By Meiramgul Kussainova
NUR SULTAN, Kazakhstan (AA) – A Turkish diplomat was appointed as the secretary-general of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) on Tuesday.
Mehmet Sureyya Er, Turkey’s former ambassador to Tashkent, was given the post on the recommendation of Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop. He will serve for four years.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Sentop said member countries choose the secretary-general through rotation in English alphabetical order. “Previously, it was proposed by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan ... now it's time for Turkey.”
Noting that Turkey aims TURKPA to be more active and effective, he said: “We wanted to set the bar high, especially to have a person with diplomatic background.”
Er was the vice-chairman of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) for about eight years, responsible for the Central Asian region, Sentop added.
- Next meeting in Kyrgyzstan
The 10th Council of Assembly also took place during the day in Turkistan, Kazakhstan, according to a statement.
“Members of the Council – Chairperson of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mrs. Sahiba Gafarova, Chairman of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Nurlan Nigmatulin, Chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Talant Mamytov, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mr. Mustafa Şentop, as well as Secretary-General Mr. Altynbek Mamaiusupov took part at the meeting,” the press release said.
Azerbaijan handed over the TURKPA chairmanship to Kazakhstan during the meeting, which resolved that the 11th assembly will take place next year in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
The first plenary session of the TURKPA was conducted in Baku in September 2009, with its secretariat based in the same city.
It is an international organization established in Istanbul in November 2008, according to an agreement signed by the heads of parliaments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.