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Understanding the underlying dynamics of Turkish-Azerbaijani relations: “One nation, two states?”

Lilit Mayilyan

vol. IX(1)

Pages 39-67


Abstract: The objective of this study is to analyze the underlying factors

within Turkish-Azerbaijani relations that is encapsulated in the motto,

“One nation, two states,” focusing on the main challenges and differences

between the two countries. This article maps out the shifting dynamics of

bilateral relations since Azerbaijani independence in 1991 and reveals the

political, economic and cultural underpinnings of bilateral relations.

This study discusses the place of Turkey and Azerbaijan within each

other’s foreign policy calculations and claims that the current phase of

Turkish-Azerbaijani relations is driven by the national pragmatic interests

of each state despite the initial years of romanticized relations. It reveals

that the national interests of Turkey and Azerbaijan do not always align

and they follow pragmatic national interests, despite their “One nation,

two states” rhetoric. The strategic partnership of the two states relies on

the energy and transportation projects, as well as cultural, historical and

ethnic affinity. However, the political, economic, and cultural

contingencies have also been crucial to map out the broader picture of

bilateral relations.

Keywords: Turkey-Azerbaijan relations, “One nation, two states,” energy

relations, partnership, flag crisis.

Lilit Mayilyan
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