Does the Central Asia really matter for Turkish foreign policy?
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CitationÖzgöker, U., Yılmaz, S. (26-27 October 2013). Does the Central Asia really matter for Turkish foreign policy?. Strategizing Turkey: The Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy. İstanbul: İstanbul Kültür Üniveritesi.
Due to Turkey?s geopolitical location its role remains to be a regional key country for international relations. It could be argued that a new Turkish foreign policy has emerged in the last ten years and played a crucial role for the regions that Turkey has historical and cultural ties with. In the last two decades Central Asia has emerged as an area of growing strategic importance for Turkish foreign policy. The collapse of the Soviet Union created new opportunities and new challenges for Turkish policy. Immediately upon their independence in the early 1990s Turkey was among the first countries to recognize the Central Asian Turkic republics. The emergence of these states, as they are commonly called the “Turkic Republics”, precipitated an outbreak of excitement in almost all political wings in Turkey. A Turkish world from the Adriatic to the Chinese Wall became a new topic of discussion in Turkish policy circles and the media. So much that, the discussion of 21 century will be the century of Turks has spreaded around the Central Asian Republics. This study thus attempts to shed light on this new foreign policy and addresses some key questions about it. We will try to understand and explain the fundamental nature of recent Turkish foreign policy, and how and why Turkish foreign policy has been changing. We also discuss whether or not Central Asian Turkic republics matter or not for Turkey and put forward the AKP?s official foreign policy objectives regarding these republics. We argue that Turkey?s new foreign policy choices and preferences reflect, to a great extent, the visions of the new Turkish political elite in Turkey.