Turkey must progress in its role as a mentor for other Turkish speaking countries using the shared history and culture as a base for stronger relations in the future.
These sentiments were expressed at the International Symposium of Relations between Turkey and Turkic countries on the twentieth anniversary of their independence. The symposium brought together distinguished academicians and analysts from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the Crimea, who discussed the relations between Turkey and Turkish speaking countries.
“Turkey must continue to be a steady role model for Turkish speaking states to help shape their future,” said social scientist and historian Ahmet Taşağıl during his speech at the symposium organized by İstanbul-based Marmara University and held on Friday.
Taşağıl said that Turkey and Turkic states in the regions of the Central Asia and South Caucasus should establish closer ties. “Turkish speaking countries should rely on each other,” he added. However, Taşağıl underlined that while following this kind of politics the regional countries should be sensitive to bilateral relations.
Commenting on Turkey's role as role model for Azerbaijan, which is considered a “brotherly country” due to its ethnic kinship to Turkey, former Azerbaijani deputy professor Nasib Nasibli who also participated at the international symposium said in an interview with Today's Zaman that Turkey and Turkic states need one another and should support each other by way of further collaboration.
“Turkey was accepted as a role model for Azerbaijan more in early 90s, however, unfortunately due to fallacious and misunderstood politics Turkey's position as role model almost lost its validity,” said Nasibli.
“Turkey's presence [in the region] is a favour granted by God for Turkish speaking countries in the region. All Turkic states should accept this reality. Turkey should also admit the existence of the independent Turkish speaking countries as a blessing.”
Nasibli especially underlined that change in state leadership should not have a negative impact on the bilateral relations between nations.
Talking about the future of relations developing between Turkey and Azerbaijan Nasibli said that the most important thing is to move beyond political relations to establish closer cultural ties and develop an understanding of Turkish culture. In order for that to happen the general consciousness in Turkic countries must change.