Joint Center Publications

Svenska Dagbladet, March 19, 2016.

Svante E. Cornell, Turkiet är ett hot – inte en potentiell EU-medlem.

EU borde akta sig för att knyta för nära band med Erdogans auktoritärt styrda Turkiet. Landet borgar inte för fred och säkerhet just nu. Tvärtom. Svante Cornell menar att det borde vara uteslutet att ens diskutera turkiskt EU-medlemskap medan hundratusentals kurder drivs från sina hem i sydöstra Turkiet.

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Svante E. Cornell is Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Center affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and the Stockholm-based Institute for Security and Development Policy.

Foreign Affairs, March 2, 2015.

Halil Karaveli: Turkey's Decline. Ankara Must Learn From Its Past to Secure Its Future.

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011, Ahmet Davutoglu, then Turkish minister of foreign affairs and now prime minister, vowed that Turkey would be the “game setter” of the Middle East. Today, such notions of grandeur seem outrageous.

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Halil M. Karaveli is a Senior Fellow with the Turkey Initiative at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center and managing editor of its publication The Turkey Analyst.

By Vladimir Socor

ISDP Policy Brief no. 191

December 22, 2015

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The year now ending marked a milestone in Kazakhstan’s rapprochement with the European Union. On December 21, 2015 in Astana, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerlan Idrissov, signed the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This new-generation Agreement replaces and upgrades an earlier, less ambitious document. Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country to achieve this status vis-a-vis the European Union. This status puts Kazakhstan ahead of Russia in terms of official relations with the EU; moreover, the Kazakhstan-EU relationship is trouble-free.

By Michael Emerson

ISDP Policy Brief no. 190

December 21, 2015

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On December 21, 2015, the European Union and the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the Kazakh capital, Astana. The new agreement replaced the original one that has been in force since 1999 and it is considered as a significant step for both sides to advance relations and strengthen political and economic cooperation. This development took place in a year when Kazakhstan joined to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In fact, the two agreements are deeply inter-locked: the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed only on condition and after Kazakhstan's accession on WTO. However, Kazakhstan is also a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union, which complicates its relationship with the European Union.

By Johan Engvall and Svante E. Cornell

ISDP Policy Brief no. 189, December 17, 2015

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In the past two years, Kazakhstan has joined the World Trade Organization, obtained a seat at the Asia-Europe Meeting, signed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, announced it would host the EXPO-2017 in Astana, and launched a bid for a rotating seat at the United Nations Security Council. This extraordinary high frequency of international engagements is remarkable, but it represents a difference in degree and not nature in Kazakhstan’s diplomatic history. Indeed, since the fall of the Soviet Union Kazakhstan has developed a record of being the most proactive and innovative former Soviet republic in the sphere of international cooperation. 

Svenska Dagbladet, December 12, 2015.

Svante Cornell: EU gör säkerhetspolitiskt självmål mot Turkiet

Det är ett misstag att tro att Turkiet närmar sig Väst, trots att landet redan är en del av Nato och att EU för samtal om medlemskap. President Erdogan går i en helt annan riktning och Europa borde inse att hans politik innebär säkerhetsrisker.

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by S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell

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In 2015, the EU revised its Strategy for Central Asia, and finalized an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan. These welcome steps will not turn the EU into a regional powerhouse overnight, but provide the EU with a platform to play a constructive role in Central Asia. The EU can achieve that if it avoids focusing on issues where it has little hope of direct influence, such as regional security affairs and domestic governance. Instead, to gain such a role eventually, the EU should focus on revitalizing the promise of its visionary initiative of the 1990s – the Transport Corridor linking Europe to Asia via the Caucasus and Central Asia – which it allowed to slip, handing the initiative to other powers, primarily China.

Monday, 14 September 2015 09:11

Turkey's Military Rulers

1509NYT-PICSeptember 11, 2015

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Turkey's Military Rulers

By Halil M. Karaveli

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — Many commentators have interpreted the decision of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to restart the war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., as designed to undo the results of the June 7 general election. The ruling Justice and Development Party, also known as the A.K.P., was deprived of its majority in Parliament when the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or H.D.P., surged at the polls.

Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya

Current Trends in Islamist Ideology

http://hudson.org/research/11601-the-naqshbandi-khalidi-order-and-political-islam-in-turkey

In the past two decades, Turkey has emerged on the global scene. It has enjoyed dramatic economic growth that has catapulted it into the exclusive G20 club of major economies; and under the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has enjoyed unprecedented political stability. For the past fifteen years, the AKP has formed a single-party government, a remarkable feat given Turkey’s tumultuous politics.

Thursday, 03 September 2015 00:00

How Georgia Stamped Out Corruption on Campus

How Georgia Stamped Out Corruption on Campus

 

 

NATO Leaders Should Ease the Path of Georgia’s Entry

http://www.newsweek.com/nato-leaders-should-ease-path-georgias-entry-356917

BY MAMUKA TSERETELI 7/24/15 AT 10:53 AM

The Warsaw summit of NATO in July 2016 has a chance to become another milestone in the history of the organization, if the alliance chooses to take the next step forward toward further enlargement.

