By Barçın Yinanç
January 17, 2022
While it was fear of Russia that prevented the Central Asian countries from showing an interest in the Middle Corridor, it is ironically the same Russian factor that has today led to the reinvigoration of this alternative to the Northern Corridor. However, crucially, the future of the Middle Corridor depends on European interest and particularly on the European Union revising its attitude toward Turkey that has been spearheading the project for more than a decade and that is indispensable to its realization. European decision makers must recognize that they need to join hands with Turkey to make the Middle Corridor come to fruition.
By Natalia Konarzewska
June 1, 2021
Turkey, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan envision closer, trilateral economic cooperation. The recent, landmark agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the development of the Kepez/Serdar offshore field, renamed ''Dostluk'' or ''Dostlug” (“Friendship”), which ends a decades-long conflict between the two countries, promises to boost pan-Turkic energy cooperation. Also, Turkey’s new connectivity with Azerbaijan and the Caspian Basin after the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement has the potential to reinvigorate Ankara's economic relations with the Turkic nations of Central Asia. Even though the current feasibility of new energy infrastructure projects is uncertain, the importance of the deepening relationship of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan is above all geopolitical, and its implications are not lost on Russia and Iran, which have already been alarmed. Ankara's pan-Turkic successes in the Caspian Basin and in Central Asia presage an intensified geopolitical competition in these regions.
By Michaël Tanchum
January 19, 2021
Turkey's decision to provide an unprecedented level of military assistance to Azerbaijan empowered Baku to achieve a resounding victory in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, changing the geopolitical rules of the game in the South Caucasus. Moreover, the war has enhanced Ankara's ability to project its influence in Central Asia. Benefiting from its inclusion in the Chinese-led BRI network of connectivity across Central Asia, Turkey may have outfoxed China in Azerbaijan to become a rising Eurasian power. Although Russia now has to tolerate the presence of Turkish troops on Azerbaijani soil, China may be the big strategic loser in the war's outcome.
By Emil Avdaliani
October 5, 2020
Turkey increasingly views Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan as parts of an arc that could help it balance Russia’s growing military presence in the Black Sea and in the South Caucasus. With this objective in mind, Ankara is stepping up its military cooperation not only with Baku, but also with Tbilisi and Kyiv. Turkey is signaling that it intends to play a far more active role in the Black Sea-Caucasus region in order to contain Russia’s influence. This regional strategy has wider implications as it demonstrates that Turkey, contrary to what has become a common perception in the West, is not moving closer toward Russia and that in fact Turkish and the Western geopolitical interests largely converge, with Turkey supporting Georgia’s NATO ambitions.
By Turan Suleymanov and Bahruz Babayev
September 25, 2020
Turkey’s active, military and diplomatic involvement in the recent Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes has sent a strong signal to both Armenia and Russia that Turkey will not remain passive and quietly acquiesce to any attempt to destabilize Azerbaijan. At stake is not only Turkey’s standing in Azerbaijan, arguably its closest international partner, but equally its energy safety and its wider, Central Asian political and economic ambitions. The Turkish intervention in defense of Azerbaijan is an unmistakable political warning that multiple actors will be involved in a possible escalation by Armenia of its conflict with Azerbaijan. In this sense, it serves as a guarantee for long-term stability and security in the south Caucasus. Reasonably, Armenia will have been permanently discouraged from seeking any further confrontation with Azerbaijan.
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.