The Organization of Turkic States creates another source of economic, scientific and technological growth

The Organization of Turkic States creates another source of economic, scientific and technological growth

<br /> The Organization of Turkic States creates another source of economic, scientific and technological growth <br />

Saturday 12 Nov 2022 – 00:15 Makkah mean time-18-4-1444


On November 11, 2022, Samarkand hosted the First Summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), whose members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye and Uzbekistan, while Hungary and Turkmenistan have observer status.

There is a reason that the first summit took place in Samarkand. It should be noted that the entry of Uzbekistan in 2019 into the Turkic Council, which later transformed into the OTS, was one of the turning points in the activities of this organization.

The significance of Uzbekistan’s entry into the organization was determined by several factors. First of all, in terms of demographics, Uzbekistan with a population of more than 35 million people is the second state in the OTS after Türkiye with its 83.3 million residents. In terms of GDP, it is one of the top three economies of this organization, along with Türkiye and Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan has a systemic influence on all key geopolitical processes in Central Eurasia.

 Uzbekistan is also the leading cultural center of the modern Turkic civilization due to its developed educational and scientific bases. The policy of openness implemented by Tashkent in recent years makes it the axis of regional processes and at the same time a generator of creative ideas that are of strategic importance not only for Central Asia, but for other adjacent spaces.

The entry of Uzbekistan into the OTS has led to the fact that today, when assessing the development and forecasting the situation in the vast expanses of Central Asia, the South Caucasus and Asia Minor, it is no longer possible not to take into account the factor of cooperation between the Turkic countries. This, in turn, introduces additional elements to the increasingly complex geopolitical, geo-economic, value and cultural picture of the region.

It is noteworthy that the strengthening of the Turkic dimension in the region occurs simultaneously with the search for new meanings and incentives for the development of other institutional and organizational dimensions, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the CIS, the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia, the processes of deepening the connectivity of Central and South Asia, “CA+” formats with the U.S., EU, Russia and China.

And in this regard, naturally, the question cannot but arise whether the strengthening Turkic dimension will enter into a conceptual, organizational and functional contradiction with other organizations in which the OTS member states and observers are represented.

To answer this question, it seems important to take into account two closely related aspects that concern the nature of the development of the current global geopolitical situation and the conceptual understanding of the mechanisms for building multilateral relations.

It is obvious that the unipolar world and the institutions of globalization generated by it, which previously guaranteed stability and maximization of wealth, if we use the language of New institutional economics, are gradually fading into the past. The need to form new institutional systems has been discussed for quite a long time, including in the United States itself, as the ideological, financial, economic and technological center of globalization.

It is worth recalling the speech of the former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 at Singapore Management University, concerning the concept of the “New Silk Road”. At the time, she stated, “We cannot shy away from big goals. The post-World War II generation that built the modern global order and established institutions and agreements that fostered unprecedented security and prosperity are the examples we should be following, in those footsteps, thinking bigger, working harder to create the arrangements that will give us another 100 years of security and prosperity”. We can also recall President Donald Trump, whose foreign policy essence could be described as an attempt to change the rules of the global trade, economic and technological game.

The current increase in the number of conflicts and points of tension in world politics, economics and the sphere of ideas can be interpreted, in this regard, not only as an indicator of the exhaustion of the previous institutions, but also as an attempt to build new global rules and balances of power. At the same time, the problem is that in significant segments of the developing world, this process is considered from the point of view traditional for the 19th and 20th centuries. Its essence lies in the expectation that new institutions, as before, will be exclusively formed by the leading world powers. However, this point of view does not fully correspond to modern world realities. The new rules of the game, which will shape the future global landscapes, will be crafted through more complex combinations of developed and developing countries’ efforts.

And they are already being formed, as indicated by the policy of Uzbekistan, as well as such an important OTS member state as Türkiye, demonstrating a bright proactive position in building new multilateral formats in combination with developed and developing countries, without waiting for traditional leaders to agree on new rules of the game.

As for the question of the possible entry of the dimension of Turkic cooperation into conflict with other organizations and formats in which Uzbekistan and its OTS partners work, it is important to understand the ongoing changes in the models for building multilateral cooperation in modern conditions.

If in the previous bipolar and unipolar models of the world, multilateral relations were built according to the “core-periphery” model, when the great powers were in the center and other countries concentrated around them, then at present we are witnessing the emergence of a space of multiple centers and situational leaders represented by countries and organizations.

All of them form branched connections, relations and formats of cooperation. This is a highly dynamic model, moving away from the statics of past eras, creating the so-called “synergistic effect”.

The leading countries of the Organization of Turkic States, including Uzbekistan, largely demonstrate exactly this logic in their foreign policy, which gives reason to talk about minimizing the likelihood of the OTS entering into conflict with other organizations and formats that include the Turkic states. Moreover, the OTS can increase the effectiveness of other multilateral formats with the participation of the Turkic countries, as it creates another source of economic, scientific and technological growth in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

Thus, the Organization of Turkic States should become a promising tool for building new regional and global landscapes with their new institutions and a new understanding of the nature of relations between countries to stimulate the growth of mutual prosperity, peace and stability. It is important that Uzbekistan, chairing the OTS in 2022-2023, has a unique opportunity to lay a long-term strategic foundation for the development of this organization, relying on its valuable experience of recent years in the formation of a new type of productive relations, both through interstate mechanisms and cooperation between organizations and regions.

Rustam Makhmudov,

Associate Professor at the University of 

World Economy and Diplomacy, Uzbekistan

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