Diaspora

The critical role of diasporas in promoting the image of the Member States as well as raising awareness abroad on issues of common concern to the Turkic Speaking people is crucial.

The importance of establishing coordination and cooperation among the Turkic Speaking diasporas as well as the relevant institutions of the Member States is a high priority for the Turkic Council. The critical role of diasporas in promoting the image of the Member States as well as raising awareness abroad on issues of common concern to the Turkic Speaking people is crucial. This general will has been highlighted by our Heads of States in the Summit meetings from the outset and reflected in the Summit Declarations of the Turkic Council.

With this understanding, Turkic Council so far convened three meetings of the Ministers and Heads of the Institutions in charge of diaspora Affairs of the Turkic Council and four Contact Group meetings comprising the experts of the relevant institutions of the Member States to discuss further actions and cooperation among the Member States. The Ministers and Heads of Institutions approved the “Turkic Speaking diaspora Joint Activity Strategy” of the Turkic Council in May 2013 in Ankara. The Strategy document set the purposes and main priorities of the Turkic Speaking diasporas as well as the basic assessments about the future course of action. Member States started also to produce “Joint Action Plans” for the Turkic Speaking diasporas in order to generate awareness on collective behavior towards the developments taking place in their environments.

Furthermore, the “First Turkic Council Diaspora Forum” was held in Baku in June 2013. More than 600 representatives from over 50 countries including heads of relevant state agencies and diaspora organizations participated in the event. The Forum was the first of its kind for gathering together the Turkic Speaking diaspora organizations across the world and the diaspora institutions of the Member States in one activity.

Upon the decisions taken at the ministerial meetings, the First Turkic Council Regional Diaspora Center was opened in December 2014 in Kiev, at the premises of Joint Azerbaijan diaspora in Ukraine. Three other Regional Diaspora Centers were decided to be opened in Berlin, Paris and Washington. In order to support Turkey's fight against terrorism, a "No to Terrorism" march was held in September 2015 in Kiev with the initiative of the Turkic Council Kiev Regional Diaspora Center. More than 200 representatives from diasporas of Azerbaijan and Turkey in Kiev participated in the march. A panel titled “The Role of the Turkic Council in Deepening Cooperation among the Turkic Speaking Diaspora” was convened in October 2016 in the Center with the participation of 60 delegates from the various diaspora organizations in Ukraine. Participants discussed the ways to promote the culture and values of the Turkic Speaking States and people in Ukraine. Furthermore, the Meeting of the Executive Body of the Kiev diaspora Regional Center was convened in December 2016 in Kiev where the ways how to create more effective diaspora organization to adapt the Turkic Speaking Diaspora to the changing conditions in Ukraine and the plan of activities for 2017 were discussed.
Secretary General of the Turkic Council met with the Turkic Speaking Diaspora representatives based in the USA at the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in New York. He participated in the Annual Turkish & US Flag-raising Ceremony at Wall Street’s historic Bowling Green Park in New York City that marks the Turkish Day Festival. Secretary General and Consul General of the Republic of Turkey in New York City raised the flags of Republic of Turkey and Turkic Council at the Ceremony. Secretary General also attended the "Traditional Turkish Day Parade" where all Turkic Speaking States and communities were represented.
 
Moreover, based on the decision taken at the Third Meeting of the Turkic Council Diaspora Contact Group, 15 youngsters from the diasporas of the Member States living in foreign countries attended the Third Turkic Council International Youth Camp held in Antalya, Turkey in August 2017.
Third Meeting of Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of diaspora Affairs of the Turkic Council was held on 8 November 2018 in Ankara. Updated by the relevant institutions of the Member States upon the recent developments in the world and the region, the “Turkic Speaking Diaspora Joint Activity Strategy of the Turkic Council” was signed by the participating Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of diaspora Affairs and entered into force. On the other hand, within the scope of the cooperation among the Turkic Speaking Diasporas, the Joint Action Plan that contains the concrete steps to be implemented in 2019 was approved by the Parties.
 
With the aim of strengthening the spirit of unity among the institutions responsible for diaspora issues and the Turkic Speaking Diasporas, consolidating the ties of our citizens living abroad and creating awareness through our common values, Member States decided to organize the Turkic Council Second Diaspora Forum in Turkey in 2020 with a large participation of the diaspora representatives of the Member States from across the world.

Upon the decision taken at the 3rd meeting of Ministers and Heads of Institutions in Charge of Diaspora Affairs, the 1st Exchange of Experience Program among the Diaspora Institutions of the Member States was held on 8 February 2019 in Baku. The representatives of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora (SCWD) of Azerbaijan and the Presidency of the Turks Abroad and Related Communities of the Republic of Turkey (YTB) of Turkey made presentations about the legal bases of their institutions, their institutional structures, their activities within their respective countries and abroad to bring together their diasporas and exchanged their experiences with Kazakh and Kyrgyz counterparts. Parties discussed their institutional experiences in detail and agreed to trade information and documents about their institutional set up.

The “1st Capacity Building Training Program for the Turkic Speaking Diasporas in Germany” was organized in Berlin on 26 March 2019 with the participation of diaspora NGO representatives from across Western Europe. The Capacity Building Training Program was the first event where the Turkic Speaking diaspora NGOs based in Germany and Western Europe came together, made presentations on their respective activity areas and discussed ways to enhance sustainable cooperation and coordination among themselves. They exchange views on the future course of action among the Turkic Speaking diaspora NGOs and agreed to organize joint cultural, educational and sportive activities to deepen their ties. The officials attending from the central diaspora institutions of the Member States also made presentations on their policies and programs developed towards their respective diaspora groups living in Germany. Parties agreed to deepen the cooperation among their central diaspora institutions to ensure a more coordinated, integrated and sustainable action at the level of diasporas. Central Diaspora institutions of the Member States further agreed to organize joint cultural, educational and sportive activities for the Turkic Speaking diaspora youth to raise awareness on their commonalities and shared identities.
On the night of 26 March, the Turkic Council Nowruz concert was staged at the Embassy of Turkey with the participation of the Ambassadors of the Turkic Council Member States, members of the corps diplomatic in Berlin, German government authorities, as well as the Turkic Speaking diasporas living in Germany. The concert which was performed by TURKSOY orchestra, provided an atmosphere to celebrate the Nowruz as a common heritage of all Turkic Speaking peoples with the participation of around 300 audience mostly from the Turkic Speaking diasporas.

The 2nd Capacity Building Training Program for the Turkic Speaking Diasporas was organized in in New York on 26-27 August 2019 with the participation of Turkic Speaking Diaspora NGOs from across USA. The Training Program was followed by a cultural program for the celebration of the 650th anniversary of Imadeddin Nesimi’s birthday, considering that 2019 was declared as the “Year of Nesimi” in Azerbaijan by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.   

Secretariat of the Turkic Council will continue its efforts to bring closer the Turkic Speaking Diasporas in 2020 with activities that will comprise exchange of institutional experience among the diaspora institutions of the Member States as well as capacity building trainings for the Turkic Speaking Diaspora organizations abroad. Moreover, the youth from the diaspora will continue to be invited to the Turkic Council International Youth Camps to enhance their ties with their motherlands and the youth living in the Member States.
 
Updated: 14.07.2020