October 29, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8998

Russian Expert Dolgov: If Nagorno-Karabakh Returns To Azerbaijan, Turkey Will Move Forward With Its Plan To Unite All Turkic Peoples Across The Region

October 29, 2020
Russia, Turkey, South Caucasus | Special Dispatch No. 8998

In an interview with Russian Federal News Agency (FAN), Russian expert Boris Dolgov stated that if Azerbaijan takes control of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey may continue its expansion in the Caucasus, as well as in Central Asia and in some regions of Russia.

According to Dolgov, the policy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan indicates that he can take advantage of a land corridor to the Caspian Sea, which will enable Turkey to push into Central Asia. He added that further development of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict will pose a threat to the South Caucasus, as Ankara will continue its expansion.

Dolgov believes that Turkey intends to strengthen its position in the Caucasus and in the neighboring countries of the Caspian region, including Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. He noted that Ankara has influence in Georgia, particularly in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, as well as other regions. The expert ruled out the possibility of Turkey annexing Georgia but said that a pro-Turkish alliance was possible.

He stressed that the Turkish expansion may also affect some Russian regions. Turkey has relations with Dagestan, Tatarstan, and Bashkortostan. Dolgov said that these regions see Turkish ideas being promoted, including the concept of the "Great Turan," i.e., the pan-Turkic idea of uniting all Turkic people.[1]


Following is Dolgov's interview with Russian Federal News Agency (FAN):[2]

"Turkey, as the interested party, will continue its expansion in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and in the central regions of Russia, if Nagorno-Karabakh returns to Azerbaijan's control. According to a correspondent of FAN [Federal News Agency], this was stated by Boris Dolgov, PhD, senior researcher at the center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences during the air of the 'Patriot media Group.'

"Dolgov is sure that: 'Should this happen, Turkey will use the corridor to the Caspian Sea. This is evidenced by the consistent and persistent policy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Let's say that it is a tough policy that pays off. Turkish interests are being promoted in many directions – in Syria, in Libya, and in the Eastern Mediterranean, and now, in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. And if this continues, this situation will pose a threat to the South Caucasus, as Turkey's expansionist policy will continue.'

"The expert considers the strengthening of Turkey's position in the Caucasus and the expansion toward the East, in the direction of neighboring countries of the Caspian region, as the main vector of the country's expansion.

"'Turkey's influence in Georgia (in Adjara and other regions) is quite strong.[3] I do not think that Georgia will join Turkey, but there may be attempts to create a pro-Turkish Alliance. The corridor to the Caspian Sea will mean Turkey's advance into the region of Central Asia, which has a Turkic-speaking population,' the expert said.

"At the same time, he did not rule out that the expansionist aspirations of Turkey might also affect Russian territories.

"'Turkey has relations with Dagestan. It actively develops [relations] with Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Especially with Tatarstan, where many times I met people who have graduated from Turkish colleges, and I know that the Turkish influence there is very strong. And the Turkish idea of the Great Turan, although not directly made public, exists here. I can't say that this is dangerous, but the promotion of Turkish ideas [is something] that is going on here, and we need to think about it,' Dolgov stated.

"It is worth noting that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has been going on for more than 30 years, sometimes subsiding, sometimes reaching an acute phase. Active fighting once again broke out on Sunday morning, September 27. The Armenian authorities reported a massive attack of Azerbaijan on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and its capital Stepanakert. Earlier, Yuri Shvytkin, first Deputy Chairman of the state Duma Committee on Defense, warned that Turkey could provoke a war in Transcaucasia."

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