The importance of Armenia in Türkiye´s Central Asia Geopolicy and silk route

Again in we have Cem Gürdeniz, admiral of Turkish Navy, with us to talk about the strategic points of Türkiye in the world and the important of his geopolitical situation in Anatolia, between Asia and Europa in this historical moment of rise of China.

Post -Soviet Central Asia give the opportunity to Türkiye to use cultural diplomacy and a very complete diplomatic and geopolitical  strategy to take power in Central Asia using linguistic-cultural baggage. In the competition between Russia, Iran, China and Türkiye for Central Asia, Ankara makes the difference with organizations like Turk Kènes, TÜRKSOY etc…

¿This situation makes Türkiye stronger in the relations with China who need stability in Central Asia?

Turkiye’s increasing involvement in central Asia following the demise of Gulenist Terror Organization at home as well as partly abroad paved the way for a better relationship with relative nations namely Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Gulen movement was poisoning the Turkish relations with respective capitals since they were acting on behalf of the US government under CIA protection rather than Ankara. The main objective of Gulenist investment in Central Asia was to promote moderate İslam undermining the common Turkish Central Asian identity. The Moderate İslamism (Pro US) was to be used against China mainly in the Uighur conflict at Xincan Region. The US paid propaganda services under Gulenist direction were ready to exploit Turkish Chinese relations in case any improvement either in foreign or economic relations take place. From this perspective after 15th July 2016 the bilateral relations improved in every aspect. Not only the improvement of Turco Chinese but Turco Russians relations are very improvement for a stable and peaceful Asian state of affairs.

¿Is Türkiye provide security and development in this region for makes Turkiye´s a global potent country in the economic development with silk route between China and west Europe?

Chinese BRI is a geopolitical project in which Turkiye plays a key role over the middle corridor connecting Turkiye, Central Asian Republics and China over the Caspian sea and respective rail and land routes. Furthermore, Turkish sea ports play a pivotal role transferring Chinese containers to respective Blacksea and Balkan countries as one of the first entry points to Europe after Suez Canal. Following the Ukraine crisis, the main artery between China and Europe through Russia was cut off, diverting mostly into the middle corridor passing through Caspian, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey. Turkiye’s geography does now serves both Chinese as well as Turkish interests based on cooperation and coordination. That helps the advancement of Turkish economy in many respects.

In this way ¿this Turkiye’s geopolitics makes easier the China silk route using a more stable and not controversial route like Russian and Iranian route?

It can be said that middle corridor of Turkiye now presents the best option for Chinese goods to be exported to Europe. The sanctions applied on Russia as well as Iran do not encourage Chinese merchants to choose these routes. However Anglo-American front which is not happy with this option, may promote and provoke instabilities in Azerbaijan and Georgia. Both nations should be prudent and cautious for such incidents.

The route is China-Türkiye, Türkiye-Europe…making Türkiye again a great potent like before of the soviet control of Caucasus and Central Asia…but is Armenia a problem?

Armenia can be used now as a western proxy to destabilize the region following the weakening of Russia through Ukrainian war. The weakening of Russia creates new venues for the Caucasus region however Turkiye never prefers a totally weakened Russia since that creates great geopolitical vacuums to be filled by Atlantic front. Turkiye and Russia should be acting in consort to stabilize and protect the region from western influence. Armenia, through diaspora groups and Atlantisist political parties would thrive to upend the Karabakh status following Azerbaijani military victory in 2020 November. The role of Russian guarantorship is critical in this vein since well-known pro Armenian status of Russia has changed after 2019 with Armenia has become an obedient vassal of EU and USA to the detriment of Russian Geopolitics. Armenia may continue to side with Atlantic bloc to destabilize Karabakh and create conditions for a prolonged conflict with no tangible results for Azerbaijan.

We see how Azerbaijan take again the land they lost after the collapse of Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has a right to take this land under the Utis Possidetis Luris and Armenia has 4 resolutions against its invasion of Nagorno Karabagh. In the war the army fought in parallel of Iranian border paying special attention to south, take all until Armenian border until Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan making pression in the Zengezur/ Nakhichevan corridor. Is of the deep interest for Azerbaijan this corridor. In 2002 Baku wanted a deal to take back the land Armenia invaded, maintain the Armenian autonomy of Nagorno Karabagh inside Azerbaijan and give to Armenia Lachin corridor to unite Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh but Baku wanted Zengezur corridor  to unite  Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan…in 2020 in the ceasefire agreement 9 article we can read: “All economic and transport connections in the region shall be unblocked. The Republic of Armenia shall guarantee the security of transport connections between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in order to arrange unobstructed movement of persons, vehicles and cargo in both directions. The Border Guard Service of the Russian Federal Security Service shall be responsible for overseeing the transport connections.”

¿One of the targets of the 2020 war was, a part of take back their territory occupied by Armenia, open the Zengezur corridor for the silk route?

There is no doubt that Azerbaijan strives to have a direct connection between Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan proper. Yes, one of the main objective of 2020 military campaigns was to achieve this strategic goal. This not only connects Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan it also connects Turkiye with Azerbaijan directly. Compared to Kars, Tbilisi and Baku route this new route is shorter as well as provides a bi-state direct connection to Central Asia as well as BRI.

How Türkiye acted to defend his geopolitical interest on there?

Turkiye has been supporting Azerbaijan Army through military education and training as well as arms and equipment supplies. Turkish military advisors have also played a key role to support Azerbaijani Army to conduct precise and effective strikes against Armenian military targets. Ever growing Turkish Russian relations to balance the increasing Atlantic pressure in the Caucasus have also played important role.

The pression to unite these two parts of Azerbaijan means connection but economical development not only for Azerbaijan or Caucasus but for all Silk Route…¿What means Zengezur unlocked for Türkiye and the route China-Türkiye/Türkiye – China?

The unlocking of Zengezur means fast and short connection among Turkiye, Azerbaijan and the rest of the Asia including India and China thru Caspian Sea maritime routes. This also means to bypass Iran land routes. Furthermore, this direct connection also is a booster to Russian International North South Transport Corridor (Murmansk to Mumbai). 

What is the role of Turkiye in the oil/gas route from Azerbaijan- Europe after the sanctions against Russian oil/gas and does the increase of contracts between Baku and European countries make Aliyev a  special ally of Europe?, ¿How is Türkiye take benefits of that?

Turkiye is a pipeline integration and connection state between the Asia and Europe. TANAP as well as BTC/BTE pipelines are Azerbaijan originated pipelines. TANAP is connected to European states. After the Ukrainian War the Azerbaijani export volume bound for Europe has increased. This situation does not make Aliyev an ally but trade partner under extraordinary force majeure conditions. I don’t think Russia would be against these commercial tradeoffs. Turkiye is glad to see its brother state Azerbaijan makes good commercial deals with Europe not disturbing Russia which Aliyev considers it as very important and valuable neighbor and friend.

What means Zengezur corridor for the geopolitical relations Türkiye- Spain and west Mediterranean Sea with countries like Algeria or Morocco?

That simply means more commercial activities between Spain and Asia as well as North African States through provision of short and fast logistical bridge for intermodal transportation. For instance, sea lanes of communications connecting Barcelona/Spain and Mersin/Turkiye, then rail/truck connection to Baku using Zengezur and then ferrying them to Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan then China may become a new artery for trans Asian trade. This new connection creates new paradigms with geopolitical ramifications. These new Trans Mediterranean and Caspian logistic lines through Zengezur Corridor will prompt the evolution of new demand and supply centers of gravity both in Europe, Africa and Asia.

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