Nigar Goksel – Editor in Chief, Turkish Policy Quarterly
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Turkey’s role in linking Central Asia and the Caucasus to Europe has been a significant element of Turkey’s strategic value to the West. While for years enthusiasts of the integration of this sub-region with Europe in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey carried an expectation that Europe and the US would design and push forward the process, the last few years has seen a process of integration emerge between these three countries that is less dependent on a larger Euro-Atlantic initiative. One question this article tackles is why the expectations from external powers dimmed, and how, nevertheless, these three countries found the incentive and capacity to push forward with integration amongst themselves. The role of global and regional geopolitical fluctuations in the ebbs and flows of the realization of the East-West corridor are taken up in this context.