For the first time in the 100-year history of the Turkish Republic, restoration of past greatness has become the policy of the Turkish government. The failure of integration with Europe makes the idea of a new “empire” very attractive. Alongside the neo-Ottoman idea that focuses on the Arab countries of the Mediterranean and on the Balkans, a union of all the Turkic peoples based on ethnic ties, extending from the Bosphorus to China, has become a real possibility.
The transformation of relations between Turkey and Turkic populations in Central Asia and the Caucasus has become a reality with the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is not only a matter of “soft power” – exercised on culture or religion – and economic relations: Turkey is now also present militarily – the Turkish Ministry of Defense has proposed sending Turkish units to Azerbaijan – and shows that it is certainly ready to support its “brothers” by any means at its disposal.
This is just one example of how Pan-Turkism ideology is translated into practice. Turkey is not only active in the geographically neighboring regions of the South Caucasus, and not only with the help of the Azeris – in this regard, both Turks and Azeris say that they are one people living in two different states – but also in the whole of Central Asia, from Iran and Afghanistan to Russia.