Gönderen Konu: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran  (Okunma sayısı 7982 defa)

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 It's an interesting article about the politic triangle of the current Turkey-Iran-Israel relationships. What are your opinions about this case which was claimed in this article?. Lets discuss them.

 http://reflectioncafe2.blogspot.com/2007/07/turkey-major-regional-power-to-engage.html

Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran

Mehmet Öğütçü1
International Advisory Board Member
Windsor Energy Group

Turkey, Iran’s next door neighbour, long-standing historic rival and the largest military/economic power in the region, remains the only country, which can genuinely engage or confront Iran in the region (Middle East, Caspian basin, and Central Asia). This holds particularly true at a time when speculations have intensified about a possible US/Israeli air strike or more targeted sanctions against Iran due to the nuclear standoff with the West.

Turkey fears that a nuclear Iran may upset the delicate balance of power in a combustible region, where no single country looks dominant2. At the same time, Turkey does not wish to undermine the recent improvement in bilateral relations with Iran. Iran is unlikely to make any progress on the nuclear issue given its past track-record of tactical delays in complying with the demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency for comprehensive inspections in Iran3.

In this unfolding situation, Turkey is not only expected to play a crucial role in support of, or against, such moves; it will also be deeply affected by the consequences of an escalated tension between Washington/Tel Aviv, Brussels and Tehran. For one thing, Turkey has declared unequivocally that its territory or airspace will not be used in any military operations against Iran.

In a departure from its traditional foreign policy and after decades of passivity, Turkey is now emerging as an important diplomatic actor in the Middle East in response to structural changes in its security environment since the end of the Cold War. Iran is considered as both a partner (Iraq, energy exports) and competitor (Central Asia/Caucasus) in Turkey’s new proactive regional diplomacy. An impending Iranian crisis or accommodation can ignite a series of long-term economic, domestic and external security, as well as foreign policy challenges for Turkey.

Iran’s growing nuclear capability and the boosting of its current stock of missiles creates a new security environment and the need for appropriate responses from Turkey’s military establishment. A nuclear Iran is likely to heighten Turkey's interest in missile defence. Yet, current plans for deploying elements of a US missile defence system4 in Poland and the Czech Republic are designed to provide protection against only long-range missile threats from Iran and North Korea, and they exclude southern Europe and Turkey, effectively dividing Europe into two unequal zones of security.

This is bound to reinforce Turkey's sense of insecurity and its disenchantment with its western allies since it already faces a threat from Iran's short and medium-range systems, some of which can reach parts of eastern Turkey. In the face of a nuclear-armed Iran, Turkey may not seek out nuclear programmes of its own because, at least for now, it is perceived and perceives that it is not the reason Iran has sought to "nuclearise" in the first place.

Another area where Turkey and Iran do not see eye-to-eye is Central Asia/Caucasus. An aggressive posture by a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to an intensification of the political and cultural/economic competition throughout the Central Asia states - regardless of their ethnic composition. The involvement of Russia and China in this evolving situation as Iran’s strategic partners makes the picture even more complicated5.

The Iranian leadership recognizes the energy demand realities that limit the consequences of U.S. economic sanctions. Therefore, Tehran's long term solution is found within the calculus of supply-and-demand: regardless of U.S. sanctions, countries experiencing high growth rates and/or rapid industrialization (China6 and India) or countries that have large populations with no indigenous hydrocarbon resources (Western Europe) will trade with Iran, regardless of the ongoing tension. In addition, the current insurgency in Iraq, along with the consistent insurgent tactic of targeting oil pipelines there, has an impact on the markets and will continue to place countries such as Iran - regardless of the regime's nature or ideological affiliation - on the VIP list of oil and gas dealers7.

Despite all the rhetoric about coercive measures, for the time being, the US seems to be walking a fine line with Tehran and warns that all options are on the table. Yet, Washington's options are limited by its current military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, by fear of a shock to global oil prices8, by a reluctant Congress, and by the less-than-united front from UN Security Council permanent members. However, the tension is likely to escalate in the later part of this year as the Iranian intransigence could harden and the US asserts that no level of Iranian uranium enrichment and expansion of influence across the region are acceptable. US President George Bush has called the row with Iran a "grave national security concern"9 and considers Turkish support essential in containing it.

