[R-P] Turquía mira hacia el Este
condornacional en yahoo.com.ar
Vie Mayo 11 09:05:33 MDT 2007
Hay procesos que como los torrentes, vienen con agua,
lodo y piedras. Contradicciones internas.
Las contradicciones internas - especialmente Sarkozy -
son entre satisfacer una seguridad energética del Este
y una islamo-fobia del electorado.
Y todos los actores juegan así.
El partido de Erdogan y Gul, de 550 bancas del
parlamento, tiene 358. Le faltan solo 9 para los 2/3
que exige la constitución y si adelantan las
elecciones lo superarían.
Hace unos días Juan Ma. Escobar mandó un artículo
sobre "el calvinismo islámico" (retrucado en lo que
hace a deontología islámica por Manzolillo).
a. El artículo lo escriben en la BBC de Londres. En
"english" el tipo les está diciendo a suis lectores:
"Ojo que esta no es la gente del sultán. Esto es otra
cosa." (siempre es interesante lo que escriben entre
sí los ingleses. Para afuera quieren que nosotros
pensemos en "valores universales" - al menos desde
Adam Smith, para adentro siguen pensando en valores
b. Lo que describe el inglés de BBC es lo más parecido
que vi a una "burguesía nacional" (volvé a re-leer el
c. Lo que pone "condimento" es el traslado de una masa
del campo a la ciudad, que se convierte en obrera, y
sigue con sus valores "islámicos".
Parece deja-vu, parecería que la película ya la vimos,
suena como 'beronismo' (mov. nacional en turco)
d. El neo-liberalismo del último gobierno kemalista
está tan lejos (en tiempo e ideología) de Kemal como
de la Rua respecto a Yrigoyen (en tiempo e ideología).
e. decimos "burguesía" turca y el término tiene muchas
contradicciones. Muchísimas y no simplifiquemos, no
hagamos reduccionismo o vamos al PO con Altamira.
PD: la "reducción y simplificación" es el opio de la
Turkey stakes a Central Asian claim
By Federico Bordonaro
The Turkish Foreign Ministry outlined Ankara's
ambitious Central Asian strategy in an interesting
comment in the EU Observer on May 3. The
administration of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
thinks Europe should consult Turkey on Central Asia as
the latter becomes increasingly important for
Euro-Atlantic energy security. Hence Turkey is
redrawing its diplomatic strategy in the region with a
clear goal in mind: being the indispensable nation for
Western interests in Central Asia.
Turkey is not new to ambitious foreign-policy goals in
Asia. Right after the Soviet collapse, Ankara
envisaged itself playing a greater role in the region
(China's Xinjiang included) by exploiting common
ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious ties with
the former Soviet countries Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as non-Turkic
Both power-prestige motivations and economic
interests, such as opening up new markets for Turkish
goods and developing Central Asia's huge energy
potentials, prompted Ankara to announce a new "Turkic
policy". Such a vision was reminiscent of Pan-Turkism
as it encompassed Ankara's geopolitical ambitions from
Bosnia-Herzegovia to Xinjiang through the South
While Washington seemed to look at it favorably, as
Turkey's interests were opposed to those of Russia and
Iran in Central Asia, Moscow and Tehran were obviously
less than thrilled by the perspective of a modern
rendition of the Ottoman Empire.
However, Ankara's plans of the 1990s never came close
to realization, both for political and for economic
reasons. Central Asia's newly independent states were
not eager to substitute Russian domination with
Turkish hegemony, but instead tried to launch a
balanced foreign policy that would guarantee
independence while boosting oil and gas exports.
Kazakhstan largely succeeded, while Turkmenistan opted
for a kind of neutralism aimed at securing the late
Saparmurat Niyazov's autocratic rule.
Also, Ankara could not exercise any overwhelming
influence in the new states, although it could play
the cultural card, since it didn't have the necessary
economic strength for a more conquering policy.
Turkey, thus, downgraded its ambitions throughout the
1990s and concentrated more and more on its
During the same period, China's spectacular economic
growth boosted Beijing's political influence globally,
particularly in Central Asia, while President Vladimir
Putin's restructuring of Russia's power base since
2000 quickly put Moscow in a position to influence the
game strongly. After September 11, 2001, Central Asian
states have been increasingly courted by all great
powers, but instead of choosing a rigid solution, they
have consistently tried to build complex webs of
security and economic ties with Washington, the EU,
Russia, China, Turkey, India and Iran.
