Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan visits Uzbekistan today, focused on strengthening bilateral economic relations. Turkey has displayed a growing interest
Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan visits Uzbekistan today, focused on strengthening bilateral economic relations.
Turkey has displayed a growing interest in building economic and defence ties in Eurasia, particularly with Turkic-speaking countries. Economically, Ankara largely depends on external energy supplies and is interested in ensuring that neither Russia nor Iran threatens the free flow of energy resources in the region. Turkey has also weighed the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia and urged the creation of a Turkish “Middle Corridor” to complement China’s global trade project.
Although Russia and China’s economic presence in Eurasia dwarves that of Turkey’s, expect Turkey to continue exploiting its geopolitical and economic position in the region to further its key interest of energy security. In Uzbekistan, Ankara has a number of factors it is likely to rely upon to build ties, including Turkey and Uzbekistan’s shared successful backing of Azerbaijan in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, mutual concern over Afghan security amid the 2021 Taliban takeover and a near doubling of the volume of trade between the two between 2016-2019. Tangible cooperation in any of these areas will increase Turkish influence in the country, furthering its goal.
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