When the Iranian question inevitably flares up again, it will no doubt generate further complexities and uncertainties for the Ankara strategists10. Turkey’s leadership has already faced a serious dilemma in responding to growing pressure from both Washington and Tehran. Ankara will feel further heat to make a critical choice in what promises to be a “permanent state of crises” in its region. This is of particular importance because an indecisive stance as was the case with Iraq, which has cost Turkey dearly in Northern Iraq, is no longer an easy option.

Turco-Iranian ties have notably improved over the past several years after an icy period marked by Turkish accusations that Iran was sheltering anti-Turkish groups. Bilateral tension over charges that Iran wants to undermine Turkey's secular system is "a thing of the past", in the words of the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül. The turmoil in Iraq, which neighbours both countries, has also brought them closer and Ankara has lobbied Tehran for a peaceful resolution of its row with the West over its nuclear programme. Ankara has noted Tehran's enhanced co-operation in combating Kurdish rebels, who are also active in Iran, at a time when Washington and Tel Aviv turn a blind eye.

Turkey is well aware of its relatively limited role in the resolution of the situation, but recognises that this, when considered together with the present Iraqi debacle, could transform into “a matter of life and death” for its security and indeed future survival, let alone the serious economic ramifications it has to live with. Taking side in a future Iranian crisis actively or passively will likely determine the future direction of the efforts to push ahead the “Kurdish independent state” designs. The incentives could thus increase for Turkey to sympathise with Iran in alleviating the Kurdish threat11 unless Washington provides solid assurance and takes actions for Iraq’s territorial integrity in tandem with Ankara.

The role of the EU should also be borne in mind. Turkey's goal of entering the European Union will not merely rely on a series of economic and humanitarian overtures of submission, but also on what it chooses to do in response to a nuclear Iran and disintegrating Iraq. However, the disillusionment with progress in EU accession negotiations, particularly the “Sarkozy/Merkel factor”, could seriously reduce Brussel’s leverage over the increasingly independent-minded and assertive Ankara on critical regional issues.

In view of the US’s perception of Iran as a major threat to its interests in the Middle East, Turkey as a third country will have somewhat limited leverage or influence to change this perception. Indeed, the US leaders have all along made it clear that such a role is not expected of Turkey. The historic rivalry and lack of trust between Turkey and Iran too make this very difficult practically.

Historic overview
The tangled relationship between the rulers and people of Asia Minor (Turkey) and Persia (Iran) is as old as history, beginning from the days when modern-day western Turkey formed the outpost of the Persian Empire. There was continuous rivalry between the Roman/Byzantine empire based in Anatolia with its capital at Constantinople and Sasanian Empire of Persia. Both fought for the control of Mesopotamia, now known as Iraq.

But in the 7th century Muslim Arabs broke through and converted Persia to Islam. Later the torch was taken by Seljuks and Ottomans who Turkified and Islamised Asia Minor and beyond into Europe. The Sunni Ottomans and the Shia Safavids of Persia fought for the control of Iraq, but the Ottomans finally prevailed. However, the Persians succeeded in converting many Turks to the Shia sect, now known as Alevis. Until the 18th century, the struggle between Safavid Persian Shi'ism and the Ottoman version of Islamic orthodoxy continued to remain an important dimension of the combative relationships between the two empires. Although further relations were guided by the mutual fear of weakness and distrust, it wasn't until 1847 when Qajar Iran and the Ottoman Empire reached a substantial peace Treaty of Erzurum, beginning a century of peace.

In modern times, Turkey's founder Kemal Ataturk and Iran’s ruler Reza Shah were like-minded in their desire for westernisation and modernisation, even though the latter did not succeed. The first "Treaty of Friendship" between Iran and Turkey was signed in Tehran on 22 April 1926. The basic principles included “friendship, neutrality and non-aggression towards each other”. The agreement also included “possible joint actions to groups in the territories of both countries which would try to disturb peace and security or who would try to change the government of one of the countries”. This policy was indirectly aimed at the internal problems both countries had with their Kurdish groups.

