In 1991, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan emerged independent republics upon the collapse of Soviet Russia. These newly established Turkish states, especially in the early years of their independence, have caused the rethinking of the idea of Pan Turkism, which is desired to be implemented in the last years of the Ottoman states, but several wrong strategies cannot reach its goal. In line with this idea, connections were made to establish a new integration with the newly established with brother Turkish states, and new projects emerged both politically and economically, and new institutions were established and unity agreements were made to put these projects into compliance. However, these studies have not achieved the desired success. The objective of this research is to examine the work done for the idea of integration in the process of the day-to-day transition from 1991, to determine the reasons for not giving the desired results of these studies and to offer suggestions on solutions.
Central Asia, which has lived under Russian domination for many years, has been trampled under Soviet empires and left out of the international arena. As everyone knows, having the most important oil resources after the Middle East region and the world’s largest reserves of natural gas makes Central Asia valuable geopolitically. These values have been used by the Soviet government for seventy years, and the region that made one of the largest revenues of the Soviet government was Central Asia. (Geybullayev & Kurubas 2002, 22-23)
The meaning of integration is union and alignment in dictionary. Integration in the theoretical sense; It is a confrontation as a concept that requires harmonious action in values and common acquisitions, based on a mutual interest relation, which requires a certain degree of common identity and loyalty. When we look at past integration from day to day and researchers’ ideas about integration, it is possible to rank the main objectives of integrations in three main categories;
- Protecting the peace,
- The desire of countries to reach larger capacities by completing their deficiencies,
- Gaining an edible image and identity with greater capacity to be owned. (Degraded 2015, 1-3)
If we look at the current examples of integration, we see associations of integration among many countries, especially the European Union, the NATO Military Union and the Shanghai Union. When we look at such integration units, we see that their objectives are parallel to those listed above. It is also worth mentioning that the reasons for the integration of such institutions are the forerunner of economic and military support.
When we look at the structures of the Turkish Republics demographically, we see that in every republic the Turkish population is scattered in a mixed way at certain ratios. The creation of this structure is entirely due to the policies of Soviet Russia, which are due to the fact that they want to bring new identities to Turkish populations, which are rapidly increasing in the Soviets and making up the great majority, by managing them in the same regions with the hypocrisy policy. (Geybullayev & Kurubas 2002, 25-26). The greatest example of this policy is ethnic structure in the valley of Ferghana which is the border of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Because of this policy implemented by the Soviets, Uzbekistan is living in 70% of Osh province in Kyrgyzstan and 50% of population in Ferghana on Uzbek border resides in Kyrgyz population the situation has caused so much resentment between the two countries many times. Thousands of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been injured in the events that took place in the biggest city Osh. (Dorefeev 2013, 10-12) When we look at demographic integration potentials, it can be seen that a fraternal integration could be formed among the Turks, who initially formed a large majority, but in reality, this large population seems to be incompatible with the policies of the Soviets.
When we examine the integration potentials of the Turkish republics from the economic point of view, we can see at first glance that Central Asia, especially the Kazakhstan and Turkestan Turkic states, have the richest reserves in oil and natural gas reserves in the world after Middle East. However, many of these reserves need to develop these countries, and because of Soviet politics, we can see that these important resources are not processed efficiently and Kazakhstan exports processed natural gas from Russia. (Deviated 2015, 9-12)
Soviet Russia can see that Central Asia has connected these regions, which are rich in natural resources, with economic policies. This applied policy in the Soviet era was a professional policy applied to destroy the possibility of strengthening the Turks so that in these regions of Soviet Central Asia only the second-class industry had established cotton factories and forced the Turks to cultivate cotton to reduce the basic agricultural areas, Transported oil and natural gas reserves to Moscow via railways and established the main heavy industrial canters here. Thus, the Central Asian states:
- It is far from modern and favourable industrial sectors,
- Existing sectors have not been able to produce anything as a final product, they have always remained in second class industry,
- Because of the products are in Soviet standards,
- The people of Central Asia working under socialism are backward in keeping pace with capitalism,
- The desired large capital has not been created,
- Customization cannot be done at the desired level. (Geybullayev & Kurubas 2002, 28-32)
Because of such great problems and economic unbalances between the Central Asian states, economic integration between the Turkic republics is becoming difficult.
While the Turkish republics seem to have the same ethnic structure without doubt when we look at the first internal influence that will facilitate integration, this factor is also among the factors that make it difficult to mention above. (Erler 2007, 135-136)
From an economic point of view, the greatest factor facilitating integration is that they share the same fate in acquiring their independence and facilitate the integration of an independent economic structure from the Soviet era, while the Soviets have their own ties to economic capital and with the disintegration of the Soviets, the new Turkic republics in Central Asia have become the focal point of Turkey, Europe and the United States, especially because of the natural resources they contain. Although the new Turkish states established after the establishment of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the world have created a belief that a new Turkish unity can be formed by everyone else, the fact that the economic situation of Turkey at that time is not good enough to be a brotherhood in these regions and these countries need more support for economic development In the first years, Turkey has not been able to carry out a policy as it has wished in Central Asia from 1991 to 2002. (Deviated 2015, 9-12)
In the period after the AKP government came to power in 2002, the relevant conflicts with Central Asia were given more importance as a relationship of mutual interest. In particular, TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) established in 1995 – 2013 period was strengthened and 1,500 small new projects to support economic development were made. In addition, the new foundations and agencies established for these countries are as follows: TÜKPA (Turkic Speaking Parliamentary Assembly), TÜKSOY (International Turkish Culture Organization), World Turkish Youth Association, Turkistan Ahmet Yesevi and Kyrgyz-Manas University, TASAM (Turkish Asian Strategic Research Central). (Karasar 2014, 415-419) Thanks to such organizations, new horizons were opened between Turkey and the Central Asian Turkic states, but since the internal turmoil of Turkey after 2015 and the fact that Kyrgyzstan President Atambayev was beside Russia in the fall of Russia, Connections weakened industry, Making integration difficult. (Geybullayev & Kurubas 2002, 32-35)
Although the integration of the new Turkish states, which have gained their independence along with the disintegration of the Soviets, seems to be easy when viewed from the outside, the possibility of integration is inevitably reduced due to the persistent effects of Soviet ethnic separations and economy dependency policies in the Turkic republics. In addition to this, policies such as sister-brother relations, helping the development of the economy and creating soft power, which were imposed by Turkey, could not have the desired effect due to political turmoil and economic insufficiencies in Turkey.
MUHAMMED İSMAİL AKKAYA
Deşilmek, Enes. 2015. “Entegrasyon Teorileri Bağlamında Türkiye’nin Orta Asya Politikası”. Stratejik Araştırmalar Dergisi, S.16, s. 82-101.
Dorofeev, Sergei. 2013. “Russian and U.S. Interests in Central Asia”. Russian Politics and Law, 51:1, pp. 7-24.
Erler, Özgün. 2007. “Bağımsızlık Sonrası Orta Asya Devletlerinde Milliyetçilik”. Stratejik Araştırmalar Dergisi, S.11, s. 113-139.
Geybullayev, Geybulla ve Kurubaş, Erol. 2002. “Türk Cumhuriyetlerinin Entegrasyonu: Fırsatlar, Sorunlar ve Çözüm Önerileri”. Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Dergisi, C.7, S.1, s. 19-45.
Karasar, Hasan Ali. 2014. “Türkiye’nin Orta Asya Politikası 2010”. TASAM Dergisi, S.42, s. 411-433.