Dynamics of the alliance between Turkey and USA : the South Caucasus case

Date
2003
Advisor
Criss, Nur Bilge
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the South Caucasus presented several opportunities and challenges in the political, economic and military domains to the US as the unique superpower of the world, and to Turkey as a regional power. Though there occurred several crises in the Turkish-American alliance from its outset, both states whose interests converged; encouraging the development of democratic pro-Western regimes and free-market economy, hindering ethnic conflicts, expanding NATO’s membership, blocking monopolization of oil export routes in the Caucasus, securing oil reserves in the Caspian, preventing the rebuilding of the Russian Empire and falling the newly independent states of the South Caucasus from falling into the hegemony of Russia and Iran, keeping Iran’s fundamentalist regime in check, and pursuing active politics in the South Caucasus as a duty for the sake of their own global and regional interests. But, there had been also differences in the allies’ politics as in the NagornoKarabakh conflict. However, the South Caucasian states, including Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia faced enormous difficulties in enhancing their national security, implementing the process of state building and improving their economic situation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and therefore, independence for these states did not initially provide political stability. Internal conflicts, and Russia’s imperialist policies undermined these states’ efforts in order to be strong and independent states, and they could not cope with the challenges of the new geopolitical and economic environment due to the lack of their own military power, and strong economy. Thereupon, these states’ first years of independence have been fraught with economic, political, and social difficulties. But the vigorous efforts of the US and Turkey prevented the South Caucasian states from falling into Russian hegemony and accelerated state-building process of these countries as examined in this study

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Turkey, interest, security, energy, oil, military, alliance, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Caucasus, US, United States
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Published Version (Please cite this version)