This article assesses the role of various groups and individuals in affecting Turkish policy toward Central Asia and the Transcaucasus.(1) In recent years changing circumstances and opportunities have encouraged more groups to try to influence Turkish foreign policymaking. Turkish society is becoming more receptive to open debate as interest groups develop and are able to use new publications, television, and radio channels to promote views from almost across the political spectrum. This has created a more varied, complex policymaking environment. The military, business associations and companies, solidarity groups, Pan-Turkist lobbies, religious bodies, and even the mafia underworld may play a role.(2)
It is thus no longer accurate to refer to Turkish foreign policy as solely made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) working closely with the prime minister and other government officials. Indeed, the current coalition government led by the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) allied with the True Path Party (DYP) has its own internally diverse agenda. The MFA staff is probably uncomfortable with the RP’s line which puts into question Turkey’s pro-Western orientation. Even prior to that government’s formation certain ministries, such as Culture and Energy, did not always see eye to eye with the MFA over Central Asia and the Transcaucasus.
The influence of specific personalities must also be noted. The late President Turgut Ozal shaped Turkish foreign policy by his forceful role in the Gulf crisis and by redefining the Kurdish question, He also promoted Turkeys active involvement in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia. Another example was Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal who, in August-December 1994, stressed Third Worldism, nationalism and anti-Westernism in contrast to Turkey’s traditional policy but did not remain in office long enough to bring any lasting shift.(3) The MFA still plays an important role in formulating foreign policy, of course. It is regarded as pragmatic, pro-Western and secular by nature. With the USSR’s unexpected break-up, the MFA had to be reorganized and its staff forced to acquire expertise in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, areas largely neglected in the Cold War as the MFA focused attention on contacts with Moscow. With regard to the Transcaucasus it appears that the MFA has been adopting a firm but cautious policy toward Russian involvement in the area.
Central Asia and the Transcaucasus are important for Turkey’s interests,in terms of oil, Russian influence, trade opportunities, and internal conflicts.Close relations have been developed with Turkic Azerbaijan and ties with Georgiahave improved as Turkey sees that country’s significant location for new oil andgas pipelines. But Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations and theirborder is closed due to past historical problems and, more immediately, Armenia’sdispute with Azerbaijan.
Possible new oil and gas pipelines from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Turkey would probably cross the Transcaucasus, a strategically important region which lies between Russia, Iran and Turkey. This territory, just south of the unstable northern Caucasus, is a vulnerable point for the Russian Federation Many in Moscow seek to rebuild Russian dominance over Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and have already secured the right to deploy Russians troops along the Armenian- Turkish and Georgian-Turkish frontiers. Azerbaijan is now under considerable pressure to follow suit. In general, the MFA has followed the principles of non-interference concerning other countries’ internal affairs and territorial integrity. It has diplomatically supported Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh and lent political backing to Georgia in its problems with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The MFA also avoided offering public support to the Chechens in their struggle for independence. Moscow could have retaliated by helping PKK forces in their war against the Turkish government. To avoid confronting Russia alone, the MFA sought to use international fora. But it was disappointed when in 1996 Russia was allowed to circumvent the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty to deploy more military equipment than had been permitted in the northern Caucasus.(4) The Turkish military is also suspicious of Russian policy in the Transcaucasus. The military’s involvement in foreign policy making has been enhanced through the National Security Council (NSC), composed of the prime minister, chief of general staff, ministers of defense, internal and foreign affairs, and commanders of the army, navy, air force and gendarmerie, chaired by the president. Article 118 of the 1982 Constitution obliges the government “to give priority consideration” to NSC decisions on matters the NSC “deems necessary for the preservation of the existence and independence of the state.”(5) Nevertheless, powerful civilian rulers can still overrule military commanders. The December 1990 resignation of Chief of General Staff General Necip Torumtay over Ozals handling of the Gulf Crisis is a case in point.(6) Unlike many of their Western allies, the Turkish military remains ever wary of what it considers Russian encroachment in the Transcaucasus. Indirect Russian military support for the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh was suspected. Tensions between Turkey and Russia in the region were most apparent in May 1992 when Turkish armed forces engaged in maneuvers when it appeared Armenian units might attack the Azerbaijani autonomous region of Nakhichevan. At the time the Russian Commander of the CIS armed forces, Marshall Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, declared that Turkish military intervention could result in the outbreak of a third World War.(7) On the other hand, Turkey is the first NATO member to purchase Russian arms, helicopters and armored personnel carriers for use against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq. In February 1996 Oleg Davydov, Russian Minister for Foreign Economic Relations and First Deputy Chairman of the Coordinating Council for Russias Military-Technical Policy, announced that Russian arms exports to Turkey totalled $25.7 million in 1993, $15.4 million in 1994, $70 million in 1995 and already in 1996 $121 million. Davydov hoped that sales would amount to $300 million by the end of 1996.(8)
