f_0007406_6319 - PAK-TURKEY RELATIONS On the Common Ties...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 7, No. 2 & 3, Summer & Fall 2008 67 PAK-TURKEY RELATIONS: On the Common Ties Munir Hussain* After a decade of stagnant relations, Pakistan-Turkey relations seem to be improving in the right direction. Both countries have traditionally enjoyed close and cordial relations. The manifold commonalties between the two countries have been reinforced by the firm resolve of their leadership to further deepen mutual cooperation in all fields. For over half century, Turkey and Pakistan remained close friends. Their multi- dimensional relationship showed the same spirit of brotherhood as prevailed during centuries- old ties between Indian Muslims and the Ottoman Empire, later the Republic of Turkey. 1 Ideologically, however, they were poles apart – Turkey, when it became a Republic, pursued secularism while Pakistan adhered to the Islamic ideology as the centrepiece of its nationhood. But these differences of ideology, with their corresponding reflections on their respective external outlook, never hampered the course of friendly bilateral ties. In the last few years, the perceptions and interests of Turkey and Pakistan have started to converge on a number of important issues. The paper provides a brief historical overview of Pak-Turk relations and the various dimensions of the relationship in the present time. It will also attempt to draw attention to the areas of divergences and convergence that have surfaced between Pakistan and Turkey in the post-Cold War era and recommend new approaches to the future fostering of these ties. But before that, it is important to note the strategic importance of the two countries in the light of events that unfolded in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks on the US. The geo-strategic location of both Pakistan and Turkey are unique and similar to a greater extent. Turkey’s geo-strategic importance stems from its central location at the crossroads of the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, which were major regions of instability and conflict in the post-Cold War era. 2 With the war against Iraq,
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 7, No. 2 & 3, Summer & Fall 2008 68 Turkey was once again exposed to the grim realities of its geographic proximity with a large Iraqi Kurdish region adjacent to its own Kurd-inhabited areas. Turkey has a huge population of ethnic Kurds in its South East bordering Iraq, in view of which Ankara has been keen on checking any Kurdish fissiparous tendencies within Iraq. Similarly, Pakistan is geo- strategically placed at the crossroads of Central Asia, West Asia and South Asia, right next to Afghanistan that has faced decades of war, with ethnic affiliations on both sides of the Durand line. Post-9/11, Pakistan became the frontline state in the war against terrorism that brought the international community to Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and Turkey are playing important roles in their respective conflict-ridden regions, specifically in view of the fast changing
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Anchustegui during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0007406_6319 - PAK-TURKEY RELATIONS On the Common Ties...

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