At any rate, Turkey found a new track for channeling
its Central Asian ambitions after September 2001. The
US needed its Turkish ally for both
political-ideological and economic reasons. Ankara
provided the Central Asian states - and Afghanistan -
a model of a secular Muslim democracy that the US
could use in the struggle against jihadism. At the
same time, Turkey became a geopolitical pivot in the
energy game after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)
pipeline was completed in 2005.
The successful implementation of the BTC paved the way
for new projects aimed at transporting Central Asian
oil and (especially) natural gas toward Europe through
Turkey, making the latter a vital energy hub.
Paradoxically, Ankara rose to this role precisely when
more and more EU members started to express hostility
to its accession bid. Europe's cumbersome functioning,
its enlargement fatigue after the 2004 expansion, and
European public opinion's growing opposition to the
integration of a large Muslim state has made the
EU-Turkey dialogue increasingly difficult in the past
However, Europe's emergent energy dependence on
Russian natural gas prompted Brussels to forge an
enhanced European Neighborhood Policy (ENP plus) that
gives the utmost importance to security and energy
ties with Trans-Caucasian and Central Asian states.
As a result, Turkey can now play a new card. Since
competition in Central Asia is becoming continuously
augmented, Turkey may be crucial to enhancing Europe's
chances to vie successfully with China and Russia.
But because Europe is closing its doors to Ankara, the
latter isn't acting within the framework of ENP.
Instead, it is trying to augment its own influence in
the region in such a way that Europe's strategy will
need to play the Turkish card.
Can Turkey help open up Turkmenistan?
The holder of huge natural-gas reserves, Turkmenistan
has a huge stake in the Central Asian energy game.
Immediately after Niyazov's sudden death last
December, big powers tried to influence the political
game in the quasi-isolated former Soviet nation. While
Gazprom - thus Russia - seems to have the upper hand,
Western powers haven't given up their hope that
Niyazov's successor, Gurbunguly Berdymukhammedov, will
try to start a cautious opening of Turkmenistan's
Ankara's approach in Turkmenistan is that of
strengthening its alliance with Ashgabat by insisting
on common cultural, ethnic and religious roots. Young
Turkmens are increasingly attracted by Turkey, and
Erdogan's visit to the country last February aimed at
expanding business connections between the two
While the German-led ENP appears on the right track in
Kazakhstan, Russian influence in Turkmenistan and
Uzbekistan seems strong enough to frustrate European
desires of reorienting those nations' foreign policy
in a more pro-Western sense. Turkish aid may then
prove necessary for Europe.
Ankara's role will be essential if EU powers and the
US are to contain Russia's hegemonic attempts in the
Eurasian energy game. With Turkmenistan adopting a
multi-directional energy policy - as Kazakhstan does -
the Euro-Atlantic goal of building the Trans-Caspian
and the Nabucco pipelines to convoy Caspian resources
toward Central and Western Europe would be decisively
This notwithstanding, European decision-makers appear
increasingly divided over Turkey's EU-accession bid.
For instance, Nicolas Sarkozy, the new French
president-elect, has repeatedly claimed that Turkey
belongs to Asia and that Europe should build a
strategic partnership with Ankara without integrating
Generally speaking, political parties within European
nations have different perceptions of Turkey, but
realistically, every EU rotating presidency tries to
pass the buck to the next one when it comes to making
a final decision.
Turkey's diplomatic offensive in Central Asia would be
a stabilizing factor if Ankara and the EU acted within
a single framework. However, that is not the case, and
Turkish moves in the region merely risk adding to the
area's instability and to heat up the already intense
Because of Europe's unwillingness to set up a clear
and definitive calendar for Turkey's EU accession, it
is highly likely that Ankara will be tempted to act
more autonomously in the Central Asian stage. However,
Turkey's political and economic crises will likely
pose serious obstacles to its foreign policy.
In the end, political equilibria in Central Asia -
especially in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - are
fragile, and the presence of various outside players
can have destabilizing effects on the short and medium
Federico Bordonaro is senior analyst with the Power
and Interest News Report (www.pinr.com).
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