Between Euphoria and Realpolitik: Turkish Policy toward Central Asia and the Caucasus 1
This chapter looks at Turkey in its new environment, while concentrating on the Central Asia and the Caucasus. Having based its post-war foreign and security policies on the strategic importance it played for the West, due to its location vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, Turkey hardly welcomed the end of the Cold War. Turkey’s moves in the region to forge closer relations have prompted its rivals to question whether Turkey is aiming for regional hegemony and/or a revival of the historical pan-Ottomanist and pan-Turkist unions. One of the peculiar features of the Caspian oil situation is that the regional countries most interested in the exploration and transportation of oil and natural gas are landlocked and have to rely on the goodwill and co-operation of their neighbors to be able to export their petroleum. Environmental questions surrounding the Bosphorus in particular and the Black Sea in general have also begun to weigh heavily in the choice of export routes for Caspian oil.