Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World

by Laurence on 8/20/2005 · 4 comments

Just after reading a review in the Times Literary Supplement, I saw a copy of Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World at our local bookstore. It’s a tour of all the Turkic nations.

I flipped to the chapter on Uzbekistan. In it, Reuters journalist Hugh Pope–critical of human rights abuses–argues that Karimov’s independent policies resemble those of Ataturk, and human rights are treated in a Turkic way. There is an extensive interview with Azimov about the economy, a visit to a housing development for international bankers, and an eyewitness account of joint NATO-Uzbek military exercises. Interestingly, Pope concludes that Karimov may succeed in bringing Uzbekistan along Turkey’s path to modernization.

To say that I was surprised is perhaps an understatement. But it certainly makes me want to get a review copy (the hardback lists for $35.00, though Amazon sells it at a discount online).

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Josh Narins August 21, 2005 at 11:34 am

Now, I imagine that during the Soviet period links between the Uzbeks and the Turks was pretty low (and, yes, I know the difference between Turkish, Turkic, Altaic, et cetera).

Since then, would you say things have taken off between the two?

If you were stuck for a way to talk to the Uzbeks, would the Turks be people to talk to?

Just idle thoughts.

Nathan August 21, 2005 at 11:50 am

Nope, not really. There’s a relationship, but Turkey’s (at least initial) goal of being the leader of the Turkic world doesn’t jibe with Uzbekistan’s desire for independence and regional hegemony.

Brian August 22, 2005 at 9:12 am

Wow, comparing Ataturk to Karimov? That’s really silly. But if he’s going to do that he might as well call Turkmenbashi the New Ataturk. I mean, after all, that’s who Turkmenbashi’s must want to be, right?

It’s funny how Ataturk is such an admired guy by much of the Islamic world that many autocratic, uninspiring leaders want to copy him. But inevitably what these hacks end up doing is copying the authoritarianism of Ataturk but leaving out the moderisation and liberalisation.

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