Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 6, No. 2 (Summer 2007)
"New Faultlines Emerging in Central Eurasia - Global Implications"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Hikmet Çetin

Hikmet Çetin
Hikmet Çetin is Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Former NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan

"Today, NATO is the most capable security organization in the world. Its missions cover an extremely broad area and the Alliance deals with a wide range of contemporary issues related to security, from science to training opportunities for the Middle East. The operation led in Afghanistan is undoubtedly the incarnation of all these evolutions, as well as a litmus test for NATO’s relevance."

TPQ-article: "NATO's role in Afghanistan"

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Stephen Blank

Stephen Blank
Stephen Blank is a Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College

"Ultimately Russia aims to frustrate European integration while preserving a free hand so that it can avoid 'a European choice', i.e. democratizing reforms. Consequently it rejects genuine integration with Europe. For example, the EU has drafted its own Black Sea program. Predictably Moscow dislikes this trend because it promotes further European integration including Turkey, Ukraine, and the Caucasus."

TPQ-article: "Russia as a Black Sea power"

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Marian Abisheva

Timur Shaimergenov

Marian Abisheva & Timur Shaimergenov
Marian Abisheva is Deputy Director at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies. Timur Shaimergenov works at the Secretariat of the Mazhlis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

"The one-party parliament does not mean that multi-party democratic practices have suffered a setback. We believe that the requirements of improving political party functioning in the medium term have now been defined clearly. These parties cannot be established in a day, but a modern strong competitive democratic country needs reliable parties that work with voters effectively."

TPQ-article: "The 2007 parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan: results and prospects"

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Amin Tarzi

Amin Tarzi
Dr. Amin Tarzi is the Director of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Marine Corps University.

"Iran is feared because of the nature of the Islamic Republican system. This system does not limit itself to the geographic boundaries of Iran, but has a far grander vision. In Iran’s calculations, a nuclear weapons capability – immaterial of it being opaque or demonstrated – would grant the Islamic Republic the respect it believes it not only deserves, but has a right to be afforded based on its past imperial legacy and its current position of vanguard of Islamic values."

TPQ-article: "The world's ninth nuclear power: Iran's ambitions in the Middle East and beyond"

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Amjad Atallah

Amjad Atallah
Amjad Atallah is President of Strategic Assessments and the Senior Director for International Policy and Advocacy at the Save Darfur Coalition.

"The silent acquiescence coming from the Organization of Islamic Countries, the League of Arab States, and from heads of states is not a reflection of public attitudes, but of political and strategic calculations. Neither official acquiescence nor popular concern, when unarticulated and silent, will save lives and help save Sudan. It is vital that Muslims raise their voices in unison before there is nothing left to save."

TPQ-article: "The Muslim world and Darfur"

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Donald N. Jensen

Donald N. Jensen
Dr. Donald N. Jensen is director of Research and Analysis at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

"The Caspian Basin has become a focal point for international energy politics. For the five Central Asian nations and Iran, the area is a critical transit route for shipping their energy to foreign markets. Meanwhile, Europe and the United States pay special attention to the development and transport of energy reserves in the area as a way to diversity the sources of their imports."

TPQ-article: "Turkey's energy ambitions clash with Russian succession politics"

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Joel Sprayregen

Joel Sprayregen
Joel Sprayregen is a member of the executive committee of JINSA ( Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs).

"There are hopeful indications that Europeans are deciding to realistically resist 'Finlandization'. The record of the United States – under Democratic as well as Republican presidents – in rescuing Europe from its own disasters leaves room to hope that this time, pre-emptive defense will be timely. It is refreshing to see key Europeans comprehending the crucial stakes."

TPQ-article: "The case of Iran: will nuclear Finlandization be averted?"

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Prajakti Kalra & Siddharth S. Saxena
Prajakti Kalra is a historian of Contemporary and Medieval Central Asia and currently a Research Associate of Cambridge Central Asia Forum. Siddharth Saxena works on history and anthropology of Central Asia and the Islamic world and is the Chairperson of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum and Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge.

"Looking beyond the geo-political rhetoric, the SCO does not appear necessarily postured against the United States, Europe or Japan. Its aim seems to be more multi-faceted than simply to move towards balancing power or securing the region."

TPQ-article: "Shanghai cooperation organization and prospects of development in the Eurasia region"

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Katja Gersak
Katja Gersak is Program Manager at the Institute for Strategic Studies in Ljubljana.

"NATO is the most suitable organization to begin building deeper ties with the region. It has the ability to address security needs of the region and has direct benefits for European security. NATO should explore possibilities of multilateral cooperation with the SCO as both organizations have much to gain by building closer ties."

TPQ-article: "NATO in Central Asia: In Search of Regional Harmony"

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Kayhan Bargezar

Kayhan Bargezar
Dr Kayhan Barzegar is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Science and Research Campus, Islamic Azad University. He is also a research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a senior research fellow at the Center for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran.

"The events that followed 9/11, such as regional crises in Iraq and Afghanistan and the battle against global terrorism have made Iran more significant. In fact, because of the shifting nature of power and politics in the region, Iran is becoming the connecting point of the Middle East security and global politics."

TPQ-article: "Iran’s Foreign Policy towards Iraq and Syria"

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Oubai M. Shahbandar
Oubai M. Shahbandar is a strategic defense and energy analyst based in Washington D.C.

"A sober assessment of the geostrategic circumstances that have made the Middle East so central to European and American interests, indicates that Turkey is capable of establishing a dominant role which the West must in turn recognize and respect. But doing so will entail a measured balance on the part of Turkey's newly cemented leadership in eschewing the bitterness that has characterized public debate on the U.S. presence in Iraq, and U.S. regional policy in general."

TPQ-article: "Turkey's Iraq Policy"

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Mjusa Sever & Fazil Khasanov
Mjusa Sever is the country director of the Institute for New Democracies, Open Dialogue Project. Fazil Khasanov is the senior policy advisor of the Institute for New Democracies, Open Dialogue Project .

"While it is against Central Asian cultural traditions to clearly say NO to outsiders – when they actually say so, it is a highly emotional process for them. It is not enough to learn how to say NO either. One needs to learn how to make a decision and say YES, too – saying it loud and clear, not with promises or excuses, but with concrete action and with consistent behavior."

TPQ-article: "Uzbekistan - Lessons from the field"

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Suat Akgün
Suat Akgün is Head of Department at the Directorate General for Policy Planning of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This paper reflects the author’s personal views.

"The Russian Federation attaches utmost importance to being qualified as a reliable energy supplier. While this may be correct it is also true that the reliability of the Russian Federation as a consistent and trustworthy supplier is considered questionable by many observers. Above all, they are saying, if the Russian decision-makers tend to perceive energy not purely as an economic but also a political matter, energy bottlenecks due to political risks are always a possibility."

TPQ-article: "The Russian federation as an energy supplier"

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