Locating Turkey in Kazakhstan‘s Eurasian identity

Ametbek, Dinmukhammed
In this dissertation I analyzed Kazakhstan’s perception of Turkey in the post-independence period. In my examination, I applied Constructivist as well as the image theory of International Relations. In Constructivist understanding, it is the identity of the state, which determines its perception. Based on this conception, the main argument of the study is that the basic determinant of the Kazakhstan’s perception of Turkey is Kazakhstan’s national identity. Due to the demographic and geopolitical conditions of the country, Nazarbayev identified Kazakhstan as a Eurasian state. Since then, Eurasianism became a state ideology of Kazakhstan’s pluralism and multilateralism at the core of which Kazakh-Russian or Turkic-Slavic nucleus is located. This nucleus at the domestic level pulls and consolidates all ethnic and religious groups in the country. At the international level it does not gravitate towards Russia or Turkey but is a center, which pulls both Moscow and Ankara. In this way, Eurasianism became the philosophical basis for the Kazakh multi-vector foreign policy. In this equation Turkey, the leader of the Turkic world represents one side of the Eurasian nucleus of Kazakhstan. In other words, Kazakhstan’s perception of Turkey is directly related to the Eurasian identity of Kazakhstan. In the eventual analysis I used the image theory of international relations in order to measure the Kazakhstan’s perception of Turkey. According to the image theory there are four levels of analysis: decision maker, elite, general public, and international levels. Based on the analysis, I argue that Kazakhstan’s perception of Turkey is evolving from a negative ‘alien image’ and ‘image of other’ to a positive ‘friend image’ and ‘brother image’.


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Citation Formats
D. Ametbek, “Locating Turkey in Kazakhstan‘s Eurasian identity,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.