Turkey's new role in international politics
The disintegration of the Soviet Union seemed to create new opportunities for Turkey. Independent countries emerged in the southern part of the former USSR which were receptive to the reactivation of bonds with Turkey rooted in their Muslim cultural tradition and, to a great extent, their affiliation to the family of Turk peoples. Their impression was that Ankara he/,d the key to sociopolitical modernisation and economic prosperity. As Bahri Yilmaz, Professor at the Bilkent University in Ankara, exp/aim, the meam at Turkey's disposal were ove"ated by far. The reduction . of the Turkish influence this implied was compounded by growing Russian efforts to regain lost political and military te"ain in Tramcaucasia and Central Asia. Comequently, Ankara again finds itself primarily relying on the links with NA TO and Western Europe which existed up until the upheavals which reshaped the international political landscape between 1989 and 1991. Bahri Yilmaz works on the assumption that Turkey's traditional orientation towards the political values of the West remains unbroken.