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The background to Fergana agitations from Turkey’s angle

Prof Ahad Andican was very much in the media with panel discussions about these Central Asian events after his birthplace became the centre of violence and bloodshed a couple of weeks ago. He gave some useful information about Turkey’s relations with these Turkic countries right after their independences in 1991, but his appraisals for today and future forecasts were rather superficial and not realistic. He seems to believe, as do most people under the guidance of the Disinformation Mechanism, that all these are achievements of Washington in further disintegrating and isolating the Russian Federation. He says Ukraine under the pro-American President Yushchenko, after the “Orange Revolution,” will flourish very quickly and gain EU accession much before Turkey. Yet the truth is that Ukraine is split right down the middle with the pro-Russian “Blues” being much more prosperous than the “Oranges”. Neither will the USA nor the EU, both facing enormous economic problems themselves, effectively come to their help with billions of dollars of aid, even though Paul Wolfowitz and Kemal Dervis may try to channel the World Bank and UNDP funds towards the political calculations of Washington for the BME. The pro-American Yushchenko team may not even be able to survive that long if they anger Moscow enough to cut off its subsidized energy supply to this previous Soviet Republic, report analysts.

The same is the case with President Saakashvilli’s Georgia and Akayev’s Kyrgyzstan. The reason for disturbances in both these countries was economic hardships, rather than a search for democracy. By avoiding bloodshed Moscow has wisely put on the new government the burden of bringing prosperity to the people without much help from Russia unless these new rulers with pro-American election slogans make a vault face in their policies, as Shevardnadze had begun to make in Georgia and faced the American educated Saakashvilli’s “velvet revolution,” with George Soros financing.

Washington’s reasons for its BME policy which cause all this turbulence in the Turkish world are explained in “The Grand Chessboard” and most of President Bush’s statements on this topic carefully underlined by Turkey and some other nations are replicates of Brzezinski’s forecasts. According to Turkish analysts, they boil down to capturing Central Asia’s very rich and untapped energy and mineral resources by replacing the Soviet time rulers with pro-American “democratic” ones. There are three major forces of this region that can forestall its enforcement – Russia, Turkey and Iran. They have to be won over or eliminated for the success of these long term BME plans, say Turkish experts and indeed, the recent history of the BME countries is confirmation of this analysis. Here is a short account of these events from Turkey’s angle.

With the blessing of Washington (and frowns of Moscow), Turkey in 1991 was the first country to recognize the UDIs (Universal –and not unilateral- Declaration of Independence) of the former USSR republics, especially Central Asia’s Turkish speaking ones, within a matter of days, if not hours. And an energetic economic and cultural cooperation program with them was put into force by Ankara without delay.

In a short time, Ankara realized that these new countries’ economic ties with Moscow were too strong for anyone to do much there without Russia’s consent. President Ozal’s initiatives to found a joint international Turkish bank with especially the five Turkish States (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, not counting the Persian speaking Tajikistan) got nowhere because of lack of support from Russia. In the energy sector, the 15 years of efforts with the support and financing of the USA and the EU came to fruition only last week when the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) pipeline was inaugurated with an over $3 billion investment. Even though there was much publicity about this “historic event” in the Turkish and western media everyone in the know knew that it was not even peanuts in the world energy trade with depleting Azeri oil resources, unless Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oil or the new Azeri natural gas supplies were added to it; and there is no sign of such developments in any foreseeable future.