The panel on the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Turkic Republics was held in Bagcilar Halk Sarayi (Istanbul) organized by Union of Turkic World Municipalities (TDBB), Bagcilar Municipality and Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Foundation on December 14th, 2016.

Panel was attended by TDBB Administrative Board Member and Mayor of Bagcilar Municipality Lokman Cagirici, TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak, Consul of Republic of Azerbaijan Yadullah Pashayev, President of Khoja ahmed Yasawi Foundation Ilyas Saka, President of Kyrgyz Turks Association Kurbanbeg Kutlu, President of Kazakhs Turks Educational and Research Association Serkan Dincturk, Vice President of Kazakhs Turks Foundation Abdultalip Cobanoglu, President of East Turkistan Immigrants Association Yakup Can, President of Association Kurmans in Istanbul Rafet Aktas, President of Konya Ismil Kazakhs Association Mehmet Alim and many others.

TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak was moderating the panel, Rector of Istanbul Rumeli University Prof. Dr. Salih Aynural, Prof. Dr. Abdulvahap Kara from Mimar Sinan University, Chief of department of History on Yeditepe University Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taşagil and Prof. Dr. Murat Cokgezen from Marmara University were speakers of the panel.

In the speech he delivered at the opening session of the panel, the Mayor of Bagcilar Lokman Cagirici stressed that Turkey and Turkic Republics are inheritor of same civilizations and added: “We were separated for many years. With same faith and emotions in short time we took serious distance in relations with Turkic republics. As Union of Turkic World Municipalities (TDBB) we are doing important things on field of local governments. We have cooperation with 1.170 members from 28 countries”.

Chief of department of History on Yeditepe University Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taşagil who also took the floor on the panel underlined that in the field of proper use of raw material resources Turkey have to be a leader and said: “we have to get ahead of being colonized by Russia, China, USA and other western powers in the Region. We took serious distance in relations in past 25 years but it’s not enough yet. Our country has serious problems inside and we cannot find time to canalize our energy to the Region. We have to make more cooperation with Turkic World and transmit it to future generations.”

Prof. Dr. Murat Cokgezen from Marmara University had speech about economic relations with Turkic Republics after dissolution of Soviet Union and said that export increased in last fifteen years especially with Azerbaijan and added: “Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is following Azerbaijan. We also import from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Azerbaijan’s 13 percent of import is from Turkey. We buy products such as industrial products, petroleum derivatives, raw materials, copper, cotton, cotton yarn from these countries. Our contracting services continue to these countries. We do 14 % of the foreign contracting services in Turkmenistan. It has an important share in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. As the variety of goods of these countries evolves, our trade will increase even more”.

Prof. Dr. Abdulvahap Kara from Mimar Sinan University claimed that Turkic Republics are very important to Turkey and continued: “Our President should be in Kazakhstan this Monday. He could not go because of the brutal terrorist act. The outbreaks that make this explosion may not want Turkey and Turkish republics to have good relations. Let’s not just consider it a PKK incident. It is very meaningful in terms of timing. Turkey has a situation to enter a Shanghai Five. The biggest supporter in this regard was Kazakhstan. Our president was on his way, and this issue was definitely going to come to my mind. Turkey expressed that Turkey should attach great importance to relations with the Turkic world and that the key name of the Turkic world is Turkey, Kara stated that the relations between Turkey and the Turkish republics have reached a great distance in the last 25 years but they have not reached the desired level yet.”

Rector of Istanbul Rumeli University Prof. Dr. Salih Aynural remembered that 5 Turkic Republics declaration of independences 25 years ago and how it was very important thing for Turkey. He also said that Turkey was first country who recognized these five countries and that they had some economic problems in first period of independences. He claimed that in past 25 years economics of the countries are fall into their places: “They knew the world more closely; the young people went abroad to study. They created new institutions. For many years they were occupied as iron curtain country. They were not able to rule with their eyes. Now he has the experience of managing his own countries. Every day we see that the Turkish republics are developing both economically and culturally and come to a real state point. This makes us very happy. In the reality of the world, we first saw that economic relations need to be developed and strengthened. If you do not have a good economic relationship, your language, your religion, you cannot make a strong connection. That is why we must bring economic relations with the Turkish Republics to a very strong level”.

The program concluded with a mini concert and and degustation of the famous Turkistan rice.