Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 8, No. 4 (Winter 2009)
"Democratization and Disputes in the Neighborhood:Is Taking Sides Inevitable?"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Gulshan Pashayeva

Gulshan Pashayeva
Gulshan Pashayeva is affiliated with the Center for Strategic Studies, Azerbaijan.

The unresolved conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh is considered the most daunting issue for South Caucasus' security. Since 1994, when a cease-fire was reached between the parties, many attempts have been made to find a political solution to this conflict. Last year's Russia-Georgia war considerably changed the geo-political situation and renewed efforts of regional and nonregional actors to reach a comprehensive solution. In this context Turkey, as a transit energy country, has a beneficial impact on the whole region, serving as a bridge to the West through its unique location. Supported by the U.S. and the EU, Turkey is trying to strengthen its political and economic influence in the South Caucasus and is attempting to transform its relations with Armenia.

TPQ-article: "The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the Aftermath of the Russia-Georgia War"

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Murad Ismayilov
Murad Ismayilov currently serves as Program Manager for Research and Publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy.

This article examines the interaction among education, national identity, and external players attempting to influence post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The authors argue that in the circumstances surrounding transition, education became a major political tool for outside powers to advocate their own political philosophy among Azerbaijanis. It is argued that the policies of the U.S., Europe, Russia, and Turkey to provide education opportunities to Azerbaijanis in hopes of affecting Azerbaijani society resulted in a stratification of Azerbaijani civil society, which in the short to medium-term hinders the democratization process with which the country is currently struggling, and in the long run may induce potentially profound conflicts of interests among the various domestic groups.

TPQ-article: "Nation-Building and State-Building in Azerbaijan: The Challenges of Education Abroad"

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Michael Tkacik
Michael Tkacik is a Professor of Government and the Director of the School of Honors at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

This article examines the interaction among education, national identity, and external players attempting to influence post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The authors argue that in the circumstances surrounding transition, education became a major political tool for outside powers to advocate their own political philosophy among Azerbaijanis. It is argued that the policies of the U.S., Europe, Russia, and Turkey to provide education opportunities to Azerbaijanis in hopes of affecting Azerbaijani society resulted in a stratification of Azerbaijani civil society, which in the short to medium-term hinders the democratization process with which the country is currently struggling, and in the long run may induce potentially profound conflicts of interests among the various domestic groups.

TPQ-article: "Nation-Building and State-Building in Azerbaijan: The Challenges of Education Abroad"

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Yonca Poyraz Dogan

Yonca Poyraz Dogan
Yonca Poyraz Dogan is a correspondent with the English language daily Today's Zaman based in Istanbul.

The international community hailed last year's October 10 signing of protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and the development of bilateral ties between Turkey and Armenia as a turning point, but all were aware that the road to normalization would not be smooth, and the hurdles on the way demonstrate just that. Difficulties arise partly from the complicated nature of the problem since Turkey closed the border in solidarity with Azerbaijan when Armenia took control of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave following a war with Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. If the involved parties leave the situation to its course, the relations, stuck at a standoff, will soon be deadlocked.

TPQ-article: " Turkey-Armenia Rapprochement at Risk: Time for Vision and Courage"

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