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Turkey has potential influence on Azerbaijani youth
1.       si++
3785 posts
 31 May 2011 Tue 02:44 pm

"The article “Turkey’s potential influence on Azeri youth” by Barcin Yinanc posted in “Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review”

“I wonder if some in Azerbaijan felt a bit uneasy when they saw Nigar and Eldar, the duo that won the Eurovision song contest, celebrating their victory by waving a Turkish flag in front of millions of European viewers,” the newspaper reports.

“For those promoting the motto of “one nation, two states” to describe Turkish-Azerbaijani relations, this scene does not come as a surprise. Yet it underlines a severe contrast in the different layers of the two countries’ bilateral ties.”

“While the motto of “one nation, two states” might reflect the mood in people-to-people relations, it does not, however, reflect the current mood at the state-to-state and government-to-government relations,” the source reads.

“Take the visa issue for instance. When Turkey started talking about visa free travel with its north and northeastern neighbors, one would have thought Azerbaijan would have been the first to lift visas and that Russia would have been the last. Russia, after all, could have had concerns about lifting visas since many relatives of the ethnic groups in Russia’s troubled regions live in Turkey. In the past, there have been cases when Turkish citizens said to be supporting rebels fighting against Moscow were arrested in Russia’s North Caucasus,” the daily says.

“Yet in a surprise move, Russia has astonished many, including Turkish and Russian experts, by agreeing to visa-free travel.”

“Turkish citizens can go to Russia without a visa, whereas they have to get visas to enter Azerbaijan. What an ironic situation.”

“Some in Turkish official sources argue that the strong bonds between the two nations, and especially the very big interest that exists among the youth in Azerbaijan, make the old guard, with stronger affinity to Russia, quiet uneasy.”

“While it is true that Turkey’s reconciliation process with Armenia has irritated Azerbaijan and led to a mutual mistrust, it is also not a secret that the Ilham Aliyev administration was never very fond of the religious tinge to the ruling Justice and Development Party,” the newspaper reports.

“But the current state of affairs, which does not reflect the true potential between the two countries, is not sustainable.”

“Whatever the outcome of the elections, hopefully the new government will approach Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh problem in light of the lessons taken from the recent efforts that failed to normalize relations between Ankara and Armenia. This time, the new government will probably be more careful in securing Baku’s support for the process of normalization. If the AKP returns to government as is expected, Baku should be aware that it will not waste too much time tackling the Armenian issue again. As such, stronger dialogue between Ankara and Baku, based on confidence, will become more important than ever, and it will be to the benefit of both sides,” the daily reads.

“The Aliyev leadership should understand that it cannot prevent Turkish influence over the younger generations in the country. At a time when some are debating the indirect role of Turkey in the Arab Spring, one cannot expect the younger generations to turn their back on the Turkish example,” the author concludes.

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