GENERICO.ruRussiaAnd he over the head - a Turk!

And he over the head – a Turk!

The first world leader with whom Vladimir Putin spoke in the new year was Turkish President Recep Erdogan. According to the Kremlin's official statement, the parties discussed “well-known proposals for the development of legally formalized agreements that guarantee the security of the Russian Federation, the situation in the Transcaucasus, and issues of the Syrian and Libyan settlement.” Meanwhile, Moscow and Ankara have a new sore spot – Central Asia. Last year, Erdogan actually headed the Union of Turkic States that was lying idle before, and Turkey thereby, albeit implicitly, declared that the region is now part of their interests, and not only the zone of influence of Moscow and Beijing. And although even among the members of this Union there is still no consensus on how it should develop, unification around ethnic and religious communities looks promising – especially considering that Moscow still does not really understand how to deal with this.

While everyone was afraid of NATO

As soon as the USSR collapsed, Turkey, which until then was the only internationally recognized Turkic-speaking state in the world, immediately intensified contacts with the former Soviet republics from the Central Asian region. Already in 1992, the then President of Turkey Turgut Ozal convened in Ankara the first summit of the Turkic-speaking states, which was attended by the presidents

  • Kazakhstan,
  • Kyrgyzstan,
  • Uzbekistan ,
  • Turkmenistan,
  • Azerbaijan.

Then all the leaders immediately agreed that it was necessary to establish political and economic unity. But the following year, Turgut Ozal died suddenly (debates about whether he was poisoned are still going on), and although in 1994 the summit of the Turkic-speaking states was held for the second time, the organization somewhat shifted the emphasis towards cultural and social cooperation.

In the future, representatives of other countries joined the organization on a permanent basis, but on the whole the organization as a public association frankly withered. I must say that there was no interest in this, first of all, from Turkey itself: representatives of Turkish business entered Central Asia without any special problems and without much reliance on union agreements. The visible effect of the organization was the opening of Turkish lyceums in different countries. In 2009, four countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey – created the Turkic Council, which became the prototype of the new Union.

New activity among the Turkic states began in 2014 due to two events: Erdogan came to power, and Crimea also happened.

Meeting of the Turkic Council. & nbsp; Photo: Isa Terli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In December 2014, the first regional office of the Turkic Council was opened – and it happened in Kiev. In the same year, Turkmenistan joined the Council, three years later Uzbekistan surrendered: Islam Karimov died, who was not delighted with the growing influence of Turkey in the region, and the new President Shavkat Mirziyoyev turned out to be much more pragmatic. Hungary also joined the Turkic Council as an observer, and at the end of 2020 even Ukraine announced its desire to participate. Russia did not receive an invitation to become a full member at any stage of the organization's formation.

The Turk is cocked

At the beginning of 2021, Russian propaganda grinned when

a map was shown on the Turkish state channel, on which the Crimea and the Kuban were indicated as the zone of Ankara's interests.

Deputy statements were made in the spirit of “all wars with any intentions against our country, as a rule, ended with a parade in the capital of the defeated enemy,” said the deputy Andrei Krasov. The map assumed the zone to which the so-called “Great Turan” would be extended – that is, the territory united by nationality and religion: all the Turks plus the countries professing Islam. It is assumed that we are talking about a new empire, and Turkey will occupy a dominant place in it. This prospect scared the propagandists and pro-Russian political scientists very much: they began to look for hints of the reconstruction of Turan – and in the end they began to find them. The map with the territories of Turan in the fall of 2021 was presented personally to Erdogan, and in the telegram channel of the International Turkic Academy (this is an institution in Kazakhstan that serves as an appendix to the Union of Turkic States) Yakutia was called “a state entity unrecognized by the world community.” And in general, “the script was written long ago, including overseas. Erdogan is advancing in all directions and is confident of victory. ”

In fact, propagandists are mixing things up. “The idea of ​​the Great Turan is working for a limited number of Turkish nationalists, and it was their representatives who presented Erdogan with that very card,” Islamic scholar Akhmet Yarlykapov told Novaya. – Erdogan, as a sophisticated politician, uses this rhetoric, but he understands that the idea itself, being ultra-nationalistic, is utopian. At the same time, he sees a prospect in the union of Turkic-speaking states – and up to a certain point promotes it. ”