There are several aspirant countries expecting bold decisions. Georgia is one of them.

The Georgian government is taking a more aggressive stand in demanding acknowledgment by the alliance of Georgia’s progress in political and military reforms. The Ministry of Defense issued a statement in June stressing that Georgia requests a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Warsaw summit, and Minister of Defense Tina Khidasheli made several statements about the proactive position that the government is going to take on this issue.

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This firm position on Georgia’s part should be welcomed. But based on past experiences of NATO’s inability to make a decision on Georgia, and in order to avoid further frustration of the Georgian public if no decision is made, it is essential to design the right strategy and accompany it with the right wording for both domestic and external consumption.

In terms of the strategy, pushing for the MAP should no longer be the priority for Georgia. In terms of the military compatibility and political-military reforms, Georgia is already very close to NATO standards. In addition, current instruments of bilateral relationships, such as the NATO-Georgia Commission and the Annual National Plan, provide mechanisms that could lead Georgia to membership.

The priority is to convince the NATO partners that short of granting membership, Georgia expects an announcement at the Warsaw summit that current political and military components of the Georgia-NATO partnership can lead to membership without the MAP. This decision will allow the alliance to grant Georgia membership at the right political moment.

Russia Factor vs. Security Interests of NATO

There is no secret that the key factor preventing Georgia’s membership in NATO is Russia. For years, Washington and many of its allies in Europe were keen to avoid anything that could escalate tensions with Russia.

Looking at developments in Ukraine, that cautious approach didn’t really produce desirable results. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama’sdeclaration in March 2014 that “neither Ukraine or Georgia are currently on a path to NATO membership,” was understood by Moscow as Russia’s veto power over the enlargement of the alliance. That led to much greater escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in fall 2014.

Recently, Russia, yet again, moved the so-called borders of the breakaway South Ossetia region of Georgia deeper inside Georgia. As a result, part of the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline, which brings oil from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea and supplies European and Israeli refineries, is now under Russian control. Clearly, the language of unilateral concessions doesn’t work with Russia.

Skeptics insist that bringing Georgia into NATO is dangerous since it cannot be defended against a Russian invasion. But the fact is that it is easier to defend the mountainous terrain of Georgia than most of the eastern borders of NATO—and this was the case during the Cold War as well.

In addition, while it is true that Georgia cannot defend itself alone, it is also true that with adequate military support, Georgia’s military can inflict very high costs on Russia in case further aggression takes place. NATO and U.S. defensive anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry, as well as training, will serve as a significant deterrent to Russian aggression against its smaller neighbor.

The focus on the burden that Georgia would impose on the alliance also needs to be balanced with consideration of the wider contribution the country makes to Western security. With Western interests challenged in the Middle East by radical ISIS militants, as well as by Russia in Ukraine and potentially in the Baltics, maintaining a strategic Western presence in the potentially volatile South Caucasus is even more important.

Georgia is also a central part of the East-West energy and transportation corridor, providing pipelines, ports, railways and highways to bring vital energy resources from Central Asia. This East-West corridor via the South Caucasus has the potential to become the shortest and fastest land route for container shipments between Europe, the Mediterranean and China, thus becoming an important pillar for global trade.

Georgia’s Goal for Warsaw

What Georgia needs in Warsaw is the formal declaration by the alliance’s leaders that Georgia can be admitted to NATO at any given moment without a MAP. This would avoid providing Moscow with any pretext for further negative escalation in the Caucasus.

Currently, Moscow believes that NATO is not ready to accept Georgia in the alliance. By not giving Georgia MAP, NATO will confirm Russian expectations. At the same time, by removing the impediment of a MAP, NATO would strengthen the Georgian public’s faith in the vision of “joining the West.” The understanding then will be that Georgia may become a member when NATO makes a political decision about the issue, and there will be no technical impediments for membership at that moment.

In addition to traditional allies from Eastern Europe who always supported Georgia’s NATO aspiration, the focus of Georgian diplomacy during the next 12 months should be on three key NATO members: the United States, Germany and Turkey.

U.S. leadership will be decisive in the process, but Germany and Turkey in many ways hold the key for Georgia’s NATO future. Both countries should see incentives for their support. Germany may become the key beneficiary of the China-Europe land trade in the future and thus should care more about the security and stability of Georgia.

Turkey is a key member of NATO and a neighbor of Georgia with whom Georgia is enjoying close political and commercial ties. But Turkey is facing increasing challenges in the Middle East, and having a stable and reliable ally next door would be important.

The U.S. can and must help Georgia deal with these allies. Welcoming Georgia’s troop contribution to U.S. and NATO operations for more than decade and not allowing Georgia to have a clear pathway to join the collective security organization that can protect the country’s sovereignty is a moral failure of the West. There is an opportunity to make a positive turn in Warsaw.

Mamuka Tsereteli is the director of research at Central Asia–Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He was a member of the Atlantic Council’s Georgia Task Force. This article first appeared on the Atlantic Council site.

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