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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Analysts Fear ‘Turkic World’ Only a New Incarnation of Pan-Turkism

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 2 – Ever more Moscow analysts are saying that Ankara’s “Turkic world” which seeks to unite all the Turkic nations under the world under its aegis is nothing more than the latest form of pan-Turkism, an argument that could backfire on them given the obvious parallels between such a Turkic world and Vladimir Putin’s Russian one.

            However that may be, analysts like Artyom Ignatyev are not only speaking openly about “the Turkification of Central Asia,” the speed and breadth with which it is taking place, and the threat this poses to Moscow and its desire to remain the paramount power in the former Soviet space (

            Russian commentators expressed alarm when the Turkic countries earlier this year agreed to move toward a common Latin script alphabet, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of what Turkey is promoting and the countries where Turkic languages and Turkic culture dominate, Ignatyev says.

            Ankara is promoting and the Turkic countries are accepting the idea of introducing courses on “a common Turkic history,” “a common Turkic literature,” and “the geography of the Turkic world,” one whose borders extend far beyond Central Asia but into the Russian Federation and China as well.

            In addition, military and economic cooperation among these countries is increasing, Ignatyev says, with ever more Turkic countries agreeing to common military standards and shared weapon systems and working toward the establishment or expansion of trade corridors linking these countries together.

            And there is clear evidence that as Russia has become bogged down in Ukraine, Turkey is expanding its reach. At a meeting later this month, Turkmenistan is likely to join the common Turkic structures, something that isolationist state has avoided up to now. That will expand Turkey’s opportunities in the region and weaken Russia still further.


Window on Eurasia — New Series

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