When Russian Eurasianism Meets Turkey’s Eurasia (On Turkey)

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In short, the following indicators shows that Russian foreign policy is being executed outside the West especially the United States and in an Eurasian context: the prevailing conception in the Russian foreign ministry of foreign policy processed by experts, the opinions and views expressed by senior officials, the comprehensive support of opposition parties, and the support and contributions of various power groups—such as academics and some circles of the capital—across the country. Russian Eurasianism, one of the main assertions of which is anti-Westernism, is a rooted stance with a long historical background that goes back to Soviet Russia and Tsarist Russia.

It seems that Russia, both in the present-day and in the recent past, has been one of the most intense anti-Western countries. Anti-Western discourses, which reflect powers resisting the colonialist West and appear in the various ideological patterns, such as socialism and Eurasianism as hanging from the periodic conditions, appear to a large extent in Russian art and literature and area also reflected in the cognitive and behavioral activities of ordinary citizens. Russia's anti-westernism can also be interpreted in the balance of power and sharing of wars in international relations.

In recent history, the anti-Western position of Russia has manifested itself in the following events: discussions of Iran, Syria, and North Korea problematized by the West; rapprochement with China; the missile shield project by NATO situated in Turkey; and responses in the international arena by Russia in the face of convergence trends to the West for countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the full sovereignty of the Russian presence in the areas of Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Baltics, and Eastern Europe dwindled significantly. This loss could not been adopted by the Russian presence's power foci.


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Understanding that it is not possible to return to being one of the superpowers of a bipolar world, the Russian Federation has begun to follow the strategy of a multipolar world order within the realm of competition for the redistribution of resources in the earth. In this regard, challenges against the Western Bloc, of which Turkey is, to some degree, a member, can be understood within the framework of the protection of power sources in hand and efforts to regain lost power sources.

Parsons evaluates Russia and the United States as the two countries that basically have European cultural traditions. While Turkey does not have strong and intertwined ties with the European—generally Western—in terms of cultural traditions to the extent that Russia does, it is an ally of the West ; although Russia has strong cultural ties with the West, it has made efforts to be a global anti-Western and outside-Western power.

At first glance, it may seem like a contradictory situation logically. Protecting its territorial integrity and ensuring its security, one of the main reasons Turkey joined the Western camp was socialist Russia's territorial demands and threats to take over management of the Turkish Straits. Currently, challenging the unipolar world order and seeking global power, the Russian Federation has taken into account the importance of Turkey's geostrategic and geopolitical position and exhibited positive attitudes toward the development of relations with the country.

The foreign policy of the Russian Federation, which pragmatically approaches the changing balances of power in the field of international relations with the aim of becoming a global power, seems to have engaged the soft power variable in the case of Turkey, without completely abandoning the use of brute force when deemed appropriate. Turkey, however, implicitly follows a policy of multipolar world order and exhibits a multi-axis approach to foreign policy based on soft power , particularly in the direction of diversifying resources and not being bound to a single block or country.

Despite the many areas of competition in recent years, that economic cooperation has increased between the two countries proves the matter set forth in above. Eurasianism in Turkish society became the ideal worldview tool in unifying the two opposite poles, i. In a similar manner, Avatkov and Ivanova commented that Turkey's foreign policy ideology regarding the Russian Federation is based on the principles of Euro-atlanticism, good neighborliness, and the assesment of economic opportunities.

Avatkov b states that with Davutoglu, the basic principles of Turkey's foreign policy have not changed; rather, Turkey has succeeded by being flexible and cunning. According to Imanov , in Turkey today, the neo-Ottomanist understanding, which has been in power since November , has grasped that following anti-Russian scenarios and one-way Atlanticist strategy is useless and inadequate for the interests of the state.

Seeing internal contradictions from the Atlanticist flow, Turkey has begun to see the necessity of working in multiaxial politics and, in principle, the need for new ways to establish cooperation with Russia. Emphasizing the common features and interests of Russian and Turkish civilizations, Imanov attracts attention to a number of plans in bilateral relations, including in the military-political and cultural-humanitarian fields, recently arising from the trade and energy fields.

It is not possible to describe this process with pragmatic interests. Today, it alludes to the very planned strategic partnership between the two sides. Imanov states that religion Orthodoxy and Islam in the territories of Russia and Turkey is a founding element of life and indicates that throughout history. Furthermore, the powers that created wars and artificially positioned the two countries as opposing forces are the same powers that want to weaken and to exploit Eurasia.

