Turkic Factor In The Rapprochement Of Turkey And Russia And Its Involvement In The Asian Integration Processes
Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 19:19
The Turkic factor becomes crucial in the involvement of Turkey in the integration processes taking place in Greater Asia and its rapprochement with Russia as a state that is actively promoting these integration projects in the international relations. The fact is, in the prevailing geopolitical situation in the world, Turkey's rapprochement with Russia meets the long-term interests of not only Turkey itself, but also the interests of the Turkic peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Turkestan. After all, such a convergence can contribute to bringing into balance the potentials of the world geopolitical centers of power that are currently confronting each other, and the participants in the integration processes ongoing in Asia. Thus, it contributes to the preservation of the Turkic republics' capabilities to defend their interests in the international arena. The rapprochement between Turkey and Russia is very important from the point of view of the formation of the unity of the Turkic peoples, who have been living in the neighborhood of the Eastern Slavic peoples for thousands of years. In the foreseeable future, being in the neighborhood with the countries with the unlimited economic, cultural, civilizational and demographic expansion capabilities and falling into the active orbit of the US global dominance policy, the Central Asian countries can ensure their security and sustainable development only through working closely with Russia.
The Turkic republics' interest in Turkey's participation in the Asian integration processes and its rapprochement with Russia is indicated by the repeated discussions and statements of Turkish President Erdogan and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev regarding Turkey's possible accession to the SCO and the Customs Union. In the same vein, we should consider the calls of the President of Azerbaijan and the heads of the Turkic republics of Central Asia, implying that Turkey should reconcile with Russia in regard of the fact that a Turkish pilot shot down a Russian military aircraft in Syria, near the border with Turkey. The diplomatic actions of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan directly supported the restoration of relations between Turkey and Russia. It must be noted that if Nazarbayev had not openly and strongly urged Turkey and Russia to reach an agreement on the peaceful settlement of the conflict, it is unlikely that Putin would have suggested to choose the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, as the place of negotiations. The talks that took place during R. Erdogan's visit to the grave of Islam Karimov in Samarkand prove that Uzbekistan, which has not yet developed the desired relations with Turkey, also supports the enhancement of its eastern policy, including the policy of rapprochement with Russia.
These actions of the Turkic republics of Central Asia are dictated by the realization that the absence pf rapprochement with Russia and intensification of the eastern foreign policy, Turkey will fail to avert the threat international terrorists' invasion in its territory, which are fully supported by Western countries. Turkey might also fail to resist the policy of global domination conducted by the United States. The policy which ultimately aims at the elimination of the nation states – and therefore, at depriving Turkey of its national sovereignty. The main thing, this change in Turkey's position will result in the balancing of the potential of the opposing world centers of power in the current geopolitical processes. The US and Western countries will be deprived of the opportunity to use Turkey in advancing their policy of global domination in the region, which is clearly illustrated by the destruction of the statehood of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. And indeed, as soon as Turkey and Russia began to cooperate closely and reach certain agreements, there emerged a real possibility of a peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict. Without such cooperation between Turkey and Russia, it would hardly be possible to implement an effective struggle against international terrorism in Iraq.
The calls of the Heads of the Turkic republics of Central Asia for Turkey to enter in the SCO and continue the rapprochement with Russia are based also on the understanding that the close cooperation between Russia and Turkey in the framework of this organization will counterbalance the potential of its participants. The main thing is, it will prevent the absorption of the economies of the region by China's economy, as well as prevent its cultural and civilizational expansion. Given that China's economy is 28.5 times greater than the economies of all countries in Central Asia combined, its population is 23.5 times greater, and its continuous state-building experience is 240 times greater, the economic, cultural, civilizational and political expansion on the part of China is almost inevitable. With that, not only the elite, but also the majority of the population of this country have for thousands of years continued to regard Central Asia as a once lost territory of China. And the Central Asian countries will be able to avoid such a development primary through diversifying their interaction with Russia and Turkey. That is the conclusion drawn from the experience of cooperation of Central Asian countries with other countries that was accumulated over the past 25 years. During all these years, Russia and Turkey were the real competition to China in the region's market; they provided assistance to the republic in strengthening their defense capabilities, tried to deepen and expand the cultural and civilizational ties with them.
Turkey's rapprochement with Russia and its entry into the SCO are also important from the point of view of formation of the unity of the Turkic-speaking peoples: the restoration of the civilization relations that were lost in the late Middle Ages. The SCO – if it continues to develop according to the stated rules – can serve as an excellent platform for achieving this goal. If Turkey enters the SCO, almost all Turkic-speaking peoples – both large and small – would be within the same integration association. With that, it would remove many constraints that prevent them from communicating with each other. In other words, they would get an additional opportunity to interact with each other and develop common value orientations, which will contribute to the restoration of civilized relations. Apparently, after N. Nazarbayev, the heads of the Turkic republics and the President of Turkey come to the realization that the road to the unity of the Turkic peoples in the current geopolitical situation lies only through an alliance with Russia and the creation of opportunities for the Turkic peoples of China to communicate with the rest of the Turkic world. The greatness of N. Nazarbayev lies precisely in the facts he is able to see the long-term interests not only of his people, but also of others; he is able to take them into account in his policies.
During the period of state formation of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia and Azerbaijan, despite all that has been done by Western countries to tear them away from Russia, and even to turn them against each other, they continue to be a part of the integration associations such as the CIS and EEU, knowing the importance of maintaining their relations with Russia. It should be noted that this position of the Turkic Republics was formed under the influence of the policy pursued by Nursultan Nazarbayev. Moreover, the emergence, preservation and development of these integration associations was largely due to the advancement of his initiatives. At the meetings of these organizations, Nazarbayev continues to explain to everyone, including Putin, that the idea of integration of the Turkic and Eastern Slavic peoples belongs not only to him, but also to their Eurasian ancestors; that the economy should be the first consideration in this case rather than politics. He must have told R. Erdogan repeatedly that Turkey's policy with regard to the Central Asian countries should not be the same as the policy of the Western countries. That is, it should not be aimed at distancing the Turkic republics from Russia; and it must be built on the common interests of the Turkic republics, Turkey and Russia.
All of the above suggests that in the new geopolitical situation, Turkey's rapprochement with Russia and its accession to the Asian integration associations correspond to the long-term interests of the Turkic republics that gained independence recently. With this change in Turkey's geopolitical targets, the Turkic Republics will have an opportunity to interact within the same integration associations with Turkey, as an ethnically close nation, and with Russia, with which they share a common history. Therefore, this will remove the contradictions between the perspective of cultural and civilizational development and geopolitical interests of the Turkic peoples. The main thing in such a geopolitical design collaboration Turkic republics acquire more opportunities not only to defend their rights in international relations, but also to influence the processes occurring in the world. From this perspective, Turkey's changes in its geopolitical orientation – its returning to the Turkic world – become critical for the Turkic republics that are seeking to preserve and develop their cultural and civilizational identity.
The events of recent years have shown that the United States and Western countries, having included Turkey in NATO, have been cooperating with it only in order to use it in the promotion of their regional policy of global domination. Otherwise, they would have accepted Turkey to the European Union long ago. Consequently, Turkey has nothing to lose in changing its geopolitical orientation; it will merely adjust its foreign policy in accordance with the evolving geopolitical situation in the world. The main thing is, Turkey will return to the Turkic world.
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