British-Turkish factor in the Caucasus and Central Asia crises

Dr. Amr Mohammed Eldeeb
Latest posts by Dr. Amr Mohammed Eldeeb (see all)

We mentioned some time ago that until recently, the Turkish leadership, headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was trying to implement the new Ottoman strategy and regain influence over the entire area that was occupied by the Ottoman Empire in the past. Through this strategy Ankara sought to integrate the “new Ottomanism” into the global US project, “The Greater Middle East”, but the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the support given to the Kurdish formations in the regions of northern Syria, the strengthened military and political presence of Russia in the Middle East and the remarkable increase of China’s leverage uncovered the weakness of the ideological, military and political weight of Ankara in the entire Islamic world.

Dissipation of the Turkish dream of joining the European Union and the tensioned relations with the West and Washington has prompted Erdogan to search for a new conflict ground.

Depriving the Turks from real prospects for integration into the European Union, in addition to the fluctuation of relations with the West, especially with the United States, has led the Turkish leadership to return to Turkish nationalism that is not based on the Islamic element, the so-called ”Turkish world” or the “Great Turan”.

Consequently, what is currently happening between Azerbaijan and Armenia and what is happening in Kyrgyzstan is surely linked to Turkey’s plans to increase its influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia, especially since Turkey’s moves  in the Middle East frankly rejected by France, Egypt and the UAE.

Nagorno Karabakh

Such bitter and old conflict, we are not going to explain its circumstances in this article, but this conflict has become a powerful tool in the hands of the Turkish leadership used to increase its influence in Azerbaijan and in the region as a whole. Actually, Turkey is the only country that frankly and strongly stood by Baku, while Azerbaijan couldn’t obtain such support from the European countries or the United states despite the strength of its economy based on the oil and gas export.

This is, of course, due to the strength of the Armenian lobby in these countries. As for Russia, it was in its interest to freeze this conflict in any form, and this is what it has succeeded in during the past 25 years.

In fact, Turkey in the recent times found itself forced to move the stagnant waters in the Caucasus and Central Asia, which is the most important part of its foreign policy, due to the difficulties facing its geopolitical project in the Middle East, as we have explained. As a matter of fact, as this region is not related to Turkey due to the Islamic factor only, but factor sof language and culture as well.

Reasons behind the timing of the combat operations

Choosing the timing of igniting the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is not a coincidence, as the combat operations began a month and days after the end of the Turkish-Azerbaijani military maneuvers that began after the failed combat operations of the Azerbaijani army last July. In short, after these maneuvers, Turkish forces remained on Azerbaijani lands, which gave relative success to the Azerbaijani army in the ongoing combat operations.

Meanwhile, the timing of such operations comes in the preparation period of the US presidential elections, which means that the US factor in this conflict is largely absent. Added to this, the France’s opposition to the Turkish moves in the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya led the Turkish leadership to stir things in this highly significant region in which France in interested in particular.

On the other hand, we simply can find that Ankara’s decision to escalate the situation in Nagorno Karabakh at this time comes due to Russia and Iran’s intransigence against Turkey in northern Syria. Undoubtedly, setting the region off with a war that might affect the Russian influence in the Caucasus. Russia, as we mentioned, is interested in freezing the conflict and the process, so fuelling it will get Russia to stand with Armenia against Azerbaijan or to be silent and thus Armenia loses.

Verily, stirring up the troublein Azerbaijan is a Turkish punishment for France, Russia and Iran, and a way to implement the dream of “Greater Turan”

As for Iran, igniting the intensity of the conflict and the presence of combat operations on its borders is a matter that severely tests its neutrality, especially that we heard during the past few days about some airplanes had fallen inside the Iranian territory and if we notice that these borders are the important economic outlet for Tehran due to the US sanctions.

Thus, igniting the situation in Azerbaijan by the hand of Ankara is a Turkish punishment for France, Russia and Iran and represents an important Turkish-British cooperation paper regarding the implementation of the “Greater Turan” project, as we will explain later.

Kyrgyzstan – Third Color Revolution

If the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh targets mainly Russia and Iran then unleashing the hand of chaos in Kyrgyzstan by using the weapon of color revolutions will target the Russian Federation and China (the most important debtor to the Kyrgyz economy).

On October 16th, the Parliament approved the resignation of Surunbay Genbekov, and the spokesperson of the People’s Assembly was due to transfer the powers of this position, refused. As a result, Sadir Jabrov became President, who earlier was assumed the office of the Prime Minister and so on. This means that Jabrov holds the two highest positions in the country.