Turkish companies and business associations are eager to cultivate commercial ties with all former Soviet republics though reluctant to invest substantial sums in many of the newly independent Turkic states because of poor infrastructure, inadequate banking, and lack of technical expertise. However, many Turkish businessmen favor maintaining reasonably good relations with Russia because of the considerable amounts of money they have invested in the Russian economy–up to $6 billion according to various reports. At present, Turkish companies are involved in construction projects in Russia worth $2.7 billion and have completed work valued at another $2.2 billion.(9)
Official trade turnover in 1995 totalled over $3.3 billion.(10) There is probably at least as much unofficial suitcase trade between the two states. The MFA is well aware of this commercial stake in Russia and fully supported the creation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in June 1992 to develop economic cooperation between states in that region.
Business deals and trade between Turkey and the Transcaucasus in no way matches the commercial involvement with Russia. In 1995 Turkey imported less than $22 million and exported over $160 million of goods to Azerbaijan. Corresponding figures for Georgia were $50 million and $68 million.(11) In 1995 Turkish investments in Azerbaijan amounted to only $200 million compared to $1 billion in Uzbekistan and $1.5 billion in Turkmenistan.(12) Officially, there is no trade between Turkey and Armenia, though some businessmen lobby to reopen the frontier. In August 1996 Telman Ter Petrosyan, elder brother of President Levon Ter Petrosyan of Armenia, toured Turkey as head of a group of Armenian businessmen and argued that Turkey could import electriand cement from Armenia. Within a few years bilateral trade could amount to $600-700 million per annum.(13) However, it seems this will not happen until the MFA believes the Armenians are ready to make concessions on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The USSR’s disintegration also brought increasing influence to a growing number of solidarity groups and cultural associations in Turkey composed of Turkish citizens of north Caucasian ethnic background. Estimates vary but there are probably at least five million Turkish citizens of such origins.(14) These groups use the expanding Turkish mass media to press their claims. One umbrella organization known as Kaf-Der aims to secure repatriation in the Russian Federation of its largely Adyge membership. Other cultural associations are much more anti-Russian and support the cause of peoples like the Chechens and Abkhazians. These latter groups seem to share the Turkish militarys suspicion of Moscows policies in the Transcaucasus. Some of them have close links with Pan-Turkist bodies in Turkey. Islamist circles, hoping to establish a firmer foothold in the northern Caucasus, are also attempting to influence these cultural associations and have donated money to them. The Turkish MFA is probably concerned over activities of these ethnic lobbies lest they jeopardize relations with Russia and give Moscow a pretext to play the Kurdish card. Still, such groups collect money and sent volunteers to fight in Chechnya. They enjoyed support from some deputies in Turkey’s parliament. In January 1996 Turkish citizens of north Caucasian origin hijacked the Turkish ferryboat Avrasya from the Black Sea port of Trabzon to publicize the plight of north Caucasians and received considerable sympathy among the Turkish public. When fighting broke out in Georgia between the government and Abkhazians a heated debate broke out in Turkey’s parliament on 7 October 1992 between those backing each side. Turkey did send relief shipments to the Abkhazians but only through Russia and Georgian- controlled territory to ensure maximum control over the cargo.(15)
At present the Turkish government is performing a delicate balancing act in its relations between Russia and Chechen groups and their supporters in Turkey. It tolerates the Chechen Committee’s activities, allowing the function of a “General Representation of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria” headed by “Deputy Prime Minister” Hosh-Ahmed Nukhayov in Istanbul.(16) In a December 1996 interview with a Turkish newspaper the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Vadim Kuznetsov, cautioned that if any country moved toward recognizing the Republic of Ichkeria this would lead to “the most serious consequences” including suspension of diplomatic relations by the Russian Federation.(17) Prime Minister Erbakan is himself part of a religious lobby on foreign policymaking. He has dropped rhetoric about Turkey spearheading a new Islamic NATO or Common Market but is promoting establishment of an economic grouping called the D (Developing) -8. This body would consist of Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan. Initially, it was labelled the M (Muslim) -8. Perhaps that name sounded provocative for some would- be members with large non-Muslim populations.
