Strait Talk

Security Tops the Agenda As Turkic States' Leaders Meet in Uzbekistan

Starting in 2009, four Turkic speaking countries began meeting regularly in hopes of forming a bloc connected by a shared history, to tackle challenges in the present. Now that group has transformed into the Organization of Turkic States, comprising Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, where leaders are gathering for their latest summit. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the regional meeting, saying the organisation should develop a common security concept to tackle the risks and challenges facing member states. The organisation also welcomed its newest observer member, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The TRNC has been mired in a decades-long dispute with Greek Cypriots to the south, after the island was divided along ethnic lines back in 1974. Its inclusion as an observer member to the Turkic speaking bloc follows years of efforts by Ankara, to get Turkish Cypriots more international recognition. So how will the Organisation of Turkic States confront the many regional security and economic challenges facing Central Asia and the Caucasus? Guests: Erica Marat Professor at the National Defence University Ahmet Keser Associate Professor at Hasan Kalyoncu University

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