On 15 April 2015, Secretary General Jandos Asanov gave a press conference to the representatives of the leading Azerbaijani mass media. The press-conference was dedicated to the Assembly’s current tasks and objectives, as well as to the activities of the Azerbaijani Chairmanship of TURKPA.
Below is the text of the speech of the Secretary General Jandos Asanov, as well as some questions and answers.
Press conference of Secretary General of TurkPA Mr. Jandos Asanov
15 April, 2015, Baku
Dear representatives of mass media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you to this gathering and inform you of the ongoing activities within TurkPA.
First of all I would like to extend my gratitude to the leadership of Azerbaijan and Milli Mejlis of the country for their support that is being lent to the activities of TurkPA. The Government of Azerbaijan has recently allocated a plot in the town and in one year’s time the TurkPA Secretariat will be shifting to new premises.
What is TurkPA? TurkPA is the parliamentary dimension of cooperation among the Turkic speaking countries. As you are aware President of Kazakhstan was the driving force in the creation of Turkic cooperation structures, including TurkPA.
The Turkic cooperation institutions, be it Turkic Council, TurkPA, TurkSOY and others, have one agenda, which is determined by the heads of our states. And TurkPA’s task is to give legislative backing to those undertakings within the Turkic cooperation format.
And it is not by coincidence that our Secretariat, which started its activities in 2010, is located in Azerbaijan. The first in the history Turkic parliamentary republic the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was born here. Albeit short-lived, the ADR has left a lasting legacy in the Turkic world.
As you know, The Fifth Plenary Session of TurkPA took place on 12-13 June 2014 in Baku hosted by the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan. At the Plenary Session, Azerbaijan assumed the Chairmanship of TurkPA from Turkey. The Fifth Plenary Session was marked by the adoption of important decisions and delegations conducted exchange of views on increasing efficiency of TurkPA. TurkPA pursues cooperation in four directions – legal, cultural, economic and environmental and regular meetings of relevant commissions were held.
The Speaker of Milli Mejlis Mr. Ogtay Asadov highlighted the basic aspects of the TurkPA’s activities during the Azerbaijani chairmanship in TurkPA. Thus, Azerbaijan has continued tradition of holding expert meetings that was initiated by the previous Turkish Chairmanship. Last year, Turkey hosted expert meeting on good governance and fight against corruption and roundtable of the legal experts on the harmonization of national legislation of the member countries. The next expert meetings are expected to take place in Baku under the auspices of the Milli Mejlis. These meetings contribute to the accumulation of expert potential in the TurkPA’s framework. Moreover, TurkPA has organized a joint meeting of the specialized parliamentary committees of the four member-countries. In 2014 Turkish Chairmanship hosted in Ankara a first meeting of the committees on social policy of the member parliaments and second such meeting was held in Baku under the Azerbaijani Chairmanship. These meetings, first of all, aim to develop wider exchange of parliamentary experience and share of best practices among the member countries and, as a next stage, will pave the way for defining priority aspects of sectoral cooperation in the TurkPA’s framework.
Azerbaijani parliament will focus on improvement of the legal basis of the TurkPA activities and conduct of regular consultations on the matter jointly with experts from the member countries and TurkPA Secretariat. On 19 September 2014, first relevant meeting took place in the Milli Mejlis and national legal experts from the member countries approved recommendations on the matter.
TurkPA has a great potential, since it is composed of the chairs and members of the four parliaments. We cover wide range of issues relating to trade and investment, transport and hydrocarbons sector, culture and education. Last year in Baku at the 5th plenary session of TurkPA we set up a commission on environmental protection and mineral resources. For, currently the TurkPA countries are busy with implementation of many so-called “green energy” projects; solar, wind and other types of renewable energy sources are on the rise in our countries, environmentally friendly technologies are being introduced into our economies. By the way, EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana is dedicated to the development of renewable energy sources.
What we have in transport? As you know Turkey at the end of 2013 commissioned its Marmaray railway project, Kazakhstan last year completed the construction of 1100 km long railway that connects the Central Kazakhstan with the west of the country reaching the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan is also about to commission its part, almost 2800 km, of transnational highway Western China – Western Europe. We are expecting the completion of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. All these mean that through our countries will be operating huge long-distance railway that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific. The task of TurkPA here is to give a comprehensive and up-to-date legislative backing to these undertakings.
What can be done in the sphere of education, culture and humanitarian links? We lack quite down-to-earth, practical things. I would like to take couple of your minutes and explain what I mean. We lack professional interpreters who can carry out qualified translations from one Turkic language into another Turkic language. For this we need to introduce at relevant universities a discipline on translation techniques, we need scientific researches and diploma works, we need dictionaries, for example Kazakh-Azerbaijani, Kyrgyz-Turkish, educational materials to learn our languages. Without the institution of qualified translators, as you imagine, it is difficult to exchange information among our countries. We know better of what is going on elsewhere than in our countries. So in the coming years we need to tackle this issue – create channels of information exchange between the countries. In this regard TurkPA has already carried out necessary studies and made relevant recommendations to our governments.
We are on the eve of a grandeur event of a global scale – first European Olympic Games, which is due to take place in Baku in June this year. We are very pleased that a Turkic country has braved the difficulties and taken over this extremely difficult a challenge. It is an outstanding event not only for Azerbaijan and European sports, but also for the entire Turkic world. These games embody the Turkic spirit and nature of Turks. Stretched between the Pacific and the Atlantic the Turkic people practice various religions: Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Tengrian beliefs, they have rich racial and cultural appearances and features.
The games are being held in Baku, where rich historic and cultural legacy is exquisitely combined with modernity. The games are being held in a country, which despite well-known extreme difficulties has turned into a thriving economy and prospering society. That is why the Turkic world is proud that the first European Olympic Games are taking place in Azerbaijan and fully supports the games.
Thank you for your attention and I am ready to answer your questions.
Questions and answers:
1. Q.: What is the TurkPA’s stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue?
A.: A million IDPs are an unthinkable burden on the country. The conflict is raising the tension in the region and triggering military build-up. Therefore in its official documents TurkPA has explicitly supported the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and called for peaceful resolution of this protracted conflict. The sooner the conflict is resolved the better for the stable and sustainable growth in the region.
2. Q.: What can you say of the TurkPA Secretariat?
A.: We have representatives of the parliaments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Official correspondence is done in 5 languages: our national languages and English as you can see from the prepared brochures. Our web-site also is in five languages. And I have to admit that as the scope of TurkPA’s activities is growing so is our paperwork.
3. Q.: Do you think that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will join the Assembly?
A.: It is up entirely to these countries to decide whether to join or not. I believe that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will eventually join the Assembly.
4. Q.: Various countries have adopted resolutions and political statements on the Khodjaly events. Are the parliaments of Kazakhstan and other Turkic republics expected to adopt resolutions on the matter?
A.: As you are well aware Kazakhstan has always stood for the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and the then President of the Russian Federation came up with peaceful plan in the 90s, visited the conflict zone. And Kazakhstan, as the brotherly country to Azerbaijan, is interested, in the first place, in the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh issue within the framework of respect to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
5. Q.:What is your impression of Azerbaijan?
A.: Obviously, many things have impressed me so far. When I started learning the Azerbaijani language I immediately felt that this is a beautiful language and differs from other Turkic languages with its melodiousness. I am also pleased to see at the local market local goods and their numbers and quality is growing as the time passes.