Turkey: opportunities in the South Caucasus?

In recent years, Turkey began to affect significantly on the South Caucasus. After a failed military coup Erdogan seriously undertook the installation of the autocratic regime in the country. As the result there are mass arrests and the dismissals of “public enemies”, persecution of supporters of Islamic preacher Gulen, even outside the country. The President of Turkey is trying to consolidate its external political efforts with two other players in the region – Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Erdogan with support of Azerbaijan and Georgia is trying to make Turkey the main gas hub between the South Caucasus and Europe, but it seems questionable to create transit through Georgia without the Azerbaijani gas. Huge funds have already been spent for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway also was built. In the result a transportation and energy corridor was formed, through which Erdogan can influence the geopolitical situation in the region. That can allow him and his partners (Azerbaijan and Georgia) to become a serious unit both in the South Caucasus and also in Europe, whose opinion will have to be considered.

The document to deepen cooperation signed two weeks ago in Batumi shows focus on the unification of the political efforts.

More than that it’s possible to predict the situation changing in this way because the US ignores Erdogan appeals to extradite his main enemy – Gulen, and Washington’s policy is aimed at supporting the Kurds. The harsh reaction of the Justice and Development Party in the country, as well as its supporters at the July coup put an end to Turkey’s accession to the EU because domestic policy began to move counter to the European ideology.

In its turn, Baku is trying to find allies in case of aggravation of situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, while Georgia starts to understand that the NATO membership will not happen in the near future, because NATO will not go to the aggravation of relations with Moscow.

Such a combination of circumstances put us before the fact that in the coming years, these three countries can establish a unified political alliance, whose members will become our countries new destabilizing factor.

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