full article: turkishpolicy.com (pdf)
The complexity of the challenges facing the Caucasus makes it a litmus test for Turkey’s new foreign policy. The region illuminates the strengths and weaknesses of “zero problems with neighbours”, as well as the need to encourage “zero problems between neighbours” in pursuit of Turkish interests. Turkey’s influence in the Caucasus provides a strong opportunity to help resolve the region’s political and security challenges. However Ankara’s recent efforts in the region have been largely unsuccessful, due to economic dependencies, domestic politics and the reality of regional geopolitics. Recent diplomacy in the Caucasus demonstrates that ‘zero problems with neighbours’ is not always a successful approach.
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Alexander Jackson is Senior Editor of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs. He holds an MA in War Studies from Kings College London, with a focus on Caspian politics and security issues.