The Caucasus Trap … Turkish expansion, French desertion…Britain is the first winner

It is worth noting that on October 5, Sadir Gabrov was serving a prison sentence after a verdict issued against him due to taking a hostage during a rally in Saro village in the Issyk Kul region in 2013, when demonstrators demanded the nationalization of the Kumtor gold mine. During last protests, Gabrov scrambled out of the prison by the assistance of some supporters were among those who arrived in Bishkek to protest against the results of the parliamentary elections.

New parliamentary elections are scheduled for the end of December this year while presidential elections scheduled for at the beginning of January 2021. Despite the high cost of electoral events, it can be held in one day, including the early formation of a new popularly elected cabinet. However, the budget that will be spent on the elections isn’t clear, as the state’s budget is running in deficits and Russia has frozen financial aid to Kyrgyzstan.

Indeed, the events taking place in this country are interpreted in different ways especially because we do not see there any real revolutionary components. The main reason for the protests in Bishkek was a review of the results of the parliamentary elections, 13 parties (out of 16 participants in the elections) demanded the cancellation of their results. On October 5, no one demanded the resignation of the president, moreover, two parties also demanded a rerun of the elections (Bouton Kyrgyzstan and McKinchell occupied the two places, Fourth and Fifth), nevertheless, they could win more votes by the manual recounting of votes and thus entered the parliament.

Now, the whole situation indicates that, unlike the two color revolutions of 2005 and 2010, there was no reason for a strong change in power, but it was a political confrontation with those parties that occupied the first two places (Permdik and McKinim Kyrgyzstan), and thus would have obtained nearly 90% of parliamentary seats.

With the passage of time, we will discover who stands behind Mekenshel’s party, to which Sadir Jabrov is affiliated, Great Britain and Turkey who target the influence on the Russian and Chinese power in this country, and therefore I would like to say again that what is happening and what will happen in the Caucasus and Central Asia is linked to the British and Turkish factors in order to try to implement the Greater Turan Project. We should not view the Nagorno Karabakh and Kyrgyz events separately, but rather they should be viewed in general terms through the Greater Turan Project and its British backers.

The British-Turkish role

At the end of 2017 – the beginning of 2018, the giant US oil and gas companies operating in Azerbaijan began preparing to sell their assets. In 2019, the Hungarian MOL acquired Chevron’s stake in the Azeri-Chiraz-Cuneshli project while the Hungarians acquired a stake in the American Company in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline around the same time.

Even before that, ExxonMobil began disposing of its assets in Azerbaijan; only British BP remained a major player in the Azerbaijani energy market, so the only western country that persists in the Azerbaijani energy market is Britain.

It is evidently seen that Azerbaijani gas and oil will pass through Turkish lands and Turkish influence in Azerbaijan does not need confirmation, so the issue of British-Turkish cooperation in particular in Azerbaijan is a normal matter, but in general their alliance in the Caucasus and Central Asia is imposed by the nature of British-Turkish interests there in the last two centuries.

The Turkish role as a bridge between the British Crown and the Middle East It cannot be ignored… Britain has not forgotten the services of Ankara

For more than two centuries, Turkey was a kind of “link” for the British crown to the Middle East and the Caucasus. Since the 1820s, London was promoting the Turan project, and from Istanbul, British intelligence worked in the Caucasus and even in Central Asia and this meant supplying arms to Circassians and sending trainers and money – Everything passed through Istanbul.

There is a clear British support for the “Greater Turan” project, which is based on Turkish nationalism. Plus, Richard Moore’s appointment is linked to the possible intensification of British intelligence in the southern Caucasus.

Given the close personal relations with the Turkish and Azerbaijani elites, Richard Moore will not hesitate, as expected, to publish projects to destabilize the Caucasus, which will allow the supporters of the “Great Turan” project to begin reshaping the region in their favor. At the meantime, presence Charles Jarrett – the British ambassador to Kyrgyzstan shouldn’t be forgotten as he is an employee of British intelligence and works under diplomatic cover. Both figures will likely mean the British support for Erdogan’s dreams.

Richard Moore, the newly appointed head of MI6, assumed his duties in September, which means that Erdogan, who had already exited from Brussels, could in the fall, with the support of British intelligence, gain additional momentum in his expansionist activities in all areas of his foreign policy ambitions. We saw during the last month, ignition of the situation in Nagorno Karabakh and change in the power structure in Kyrgyzstan, which threats the interests of Russia, China and Iran, these three countries are the enemies of the historic “Greater Toran” project, because if it is succeeds, it will cut lands from these three countries.

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