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Between Russia and the West: Turkey as an Emerging Power and the Case of Abkhazia, by Laurent Vinatier

THE CHINA AND EURASIA FORUM QUARTERLY • Volume 7, No. 4

December 2009 - pp. 73-94

Between Russia and the West: Turkey as an Emerging Power and the Case of Abkhazia

Laurent Vinatier*

ABSTRACT
Turkey’s foreign policy finds itself in transition. Considering the new emerging context and the constraints that Turkey faces, it is essential to assess the real determinants which would transform Turkish foreign policy to encompass a more pro-active, independent, and regional strategy. Abkhazia, since  its recognition by Russia on August 26, 2008, is examined here as  a case  study. South Caucasian  issues  in general and Abkhazia in particular may be essential bargaining chips for Turkey to substantially  improve its stance from the Black to the Caspian Seas, assuming  its new-found “emancipation” from U.S. influence and thus becoming a real regional power in the region. If all these successful challenges  are met successfully, then Turkey will move to the gravity center of an EU-Russia-Iran  triangle, where  it will occupy a pivotal and geostrategic position.

Keywords •  Turkey’s  Foreign  Policy •  Abkhazia •  Abkhaz  Diaspora • Soft-Power, EU-Iran Relations • Turkey-Russia-Iran Relations

Laurent Vinatier, PhD, Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France, is Research Fellow at Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey.

The full article in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here (300 KB)

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