Turkish leaders are split on

by Nathan Hamm on 8/27/2003

Turkish leaders are split on Azeri succession.
All of Azerbaijan’s major opposition figures have ties to segments of
Turkey’s political class, leading to diverse views on how, if at all,
Turkey should be involved in Azerbaijan’s uncertain political future.
The ruling Justice and Development Party backs dynastic succession,
most likely to preserve the status quo in its relationship with
Azerbaijan and to preserve current deals surrounding the development of
the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Others argue that concerns over
stability outweigh a desire for pluralism in the near term. A large
number of Turkey’s political elite though are very critical of the
government for backing an undemocratic transfer of power, arguing that
democracy will lead to greater stability and that it is simply the
right thing to do:

“We do not understand how they [Turkish government
leaders] can turn a blind eye to anti-democratic practices and trends
in this country [Azerbaijan], especially in the [emerging] new world
order where political repression and authoritarianism are rejected,”
wrote Ilnur Ăƒâ€ˇevik, Editor-in-Chief of the Turkish Daily News. “In
the new world order, democratic and civilized countries do intervene to
halt such anti-democratic practices everywhere in the world.”

[Even though they dicked us on Iraq, this kind of vocal conviction in
favor of democracy makes me like the Turks]
Analysts also argue that Turkey is running a medium- to long-term risk
of upsetting their relationship with Azerbaijan by alienating
opposition leaders through their support of the Aliyevs. Turkey, more
than anyone else, can guarantee free and fair elections in Azerbaijan
because of their fabulous relationship with the country.
In a related piece, The Washington Post chides Bush for not criticizing the Aliyevs over the succession issue.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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