The RP seems more interested in the Islamic world than the Turkic world. Erbakan, unlike his immediate predecessors, has yet to go to the Transcaucasus or Central Asia. These Turkic states are led by secular-minded elites fear any spread of Islamic radicalism from Iran, Tajikistan or Afghanistan. An RP government without no coalition partner, however, might move closer to Iran, cooperating in routing oil and gas pipelines through the ex-Soviet republics or re-routing the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project across Iran rather than Georgia? Possible connections between the mafia, security forces and state officials emerged after a car crash near the town of Susurluk on 3 November 1996. Abdullah €atl, an ultra-nationalist linked to the Turkish mafia and wanted by Interpol, was killed along with a senior police officer. Injured was Sedat Bucak, a DYP deputy and head of a Kurdish clan. €atl was carrying an official passport authorized by top Interior Ministry officials. The Turkish media reported €atl had been involved in the 1988 Athens shooting of Agop Agopyan, head of the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA.(18) Other stories implicated €atl in a March 1995 coup attempt against President Heidar Aliyev of Azerbaijan. Apparently, Professor Ferman Demirkol, a Turkish citizen working as an adviser to Aliyev, was also involved in the plot together with R. Cevadov, leader of the Azerbaijani elite police force. It has been suggested that the Turkish intelligence agency, MIT, also lent support.(19)
Prime Minister Ciller visiting Baku in April 1995 personally apologized to Aliyev for the activities of “an uncontrollable right-wing group” which took part in the coup attempt but denied Turkish officials were responsible.(20) In a December 1996 speech, Aliyev confirmed that some Turks were involved in the coup attempt.(21) It seems that Turkish intelligence operatives are engaged in espionage activities in the Transcaucausus and northern Caucasus. The Russians have repeatedly alleged that Turkish secret service officers posing as journalists are active in Chechenya and Daghestan. There was great euphoria in Turkey when the Turkic republics of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan secured independence from Moscow in late 1991. Many officials in Ankara had high hopes of establishing close ties, making Turkey a leading actor in post-Soviet Central Asia. Western governments encouraged Turkey to become actively involved out of fear that
Iranian-inspired religious radicalism would otherwise take hold. Leaders of the Turkic states, desperate for international recognition and support, were eager to cultivate close links with Turkey. But Turkish officials were compelled to lower expectations after the first Turkic in October 1992. President Ozal had hoped to announce creation of a Turkic Common Market and establishment of a Turkic Trade and Development Bank. But the increasingly more confident Central Asian leaderships were unwilling to bind themselves exclusively to Turkic formations. They were eager to secure political and economic support from other states including Russia and Iran.
