Turkey vis-Ã -vis Central Asia: a geostrategic assessment
The aim of this paper is to contribute to increase knowledge about a remote region of the world, but of utmost importance in the geopolitical context of today - Central Asia - as a result of its strategic position as a link between East and West, a space of competition and reinforcement of the great powers. Besides, the region has been, in recent years, attracting the attention of foreign investors due to the existence of large reserves of oil and gas. The central argument is that Turkey demonstrates a predominantly economic interest (the search for energy resources) towards the region, pursuing fundamentally realistic-driven policies with regard to it. Alternatively to the participant and non-participant observation, difficult techniques to apply to this object of study, we resorted to the semistructured interview. The field research was done through interviews conducted predominantly in Central Asia to key individuals related to the issues studied. Convinced that the behaviour of the states, the power or influence are not likely to translate into tangible realities, mathematical formulas, or mere statistics, we assume that the use of the qualitative method, through the hermeneutic analysis, is the methodology supporting this investigation. We suggest that Turkey inspires itself on the Chinese policy towards Central Asia, which has shown remarkable vigour in recent years, and try to figure out how it can profit from an Ankara-Tehran-Central Asia-Beijing axis, in the context of the Chinese New Silk Road, in order to project its power in the regional sphere and boost (even more) its economy.
Central Asia; Turkey; Geostrategy; Realism