The Realization of the Turan Dream: What It Means for Azerbaijan

The vision of a Turkic-Turanian Union as a future goal for Azerbaijan has gained significant traction, particularly with the support of President Ilham Aliyev. Philosopher Yasemen Garagoyunlu, in her latest article, echoes this sentiment, arguing that Azerbaijan's aspirations should align with the formation of a union rooted in Turkic cultural and historical identity, rather than Europe, Russia, or the Euro-Atlantic system.

On June 6, President Aliyev, during a meeting with a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking States (TURKPA), stated that Azerbaijan does not seek membership in the European family. This declaration has sparked discussions among experts, with some interpreting it as a move towards Russia. However, Garagoyunlu disagrees, emphasizing that Azerbaijan's future lies within the Turkic-Turanian Union.

In her article, Garagoyunlu identifies Russia as the primary obstacle to the realization of the Turkic Union. She elaborates on this in the program "A Difficult Question," where she discusses the importance of civilizational identity. According to Garagoyunlu, civilizational identity represents the highest level of social identity, rooted in the awareness of a shared cultural and historical heritage among a nation or closely related peoples. The unification of states, she argues, should be based on common moral, spiritual values, and philosophical concepts.

President Aliyev's statement, "We are here, we are not Europe," is a reflection of this idea. While acknowledging the European Union as a symbol of prosperity, advanced science, and democracy, Garagoyunlu asserts that the EU is fundamentally a union of countries that share Christian-European values. She points to Turkey's long-standing but stalled bid to join the EU as an example of this exclusivity. Turkey, which applied for EU membership in 1987, represents an alternative Turkic-Muslim civilization to Christian Europe, posing a significant ideological challenge to European integration.

Garagoyunlu believes that Azerbaijan's alignment with the Turkic-Turanian Union would not only strengthen its civilizational identity but also foster a sense of unity and solidarity among Turkic-speaking nations. This union, based on shared cultural and historical values, could potentially lead to greater political and economic cooperation, enhancing the region's stability and development.

The realization of the Turan dream, therefore, presents Azerbaijan with an opportunity to redefine its geopolitical alignment, moving towards a future that prioritizes its cultural and historical ties with Turkic nations. This strategic shift could have profound implications for Azerbaijan's international relations, economic partnerships, and national identity, positioning it as a key player in the emerging Turkic-Turanian Union.

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