Officials in the Turkish MFA were at first excited about prospects for enhancing relations with the Turkic states, helping coordinate the first Turkic summit and ensuring it would become a regular event. In Turkey, these meetings are called Summits of the Turkish-Speaking States though in reality Russian is virtually the lingua franca at these meetings. Nonetheless, after the experience at the Ankara Summit the Turkish MFA adopted a more cautious and realistic line toward post-Soviet Central Asia. (22)
Apparently, by mid-1996 MFA officials were not seeking further to institutionalize ties with Turkic states.(23) This may have been because Central Asians were becoming less interested or–in part due to Moscow’s pressure–at least preferred that multilateral cooperation between the Turkic states and Turkey be mainly restricted to cultural and educational matters. Russian spokesmen have questioned the value of summit meetings.(24) Initially, too, there seemed a danger that Turkey was tempted to act as “big brother” toward the Turkic states, though they had just escaped the clutches of another big brother. It seems that the Turkish MFA miscalculated in March 1992 when Foreign Minister Hikmet €etin on a tour of Central Asia proposed that Turkey would represent the interests of Central Asians abroad. Only Uzbekistan was willing to consider the offer.(25)
The newly independent Turkic states are seeking to develop and consolidate their own national identities. One commentator suggested that Turkeys “excessive emphasis on commonalities” between the people of Turkey and the Turkic states has even caused resentment in Central Asia.(26) One should note, though, that the Central Asians are now involved in setting the agenda for the Turkic summits. For exampl, the third summit in Bishkek in August 1995 praised the separate regional cooperation efforts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Unlike the Transcaucasus, the Central Asian region is not of major strategic concern as far as the Turkish military is concerned. Delegations visit and the armed forces make training agreements but one can assume the Turkish military is aware that the Central Asian leaders wish to remain part of a loose Russian security umbrella in order to check the possible spread of religious radicalism. The Turkish armed forces are not in a position to help contain Islamic extremism emanating from Tajikistan and Afghanistan though it should be noted that the Uzbek warlord General Dostum has visited Turkey and requested aid from the Turkish government for his forces in northern Afghanistan.(27)
The Turkish business community favors peace and stability in Central Asia to facilitate trade and commerce there. In 1995, official trade between Turkey and the Central Asian Turkic states only amounted to around $650 million compared to over $3 billion between Russia and Turkey.(28) Evidently, Turkish companies prefer small to medium-scale construction projects building hotels, textile and cement factories etc. There are also problems relating to distribution channels, banking services and transport of goods. Most important, the Central Asians lack hard currency to buy Turkish goods though this situation would change if Turkic states–with the exception of Krygyzstan–can export their oil and gas.
Familiarity with the local culture is an important advantage for Turkish businessmen compared to U.S. or West European counterparts. There is still much more scope for cooperation between Turkish and Western companies in Central Asia with the West providing much needed capital and Turkish firms offering quality labor at a reasonable price. Joint business councils and the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TICA) also facilitate the activities of Turkish businessmen in Central Asia. TICA was founded in 1992 to coordinate between Turkey and the Turkic states in such spheres as banking, the training of officials and establishing computer networks. TICA was responsible for creating a Eurasian Union of Chambers and Bourses. TICA also acts as a bridge between the activities of businessmen and others in Turkey eager to develop closer links with the Turkic states. TICA helped organize, for example, “Turkish-speaking” meetings of youth leaders, university rectors, news agencies, etc.
There are Pan-Turkist groupings in Turkey that dream of a Turkish Empire or at least some form of association or cultural union embracing the Turkic states of Central Asia and Azerbaijan. Alparslan Turkes, head of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), has been one of the most active Pan-Turkists in Turkey though in his later years Turkes has considerably mellowed. It was still a surprise when then Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel included Turkes in his entourage on an official tour of Central Asia in early 1992. Turkes has advocated a Turkic Commonwealth to be led by a High Council of Turkic Republics.(29)
Turkes has organized in Turkey four Turkic States and Communities Assemblies sponsored by the Turkic States and Communities Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation Foundation (TUDEV). In addition to delegations from northern Cyprus and from Central Asia and the Transcaucasus, these Pan-Turkist gatherings included Turkic representatives from various Russian republics including Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Yakutia. Although these meetings were unofficial and not sanctioned by the MFA, prominent Turkish politicians including Ozal, Demirel and Ciller felt the need to attend and address them. Bodies based in Turkey such as the Research Foundation of the Turkish World, the Turkish Cultural Research Association and the Turkish Clubs Association also have Pan-Turkist sympathies. However despite Russian consternation, the Pan-Turkist lobby in Turkey should not be exaggerated. In contrast to the north Caucasian solidarity and cultural associations, there are fewer Turkish citizens who are relatively recent immigrants from Central Asia. This deprives the Pan-Turkist groups of more extensive grassroots support. Furthermore, in the less open political environment in post-Soviet Central Asia Pan-Turkist groups are much less effective. It is worth noting that there are officials in the Ministry of Culture who dream of some sort of Turkic union.(30) The Ministry was responsible for the forming the Turkic Cultures and Arts Joint Administration (TšRKSOY). This brings together cultural officials from the Turkic states and also representatives from Turkic-populated areas of the Russian Federation. Apparently, in spite of its efforts to draw up common plans of action and establish cultural centers in various states, TšRKSOY is not an efficiently run body.
