However, contrary to expectations, Kazakhstan, under the leadership of its founding president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, achieved modernization by protecting its traditions. It was capable of keeping different religions and ethnicities without rejecting them. This way it showed the whole world that a feasible “Kazakh Model” existed.
Turkey was the first country to recognize the sovereignty of Kazakhstan, a major partner of Turkey in Central Asia. A strategic partnership agreement was signed between these two countries during Nazarbayev's visit to Turkey in 2009. Kazakhstan's place and importance in Turkish foreign policy has been growing due to Kazakhstan's active, positive and unifying foreign policy.
There are 180,000 Meskhetian Turks and 40,000 Turkish citizens living in Kazakhstan while 3,000 Kazakh citizens reside in Turkey. The volume of foreign trade between these two countries was $3.28 billion in 2010. The amount of total investment by Turkish investors in Kazakhstan is around $2 billion. The number of organizations jointly owned by Kazakhs and Turks in Kazakhstan exceeds 400. The number of Turkish-run companies has reached 130. KZI Bank was founded in partnership with T.C. Ziraat Bankası, TKI Bank was founded in partnership with Türkiye Emlak Bankası, Demir-Kazakhstan Bank was founded in partnership with Turkey's Demirbank, and International Alma-Ata Bank was founded in partnership with Turkey's Okan Holding. It is estimated that investments by firms of Kazakh origin especially in the oil and tourism sectors in Turkey have reached $350 million. Turkey is listed as the fourth biggest investor in Kazakhstan after the US, South Korea and England, although it tops the list when it comes to the greatest number of companies with foreign capital in Kazakhstan.
Some 31,000 students are studying at the campuses of International Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Turkish-Kazakh University, which are located in four cities. Educational corporations are offering instruction at different levels at the Kazakh-Turkish Educational Foundation (KATEV), the Turkish World Research Foundation, and the Central Asia Civilizations Foundation. Turkey granted 175 higher education scholarships to Kazakhstan for the 2011-2012 school year. The Astana Yunus Emre Cultural Turkish Center began to function in May 2010.
A partnership on judicial grounds must be started between Turkey and Kazakhstan without harming Turkey's relations with the EU and Kazakhstan's relations with the EU Customs Union. Within the EU, England, France and Spain founded a judicial proximity with countries that they had close historical and cultural ties with. To establish judicial proximity, the circumstances required gaining corporate personhood, the right of citizenship and possession, and the right to work should be mutually facilitated. The circumstances required for work, study and travel should be simplified for youngsters. If a youngster works in a corporation for more than a year without any problems, he or she should be granted citizenship. The price of travel and goods transport should be reduced in order to make economic, cultural and political proximity between the two countries permanent. In addition, it will be beneficial if Turkey shares its experience with Kazakhstan in the course of the proximity occurring between Kazakhstan and EU. Apart from Turkey and the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan is the third country which has some land outside of Europe. Ten percent of Kazakhstan, with a surface area greater than that of France, is on the European continent. Kazakhstan, more than any other country, should take a place in European institutions, the first of these being the European Council, given that Kazakhstan has such occidental qualities.
The relationship between Kazakhstan and Turkey has been expanding in a multidimensional way. However, reciprocal affairs between Kazakhstan and Turkey should have a different dimension compared to reciprocal affairs between other countries. Linguistic, religious, ethnic and cultural ties between the two countries pave the way for creating an infrastructure to make the futures of the two countries closer and more brotherly. To this end, these countries should start an agreement on a judicial basis rather than creating new foundations, Kazakhstan's 20th anniversary is being celebrated in Ankara on Nov. 29. I congratulate the ambassador of Kazakhstan in Ankara, Professor Canseyit Tüymebayev, and his team on their achievements.