Turkeyplays a special role in the Turkish and Muslim worlds. The cultural similarities and sectarian and ethnic kinship to the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Turkey strengthen both the integration of the Eurasian Union and also the bond between Russia and the Islamic world as a whole Imanov Avatkov a evaluates the course of relations between the two countries in the following way:. Today they may not have similar views on some issues. In the 21st century, however, those who collaborate and respect each other's interests win.

Russia–Turkey relations - Wikipedia

Considering the dynamics of the last ten years, while the region of Asia is on the rise, the future of the West is questionable. Those who capture the trend will win. Russia and Turkey geopolitically increasingly are close to each other and if we want we can shape the future together. The capacity of growing economic and trade relations between the two countries affects mutual dependence in the same direction.

However, the area of security relations falls outside the scope of this process. Taking steps forward in the area of security in the near future does not seem possible because the area has not provided the conditions for a change in perception.

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Furthermore, mutually reassuring concrete steps will need to be taken because of the structural properties of the area of security. From the perspective of the political history and the expansionist strategy of Russia, the anti-imperialistic, rescuer, and reconciler image of Russia trying to be created by experts and thinkers, such as Imanov, Dugin, and Avatkov, may not have had a convincing effect.

Here, Russian nationalism is consciously denying its oppressive, imperious, and occupying attitudes, which have been implemented throughout the history of Russia in a tangible forms, in general against Turkish presences and in particular against Turkey. In international relations, the compulsory condition of a real strategic partnership and acting together means concrete steps and initiatives that mutually meet concrete interests and requirements and solving problems between the countries but not through incentives or threatening rhetorics.

The sufficient condition is that the alternative option provides more opportunities than that in hand. In this context, the first question that comes to mind is how, in the process of striving to become a global power, the Federation of Russia will choose to perceive Turkey, which could give assurance to Turkey that Russia can provide more opportunities in all areas than its existing opponent, the Atlanticist pole.

The sum of all of the current internal and external power capacity of Russia incomparably remains weak in the face of the current strategic and structural relations that Turkey continues to experience with Western countries in the realms of finance, commerce, politics, security, and defense. Looking at the numerical data on the current relations between Turkey and the relevant countries, the situation becomes even more pronounced. Therefore, Turkey becoming a satellite state of Russia that breaks with the Atlanticist block, as desired by Russians, especially Russian Eurasianists, is a utopian, unrealistic, imperial expectation.

It is an undeniable fact that the end of this type of scenario would be Turkey being swallowed up by Russia, effective suicide—even if historically conflictual relations between the two countries are ignored—such as in the cases of Armenia and Georgia. In the context of these conditions, the concrete expectations of Turkey about Russia and the responses provided by Turkey and vice versa can be considered processual factors determining the balance of bilateral relations.

Following the s, in the trade of consumer goods, exchanges between the countries in the sectors of investment and service have increased exponentially.

Eurasian parliament speakers may meet in Turkey this year - Volodin

This process has activated potential opportunities between the two countries, changed perceptions in a positive way, opened channels of dialogue channels, and made political relations functional. In this context, the issues itemized in the following list can be considered the main factors enabling convergence between the two countries:. Russia's new foreign policy developed by Putin on the basis of Russian neo-Eurasianism and a multipolar world order;. The concentration of geo-economic opportunities, for now maintaining control and setting aside the geopolitical issues that will increase the tension in the bilateral relations;.

Bush period, which has harmed the interests of Turkey and Russia;. The degrading and exclusionary attitudes of the EU towards the two countries;. The development of bilateral relations, which can be, to some extent, a balance to the imperious attitudes of Western powers against the countries. According to what was expressed in the report of RSMD 23 , Turkey, one of the big purchasers of Russian military techniques, is an economic and political partner of Russia. Turkeyis an attractive market for Russia's natural gas, oil and petro-chemical products, nuclear energy technology, defense, iron-steel and other metals, coal and forest products, fertilizer, and rawhides.

Likewise, in recent years, Turkey has become a conducive market for Russian investors in the information, tourism and other business sectors. In addition, by supporting the admittance of the Russian Federation as an observer country to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Turkey can contribute to enhancing the interests of Russia before other related countries, particularly in the Middle East. This condition can provide stabilizing effects in favor of Russia in the realm of competition between Russia and the Western powers in related areas.

