Turkey and Uzbekistan aim to strengthen bilateral cooperation, which gained momentum after the new Uzbek president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, took office in December 2016.
In line with the improving political and economic ties, the Turkish and Uzbek governments have set up military cooperation mechanisms and signed several deals since 2016. To this end, the Turkish parliament ratified the Turkey-Uzbekistan cooperation protocol on military education in April 2020.
Relations between Ankara and Tashkent deteriorated in 1993 when Turkey offered a safe haven to Uzbek opposition leader Muhammed Salih, who ran against Islam Karimov in the 1991 election. The Uzbek leadership constantly accused Turkey of meddling in the internal affairs of Uzbekistan and cut off its political and military ties with Turkey.
The rapprochement of the countries was achieved following the election of Mirziyoyev as the country’s new president.
In November 2016 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Uzbekistan and met with then-acting President Mirziyoyev. President Mirziyoyev recently paid an official visit to Turkey to co-chair the first session of the Turkey-Uzbekistan Strategic Cooperation Council held on February 19, 2020.
Holding a joint press conference with Mirziyoyev , Erdoğan said: “We have exceeded $1 billion in both exports and imports for the first time in our bilateral trade, but there is still a long way to go. Mr. President and I aim to increase our trade volume to $5 billion. … We define our relations with Uzbekistan as a strategic partnership