Officials in the Turkish Ministry of Education at one time may also have regarded the so-called Turkic world as homogeneous. The Ministry was forced to adopt a less ambitious policy after plans by Turkey to standardize history textbooks in schools throughout the Turkic states had to be abandoned in the face of opposition from former Soviet republics which wanted to prepare textbooks reflecting their own particular historical experiences. Prior to Erbakan’s coming to power the Ankara government had been eager to depict Turkey as a model of a secular, Western regime. Nevertheless, aware of possible competition for influence from Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, it supported the training of Central Asian religious officials, donated copies of the Koran, and assisted in restoring a number of religious sites. In October 1995 the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey sponsored a meeting of official religious leaders from 28 Turkic countries and regions where it was decided to launch a Eurasian Islamic Council Organization. The Erbakan government has expressed an interest in Turkey playing a more active role in Central Asia through the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which could entail closer coordination between Turkey and Iran. In the past, officials in Ankara checked Irans aspiration to make ECO the basis of an Islamic Common Market. However, the RP is being upstaged by the activities in Central Asia of Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish religious leader from the Nurcu sect. Gulen has opened an impressive network of schools in the area and also in parts of the Russian Federation.(31) He broadcasts his particular views on Islam to a wider audience via satellite television.
There has been much discussion concerning future possible routes for new oil and gas pipelines across Central Asia and the Transcaucasus from the former Soviet republics. Turkey, Russia and Iran have been competing to secure the passage of Azerbaijani and Kazakh oil and Turkmen gas over their territories. The construction of pipelines across Turkey would check what appears to be Russian ambitions to maintain influence over the Turkic states, bring in revenues, help restrict the number of large tankers passing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and go some way toward meeting Turkeys serious energy deficit. Gas consumption in Turkey rose from 500 million cubic meters in 1987 to 5 billion in 1995 and is projected to climb to 40 billion by 2010.(32)
Many officials in Turkey are determined to secure the building of a Tengiz- Baku-Ceyhan connection to transport Kazakh and Azerbaijani oil to the Turkish Mediterranean coast. But one should not assume there is a uniform, coordinated policy in Turkey regarding pipelines. A number of key actors have a voice in setting Turkeys energy policy including the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS), Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), Ministry of Energy, the MFA and others. These bodies at times have conflicting strategies. BOTAS was an affiliate of the TPAO until late 1994, when it became a State Economic Enterprise responsible for building oil and gas pipelines and handling the transport, purchase and sale of oil and gas through them. BOTAS is also concerned with exploration, drilling, pr, storage and refining.
The TPAO has acquired specific interests in Central Asia and the Transcaucasus. It has a 6.75% stake in the international consortium formed to develop with Azerbaijan three offshore Caspian oilfields–the Azeri, Chirag and Guneli fields. TPAO also has a 9% stake in Azerbaijans Shah-Deniz oil and gas field and a 49% share in the Kazakh-Turkmunai company which is exploring for oil in the Aktau area in Kazakhstan. It has also applied for licenses to begin exploration for oil in the Turkmen part of the Caspian Sea.(33)
The Ministry of Energy is led by Recai Kutan, an RP member and it appears the ministry is eager to conclude and implement energy deals with Iran. In May 1995 the Ciller government had initialled a $20 billion agreement with Iran to transport large amounts of gas along a pipeline to be constructed from Tabriz to Ankara but little effort was made to follow up on this agreement until Erbakan became prime minister. In August 1996 Erbakan visited Tehran and finalized the deal. By 2005 up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas per annum would be delivered to Turkey assuming Iran is able to finance its section of the pipeline. There are plans to connect this pipeline with a line currently being constructed between Turkmenistan and Iran. In December 1996 in Tehran the energy ministers of Turkey, Iran and Turkmenistan agreed to transport up to 8 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas to Turkey via Iran.(34) Also, evidently, officials in the Turkish Energy Ministry are exploring the possibility of ultimately importing natural gas from Iraq and additional amounts of Iranian oil from offshore Caspian oilfields. In contrast, the Turkish MFA appears more interested in securing Western and especially U.S. support to construct a Tengiz-Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline connection that would not cross Iranian or Russian territory. Traditionally, the MFA has been concerned to avoid dependence on Russia and Iran for energy supplies. However, the MFA may now be attempting to obtain more gas from and via Russia in order to check the RP-controlled Ministry of Energys interest in Iranian sources.
