The International Organization of Turkic Culture TURKSOY is the UNESCO of the Turkic World and was established in 1993 upon signature of its founding agreement by the Ministers of Culture of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the autonomous republics of the Russian Federation, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Altai, Sakha, Tyva, Khakassia and Gagauzia (Moldova) joined TURKSOY as member states with an observer status. Since its establishment, TURKSOY has been carrying out activities to strengthen the ties of brotherhood and solidarity among Turkic peoples, transmit the common Turkic culture to future generations and introduce it to the world.

Since 1993, TURKSOY has been carrying out its activities under the auspices of the Heads of States of its member states with their approval and appreciation.


Activities carried out by TURKSOY are determined by the Permanent Council of the Ministers of Culture of Turkic speaking countries. Decisions met by the Permanent Council are enforced by the Secretariat General of TURKSOY.

34th Permanent Council Meeting of TURKSOY – Sheki, Azerbaijan


With its traditional events such as Painters’ gatherings, Opera Days and Literature Congresses, TURKSOY offers a common platform to scholars and artists of the Turkic World where they can exchange their experiences.


Thanks to TURKSOY, Nevruz which is a common tradition of the Turkic World has been introduced to the whole world. Besides historical Nevruz celebrations in UNESCO Headquarters and the United Nations General Assembly Hall, TURKSOY has held colourful Nevruz Celebrations gathering thousands of spectators in Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom.

  • 2010 – UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
  • 2011 – United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York
  • 2011 – Lincoln Theater, Washington DC
  • 2013 – Trinity College, Cambridge, England
  • 2014 – Eskişehir, Turkey
  • 2015 – UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
  • 2015 – Stadthalle Mülheim, Cologne, Germany
  • 2015 – Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria
  • 2016 - United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York
  • 2016 – Warner Theater, Washington DC


TURKSOY which carries out academic activities exploring the common history, language, literature, culture and art of Turkic peoples also declares commemorative years and organizes various events and activities within this framework. Throughout the year, TURKSOY publishes many works written in various dialects and languages by illustrious personalities of the Turkic World to transmit their cultural heritage to future generations.

  • 2010 – Year of Prof. Dr. Zeki Velidi Togan, the Bashkort scholar, in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2011 – Year of Abdullah Tukay, the Tatar poet, in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2012 – Year of the Azerbaijani playwright Mirza Fatali Ahundzade, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of his birthday, and of the Khakas turcologist Nikolai Katanov in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2013 – Year of Mukan Tulebayev, the Kazak composer, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2014 – Year of Magtumguly Pyragy, the Turkmen philosopher and poet, in commemoration of the 290th anniversary of his birthday, and of Toktogul Satylganov, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2015 – Year of Haldun Taner, the Turkish playwright, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his birthday and of Simion Kadyshev, the famous Khakas author of legends, in commemoration of the 130th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2016 – Year of Yusuf Khass Hajib, the poet, scholar and philosopher, in commemoration of the 1000th anniversary of his birthday
  • 2017 – Year of Molla Penah Vagif, the famous Azerbaijani author, in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of his birthday


As an international organization committed to self-improvement and innovation, TURKSOY declares one city of the Turkic World as its Cultural Capital every year. Within this framework, cities of the Turkic World which have seen their cultural and artistic activities thrive thanks to this initiative have been the Astana, the colourful city of Kazakhstan, in 2012, Eskisehir, the symbol of modern Turkey, in 2013, Kazan, the historical city of Tatarstan, in 2014 followed by Merv, the ancient city of Turkmenistan in 2015, Sheki, the nature’s wonder of Azerbaijan, in 2016 and Turkestan, the homeland of Khoja Akhmet Yassawi, in Kazakhstan in 2017.


Within the framework of its cultural and artistic activities, TURKSOY has carried out special projects to promote Turkic culture worldwide. Some of these projects are Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s opera “Koroghlu” which was performed in 6 countries, Mukan Tulebayev’s opera “Birjan and Sara” which was the first opera of the Turkic World to have been included in the repertoire of the State Opera and Ballet of the Republic of Turkey, and Adnan Saygun’s Yunus Emre Oratorio which was performed with the contribution of 200 artists from 9 countries and an American Choir in Turkey and the United States of America.

Other special projects carried out by TURKSOY include the Youth Chamber Orchestra of TURKSOY which enchanted its audience in various cities of the World, the Youth Chamber Choir of TURKSOY which won 3 gold medals in the European Choir Games shortly after its establishment and the Orchestra of Folk Instruments of TURKSOY which was established on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the independence of Turkic republics.


TURKSOY carries out its activities in coordination with the Turkic Council, the Turkic Academy and the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation. TURKSOY also cooperates with UNESCO and ISESCO, which it shares the same principles and goals with. Besides, TURKSOY carries out various cooperation activities with many municipalities, universities and non-governmental organizations.