After the Second World War, to protect themselves against the Soviet Union, both Turkey and Iran joined the US-led military alliances, like the short-lived Baghdad pact with Pakistan (that included Britain with the US as an observer), the Central Treaty Organization, and an economic agreement, the Regional Co-operation for Development. Iran withdrew from both alliances after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

During the Iran and Iraq war in the 1980s, while almost landlocked Iraq was Turkey's second largest trading partner, Iran was not far behind. Turkey adopted more or less a neutral line. But soon the rivalry between Turkey and Iran emerged again, but this time in Central Asia. Afraid of Iran and its fundamentalist brand of Islam, the West supported Turkey and even Russia preferred Turkey to Iran in Central Asia.
***
The relations between Iran and Turkey have been generally peaceful, but are certainly not free of serious strains at times, particularly since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Iran's interest in getting its own12 Caspian and Central Asian oil/gas directly to the Gulf and to Europe via Turkey today dominates the top agenda of the Turkish-Iranian relations, alongside the security concerns involving the Iranian anti-regime groups and separatists Kurds.

Iran’s manipulation of the Kurdish and Islamic groups as perceived in Turkey, its cosy relations and tactical alliance with Armenia and Greece, its marriage of convenience with Russia and China, and treatment of the Turkic Azeris which number 25 to 30 million are among the most contentious issues. The competition for sphere of influence in Central Asia and the Caspian, Turkey’s alliance with the US and Israel, and Turkish influence in Azerbaijan also figure prominently in shaping the course of the bilateral agenda.

The economic co-operation is set to expand further as both countries are complementary to one another13. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $2.4bn in 2003. The volume is expected to reach $10bn at the end of this year from $6.7 bn in 2006 of which only $1.1bn was Turkish export14. The bulk of Iranian sales to Turkey are in the form of oil and natural gas, carried via a pipeline linking the two neighbours15.

Ankara has been pressing Tehran to reduce the high tariffs it imposes on Turkish industrial goods in a bid to balance bilateral trade. Both sides agreed to sign a preferential trade agreement after the Turkish and Iranian officials draw up a list of products the accord will cover. Other areas of co-operation include oil, gas16 and the petro-chemical industry, joint industrial production projects like automobile manufacturing, boosting co-operation on transportation and investment projects on mass housing. Both countries are part of the Economic Co-operation Organization17.

The Turkish government has hinted that the prospect of more UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme would not deter Turkey from seeking more trade with its eastern neighbour – at least until such measures are adopted and enforced by the international community.

Interim allies on the Kurdish problem
Kurds, who make up 14 percent of Iran's population, have long complained of discrimination in Iran and show growing signs of unrest in the region bordering Iraq and Turkey. Likewise, Turkey’s “Kurdish problem” has become further aggravated in recent months. Today, Ankara and Tehran increasingly share a cause that unites them: the fight against the PKK and the PJAK, the Iranian wing of the PKK.

PJAK, which operates in the mountains of northern Iraq and adjacent areas of Iran, has around 3,000 members18. The two separatist groups remain geographically close. PJAK's base camp is located on the southern slopes of Mount Qandil, Iraq, currently within PKK-held territory while the PKK's base camp is on the western side of the mountain. Journalists visiting Qandil have reported that entry to PJAK's home base is granted only after passing through several PKK-run checkpoints en route.

The traditional Kurdish-populated regions span Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The separatist groups are based in a mountain range of northern Iraq that stretches into Turkey and Iran. The Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq are currently the country's most stable and prosperous area. But, the Iranians and Turks, both with large Kurdish ethnic groups, fear Kurdish success in creating an autonomous (and eventually independent) state in northern Iraq, whose growing prosperity could encourage their own Kurdish-origin populations.

So they are sending troops, tanks and artillery to the frontier to seal off the borders, which sends a message: If the US-backed Iraqi government does not clamp down on Kurdish separatists who use Iraq as a base for cross-border attacks against Turkey and Iran, they could do it themselves. This has left the US in a quandary. If US forces take action they risk alienating Iraqi Kurds, the most pro-American group in the region. And, if they do not they risk increased tensions - and possibly worse, with two powerful rivals. Neighbouring Iran clearly seeks to lure Turkey away from its traditional moorings to the West and “the Kurds may be just the wedge they need”19. Some Turks assert that while "Americans talk the talk, Iranians walk the walk regarding the PKK," reflecting the public attitude on the issue.