In 1994 Turkey imported 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia through a pipeline running to western Turkey. There are plans to increase imports to up to 14 billion cubic meters per annum along this route. In January 1997 there were reports of plans to construct a second natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey. This would run under the Black Sea and would have the capacity to transport 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum by 2010.(35) A prominent official from BOTAS has informed the author that many officials– presumably in the MFA–oppose importing Turkmen gas via Iran. And because Russia would oppose the construction of a submarine gas pipeline across the Caspian it would seem that Turkey would therefore have to receive Turkmen gas via an upgraded and extended pipeline running across Russia and Georgia. In this case, Russia could purchase Turkmen gas at a cheap price and then sell the gas to Turkey at the world market price.(36)
Because of the increasing complexity of pipeline politics, by late 1994 Prime Minister Ciller appointed Emre Gunensay as chief coordinator for policy on pipelines.(37) Gunensay would report to the prime minister and be over the MFA, Ministry of Energy, BOTAS and TPAO on these issues. But he soon clashed with the BOTAS head, Hayrettin Uzun. According to Gunensay, prospects for construction of a Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline would be considerably heightened if Turkey first lobbied for building a Baku-Supsa route to transport “early oil” from the Azerbaijani offshore Caspian oilfields. This would forestall Russia from securing transport of all early oil along the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline and thereby possibly prevent all later supplies from being conveyed along the same route.
Gunensay also argued that a section of the Baku-Supsa route would form part of a final Baku-Ceyhan link. Uzun disagreed, contending that Turkey should just concentrate on the Baku-Ceyhan connection. According to Uzun, Baku-Supsa was an “error” and Turkish maneuvers to secure this route “an error within an error.”(38) However, in October 1995 the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), responsible for coordinating the oil consortiums activities, announced that early oil would be carried by both Novorossiisk and Supsa and that the route/routes for transport of the main oil would be decided by mid-1997.
Apparently, Turkeys offer of financial support and political risk guarantees for the construction of a Baku-Supsa link had impressed AIOC officials. In early 1996 the new administration in Ankara led by the Motherland Party (ANAP) head Mesut Ylmaz appointed Gunensay Foreign Minister. With Gunensays transfer the Energy Ministry again given the task of coordinating pipeline policy. The new government, unwisely according to Gunensay, demanded that stringent conditions should be met before Turkey would provide the $250 million needed to construct the Baku-Supsa link. One condition was that the AIOC should agree beforehand to the eventual building of a Baku-Ceyhan pipeline for the main oil with a “throughput guarantee” of 25 million tons per annum. Apparently, a Baku-Ceyhan line would only be economically feasible if it carried 45 million tons of oil per annum, thereby in effect necessitating the transport of also 20 million tons of Kazakh oil.
Rejecting these terms the AIOC declared that it would instead seek financial support to build a Baku-Supsa link. Ironically, in the bidding for tenders to construct the line three Turkish companies have been shortlisted: Attila Dotan; MK in a venture with a French firm; and Tekfen working with U.S., UK and Azerbaijan companies.(39) BOTAS was not included. The future direction of Turkeys pipeline policy is far from certain. Will the RP, with its current control over the Energy Ministry, prevent, intentionally or otherwise, the construction of a Tengiz-Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline because of its interest in importing oil via Iran? And how will Turkey meet its increasingly desperate need for natural gas? At present, it seems that a major problem concerning Turkeys pipeline policy is that one branch of government is trying to hinder the implementation of policies formulated by another branch. This admittedly brief overview has shown competing individuals, ministries, interest groups and agencies trying to affect the formulation and implementation of key decisions. Further, whereas many Turkish companies appear interested in maintaining reasonably favorable relations with Moscow, the armed forces and Caucasian solidarity groups or cultural associations based in Turkey press for a more active Turkish role in forestalling what they perceive to be an increasing Russian domination over the Transcaucasus. The RP and Ministry of Energy seem eager to foster closer ties with Iran which could have significant repercussions on Turkeys pipelines policy. The MFA appears to be engaged in a difficult balancing act, attempting to reconcile these various groupings and interests while not disturbing relations with Moscow or the West.
