Turkey in Central Asia: a Partner or a Rival?

 
PIIS032150750005567-5-1
DOI10.31857/S032150750005567-5
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Associate Professor, Department of languages of the countries of the Middle East
Affiliation: MGIMO (University)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 7
Pages39-47
Abstract

The collapse of the USSR and the formation of independent states in its place, including five Turkic, was greeted with great enthusiasm in Turkey, and the issue of uniting of the Turks under the auspices of Turkey was brought to the agenda. The union of Eurasian Turks took the place of one of the most important priorities of the country’s foreign policy strategy.

Since the beginning of the 90s, Turkey has been making every effort to establish political, trade and economic relations with the newly formed Turkic states of Central Asia.

The article discusses the various integration initiatives of the Turkish leadership, aimed at maximizing rapprochement with the newly formed Turkic states of Central Asia.

However, in the 2000s, Ankara realized the need to reconsider political approaches to the countries of Central Asia. The stake was made on the implementation of more realistic projects and on the rejection of excessive ambitious plans for these republics.The steps of the Turkish leadership to establish relations in various fields of activity with all five former Central Asian republics are analyzed. It is emphasized that Ankara is making great efforts in the development of business relations with the Central Asian countries. Direct investments of Turkish firms in this region at the end of 2017 exceeded $ 14 billion. Over 4 thousand Turkish firms operate in the region.

The author believes that Turkey and Russia as large Eurasian states with a significant Muslim population are able to play the role of mediators in relations between the countries of Central Asia, the West and the world of Islam.

It is pointed out that the multi-vector policy adopted by all Central Asian states can be used by Russia and Turkey for in-depth cooperation with the countries of the region in a bilateral format.

KeywordsTurkey, Central Asia, Russia, Turkic union, integration initiatives
Received02.08.2019
Publication date07.08.2019
Number of characters35852
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