Today marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan.
The language, history and culture of Turkish and Kazakh people rest upon common roots. Our common values bind us strongly. In this respect, relations with Kazakhstan have always had a distinct place in Turkish foreign policy. Turkey, as the first country to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan, appraises the progress it had achieved in a relatively short period after its independence and the consolidation of its respectable position in the international stage.
Following the independence of Kazakhstan several treaties and protocols were signed which established the legal basis for the future bilateral cooperation in various fields. In line with the exemplary level of relations between the two countries Kazakhstan has become the most important political and economic partner of Turkey in the region.
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Lale Ülker, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in the Republic of Kazakhstan tells about the essence of Turkish-Kazakh relations.
How do you evaluate the current status of Turkish-Kazakh relations?
The relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan which gained a new dimension with the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed during the visit of His Excellency President Mr. Nazarbayev to Turkey in 2009 follows an excellent course in all the fields. Frequent high level visits between the two countries pave the way for further deepening and diversifying of our relations. The economic and trade relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan continue to develop and diversify. Kazakhstan is Turkey's most important economic and trade partner in the region. The exemplary cooperation in the fields of education and culture constitutes another important dimension of our bilateral relations. The Kazakh students receiving education in the Turkish universities both in Turkey and in Kazakhstan, in Kazakh-Turkish schools in Kazakhstan and the Turkish students studying in universities in Kazakhstan particularly in International Hodja Ahmet Yesevi Turkish-Kazakh University constitute the basis of our common future.
How do you evaluate the cooperation between Turkey and Kazakhstan at the international stage?
The relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan develop not only on bilateral basis but also on regional and international stage. I would like to gladly note that Turkey and Kazakhstan have similar approaches on a wide array of international and regional issues. Both countries cooperate and exert combined efforts for the establishment of peace and stability in Eurasia. As a substantial result of these efforts, Turkic Speaking Countries Cooperation Council, whose founding father is President Nazarbayev, was institutionalized with the Summit organized in Istanbul on 15-16 September 2010. Cooperation Council's first Summit was successfully held in Almaty on 21 October 2011.
On the other hand in 2010 Turkey assumed the chairmanship of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) which was founded by President Nazarbayev's initiative. In addition, Turkey and Kazakhstan actively cooperate within the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe and Economic Cooperation Organization.