Taking Stock: Turkey and the Turkic World 20 Years Later
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Turkey attempted to step into the power vacuum left in Central Asia. It sensed an opportunity for itself because of its close ethnic, linguistic, and religious connections to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. After recognizing the newly independent Turkic republics, Ankara started to establish institutions to develop relations with them and encouraged businessmen, universities, and artists to do so. But these initiatives have not always delivered results or facilitated real cooperation. Yet we should not be surprised to see Ankara assigning heightened importance to the larger Turkic world in its emerging foreign policy as Turkey gives up its former commitment to the status quo for a more visible strategic activism.