The Warming of Turkish-Russian Relations: Motives and Implications

By Warhola, James W.; Mitchell, William A. | Demokratizatsiya, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

The Warming of Turkish-Russian Relations: Motives and Implications


Warhola, James W., Mitchell, William A., Demokratizatsiya


Abstract: Relations between Turkey and Russia have taken significant turns for the better in the past several years, culminating in the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Moscow in December 2004 and followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin's reciprocal trip to Ankara in January 2005. How can we begin to account for this rather sudden warming of relations between Turkey and Russia, and what does this mean for the region? These questions can perhaps best be approached from the perspective of the larger regional landscape of issues whose substance and potential resolution are of particular importance to Turkey and Russia. These can be conveniently parsed into matters of (1) mutual economic and financial advantage, (2) regional security concerns, and (3) domestic political considerations. The present improvement of relations between Russia and Turkey has unfolded in the context of Turkey and Russia's simultaneously complex and somewhat conflicted orientations toward the Western world in general, and post-Soviet increase in U.S. global influence in particular. In any case, the improvement of Turkish-Russian relations will significantly alter the geopolitical landscape of Eurasia for the foreseeable future.

Key words: Chechnya, Eurasia, European Union, Recep Erdogan, Russia, terrorism, Turkey, Vladimir Putin

**********

Relations between Turkey and Russia have taken significant turns for the better in the past several years, culminating in the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Moscow in December 2004, and followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin's reciprocal trip to Ankara in January 2005. This was the first time a Russian chief of state had paid an official visit to Turkey. (1) The latter meeting was timed, perhaps not coincidentally, to occur just before the European Union summit meeting in Brussels, which included the perennial matter of Turkish membership on its agenda. Although those visits are significant in their own right, they are emblematic of a larger significant shift in each country's disposition to the other, and in some respects are symptomatic of shifting political orientations in their domestic and international politics. As Shireen T. Hunter asserts, "Turkish and Russian officials increasingly refer to their respective countries as two great Eurasian powers, indicating that the Turkish and Russian versions of Eurasianism need not be competitive. Rather, they can be complementary." (2) This article explores the contours of this changing landscape with an eye toward identifying and critically analyzing alternative interpretations of the reasons for the emergence of a more cooperative set of relations between Turkey and Russia. It also does so from the perspective of the implications for democracy in each of these countries and the region more generally.

This remarkable turn toward greater cooperation between Russia and Turkey calls for commentary on several grounds, not least of which is the long history of suspicion, studied alienation, and overt military conflict between the two countries. As Lesser notes, "[d]espite the fact that Turkey no longer shares a border with Russia, Ankara still continues to view Russia with concern. A long tradition of Russo-Turkish competition contributes to Turkish unease, and reinforces more modern worries about Moscow as a geopolitical competitor and a source of regional risk." (3) That unease, however, appears to be giving way to substantial change. Improved relations between these two significant powers will certainly shape the contours of domestic and foreign politics in Eurasia well beyond each country's current regime. (4) This is already evident in terms of rapidly expanding trade (from an estimated $4 billion in 2002 to approximately $10 billion in 2004, and projections of $25 billion by 2007), (5) something akin to a military detente (if not rapprochement), an increasing measure of regional cooperation in attempted conflict resolution, and perhaps most demonstrably, diplomatic exchange. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Warming of Turkish-Russian Relations: Motives and Implications
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.