In addition, both countries believe that the subject of Iran's nuclear program should be handled via diplomacy based on international law, not oppression, as discussed by the West. Developments in economic relations and, in some cases, the signing of agreements of a political nature between the two countries do not mean that the causes of entrenched structural problems and the perception of threat have ended or diminished. In particular, it does not mean that Russia is no longer expansionist or does not possess neo-colonial tendencies. In this context, the issues itemized in the following can be considered the main factors affecting divergence or constant vigilance between the two countries:.

The conflictual historical past and territorial proximity;. The conflicts of interests raised through the interests of the close allies of both countries. Throughout history, the expansion of lands under Russian political and cultural domination largely occurred through the occupation and invasion of the lands and cultural areas of Turks, including Ottoman areas, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. In the interests of Russia, attempts to get Turkey under the influence of Russian foreign policy have taken the form of ongoing attitudes and behaviors, sometimes with the threat of brute force and sometimes with the encouragement of soft power, during the periods of Tsarist Russia, Socialist Russia, and the Russian Federation.

According to Avatkov and Ivanova , Turkish foreign policy is based on the principles of Euro-Atlanticism, good-neighborliness, and the development of economic ties. Its ideological understandings are as follows: to be a bridge between Europe and Asia, panturkism, nationalism, renovated Islam, democracy, and European ideas. Through the projects of Eurasia integration in the post-Soviet area, Russia and Turkey are each other's main competitor.

The United States supports geopolitical pluralism in the realm of the former Soviet Union. As a result, the liberal Western powers, especially Turkey, which is a satellite of the US, are being protected in the area. Thus, in spite of good relations with Russia, Turkey must be included in respect to security in the NATO defense system which is anticipated to check Russia. In Central Asia, Russia wants to protect its sovereignty and have privileged entrance to energy resources.

The United States wants to limit Russian dominance and work to increase the power of states in the region. Turkey is working to limit the impact of Russia on energy resources in Central Asia, develop its own relations and increase trade ties with the region. According to Russian and foreign researchers, the Turkish army has always played the role of protecting the Kemalist line in Turkey's domestic and foreign policies and the secular basis of the state. However, the political role of the Turkish army has changed.

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For this reason, it is important for Russia to enter into dialogue with Turkey and avoid military intervention in Syria Avatkov and Tomilova However, Russia still insists on not recognizing the PKK as a terrorist organization and has preferred to keep Kurdist terrorism in its political arsenal as a tool of oppression against Turkey. However, according to Kazakh news agencies, the Turkish President phoned his Kazakh counterpart and expressed his will to meet President Putin to discuss the event.

Furthermore, as in the case of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan stands to gain from the development of the Caspian trade route. Turkmenistan also seeks to keep its distance from the issue. Until now, it has maintained a neutral position. While Uzbekistan and Tajikistan seem indifferent, Kyrgyzstan is the only country siding explicitly with Russia. From a political perspective, neither Kazakhstan, nor Azerbaijan are willing to take sides but in practice, especially for economic reasons, a certain alignment is taking place.

Furthermore, Turkey depends heavily on Russian natural gas. Most importantly, Turkey could take advantage of the unfortunate event to strengthen its trade and economic ties with the Central Asian countries. Now that Turkey faces economic sanctions from Russia, Ankara is searching for alternative markets to recover its loss. By combining access to the Azerbaijani trade route with an active trade policy, Turkey could finally build solid ties with the Turkic countries.

However, how Russia would respond to this remains an open question.

Image Attribution: www. Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell and S. Book S. After all, it comes to the same thing. It activates the historical memory once again. Especially in the context of the search for cooperation between the Ottoman and Czarist Russia. Today, Ankara-Moscow …. Because this quest is not new, it is a continuation of a process that has been interrupted. However, the cost of the Treaty of Hunkar-Iskelesi signed in which meant the basis of cooperation between Turkey and Russia, had been very heavy, especially for us.

Turkey and Russia are once again collaborating against a non-regional actor who threatens themselves through the Middle East. It is almost clear that this threat will soon follow a course towards Central Asia-South Asia via Iran or because of Iran. Therefore, the process has once again highlighted the Anatolian geography.