This is an ironic situation because both sides in the past have accused the other of sheltering dissidents and separatists. The Iranians have manipulated Iraqi Kurds as did the Russians with the Iranian Kurds during the Second World War encouraging them to declare the Mahabad Republic, which after the Russian withdrawal in 1946 was annihilated. Iran gave shelter and arms to Iraqi Kurds and the PKK. So after the 1979 revolution the Iraqis supported Iranian Kurds. But unlike Iraq, Iran and elsewhere, the Kurds in Turkey are better integrated with other citizens. Tehran provided safe haven to the PKK for launching attacks on Turkey - a country whose secular democracy stands in diametric opposition to Iran's regime.

More recently, however, Tehran's policy seems to have considerably changed. Turkey in return has agreed to put the Iraq-based People's Mujahedeen, Iran's main opposition group, on its terror list. Iran's involvement in the PKK/PJAK problem has proven to be a successful public diplomacy tool, winning over Turkish public opinion. Unlike during the 1990s, when most Turks took issue with Tehran due to its support for the PKK and other issues (e.g., the assassination of secular Turkish intellectuals by Islamist terrorist cells), the Turkish media now portrays Iran as a friendly country that is helping Ankara against the PKK.

Let us not forget that nearly 20 percent of the population of Iran in the East and North East is of Turkic origin and speaks Azerbaijani, which is very close to the modern Turkish language, although they are Shias by tradition. The overwhelming majority of the Azeris of Iran are good citizens of Iran, with a varying range of views on the Islamic republic, ranging from rejection to endorsement through acquiescence of varying degrees of willingness. The supreme Iranian spiritual leader Ali Khameini is an Azeri Turk and by tradition an Azeri Turk serves as the chief of the Iran’s armed forces.

Of late they have been developing a distinct orientation to assert their ethnic, language and cultural identity20 in the face of Iranian pressure, and as a result of efforts to reawaken Azeri nationalism by external powers (to make the Azeris a "soft belly" for Iran in times of possible confrontation with Tehran). The Iranian leadership is concerned that Ankara may try to manipulate the Azeris of Iran when time comes.

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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #1 : 28 Aralık 2007, 20:02:00 »
The Turkish-Israeli ties and Iran
Although there are ups and downs in the relationship, Turkey remains the most important partner of Israel in the Middle East. Tel Aviv believes that Tehran should be "prevented from becoming a nuclear power" and that Turkey should be on Israel's side21. Prime Minister Olmert implied in one of his recent visits to Ankara that Turkey can play a co-ordinating role with other Arab countries in Israel's policy of targeting Iran. He also expressed appreciation for Turkey's role in certain problematic issues between Israel and Syria, the Palestinian factions as well as the Black Sea-Red Sea gas pipeline project.

Turkey's wide-ranging co-operation on military and intelligence issues and a plethora of bilateral agreements with Israel are unlikely to lead to any joint action against Iran's nuclear programme. Nobody expects this. In fact, the true nature of military agreements between Turkey and Israel concluded in the 1990s and operational since then have never been clear, although Israel is regularly taking part in the 'Reliant Mermaid' naval exercises and 'Anatolian Eagle' aerial exercise. While the Israeli fighter planes have been conducting training flights in the Turkish airspace from the airbase in Konya, the Israeli commandos have been receiving snow training in the Bolu Mountains for some time.

A recent kidnapping (or defection as it now seems more likely) of the former Iranian Deputy Defence Minister Ali Reza Asgari22 was blamed on Israel. Asgari, who is believed to have information on Iran’s nuclear plans, was on a personal trip and vanished after arriving in Turkey from Damascus. Israeli security experts23 gave some credence to the Iranian allegation that Israel was involved, but they also suggested Asgari had defected. Israel might consider Asgari a prize worth the price of potentially embarrassing Turkey, one of the few Muslim countries to maintain ties with Israel. Indeed, this incident caused a chill in the Iranian-Turkish relations.

