Turkey in Central Asia is an in-depth study of the historic-cultural, political and economic dimensions of the policy of Turkey towards the Central Asian region of the erstwhile Soviet Union by a leading specialist on modern Turkey. The author’s long association with Turkish studies in India, her prolonged stay in Turkey lend weight to her analysis of Turkey’s Central Asia policy, its aggressive thrust in Transcaucasia (Azerbaijan) to grab the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline and Ankara’s intense urge to get membership of the European Union.
This work is remarkable for its broad sweep, perspective treatment of the subject and comprehensive character. The author draws upon heavily on twin strands of Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism which largely influenced Turkish policy in the region during both Soviet and pre-Soviet period.
The merit of this work lies in its holistic character. It deals with Turkish-Central Asia relations against the backdrop of rich hydro-carbon resources of Central Asia and the geo-politics of pipeline bringing them to the global market. The dilemma of Turkey torn between its aspiration to join the European Union and its traditional ambition to play a key role in Central Asia, a region with which it has close ethno-linguistic, religious and emotional ties has also been brought out well in this volume which also touches on Ankara’s relations with Iran and Russia.
The work has added to its value by a discussion on the role of Turkey as a member of the Economic Cooperation Organisation and the Black Sea Cooperation Zone. It also sheds light on impact of entry of Israel and Greece in Central Asians-Trans-Caucasiaian affairs on Turkey’s interest in the region.