The Caucasus is Turkey’s corridor to the Turkic states of Central Asia, and a corridor for growing trade in both energy and goods, given substantial new transport infrastructure.
But as the 2008 Russian-Georgian war and the escalating tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan show, it is also a region fraught with challenges that directly affect Turkey.
Dr. Svante Cornell discussed Turkey’s interests and priorities in the region; how Turkey balances the calls for normalization of relations with Armenia and its strong ties to Azerbaijan; and what the transition of power in Georgia means for Turkey.
Dr. Svante E. Cornell is Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Research and Policy Center affiliated with Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington DC, and the Stockholm-based Institute for Security and Development Policy. (www.silkroadstudies.org) He is the Editor of the Joint Center’s biweekly journals, the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst (www.cacianalyst.org) andTurkey Analyst (www.turkeyanalyst.org). He was educated at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, and received his Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University. Cornell teaches the Caucasus and the Turkic world at SAIS, where he is an Associate Research Professor. He served as Course Chair for the Caucasus at the Foreign Service Institute in 2002-2003, and as Associate Professor of East European Studies and Government at Uppsala University from 2003 to 2010. He is the author, among other, of Small Nations and Great Powers, (2001) the first comprehensive study of the post-Soviet Caucasus, and numerous academic and policy articles that have appeared in journals including World Politics, Journal of Democracy, Current History, Foreign Policy, Orbis, Journal of Peace Research, and Middle East Quarterly. His most recent book is Azerbaijan since Independence (M.E. Sharpe, 2011).