1. For the author’s more detailed analysis of Turkish policy in Central Asia and the Transcaucasus see, Turkey in Post-Soviet Central Asia (London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Former Soviet South Series no.1, 1995); and “Turkeys Relations with the Transcaucasus and the Central Asian Republics,” Perceptions (Ankara), Vol.1, no.1 (March-May 1996), pp.128-45.
2. See, for example, Saban Calis, “The Turkish States Identity and Foreign Policy Decision-Making Process,” Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol.6, no.2 (Spring 1995), pp.135-55; Gencer Uzcan, “Turkiyede Siyasal Rejim ve Dis,” Politika, 1982-1993, in Faruk Senmezoglu (ed.), Turk Da Politikasnn Analizi (Istanbul; Der Yaynlar, 1994), pp.293-315; Bulent Tanur, “Turkiyede Dis limkilerin ‡ Hukuk Rejimi, in ibid., pp.317-32; and Kemal Kirisci, “Turkey”, in Theodore Couloumbis, Fernando Rodrigo, Stelios Stavridis, Thanos Veremis and Neville Waites (eds.), The Foreign Policies of the European Unions Mediterranean States and Applicant Countries in the 1990s: A Comparative Analysis (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, forthcoming).
3. Soli Ozel, “Of not being a lone Wolf: Geography, Domestic Plays and Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East”, in G. Kemp and J.G. Stein (eds.), Powder Keg in the Middle East (Lanham MD: Rowman Littlefield, 1995), p.172.
4. At a conference titled “Turkey between Europe and the Muslim World: Security and Development Dynamics” organized by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI) in London, January 1996, attended by the author, the then UnderSecretary in the Turkish MFA, Aktan, had insisted that Turkey would never compromise on the basic principles of the CFE Treaty.
5. William Hale, Turkish Politics and the Military (New York and London: Routledge, 1994), p.258.
6. Ibid., pp.291-2.
7. Turkish Daily News (TDN), 21 May 1992.
8. Monitor (The Jamestown Foundation), Vol. 2, no. 31, 14 February 1996.
9. Ekonomik Rapor, ITO Yayn (Istanbul), no: 1996-3, p.136. Cited in
Kirici, op. cit.
10. Eurasian File (Ankara), April 96/2, no.55, p.2.
12. TDN, 14 July 1995.
13. Cumhuriyet (in Turkish), 21 August 1996; and Yeni Yuzyil (in Turkish), 4 August 1996.
14. This figure and much of the information in this paragraph was given to the author in an interview in Istanbul in November 1996 with a leading member of a Turkey-based north Caucasian solidarity group. According to another source there are around six million Turkish citizens of north Caucasian origin. See, Mustafa Aydin, “Turkey and Central Asia,” Central Asian Survey, Vol. 15, no. 2 (June 1996), p.169.
15. TDN, 29 September and 9 October 1992.
16. Open Media Research Institute (OMRI), pt.1, no.176, 11 September 1996, piece by Lowell Bezanis.
17 TDN, 13 December 1996.
18. Yeni Yuzyil, 19 November 1996.
19. Cumhuriyet, 6 and 10 November 1996; and Yeni Yuzyil, 8 November 1996.
20. TDN, 14 April 1995.
21. Ibid., 8 December 1996.
22. Interview with an MFA official, Ankara, December 1994.
23. Interview with an MFA official, Ankara, May 1996.
24. Winrow, Turkey in Post-Soviet Central Asia, p. 29.
25. TDN, 28 March 1992.
26. Aydin, op. cit., pp.165-6.28. TDN, 3 October and 16 November 1996.
27. See note 11.
28. TDN, 11 June 1992.
29. Information in this paragraph is from an interview with Dr. Butra Ersanl Behar, December 1996.
30. For a details on these schools, see, Yeni Yuzyil, 31 October 1996.
31. TDN, 13 August 1996.
32. For details of TPAOs operations, see, Yeni Yuzyil, 30 August 1995; and Temel skit, “Turkey: A New Actor in the Field of Energy Politics?”, Perceptions, Vol.1, no.1 (March-May 1996), p.67.
33. Yeni Yuzyil, 30 December 1996.
34. TDN, 10 January 1997.
35. Interview in Ankara, October 1996.
36. Much of the information in this and in the following paragraph is from an interview with Emre Gunensay, Istanbul, October 1996.
37. TDN, 24 March 1996.
38. Yeni Yuzyil, 5 December 1996, p. 15.