HISTORICAL PHASE IN TURKISH-UZBEK RELATIONS
Media Outlet : Anadolu Agency
Date of Publication : 03.05.2018
Writer : Prof. Dr. Hasan Ali Karasar
Translation Method : Summary Translation
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s official visit to Uzbekistan between April 29 and May 1 is a historical one both for the future of Turkic world and for Turkey’s position in international system.
 
One of the developments that marked the visit was the fact that Uzbekistan heralded its membership to Turkic Council, because Turkey is now sided with Uzbekistan, one of the powerful countries in Asia within the international system going through the pains of reshaping. The two countries are determined to walk together against global challenges in an alliance. 
 
Since the first day Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took office, both countries had a close relationship and Turkish-Uzbek relationship was upgraded to strategic partnership level with 26 agreements signed in October 2017. President Erdoğan’s current visit resulted in signing of 25 more agreements, which provided the infrastructure and legal arrangements required by strategic partnership. 
 
Economic Cooperation Enhanced
Turkey-Uzbekistan Business Forum held as part of this visit can be seen as an indication of the revival of historical Silk Road. The business forum revealed complementary economies and specialty areas, and it has turned into a functional mechanism as a platform of industrial and commercial moves that will be the locomotive of bilateral cooperation. Since the bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached $1.5B from $1.2B in months, such platforms prove how realistic it is to adopt the goal of achieving a bilateral trade volume of $5B. 
 
On the other hand, the most striking part of this official visit may be the visit to Bukhara. In this city historically known as Bukhari Sharif and considered as one of the jewels of Turkish-Islamic civilization, the two leaders and their delegations visited the tomb and complex of Bahauddin Naqshband, who was the joint spiritual leader of both nations. They showed the world how strong the spiritual brotherhood of the two nations is in a quite symbolic, but a natural way. 
 
It is apparent that Turkey has become Uzbekistan’s main partner in its regional and global politics that will mark the forthcoming decades. The two countries will be complementary and partners for each other not only for mutual economic development, but also in many essential areas from education to healthcare, and from transportation to security.