Turkey in the post-Cold War era : relations with Turkic Republics
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The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of newly independent Turkic states in Caucasus and Central Asia presented both important opportunities and serious challenges for Turkey in terms of defining its role and identity in the emerging international system of the post-Cold War era. At the beginning of 1990s. when five Turkic republics, namely Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, gained their independence from the folrmer Soviet Union, there was a great euphoria and optimism in Turkey that 2T‘ century would be the century of the Turkic world. However, after several years have passed since the independence declarations of the republics, this enthusiasm has had to be replaced with a realistic understanding that national self-interests rather than cultural and ethnic solidarity determine foreign policy decisions on both sides. By analysing different aspects of Turkey’s relations with the Turkic republics during the first decade of latter’s independence, this thesis tries to explain why Turkey has not been able to fully realize its expectations despite its great historical and cultural ties with the region and at the same time looks for whether there have been any changes in the basic orientation and the style of Turkish foreign policy during the post-Cold War era.