In recent months, Ankara has lost some faith in Israel as Tel Aviv prefers a weak and decentralized Iraq, if not a divided one. Turkey’s deepening anxiety about Kurdish aspirations of independence has been fuelled by Israeli interference and training of Kurdish peshmerga. Turks have embarked upon a high-profile diplomatic effort to bolster relations with the Arab and Muslim world, which were blighted by Israel's 1996 military agreements with Turkey. Ankara has moved swiftly to settle its disputes with Syria and is gradually normalizing its relations with Iran.


Energy partnership
Energy trade and investment represent an important dimension of the expanding Turco-Iranian economic co-operation. Turkey’s ability to establish itself as an energy transport hub, particularly in natural gas, will depend partly on an array of intergovernmental business and security arrangements with Iran – a country which has so far been excluded from Caspian/Central Asian hydrocarbon routes.

Many of those interested in seeing Turkey as a secure corridor for Caspian/Central Asian energy wish to develop alternatives to strong reliance on Russian and/or Iranian energy. By 2010, it is expected that 19% of Turkey’s natural gas supplies will be obtained from Iran and 58% from Russia. Turkey has ambitions to become an energy corridor for Iranian, Russian and Central Asian oil and gas to Europe, the Middle East and further afield. Thus Turkey is aware of the need for good relations with Iran to realize its regional ambitions and to maximize its diversification of energy sources24. Ankara and Tehran have already initiated co-operation in natural gas sales and transportation to Turkey and Europe. However, conflicting interests of many actors in energy issues make a smooth bilateral co-operation difficult to sustain.

To start with, Iran does not want Turkey to re-export its gas to third countries25 under a $23bn, 1996 agreement signed when then-Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan visited Iran26. But, Iran often fails to comply with the terms of this deal, reducing the volume (and the quality) of gas it has to ship to Turkey. For example, in the middle of a cold winter, on 23 January 2006, the daily flow of 165,000 bbl/d of Iranian gas to Turkey was decreased to 31,450 bbl/d. Although Iran cited technical failures for the problem, some analysts in Turkey contend that the decrease was Tehran’s way of punishing Turkey because Ankara had just retracted an invitation to Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad. Possible economic sanctions against Iran caused by its nuclear programme could also endanger this co-operation.

The Nabucco gas pipeline, an ambitious project that seeks to diminish Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, involves Iranian gas as well. The 3,300-kilometer pipeline would transport Azeri, Kazakh, Turkmen, and Iranian gas to Romania, Hungary, and Austria. At its nominal capacity, the pipeline would transport the energy equivalent of about 500,000 bbl/d. European support for Nabucco increased in the months following the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute. Notwithstanding Nabucco’s popularity, the project faces both political and economic obstacles. Nabucco presents just one option for Iran to use its gas. Even if Iran opts for Nabucco, Iran’s recent behaviour—indicating it might use gas as a diplomacy tool, much like Russia does— is another impediment to the project.

Another agreement between Ankara and Tehran provides the Turkish Petroleum Corporation with the opportunity to explore oil and natural gas in Iran, an offer Tehran has rejected for more than a decade, while the second is about the transfer of Turkmen natural gas via Iranian territory, a move that is expected to concern Washington which is against bypassing the Caspian in terms of gas transfer.

Ankara and Tehran have also agreed to establish a joint natural gas-powered electricity generation plant on the Turkish-Iranian border. They are upgrading existing power lines and building additional lines. Both sides want to multiply by 2.5 the capacity of the two existing power lines27. Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler explained that both countries would give each other electricity according to their changing needs. They also discussed a barter system under which mutual investments would be paid with electricity, as well as proposals to build dams and natural gas- or oil-fuelled power stations.

Final word
The recent surging influence of Iran in the Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq and Central Asia has made Tehran a major force to reckon with in any equation regarding this region. Those who have seen Iran as being on the cusp of dramatic internal change have been wrong. Iran enjoys great wealth, is the most powerful external influence in Iraq, and holds considerable sway over both Hamas and Hezbollah. A speculated US attack on Iran might not only fail to destroy all facilities, but it would further radicalize the Arab and Muslim worlds. Military action against Iran would also drive the price of oil to new heights, increasing the chances of an international economic crisis and a global recession.

