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The School of International Regional Studies is a research and educational centre seeking to revive international regional studies as an academic discipline in Russia. The department’s world-class professors train the next generation of regional studies specialists while developing an increasingly prestigious research school.
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The special guest of the meeting was the well-known political scientist and expert-Turkologist Ikbal Durre. The theme of the meeting was “Turkey: an application for regional leadership and a new role in world affairs: as it is seen in Moscow and in the capitals of the world's leading states.”
Dr. A.G. Baklanov devoted the beginning of his speech to the analysis of the long-term policy of the Turkish leadership aimed at raising the “bar” of regional ambitions and ensuring Ankara's more significant participation in solving world affairs we are talking about an application for its new, exclusive role in the UN Security Council, comparable to the functions of permanent members of the Security Council. In this context, Dr. A.G. Baklanov acquainted the meeting participants with the main provisions of the position paper of the Turkish side concerning the proposed radical structural reforms of the UN and its Security Council. Dr. A.G. Baklanov noted that the strengthening of Turkey's role in regional and world affairs in some cases affects the interests of third countries Syria. In this regard, he talked about the dialogue at the level of high-level experts, which is being conducted on this topic with American and European specialists.
He shared exclusive information about the dialogue at the level of high-level experts, which is being conducted on this topic with American and European specialists. We are talking about cooperation with the Geneva Center for Security Policy, the European Branch of one of the largest American research corporations — the Simpson Center, the Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution. He noted that in some cases, the coincidence of the positions of the parties on the “Turkish direction” even in the current, extremely tense, “inflated” atmosphere can lead to important actions, for example, parallel influence on Ankara in terms of Turkey's refusal to carry out large—scale military operations in the north of a sovereign country - the SAR.
Dr. Iqbal Durre in his speech focused the attention of the seminar participants on the intricacies of Turkey's domestic political life. He noted that a certain paradox of the situation lies in the fact that Ankara's active, resonant regional and non-foreign policy activities are not accompanied by serious successes in social and economic policy. Meanwhile, the central theme of Turkish domestic political life is the upcoming elections, in which the victory of the current President of the country, R. Erdogan, is by no means guaranteed. Dr. I. Durre spoke in detail about the platform of the parties opposing the current president. For Russia, it is of particular importance that many of Turkey's politicians, if they come to power, may raise the issue of revising the existing, very active and large-scale, economic relations with Moscow and even revising contracts already concluded.
In the sphere of Turkey's foreign policy, Dr. I. Durre described as “naive” hopes for Ankara's departure from NATO, the United States. There are indeed serious disagreements between Ankara and Western countries, they are connected with Turkey's attempts to ensure that its relations with the United States and NATO are more balanced and take into account the interests of the Turkish side. However, neither the current president nor his opponents are yet planning to “exit" from the Alliance or end their long-standing partnership with the military-political structures of the West.
The seminar raised the issue of the possible development of the situation in relations between the Turkish leadership and Kurdish organizations. Dr. A.G. Baklanov noted that in some cases Ankara seeks to use the topic of the “Kursk danger” as a pretext to promote its plans for a long-term military presence in northern Syria. Dr. I. Durre, agreeing with this, also stressed that with his own hard line, R. Erdogan is trying to get additional trumps during actually having already begun.
Dr. A. Baklanov and Dr. I. Durre answered the questions of the audience.
Support to the project from the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at HSE University is gratefully acknowledged.