The Turks of Central Asia

The Turks of Central Asia

The Turks of Central Asia

The Turks of Central Asia

Synopsis

This book is a pioneering study which presents carefully researched data on the some 55 milion Turkish-speaking peoples of the former Soviet Union and Central Asia. The historical background of and the recent developments in Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasus are presented in detail. Hostler's conclusions emphasize the present instability and the potential strategic and economic importance of Central Asia as well as the competing roles of Turkey, Iran, Russia, and other countries.

Excerpt

Preliminary thought and collection of material for this study began at the time of my first wartime duty in Turkey and the Balkans (1945 to 1947). Later, as a member of the early U.S. Military Mission to Turkey (1948 to 1950) under the Greek-Turkish Military and Economic Aid Program, it was possible to continue the academic pursuit of my interest in this question. Returning from Turkey in 1950, I was assigned to the U.S. Air Force's far-sighted graduate training program at Georgetown University to take a course leading to a master's degree in international relations. In this period I had the good fortune to become associated with Dr. Stefan T. Possony, who guided me in writing a shorter study, "The Pan Turanian Appeal." This work was brought to fruition with the invaluable advice of an earnest scholar of Turkish affairs, Dr. Kerim K. Key. In 1951, while assigned to Headquarters, United States Air Force, in Washington, D.C., I was able to continue work at Georgetown University.

The United States Air Force, recognizing the need for trained Near Eastern specialists, then assigned me to the American University of Beirut for a two- year training program in 1953, resulting in a master's degree in Middle Eastern studies. Being in the Near East once again was invaluable, and the special atmosphere of the American University of Beirut aided the progress of my study. Of equal importance was the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, Ankara, Cairo, London, Paris, and other cities, where I secured interviews and material that would otherwise have been unobtainable. Full credit for assistance should be extended to the persons interviewed, as mentioned in text, as well as to Professor Zeine N. Zeine, Chairman of the Department of History, American University of Beirut, and Dr. Nabih Amin Faris of that university for their guidance. Mr. Wlodzimierz Baczkowski provided Russian and Polish translations, experienced advice, and the use of his private collection of Russian Documents. Dr. Kerim K. Key . . .

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