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
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.
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