By Richard Weitz (vol. 5, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkish-Azerbaijani relations have been on the rebound in recent months since the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation effort, launched in 2008, has effectively collapsed over differences regarding the Armenian-occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The summit earlier this month between the two governments will accelerate this process, especially by helping them develop their energy partnership.
By Joris Gjata (vol. 3, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process, formalized with the signing of two Protocols on October 10, 2009, does not seem to be going anywhere. The failure to materialize the promises of opening the border and establishing diplomatic relations has complex reasons and crucial implications. There are important lessons to be drawn from the mistakes in this process not only for the Western political leaders but most importantly for Turkish and Armenian foreign policy makers.
By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 3, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
In spite of great hopes and much foreign pressure, the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process can be said to have failed to bring about its intended result. Under current circumstances, the likelihood of the ratification of the Protocols signed in August 2009 is close to nil, barring some major turn of events. It is therefore time to reflect on the reasons that the process failed; and the implications for Turkey and the wider region. The process itself is in fact illustrative of the erroneous assumptions that Western political leaders appear to have harbored about regional realities.
By Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
In its laudable attempts to reduce tensions with its neighbors and to gain a greater influence in the South Caucasus, the AKP government has made itself dependent on forces that it cannot control. Unless Armenia and Azerbaijan strike a deal rapidly, Turkey will inevitably be forced to choose between reneging on its commitment to normalize relations with Armenia or risk a breakdown in its relations with Azerbaijan. In either situation, Moscow will be the geopolitical winner. Western, in particular American, activity to support an agreement on principle between Armenia and Azerbaijan is urgently called for.
By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 2, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
The past several weeks have seen the level of diplomatic rumoring on a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement reach new heights. The Turkish government embarked on this endeavor seriously last Summer, a move that could redraw the geopolitics of the Caucasus in unpredictable ways, depending on how it is undertaken. While the initiative had much to do with Turkish-US relations, the Obama visit paradoxically coincided with Ankara being forced to hit the brakes on the issue, at least temporarily. It has once again been made clear that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict remains the major security challenge in the region, and that it needs to be tackled head on.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.