Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia: Russia, Turkey, and Iran

By Alvin Z. Rubinstein; Oles M. Smolansky | Go to book overview

6
Iran and Turkey
Confrontation across an Ideological Divide

Henri J. Barkey

Iran and Turkey, brought together by geography and separated by ideology and regime interests, have had a long history of conflict and cooperation. The territories they inhabit serve as gateways for both Europe and Asia and as a result straddle more than one natural geopolitical subset: the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Indian subcontinent, the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, Central Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, each regime, because of its fundamental ideology and identity, represents an existential threat of sorts to the other. The Turkish-Iranian divide goes back to the end of the fifteenth century when the Sunni-Shiite division was the single most important ideological fault line. Today, the respective regimes interpret the secular-religious divide in very much the same way. In turn, this divide impacts their relationship in many areas, including Central Asia and the Caucasus.

In many respects, the two countries face parallel concerns: they inhabit what they perceive to be a hostile region where real and imaginary enemies abound. Despite the self-confident image of unity of purpose, nationhood, and ideology that Iran and Turkey project to the outside world, each remains mired in self-doubt and perceives its importance and role as being insufficiently appreciated by the international community.

Part of the self-doubt is a function of the recent emergence of ethnic

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Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia: Russia, Turkey, and Iran
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About the Editors And Contributors vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note xii
  • Part I- Old Rivals, New Relationships 1
  • 1: The Russian Federation and Turkey 3
  • 2: Moscow and Tehran The Wary Accommodation 26
  • Part II- Cis and Iran 63
  • 3: Ukraine and Iran 65
  • 4: Azerbaijan and Iran 93
  • 5: Iran and Tajikistan 112
  • Part III- The Turkish Factor 145
  • 6: Iran and Turkey Confrontation Across An Ideological Divide 147
  • 7: Turkey and Central Asia Reality Comes Calling 169
  • Part IV A Russian "Monroe Doctrine" In the Making? 199
  • 8: Russia and Transcaucasia The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh 201
  • 9: Russia and Tajikistan 231
  • 10: The Asian Interior The Geopolitical Pull on Russia 252
  • Conclusion 271
  • Index 279
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