Leaders of Turkic-speaking nations to convene for council summit
The first high-level summit of the Turkic-speaking Countries Cooperation Council will kick off Sept. 15-16 in Istanbul, heralding a new way that might provide a major impetus to advance coordination and improve ties among Turkic nations. Reportedly, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are expected to attend the Istanbul summit at the presidential level. Halil Akinci, Turkey’s ambassador to Russia, is expected to be approved as secretary-general of the council for three years during the summit. Foreign ministers earlier decided on the appointment of Akinci to the post. Along with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz leader Rosa Otunbayeva and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov will attend the summit. This is the first time that Turkmenistan is attending the Turkic-speaking countries meeting at the level of head of state. Diplomatic sources said the council will seek to improve ties among the Turkic nations.The first such summit was held in 1992 at the initiative of then-Turkish President Turgut Ozal. The most recent edition of the summit took place in November 2006 in Antalya, where Nazarbayev offered to institutionalize the meetings through a council. The leaders realized Nazarbayev’s offer at the summit in Nakhchivan, where Turkey was represented by President Gul. The latest summit was the ninth of its kind.