The Central Asian Response to “Models”
Chap. 5 examines the central Asian response to the Turkish Model which can only be considered in terms of the political, economic and social realities at the time of the emergence of the republics (which was the only time when it had been seriously considered) but also in terms of the fact that the region had only just emerged out of being a part of a larger Soviet Union, was being considered by China, the state bordering the eastern side of the region, as its zone of influence and was generally being visualized as an emerging arena for international competition for its natural resources. This was also the time when the states were in the process of transforming themselves and there was reassertion of the “national” in every sphere. It is also necessary to keep in mind that the reaction of the four “Turkic” states of central Asia to the model was also dissimilar. Domestic compulsions and foreign policy orientation of the states determined the level of enthusiasm of these states regarding their relations with Turkey and the “Turkish Model.” This chapter argues that the level of enthusiasm that the states displayed towards the model was dependent not only on considerations of “ethnic” or “linguistic” connections or even on the economic support that Turkey could extend to them but also on various other factors like the level of Russian interest in the region, Russia’s relations with Turkey, Chinese concerns about eastern Turkestan, international politics and the significance of the region in geopolitical terms, oil and pipeline politics and the projection of Turkey as a bridge for the states’ relation with the West. In this context it examines the relevance of the Gulen movement in the relation of these states with Turkey.
KeywordsForeign Policy Foreign Minister Central Asian Region Deputy Prime Minister Central Asian Republic
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