As a result, Iran's leaders are now remarkably self-confident. To the extent that this attitude prevails, it will be harder to persuade Iran to co-operate with the international community. While the US, the EU, Russia, and China are in broad agreement that the advancement of a military nuclear programme in Iran is unacceptable, they have not yet reached a consensus on how to stop Iran. Russia and China seem genuinely to believe that the most effective means is "inducement," not pressure.

From Turkey’s standpoint, the present Iranian question will not be easily resolved as it is likely to linger on for many years to come, irrespective of the immediate economic or military actions. Failing to respond to the expectations of Washington and Tehran will certainly put Turkey under enormous strain and make it suffer from the permanent state of crises in its neighbourhood. There will also be serious effects on Turkish domestic and foreign/security politics. Indeed, the US debacle in Iraq could drive Turkey, Syria and Iran into each other's arms as all fear chaos and disintegration in Iraq in the coming years.

Whatever the scenario vis-à-vis Iran in the period ahead, a western response to Iran without considering Turkey is unlikely to succeed, independently of other considerations. Turkey, as the most powerful regional power with close ties to both Iran and anti-Iranian major powers, will have to figure prominently both in its design and implementation. Its co-operation with neither Washington/Brussels nor Tehran should not be taken for granted. The long-term national interests and the painful Iraqi experience will likely dictate Ankara’s position, with the full knowledge that Turkey, under any scenario, will be deeply affected from the consequences of actions by, and against, Iran.
.
[1] This paper represents the author’s personal views and not those of any organisation he is associated with. Thanks are due to Christiaan van den Hout, Prof. Mustafa Aydin and Rachel Odams who kindly offered suggestions on the text. Ögütçü is currently working for a major energy multinational based in London. A former Turkish diplomat and senior OECD/IEA staff in Paris, he is the author of numerous books including, inter alia, “China’s Quest World-wide for Energy Security” (IEA, 2000), “Eurasian Energy Prospects and Politics: Need for a Western Strategy” (Energy Charter Treaty, 1994), “Asian Energy Security Concerns and Geopolitical Implications for the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and the Central Asia” (IDSA New Delhi: February 2003), International Investment for Development (OECD, 2005), and “A 2023 Dream for Turkey” (2006, Forum Istanbul). He can be contacted at [email protected]
[2] Iran, its neighbours and the regional crises, edited by Robert Lowe and Claire Spencer, Chatham House, August 2006, http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/publications/papers/view/-/id/409/
[3] U.S. expects no breakthrough in talks over Iran's nuclear issue, 26 June 2007, People’s Daily.
[4] Iran calls missile threat to Europe 'joke of the year', Tehran, 3 June 2007, AFP.
[5] In order to preserve its relationship with Iran, which is important for political, economic, and security reasons, Russia has protested against any plans to impose economic sanctions on Iran. Since Russia maintains the strongest economic ties to Iran among the current negotiating coalition - including the US, the EU, and China - it will be the most likely to suffer the repercussions of economic sanctions. Russia has established clear boundaries. Should Iran overstep them, Moscow would take a very different approach. Russia does not share US concerns regarding Iran in adjacent regional zones, but rather views Tehran as a strategic partner, especially in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Moreover, Moscow views the preservation of ties and cooperation with Iran—a state that has problematic relations with the West—as a means of ensuring that Russian interests in the Middle East and Caspian regions will be taken into consideration.
[6] China imports around 12% of its crude from Iran (bettered only by Japan at around 14%).
[7] ''Nuclear Iran: Repercussions for Turkey and Saudi Arabia'', Jonathan Feiser, PINR Washington, 28 January 2005.
[8] Iran, as OPEC’s second-largest oil exporter and with its position on the strategically crucial Strait of Hormuz, largely controls the climate of the current negotiations. Energy analysts predict that sanctions on Iranian oil would lead to skyrocketing crude prices that could potentially cripple the global economy. Worst-case scenarios envision U.S. military action that would lead to Iran cutting off its vast oil supplies, with prices at least tripling overnight. Iran initially stated that it would not use oil as a weapon in the nuclear dispute, but a 20 June 2007 statement reminded that Tehran would be ready to capitalise on its position in world oil and gas markets in the event of an US attack.
