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Turkish unrest and the threats to energy security in the Turko-Caspian region

June 4, 2013

Turkey has long been the most stable regime in the Middle East (with the possible exception of Israel, which is relatively stable internally but under constant external pressure).  However, the ongoing uprising in Turkey has surfaced many underlying issues that have been long percolating in that nation.

Turkey is critical to US geostrategic positioning in the region.  Turkish power is the natural counterweight to Iranian influence from the Transcaucasus to Central Asia.  Last Fall, Robert Cutler wrote about threats to energy security in the Caucasus that didn’t even consider a wobbling Turkey (link will take you to academia.edu, where you will be required to register in order to download the free essay).  Erdogan has not always been our most reliable partner, but he has been steady enough.  The US cannot afford to let another Islamic nation fall under the sway of Islamism . . . we probably should be hoping that the military stages a coup, because if Erdogan falls, the odds that a reformist bunch outmaneuvers the politically adept Muslim Brotherhood in yet another Middle Eastern nation seem slim to me.

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