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.

Later on, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the autonomous republics of the Russian Federation; Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Altai, Sakha, Tyva and Khakassia as well as the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia (Moldova) joined TURKSOY as member states with an observer status.

For more than 25 years now, TURKSOY has been working under the auspices of the Heads of States of its member countries with their approval and appreciation.

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.


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.


Painters’ Gatherings, Opera Days and Literature Congresses are carried out by TURKSOY to offer a common platform to scholars and artists of the Turkic World and make it possible for them to exchange their experiences.


Thanks to TURKSOY, Nevruz which is a common tradition of Turkic peoples 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, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Balkans.

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
2017 - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Romania and Gagauzia (Moldova)
2018 - Balkan Countries
2019 – Brussels - Berlin



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 within this framework. Throughout the year, TURKSOY publishes many works written in various Turkic 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 Panah Vagif, the famous Azerbaijani author, in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of his birthday
2018 - Year of Chingis Aitmatov in commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of his birthday, Gara Garayev in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of his birthday and of Magjan Jumabay  in commemoration of the 125th Anniversary of his birthday
2019 – Year of Aşık Veysel  in commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of his birthday and of Imadeddin Nesimi  in commemoration of the 650th Anniversary of his birthday

2020 - Year of Abay Kunanbay  in commemoration of the 175th 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 declared as cultural capital were Astana in 2012, Eskisehir in 2013, Kazan in 2014, Merv in  2015, Sheki in 2016, Turkistan in  2017, Kastamonu in 2018, Osh in 2019. Now, this prestigious title is born by Khiva, the ancient city of Uzbekistan for the year 2020.


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 be included in the repertoire of the State Opera and Ballet of Turkey, and Adnan Saygun’s Yunus Emre Oratorio which was performed by 200 artists from 9 countries together with an American Choir, the Jonathan Griffith Singers,  in Turkey and the USA, are some of the special projects of TURKSOY carried out worldwide.

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


Besides its cooperation with UNESCO and ISESCO which it shares the same principles and goals with, TURKSOY also works in close cooperation with many organizations such as the International Council for Traditional Music – ICTM, the International Society for Music Education – ISME as well as municipalities, universities and various non-governmental organizations.

The Headquarters of TURKSOY bring intellectuals and artists of the Turkic World together.

TURKSOY: This is where the heart of Turkic culture and heart beats.