Relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey continue to develop in a multi-dimensional and multilateral manner. Kazakhstan is on the path towards becoming a very important political and economic partner for Turkey. Cooperation prospers between the two countries, not only in the arenas of energy and construction services, but also in the defense industry. Defense industries can only prosper in atmospheres of mutual trust. And the fact that such trust exists in abundance between these two countries only works to boost development and cooperation in this arena even more.
Bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey should be at a different level and of a different dimension than bilateral relations formed between most other sets of countries. The fact that these two countries share linguistic, religious, ethnic, historical, and cultural ties means that the infrastructure is already in place for them to enjoy a future framed by brotherhood. Rather than the formation of new institutions to this end, relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan need to go forward imbued by cooperation that rests on a legal basis.
This cooperation needs to start, but without causing any negative effects on Turkey’s relations with the EU, or Kazakhstan’s relations with the Custom’s Union. Within the EU, close legal foundations bind countries such as England, Spain and France, which share very close historical and cultural relations and ties. These legal foundations should ease the reciprocal purchasing of goods, citizenship matters, setting up of businesses, and issues surrounding work rights. It should also be made easier for youth from both Turkey and Kazakhstan to work, study, and tour in the two countries. And citizenship should be granted to people who work at a legal job in either country for more than one year.
Experts from both countries need to examine more closely the positive and negative aspects of the Customs Union into which Kazakhstan has entered with the Russian Federation and Belarus. At the same time, Turkish businessmen need to get more information on this matter. In order for economic, cultural and political closeness to be permanent between Turkey and Kazakhstan, an effort needs to be made to bring down the expense of communications as well as transportation -- for both humans and goods --between the two countries. Also, more government grants for education need to be offered to youth so that Turkish students can study in Kazakhstan and vice versa. Kazakhstan in particular should be sending more of its youth to study in Turkey, backed by government grants.
Currently, visa restrictions between Turkey and Kazakhstan allow citizens from both countries to stay in the other country for 30 days. Firstly, this amount of time should be raised to at least to 90 days. Secondly, citizens traveling between the two countries should be allowed to do so with identity cards, and without the need for passports. As it is now, citizens from Northern Cyprus, Georgia, and Greece can all come into Turkey using only their identity cards. Kazakhstan is much closer in a political, economic, historical, and ethnic sense than Greece.
It would be helpful if Turkey were to share its own experiences with Kazakhstan during the latter’s period of becoming closer with the EU. A full ten percent of Khazakistan’s land mass, which measures an area larger than France, lies on the European continent. For this reason, and because Kazakhstan carries some of the West’s values, this country needs to play a larger role in European institutions such as the European Council.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (KEI). At the end of June, Turkey will be the new term president of this group. KEI is a large and unwieldy organization, composed largely of Balkan countries; in order to lend it a new vision and some new life, the borders of this organization need to be stretched beyond the Caspian Sea. Which is why moving to make Kazakhstan a KEI member would be very appropriate. For Kazakhstan, the stability and dependability of the Black Sea as a transit line for raw materials coming out of the Caspian is of vital importance.
Kazakhstan places much importance on Turkey. One of the reasons for this is the Turkish and European vision possessed by Kazakhstan State President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and the other reason for this is Kazakhstan sends its very best and most energetic ambassadors to Ankara. On this note, hearty congratulations are in order for the successes experienced not only by Khazaki Ambassador to Ankara, Prof. Dr. Canseyit Tüymebayev, but also his entire team.