[9] The United States has never ruled out a military option to halt Iran's controversial nuclear drive, which it claims is a cover for efforts to build the atomic bomb. Iran insists it has a right to uranium enrichment to make nuclear fuel as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and says its atomic programme is solely aimed at energy generation.
[10] Turkey has witnessed two significant changes in its immediate neighbourhood since the founding of the Republic in 1923. The first wave of change came with the collapse of the USSR and Turkey found itself as a neighbour to the three new states which emerged from the Soviet Union: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia (if the maritime borders to Ukraine and Russia are excluded). The second wave of change is currently underway in Iraq, to be followed by Iran in the foreseeable future. This continuity in the wave of changes brings about huge risks and opportunities for Turkey.
[11] Both countries send message to U.S.-backed Iraqis: clamp down on Kurdish guerrillas or they will, Louis Meixler, Arizona Daily Star Online, 28 May 2006.
[11] Iran has the world's second largest reserves of conventional crude oil at 133 gigabarrels, although it should be noted that both Canada and Venezuela have larger reserves if Non-conventional oil is included. Iran averages about 1.5 gigabarrels per year.
[13] If a decision is taken to implement economic sanctions against Iran, Turkey’s expanding economic ties will suffer enormously. The most adverse impact of the sanctions will be felt in the transportation sector (each year 15,000 Turkish trucks transport goods to this country and Central Asia via Iranian territory), and tourism (annually 1m Iranians come to Turkey on tourism).
[14] Turkey, Iran move to boost trade, AFP, February 21, 2007. Turks lobby for these to be dropped to 4 percent. These rates (by Iran) reach up to 40 percent in machinery and electronics, 70 percent in textiles and 100 percent in automotive industry. However, average rate of protection implemented by Turkey on Iranian industrial products was below 4 percent. Turkey reminded that Economic Cooperation Organization Trade Agreement (ECOTA) between Turkey and Iran was signed three years ago but it is not in force yet.
[15] http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=164230, 25 February 2007, announced at an Ankara meeting of the Turkey-Iran 19th Joint Economic Commission, co-chaired by the Turkish trade minister Kursad Tuzmen and Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki.
[16] With oil and gas transiting from Central Asia to Iranian Gulf ports, Iran would strengthen its position in the Gulf, essentially in relation to Saudi-Arabia, potentially also in relation to Iraq. Emerging as a Central Asian power would also reinforce Iran's position in relation to the Gulf neighbours.
[17] There are a number of other past regional initiatives involving Turkey and Iran. In July 1937 a Treaty of Non-aggression was signed between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. This treaty was known as the Sa'adabad Pact. The purpose of this agreement was to ensure security and peace in the Near East. In August 1955, a mutual security-pact between Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Britain – called CENTO (Central Treaty Organization), followed in July 1964 by the creation of RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development), aimed at joint economic projects between Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
[18] The PKK, PJAK, and Iran: Implications for U.S.-Turkish Relations, Washington Institute, PolicyWatch #1244, Soner Cagaptay and Zeynep Eroglu, June 13, 2007
[19] 5 February 2007, Turkish Daily News.
[20] True, northerners and southerners differ due to nearly two centuries of separate social evolution in Russian/Soviet-influenced Azerbaijan and Iranian Azarbaijan, but the language unifies Azeris and is mutually intelligible with Turkmen and modern Turkish. The Azeris, like Turks and Turkmens, are traced to the Turkic Oghuz, who moved into the Caucasus from Central Asia in the 11th century, as opposed to the Turkic Kipchak, from whom Kazakhs and Krygizh are drawn.
[21] Israel seeks an alliance with Turkey against Iran, Milli Gazete, 18 February 2007
[22] Iran says West may have seized ex-defence official, Parisa Hafezi, 6 March 2007, Tehran, Reuters
[23]Menashe Amir, an Israeli analyst of Iranian affairs, told Israel's Army Radio he had information indicating that Asgari's family was with him. "It's very possible that he decided to defect," Amir said.
[24] Assessing Turkey’s Future as an Energy Transit Country, Daniel Fink, Research NoteS #11 Washington Institute.
[25] Iran Warns Turkey About Reexporting Natural Gas, 25 February 2007, Turkish Daily News.
[26] The agreement drew criticism at the time from opposition groups over potential ideological motivations on the part of Erbakan's pro-Islamic Welfare Party.
[27] http://www.mmorning.com/ArticleC.asp?Article=4801&CategoryID=6
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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #2 : 28 Aralık 2007, 21:12:59 »
USS Liberty case showed to world how israel threats even more powerful allies.

