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The 21st century belongs to us

Written by The Frontier Post

Ibrahim Karagul

Fifty people died and 175 were wounded in clashes that eme-rged between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. As many as 7,000 people were displaced. Kyrgyzstan decla-red two days of national mourning. The apparent dispute in what are the gravest clashes since the collapse of the Soviets seems to be “water.”

Some sources already labeled this as a “new Turkic proxy war.” They justified this with: “The longing for a new Ottoman Empire is gradually becoming a reality in the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, the pan-Turkic Trajectory in Central Asia has already reached the Chinese border.” ‘Brothers should not come to blows in Central Asia.’ We acted fast.

They claimed that this conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is a new Karabakh scenario. Comments were made along the lines of, “The victory in Karabakh paved the path to Central Asia. Now the eastern border is being strengthened.”

Fortunately, the conflict is under control for now following the advice and endeavors of Turkey, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The idea that “sister countries should not come to blows in Central Asia” was significant. We hope that these two sister countries in Central Asia do not end up being the new victims of conflicts between the East-West and China-US axis on power borders.

If Fergana goes down, Central Asia will go up in smoke. That’s what they’re trying to trigger! In my article dated July 5, 2000, 21 years ago, titled “Çeçenistan’dan Fergana’ya” (From Chechenia to Fergana), I had written: “Central Asia’s future will be determined by Chechenia’s (Caucasus) and Fergana’s future.”

In 2010 I had said, “Fergana Valley is going to become one of the sharpest and bloodiest centers of the world’s breaking point and power struggle. The crisis here will have a shattering effect not only in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, but in the whole region from Central Asia to South Asia. If Fergana goes down, Central Asia will go up in smoke.”

Battlefield of the ‘Great Ploy.’ The wound has been reopened: The Caucasus and Fergana Valley are two gates of Central Asia. One opens out to the West through the Caucasus, and the other to the South through Fergana and Afghanistan/Tajikistan. Meanwhile, East Turkestan is Central Asia’s eastern gate. The reason the Soviets and the US invaded Afghanistan was to maintain control of Central Asia’s southern gate. Had they succeeded, Pakistan would have been lost as well. The Soviets were going to reach the Indian Ocean, and the US would have entered Central Asia. This was the exact reason for the “great ploy” between the British and the Russians.

This is why Fergana Valley and Afghanistan share a similar fate. They are both the stage of showdowns for those rushing in from the North and South. This region, shared between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which left in its wake permanent disputes with the extremely problematic border lines drawn by Russians, is Central Asia’s bleeding wound.

Uzbekistan’s greatest source chaos: Fergana Valley witnessed yet more conflicts again in 2010. Massacres were launched against Uzbek citizens in the area belonging to Kyrgyzstan. More than 2,000 Uzbeks were killed and about 200,000 people were driven out of their lands.

The wave of opposition rising from Fergana Valley also became the strongest threat against Uzbek leader Islam Kerimov. In fact, certain groups abducted Kerimov, taking him hostage. He was later rescued through negotiations. Conflicts spread all the way to Tashkent in 2004. The wave aiming to oust Kerimov that was rising from Fergana hit Tashkent, becoming Uzbekistan’s greatest source of chaos since its establishment. Now, let us analyze the event on a more geopolitical axis.

It started with UK-Russia. It continued with US-Russia. Now China has joined as well. This is the third front of the ‘Great Ploy.’ Afghanistan was first invaded by Russia, then by the US Pro-West Islamic groups emerged in Tajikistan, the opposition wave rippled across Fergana Valley, and Uzbekistan was threatened right at that moment. The same period witnessed the deployment of US forces in Kyrgyzstan. Thus, conflict and chaos never ended in Fergana Valley, which is a part of all three countries.

These are all parts of the same scenario. Russians were the first to come. Then the US and Europe started. Now a third country joined the game. China is in the “great ploy” too. It has all become intensely complex now. The specter of the British is roaming Central Asia’s borders. Nothing has changed from the 19th century to the 21st. We may witness the gravest East-West clashes over Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and East Turkestan. We might see the most despicable examples of the power struggle between the US, China and Russia.

Turkey and the Turkic world should establish a ‘native’ global player in Central Asia. We are children of empires: There is no doubt that Turkey, the Turkic Republics and Pakistan are well aware of this scenario. They are trying to take measures in proportion to their strength. Such swift intervention in the conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the confidence that emerged following the cooperation and victory in Karabakh are indicative of this.

The Turkic world needs to assume a new global actor role in Central Asia together with certain Muslim countries like Pakistan. This is the only solution, the sole formula that can balance the power distribution between China, the US and Russia. If India joins with its forces in the region as the fourth country, there will be nothing left for them to do. The Central Asia concept must be re-identified as a power, and top economic, political, military and cultural structures need to be rapidly established in relation to this. It needs to stop trying to find a safe harbor amid the plans of US, China or Russia, and reactivate the region of empires.

‘Turkey’s model’ for Central Asia as well. Same geopolitical fight necessary : Similar to efforts aimed at turning the Black Sea into what the East Mediterranean is today, they want to turn Central Asia into the Middle East. If we remain caught up in the three countries ‘showdown to carve up the region, Central Asia will not have a future in the 21st century.

Similar to efforts aimed at pulling Turkey back to its position that it held in the 20th century again, if this is our country’s greatest fight at home and abroad, then they are going to want to steal the 21st century from Turkic Republics, and keep them stuck in the 20th century.

“Turkey’s model” should be implemented in Central Asia. The geopolitical struggle Turkey carried out in its own region should be carried out in Central Asia as well. Strong foundations of a partnership that will last throughout this century should be laid between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey.

Extraordinary opportunities available for the region of empires. Our 21st century must be formatted: The world is being re-structured. Countries, regions, land and sea trade routes, military strategic areas, the regions where the East-West fault lines cross are being re-shared and re-identified. But these are not the most important political minds and powers of this century.

The empires of the past are returning with new statements and new claims. This thus offers extraordinary opportunities and areas of maneuver for the region of empires. The global conjuncture from Anatolia to East Turkestan makes us the strongest candidate there is. Central Asian Turkic Republics and Turkey have the ability to build a very powerful mentality in this area – they must. Contrary to assumptions, they have the strength to achieve this. They must discover this mentality, this power, this opportunity, this chance. The path should be paved with this goal. Our 21st century must be formatted.

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The Frontier Post

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