In other words,

Great Turan is something like communism

(an idea that would be nice to strive for), and the Union of Turkic States is a real entity in which all kinds of integration are possible – from economic to political. Therefore, the Turkic Council was renamed the Union of Turkic States in the fall of 2021, and it was Erdogan who announced this. “Turkey wanted to join the European Union for a long time, but it didn’t even come close to it, and then Erdogan decided to promote the idea of ​​uniting the“ Turkic world ”,” says political analyst Dosym Satpayev. – In this sense, Erdogan is doing the same as the Kremlin. And after Turkey showed itself as a key player in Nagorno-Karabakh last year, it has arguments that it can offer to the members of the renewed Union. Of course, everything will now revolve around two things – the economy and security. ”

“The Turkic states that are members of the Organization strive to be closer to each other, which is quite natural,” adds Serikzhan Mambetalin, an opposition Kazakh politician and businessman. – They, by and large, have the opportunity to revive the Silk Road in connection with the possibility of restoring the Zangezur corridor (a hypothetical transport corridor between the western regions of Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic through Armenia. – Ed. ). which, in turn, enables the Turkic countries to create a large trans-Caspian corridor beneficial for all members of the Organization, which will connect the Turkic states with Europe. ” In a military sense, there are also some shifts, adds Mambetalin: in the joint documents of the participating countries, “the creation of the so-called all-Turkic forces of the Ministry of Emergency Situations is already prescribed, and this is such a paramilitary organization, and based on this,

I assume that after some time, a military bloc of Turkic states may also appear. ”

At the same time, although the role of the first violin in this Turkic orchestra is quite obvious, Turkey is unlikely to put pressure on the participants at the very beginning, preferring the eastern way of doing business – that is, they will try to come to an agreement with everyone. But in the future, the economic and military alliance will certainly turn into a political one, Dosym Satpayev predicts. Tired of waiting for joining the European Union, Turkey simply created its own union of countries.

There is no agreement among the comrades

Despite the brightly depicted prospects of the renewed organization, the members of the Union of Turkic States have their own plans to participate. The simplest is Azerbaijan , which, being closely linked with Turkey, is ready to consider the reunification of the Turkic world as its main goal. Other states solve their problems.

p> President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is always glad to meet with Turkish leader Recep Erdogan. Photo: Depo Photos/ZUMA Wire/TASS

The most interested country in the sustainable work of the Union after Turkey is Kazakhstan … Novaya has already talked about how the republic, sandwiched between Russia and China, is constantly looking for additional players who could influence the balance of interests in the region. Europe and the United States are still far away, and Turkey is an intuitive partner in terms of language and culture. “In terms of influence on public and religious consciousness, Turkey has more chances in Central Asia than Russia,” explains Dosym Satpayev. – This is happening in a natural way: in Kazakhstan, for example, the number of Turkic-speaking people, for whom Islamic identity is also important, is increasing by itself. Actually, that is why Russia reacts so painfully to all language issues: it understands that in Kazakhstan it is now vulnerable to Turkey. ”

Kazakhstan is perhaps the most recalcitrant state in the Eurasian Economic Union (although outwardly it demonstrates loyalty): anti-Eurasian sentiments are strongest in the country, and after the story with Crimea, Russia began to be feared in the republic. The talks of the top officials in Russia that the former Soviet territories are “gifts” to the republics, and they should be taken away, clearly do not increase the level of trust. And a potential link with Turkey in matters of culture, economy and security for Kazakhstan would be a very convenient counterbalance to any claims from Russia, Satpayev is sure.

The problem, however, is that Kazakhstan sometimes seems to be too multi-vector state. He enters into all possible alliances – with Russia, and with Turkey, and with China. This means that almost everywhere the republic prefers to take a distance in controversial issues. For example, Kazakhstan did not formally recognize Crimea as Russian, but reacted to the referendum “with understanding” (because of which Ukraine was extremely indignant); The republic stands up for the development of the Muslim world, but is silent about the persecution of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. More stable ties with Turkey put Kazakhstan on shaky ground in the event that Moscow and Ankara suddenly quarrel once again. Then the official Akorda (the residence of the president of the country. – Ed. ) will have to choose a side, and Nur-Sultan really doesn’t like it. Separately, it can be noted that Kazakhstan, like Turkey, stood at the origins of the organization, the idea was nurtured personally by Nursultan Nazarbayev. And to turn away from her if something happens just won't work, even if, in fact, Erdogan and “hijacked” Nazarbayev's Union of Turkic States, as the Kremlin had previously appropriated the EAEU.

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