Turkiye absolutely should not take part to zionist-Iran conflict. It will be much more bloody war than Iraqi war is now.

The best option is wait and see what will happen.

I'm not sure how much there is Turkic people in Iran, but there is possibility that, if war comes, they might get possibility to take some areas to their control, and then Turkiye should send troops for helping them.

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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #3 : 29 Aralık 2007, 00:31:28 »
Iran and Iranic are among one of the key enemies of Turkics and Turan. So are the Jews.


Türük Oguz begleri bodun eşid: üze teŋri basmasar asra yir telinmeser Türük Bodun iliŋin törügün kim artatı utaçı erti? Türük Bodun ertin, ökün!

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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #4 : 29 Aralık 2007, 00:35:25 »
Iran and Iranic are among one of the key enemies of Turkics and Turan. So are the Jews.

So, I think that You support my solution. ;)

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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #5 : 29 Aralık 2007, 00:45:43 »
Of course, anda ;)


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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #6 : 29 Aralık 2007, 00:46:28 »
I'm not sure how much there is Turkic people in Iran, but there is possibility that, if war comes, they might get possibility to take some areas to their control, and then Turkiye should send troops for helping them.



İn iran living like 30 millions Turkish and if war comes Turkey dont send troops for helping cause in china has war with Ester Turkestan  and Turks has war in armania Karabağ.But Türkiye dont helping them .
Because for help we need Turkish president we need Nationalist president
Ya Susturacağız Ya kan kusturacağız

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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #7 : 29 Aralık 2007, 00:56:14 »
Yes indeed, we are living in a country ruled by non-Turks.


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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #8 : 29 Aralık 2007, 01:08:06 »
Just like, even if our prime minister and president are Finns, they don't care at all about Finnics under foreign control.

I see same thing is going on there, though your government is ruled by invaders more visible than our government.

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Ynt: Turkey: a major regional power to engage or confront Iran
« Yanıtla #9 : 29 Aralık 2007, 01:37:45 »
Turkiye absolutely should not take part to zionist-Iran conflict. It will be much more bloody war than Iraqi war is now.

 I agree with you in that point brother. However, we can't trust Iran and his lovely regime. Because Persian Mullah supported pkk, other kurdish bastards and shia fundementalist organizations against Turkey and Turk Nation. They are still desiring to spread their Mullah Regime towards local countries and of course Turkey too. In addition they were cooperated with Armenia in Karabagh War.

I'm not sure how much there is Turkic people in Iran, but there is possibility that, if war comes, they might get possibility to take some areas to their control, and then Turkiye should send troops for helping them.

 As our loyal comrade Kızıltamu claimed, there are many Turks(approximately btwn 25-30 million people) who live in Iran.

 Majority are Southern Azerbaijan Turks who are also live in big metropols(Tehran, Hemedan, Erak, Qazvin, Sultaniyah cities) of Iran beside Sotuhern Azerbaijan too.

In the south Regions(Fars and Kerman Provinces, Zagros Mountains), we have Turk Nomad tribes who are numbered huge communities  such as Qashqai, Hamse(formed from Baharlu, İnallu, Nafar tribes), Afshar, Bichaqchu(Bıçakçı in Turkish means Knifed).

 On the other hand Turkman people lived in Khorasan state near Turkmenistan border. This area is called Turkmen Sahra in Shah Regime. However Mullah regime divided this area into two and made including them to the two Persian majority provinces(Mazendaran and Meshed). There are many Turk tribes besides Turkmans too in Khorasan like Teymurtash, Kajar, Qaragozly, Afshar and other Turks who is speaking Azerbaijan Dialect.

 TTK