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Turkey’s Expansion into Central Asia Intensifies

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Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, claiming the role of a new regional superpower, Turkey has been increasingly active in recent decades pursuing an independent foreign policy with an attempt to position itself as the key state of the so-called “Afrasia,” that is, as a link between Africa, Asia, and Europe. Recently the Turkish president has been actively trying to build the alliance of Turkic, or, if Hungary were to be included, Turanian states, which, in particular, was demonstrated by the Eighth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States (Turkic Council) held in Istanbul on November 12. In this context, it is noteworthy that at the summit, there was a clear call for the UN and the Organization of Turkic States to sign a document on cooperation, thus clearly confirming the claims of this organization, which is being strengthened by Ankara, to grow into a kind of “Turkic UN” in the near future. And a certain step in this direction has already been taken at the last summit in renaming the Turkic Council into the Organization of Turkic States.

At the same time, the current Turkish leadership, who pays lip service to Kemal Ataturk’s legacy, blatantly neglects to condemn Pan-Turkism as incompatible with their own idea of Turkey.

Actively pursuing a neo-Ottomanist foreign policy, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earnestly believes that Ankara should play a primary role in foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, especially given the fact that many countries in the region were once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Central Asia is one of the most significant regions for Turkey, as it is geographically surrounded by states with a predominantly non-Turkic population. Without Central Asia, Turkey........

© New Eastern Outlook

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