Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 6, No. 3 (Fall 2007)
"Europe's East: Changing Landscapes and Mindscapes in the Caucasus"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Elmar Mammadyarov

Elmar Mammadyarov
Elmar Mammadyarov is foreign minister of Azerbaijan

"A regional context supported by the European perspective is a precondition to a satisfactory long-term outlook for the Caspian region. Conflict will have to be resolved and economies diversified. But most importantly, the region should be put on the path of integration – internal and external. We need better infrastructure and more local brains to support our regional economic outlook."

TPQ-article: "A new way for the Caspian region: cooperation and integration"

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Goran Buldioski

Goran Buldioski
Goran Buldioski is director of the regional Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Institute.

"Solving the region's problems will take a long time. It is a complex and complicated road.. The local think tanks are far from being the vehicle for this road. . What they could offer, and this is still not explored, is a different kind of a road map. While they are a small piece of the solution, their competitive advantage is offering a locally driven vision. It just will take a bit more effort for them and their supporters to become proper agents of change."

TPQ-article: "Think instead of tanks"

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Tigran Mkrtchyan

Tigran Mkrtchyan
Tigran Mkrtchyan is the Executive Director of the Armenian International Policy Research Group (AIPRG) in Yerevan. He is also affiliated with the European Stability Initiative, currently conducting research pertaining to Turkey-Armenia relations.

"Failed democratization in Armenia and Azerbaijan will create fortuitous conditions for an establishment of 'illiberal democracies' or autocracies in those countries, and as a consequence deprive them from the only reasonable route for the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: a persistent and linear progress towards democratization."

TPQ-article: "Democratization and the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh"

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Khazar Ibrahim

Khazar Ibrahim
Khazar Ibrahim is the Spokesman of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry

"Without ensuring its energy security, Europe will not have enough tools to be a serious global player, because energy matters are very much intermingled with those of political, economic, and military nature."

TPQ-article: "Energy security: a new buzzword for Europe"

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David J. Smith

David J. Smith
David J. Smith is Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Washington; Director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center, Tbilisi; and a columnist for 24 Saati, Tbilisi.

"Impending NATO membership and territorial conflict resolution would bring instant benefits to Georgia by removing any tinge of doubt in the minds of potential investors. With a big leap in investment, the government would be able to address social, economic and infrastructure problems more quickly, in turn, accelerating reforms. Essentially, NATO would be a stronger guarantor, though an indirect one, than any financial institution could be."

TPQ-article: "Georgia's railway to NATO passes through Turkey"

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Sascha Tamm

Sascha Tamm
Sascha Tamm is Head of the Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe Department of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation for Liberty, Germany.

"For the success of the Neighborhood Policy, it is essential that a long-term prospect of membership can be demonstrated to the countries. Obviously, this cannot take place within the next decade but the possibility should be guaranteed. At the same time, the criteria for accession should be spelled out again and again. This can generate a political vigor in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan that will help solve the grave problems in the long-term."

TPQ-article: "Weakness as an opportunity: EU policy in the south Caucasus"

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Giorgi Meladze
Giorgi Meladze is Program Director at the Liberty Institute in Tblisi, Georgia.

"Since the Rose Revolution, the debate on the independence of judiciary has been both influencing and shaping political debate on Georgia's future not only within the country but also amongst the observers of Georgia, both friends and foes. The complexity of the issue has rarely been explored in the debate, with most of the analysis on the subject being rather superficial, without understanding the essence of the reform and the philosophical underpinnings of change."

TPQ-article: "Law and revolution: formation of the new legal tradition in Georgia"

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Keti Tsikhelashvili

Keti Tsikhelashvili
Keti Tsikhelashvili is the founder and director of a Tbilisi-based NGO called Liberal Academy-Tblisi, a recently recruit of ESI as researcher in Georgia, and a political science PhD student at Ilia Chavchavadze University.

"The series of events since the Rose Revolution in Georgia perhaps makes us realize and keep in mind that beyond figurative visions of either 'blooming roses' or 'growing thorns' there is in fact a rather difficult process of transition towards sustainable democracy beseeching external support until a stage where already strong institutions will internally safeguard democracy from any major twists."

TPQ-article: "Georgia four years after the rose revolution"

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Arzu Geybullayeva

Arzu Geybullayeva
Arzu Geybullayeva is Analyst of the European Stability Initiative (ESI) covering Azerbaijan.

"Looking at the current situation raises great concern over Azerbaijan's future. Though its economy is booming at 26 percent annual growth, corruption, injustice, and bureaucracy are realities that leave Azerbaijan at a crossroads once again, this time not between the East and the West but between freedom and economic revival on one hand and corruption and poor living conditions on the other."

TPQ-article: "Is Azerbaijan becoming a hub of radical Islam?"

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Ebru İlhan

Ebru İlhan
Ebru İlhan is the Program Assistant for the Democratization Program at Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV).

"Effective energy management entails democratic and strong institutions; participatory interest mediation and decision making processes, durable yet flexible legal and administrative framework to build investor trust, good governance through transparency and accountability, and a strong international presence. Fulfilling these norms strengthened by other domestic and international measures guarantees immunity from resource curse."

TPQ-article: "Resource curse or resource blessing: effective management of resource wealth in democratizing countries"

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Dimitrij Rupel

The Caucasus-Caspian Commission
This version of the full Report published by the Caucasus Caspian Commission was made available to TPQ immediately after publication. For the full report visit www.caucascom.org. Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel is the Commission's Chairman.

"Debates over the internal political development of the South Caucasus remain open. The citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have expectations from their political elites that need to be satisfied. This is best done through systems of governance that provide for checks and balances and through transparent government. The region is ready for the next qualitative step forward, regardless of setbacks and disappointments."

TPQ-article: "A future vision for the Caucasus Caspian region and its European dimension"

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Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation
This compilation of perspectives presents the questionnaires produced by an ongoing project of the Yerevan-based Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation supported by Eurasia Foundation.

TPQ-article: "Various voices on Turkey-Armenia relations"

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