Uzbekistan values cultural diplomacy as a way to strengthen its position in the world. This commitment has seen increased participation in organizations like the SCO, CIS, UNESCO, and TURKSOY.
TURKSOY, the International Organization of Turkic Culture, works to preserve and promote Turkic culture. Uzbekistan became a full member in November 2022. The country will also host the Festival of Culture of the Turkic Peoples in 2023, marking TURKSOY’s 30th anniversary.
Founded in Almaty in 1993, TURKSOY aims to foster cooperation between Turkic-speaking countries. The organization includes a Permanent Council made up of culture ministers and holds annual events such as art exhibitions and music festivals.
TURKSOY also declares a city as the cultural capital of the Turkic world each year. Under the auspices of the UTC, six organizations serve as platforms for cultural ties, with TURKSOY being one of them.
Uzbekistan’s relationship with TURKSOY has grown since it became a member of the Organization of Turkic States in 2019. The country has engaged in festivals, concerts, and cultural initiatives, such as the international festival “Navruz.”
Literature and poetry have been key areas of cooperation, including the creation of the Union of Writers of TURKSOY. A prestigious festival was held in the city named after the renowned poet Alisher Navoi, symbolizing the rich literary history of the region.
Several international conferences have been held in Uzbekistan in cooperation with TURKSOY, such as one dedicated to the 950th anniversary of the epic “Kutadgu Bilig.” Festivals and events in 2023 have further showcased the cultural richness of the Turkic world.
Uzbekistan, a former center of the Great Silk Road, continues to attract millions of travelers interested in its diverse cultural heritage. Cooperation with organizations like TURKSOY helps preserve and promote this heritage.
As a full member of TURKSOY, Uzbekistan can further enhance its cultural diplomacy, attract more tourists, and share its ancestors’ rich heritage with the world. This membership will contribute to a positive image of the country on the international stage.
By Durbek Sayfullaev, Vice-Rector of the Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor.