Political Culture of Russia and Her Response Against US, on Turkey within Eurasianism Framework
Foreign policy of superpowers has been changing for a long time and their policies has been changing to regionalization process. Nowadays, the rivalry on Asia between Russia and US has been the scene of many important events. After the Cold War period Russian political interests have changed until now, thus Russia had to produce a new concept in order to survive against US. In this paper, eurasianism and its new status for Russian politics will be discussed in case of Turkey and then the most essential question of how a political culture of Russia gave the US response on Turkey, will be discussed. There are various factors such as internal, external etc. but this paper aims to explain that Russia’s Eurasianism policy on Turkey and how did Russia affect on Turkey against US in some case crisis involving Turkey.
The popularity of Eurasianism has become a rising concept among Russian politicians because as discussed in this paper, with the post-cold war period Russian politics was precarious, since it was re-establishing as a nation state. Afterwards, Vladimir Putin would be elected as president of Russian Federation it was watershed for Russian politics with the Vladimir Putin Russian Politics would be changed in a different direction. Eurasianism will be discussed with reference to some authors such as Alexander Von Humboldt, L. Gulmiyev.
Turkey will be our main example because of its geopolitical location and it is overlapping with the interests of both US and Russia, in some ways Turkey plays buffer zone for both states. Over the 20 years Turkey had many serious conflicts with its neighbours not only for itself but also neighbours of Turkey had their own political and social problems. From the view of superpowers middle-east has always been a major region in world politics during the 20th and 21th century, but now it is more crucial than before.
1. Brief of Eurasianism and Neo – Eurasianism
The father of this name is Alexander Von Humboldt and the new name of region which was created by Humboldt, ”Eurasianism” was developed and enlarged by many thinkers. After the cold war period Russia had to gain credibility of international actors and restore confidence in government decision making and adopt to new policies and position for national interests. Referring to western scholars regard regionalization and trans-regional cooperations are the best way to adopt in international system and international cooperations
In 2000’s Gulmiyev developed the theory of eurasianism, thereafter Alexander Dugin created new principles of Russian foreign policy with the his book of Fourth Political Theory and he changed some dynamics of eurasianist idea, he defined it as an ideology. It needs to be explained with more elements and Dugin contributed to this theory by adding some elements within Atlanticism and Eurasianism framework.
1.1. Eurasianism and Eurasianists
Eurasianism is the developed concept by many scholars, but the main thins is to understand major elements of Eurasianism in the Russia political culture in 2000’s. The beginning of post-cold war era Russian politics was closer to US and Western block rather than Asia.
The history of Eurasianism would be started with Tsar 1. Petro and he said that ”For the interests of Russia For the interests of Russia, it is necessary to approach Istanbul and India as much as possible.”
According to Classical Eurasianist thinkers such as Gulmiyev, they assert that Russian culture is a unique and combined both Western and Eastern culture inside itself, hence Russian culture is totally differ from west and east and it Russian civilization has its own semantics acoording to Alexander Dugin. There was also debate among Eurasianist, while others considered the Russian culture as a outside of the Roman-Germenic culture, on the other hand the others claim that such as Trubetskoy Roman-Germenic culture is the most dangerous enemy of Russian culture. According to the classical Eurasianists, the protectionist policies against the West is the best for the Russian culture. Eurasianism aims to define the line between Europe and Asia.
Most of Eurasianist assert that social developments is the fundemental thing and ideacracy, which means power of ideas, is the other important element. Eurasianists do not believe democracy, they rejected motives and notions of liberalism such as individuality, liberty, inner freedom. Russia turns back to illiberal ideologies of the 20th century according to Dugin.
The basis of the neo-eurasianism is the fourth political theory and it helps to understand Eurasianism and also Eurasianism can recognize as a kind of preparation for The fourth political theory. Neo-Eurasianist idea still included that principles: anti-liberalism, anti-modernism, anti-eurocentrism, the structuralist approach, and multipolarity.
Globalization is a form of ideological apparatus of dominant states or hegemonic states. In the Eurasia globalization and its process obviously against to Russia and its culture, Russia therefore has to prevent her interests against imperial interests through eurasianist policies. In the Asia culture, languages, the way of live, values are similar with Russia’s features rather than Western side.
Neo-Eurasianism concept based on some principles:
New Eurasianism is a geo-strategic and geopolitical idea, and they argue that Russia is a independent civilization, both ethnically and culturally.
Western side poses a threat for Russia.
Russian Foreign Policy should ignore democracy and human rights
Russia should conduct a single foreign policy.
Against to Atlanctic geopolitics which is led by US, Russia must lead to Imperial Eurasia.
Neo-Eurasianism form of the Russian politics is a response to US hegemony and according to Vladimir Putin foreign trade and foreign policy are the priority. Further, securitization has been begun with Putin.
After 2011 both Syrian Crisis and and Ukrainian Crisis Russia has changed their neo-eurasianist policies in different way, the new policy of Russia as a region which is supported by Russia and its ideology from the line of europe and included Turkey – Middle East such as Iran, Syria.
2. US Foreign Policy Against Russia and Asia
In this part analysis of the US foreign policy towards Asia and Russian politics on Asia will be discussed and then the importance of the Turkey as an ally of both West and East sides. Asia and the countries which are located in Asia, are essential for US because of according to geopolitical theory of Mackinder who controls the Eurasian heartland, they will have incalculably great resource base and they will have major advantage to lead the world.
Asia has always been the point of interest of superpowers within the scope of foreign policies. US economy, politics and interest are directly related to Asia and its resources such as energy, allies etc. In this case US defined some characteristic of its Asia policy.
Managinin and controlling China’s development.
Controlling potential peer competitors for instance Iran.
Promoting the democratic transition of the Russian Federation.
Seeking to find new energy sources.
Acquiring new alliences in the new Eurasia region.
For the benefit of the US economy, it must find both new energy routes and should not accept a rising Russian hegemony in Asia, otherwise they would face the risk of China and Russia dominating the world, which is totally opposite to US’ policies in Asia.
NATO and US’ allies willing to establish new military bases in Asian countries but it cannot be ignored that Russian and Chinese impacts on Asia, and Asian states are semi-dependent on Russia and China.
I mentioned that energy security and new energy routes and sources were also important for US security and its policies but possible sources and routes not only in Asia but also in Turkey and Middle East. Turkey has major role in Middle East region because she controls power balances in that area. On the other hand in middle east there has been occuring many crisis such as Syrian Crisis, ISIS, Iraq domestic crisis, especially in the middle of full energy sources. For this reason, Russia and the United States seeking to in the region and the solution of the crises.
US hegemony after the post-cold war began to weaken after the US hegemony period United States intend to continue gaining power in the Middle East, Asia and Turkey, which in the old strength and theory of Eurasianism.
3. Russian Political Culture on Turkey within Eurasianism Framework
Russian foreign policy aims that gainin new alliences in the important regions both politically and economically. Turkey, which affects the middle east at high importance level, is the necessity for Russia according to Dugin.
On the other hand they seek to manage middle east in cooperation with each other because neither Turkey nor Russia wants US to be involved in these crisis. Russia and Turkey alsa share same Asia perspective for their foreign policy.
Undoubtedly, Syria, Asia, Eurasia, Iran are of vital importance in the north-south route, which occupies an important place in Russia’s energy policy plans.
3.1. Turkish Foreign Policy Towards US and Russia in Case Crisis in the Middle-East
When we look at Turkish foreign policy, it is seen that it has been shaped on balance politics throughout history. Turkey’s main political chaos and balance the ‘Europe – the United States or Russia-China’ ‘remains between. European and US rapprochement will bring about the deterioration of relations with Russia and China, and this is not the only states on the basis of the Turkish foreign policy will also reflect negatively on the policy with its neighbours.
After 2012 Turkish foreign policy has been changing significantly because Turkey had a conlifct with Russia as a result of the crisis began with plane crash, moreover this negative effects of Turkish Foreign Policy and Turkish government exptected that the western side would stand his side but it was false. Afterwards, Turkey had to changed their policies because during the 6 years relations between the West and Turkey were strained because of several events which were often social and political conflicts.
Consequences of this crisis would be harmful for each states, hence, it was impossible to think that this crisis would grow more and become a node. After this crisis resolved between two states they would begin to work and act together in the middle east.
Furthermore, after the deterioration of the turkey from the west have begun to approach the Asian region and he balanced the political situation against to US and Western side. In terms of national interests Turkish Foreign policiy has started to take form of eurasianist framework especially after 2017 and beyond. Turkey has begun to act with Russia in Syrian Crisis. Astana Talks have a major role for world politics in 21th century because US was invited to this meeting as a status of observer state, they rejected to attend this talks which was related to Syrian Crisis and its solutions. Russia, Turkey and Iran were the dominant states at Astana.
