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Erdogan faces setback in Kazakhstan as Astana chooses Moscow over Ankara to quell domestic unrest

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Astana | January 18, 2022 11:50:38 AM IST
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ambition of becoming the leader of the Islamic world faced a severe setback in Kazakhstan when the Central Asian nation chose to seek help from Russia to deal with public outrage over rising fuel prices.

Miffed by the setback Turkey may unleash the Islamist elements to bleed Kazakhstan in the way Pakistan pump-primed Taliban in Afghanistan over two decades of US military presence, according to the think tank Policy Research Group.

The think tank stated that Turkey has been wishing to turn Kazakhstan away from the Eurasian idea and make it part of the Aksakal of the Turkic world.

During the former president Nursultan Nazarbayev's reign, trade turnover between the two countries touched USD 2 billion.

Moreover, Erdogan had launched a massive program to build mosques across Kazakhstan as a part of his 'Enterprise -International Mosques'. "It is Erdogan's most ambitious and visible program for garnering global influence," said the Policy Research group citing observers of the region.

This state-sponsored project is similar to the pre-2001 Saudi program, which facilitated the rapid expansion of mosques all over the world.

This project, being run by the Directorate of Religious Affairs - Diyanet, manages 80,000 mosques at home.

Besides the mosque building projects, another venture which Erdogan is pursuing pertains to realizing his ambition of leadership of the Islamic world is the Organization of Turkic States.

According to the Policy Research Group, this Istanbul-based outfit brings together former Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan with which Turkey shares ethnic and linguistic ties.

And it has given wings to Erdogan's idea of a Turkic NATO, which the experts believe is still a pipe dream.

"This prognosis is based on the fact that Turkey has considerable clout among Kazakh mafia as also Kazakh militants who were allowed free passage to Syria. All of them could create trouble for Kazakh President Tokayev once the Russian forces return home," the think tank added. (ANI)

 
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