavour?

Even back at McKinder’s (English geographer and politician) time, the popular thought was that the power that managed to rule the very core of Eurasia would command the entire mainland. Who lives in the core of Eurasia? The Turks do. Turks inhabit it starting from the Altai to the Balkans. But our eternal problem has always been the lack of say in these territories. A part was ruled by Russia, another by China, and one more by Europe. Conflicts among China, Russia and Europe have always driven us into the very epicentre of these clashes, therefore making Turks susceptible to the biggest sufferings because of these disputes. Since we have gained our independence and strengthened it to a certain extent over the past 30 years, the union to emerge should and will make all the world Turks the owners of the centre of Eurasia. And those who rule the core, command entire Eurasia. If we continue building on McKinder’s theory, we may conclude that the Turkic union will be the power that will ensure peace and security in Eurasia. I believe this wholeheartedly because forming an economic-political and cultural union of the Turkic states does by no means imply conflict with the European Union, Russia, or Asian nations and states. It can entail cooperation only.

On the other hand, the Turkic geography in south Eurasia plays the role of the most important bridge between Asia and Europe. States that carry such a role and their unity can never want war. The first losers of any conflict or war would be the Turkic states themselves, which is why we are bound to ensure security and peace. 2000-2400 years ago, the historical Silk Road would operate in peace and prosperity only when it was controlled by the Turks.

Keeping our historical knowledge in mind and considering our prospects, we will build the union of Turkic states in such a way that it will become the guarantor of stability and security not only within the union but also in the entire Eurasian geography. This includes both economic-political and cultural relations.

The role of a bridge between Europe and Asia, between the East and the West as a whole, makes the stance of the Turks more universal, prompting them to develop policies built upon common interests of entire Eurasia. In this regard, I am confident that as the such union is established, both the East and the West will be in close cooperation with it, which will bring peace and tranquillity to the entire continent.’

- Who are the partners of the Turkic world in terms of cooperation within Eurasia and who do you see in this role in the future?

‘Globalisation processes are inevitable and unavoidable. Therefore, we can either globalise ourselves sooner or later and turn into a power centre within our own framework or enter the scope of global powers and exist separately within them. This is a dangerous process that can lead to the assimilation of the cultures of the Turkic peoples and even the Turkic statehood overall. This is why the establishment of the union of Turkic states becomes an inevitable reality.

I am sure that the Turkic union will have no problems or difficulties in cooperation processes. On the contrary, the Turkic Union pursues an open market policy for the entire world. The Turkic countries have currently announced a policy of mutual business cooperation with all business organizations and states in the world. We see this clearly in the policy Azerbaijan pursues. Many multinational companies and major companies of large countries work in Azerbaijan today. There are a lot of foreigners who live and work in the country. In this regard, the benefits the Turkic states can offer Eurasia and get back in return are plentiful. I believe that these will be implemented based on extensive programs put together by experts in their corresponding fields. The West is also interested in this as it is related to both the geography and the natural resources of the Turkic world.’

- The clash of civilizations is being brought up recently. Does the Turkic world have the potential to compete successfully?

‘The main prerequisite for any alliance to emerge is belonging to the same civilization. As the Turkic peoples do, this already predestines the unity to be a success. The expansion, and strengthening of the all-Turkic culture and its influence on the surrounding peoples will certainly move forward in a positive direction. Analysts of other nations usually avoid the term ‘Turkic civilization’, which I believe, derives from historical jealousy.

There is truth in Huntington’s examples and theory. The civilizations differ because different peoples have built them based on their own worldviews. Therefore, if we try to bring together two different civilizations without natural conditions and factors, they will collide and push each other away. But when the alliance happens naturally, the outcome is different. For example, the cultures of the Kazakhs and the Anatolian Turks, or the Kyrgyz and Oghuz-Azerbaijanis, or the Turkmens and the Uzbeks cannot push one another, because they share common roots, common culture, and common history.

This is why we do not have the problems which emerged while the European Union was built. There is a popular belief that the EU has come a long way, whereas the reality is different. We all saw what happened when they started facing problems. Countries that had declared themselves borderless within their union did not only shut down those borders during the pandemic, but even looted and kept for themselves the medicine, humanitarian aid, and medical supplies that were meant for other states through transit. It was the manifestation of the mix of civilizations.

We, on the other hand, belong to the same civilization. However, if we believe that it will suffice to continue our existence as solely an independent state and not to enter any union, we will not be able to withstand the competition with the globalizing power centres of Eurasia, let alone the world. As the Turkic world builds a union based on common civilization values, this emerges in the shape of competition of one political union with another, for example, the competition between the Turkic and European unions or between the Turkic union and some Asian unions, for the purposes of our discussion. We must clarify that we are talking about competition, not collision. Overall, if the globalization process based on civilizations is successful and completed in all regions of the world, the competition will indeed be held in the true sense of the world, without turning into a conflict.


Sahil Isgandarov


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