In Sochi Talks the major three states (Turkey, Russia, Iran) played a significant role for the Syrian Crisis, moreover these moreover, these three main states focused on resolving a crisis in the Middle East by leaving the US in the background.
On the other side, Turkey foreign policy tendency is advancing in the eurasia and asia direction Turkey not only have good relations with Russia but also with China. Turkey was elected the president of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Energy Club. That meant Turkey tends to improve both political and economic relations with Asia. In some cases Shanghai Cooperation Organization is counted as challenger against EU and Turkey is expected to be members of the EU, rapprochement with Russia, was a profound foreing policy fluctuation.
According to Dugin Turkey is in critical position for Russian political interest and included in their neo-eurasianist area. Energy routes and to take control of the middle east energy sources Russia was willing to lead these conflicts besides Turkey. Geopolitical position of Turkey is essential factor for ideology or theory of eurasianism.
To sum up, eurasianism has been evolved to neo-eurasianism with Putin as president and gained a new perspective, which is quite effective way to manage the world politics and challenge to hegemonic states and institutions for Russian foreign policy. Challengers always have to find allies in the critical regions and they have to dominate some certain and high level of political and economic status regions. On one hand Turkey seeks to balance of power but on the other hand Turkey is epitome of balance of power between Russia and US in other words West and Eurasia.
Russia political culture on Turkey has been implementing so far. Thereafter, Turkey will change the her course from West to Eurasia. Turkey identify himself as part of both Asia and Europe. Russian and US national interests on Turkish politics and Middle East, will clash and Turkey’s role will be a stabilizer among core or hegemonic states.
Turkey is not going to become a core state in his region unless Turkey’s eastern policy it will pay attention to become decision maker in their region. Turkish foreign policy follows that suggestion which is made by Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is the former prime minister of Turkey, said that Turkey’s cultural, political and social meaning is similar to the east, not to west, he should seek their interests in Asia.
Davutoğlu, Ahmet, Medeniyetlerin Ben İdraki, published by Divan, 1997, pp. 1-21
Demir, Ali Faik, Türkiye-Rusya İlişkilerinde Suriye Krizinin Yansımaları ve Etkileri, published by Marmara Türkiyat Araştırmaları Merkezi, volume 3, issue 2, p. 148
Dugin, Alexander, Eurasia Mission and Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism, Arktos 2014, pp 2-33.
Dugin, Alexander, Fourth Political Theory, Eurasian Movement, 2012, page 103.
Karabağ Mehmet, Rus Emperyalizmi İçin Yeni Bir İdeoloji, published by BİLGESAM Research Center, Istanbul, 2009
Lo, Bobo, Russia Between East and West, Russian Foreign Policy on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century, edited by Gabrial Gorodetsky, The Cummings Center Series, published by Frank Cass, 2001, pp. 3-39
Mackinder, Halford, Democratic Ideals and Reality, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1962, p. 18.
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Yılmaz, Salih, Yeni Avrasyacılık ve Rusya, Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Researches, Spring 2015, issue 34, pp. 111-120.
 Mehmet Karabağ, Rus Emperyalizmi İçin Yeni Bir İdeoloji, BİLGESAM Research Center, Istanbul, 2009.
Bobo Lo, Russia Between East and West / The Securitization of Russian Foreign Policy under Putin, ed. Gabriel Gorodetsky, The Cummings Center for Russian and East European Studies, p. 12.
 Alexander A. Sergounin, External Determinants of Russia’s Regionalization, 2001 February, page. 10.
Alexander Dugin, Fourth Political Theory, Eurasian Movement, 2012, page 103.
 Referred to Stankeviç, Prof. Dr. Salih Yılmaz, Yeni Avrasyacılık ve Rusya, Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Researches, Spring 2015, issue 34, page. 113
 In Mackinder’s famous dictum, ”Who rules the heartland commands the World-Island, Who Rules the World-Island command the World.” Halford Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1962, p. 18.
 R. Craig Nation, Russian Security Strategy Under Putin, US and Russian Perspectives, US Interests in the New Eurasia, Strategic Studies Institute, 2007, page 1.
 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ali Faik Demir, Türkiye-Rusya İlişkilerinde Suriye Krizinin Yansımaları ve Etkileri, Marmara Türkiyat Araştırmaları merkezi, volume 3, issue 2, p. 148