MINELRES: Article: Turkic Peoples [in Russia] and the "Eurasian Movement"

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Sep 19 19:16:00 2005


Original sender: Sabirzyan Badretdinov <RafaelTrujillo61@aol.com> 


TURKIC PEOPLES AND THE "EURASIAN MOVEMENT"
by Sabirzyan Badretdinov*

If someone would ask me to name a person who poses the greatest danger
to the Turkic peoples, I would say Alexander Dugin. Alexander Dugin is
one of the most prominent Russian nationalists and the leading proponent
of "Eurasianism" - a geopolitical doctrine that seeks to preserve and
expand the Russian Empire under the guise of creating a new "Eurasian"
supranational political entity. The goal of the Eurasianists is to
create a Russia-dominated bloc stretching from Eastern Europe to the
Pacific.

According to Dugin, the history of humanity is defined by the struggle
between the two mega-civilizations: continental and oceanic. He
considers Eurasia to be the base of the continental civilization and
America, which is surrounded by oceans on both sides, to be the base of
the oceanic civilization. Historic examples of previous competing
civilizations are Carthage and Rome, Sparta and Athens, and England and
Germany.

One of the key components of the Eurasian movement is the goal of
promoting multi-polarity. The current unipolar American dominance of the
world is viewed by Eurasianists as a threat to the uniqueness of Russian
culture. Mr. Dugin deems it necessary to replace U.S.-dominated unipolar
world with a multi-polar world. The main purpose of this (although he
never actually says it) is to create conditions for Russia's eventual
global dominance. To promote multi-polarity, Dugin advocates a series of
strategic alliances to shift the balance of power away from the United
States.

Dugin is now associated with the Eurasian movement in Russia, which
transformed itself from a few groups of followers and admirers of
Dugin's ideology into an officially recognized political organization:
OPOD Eurasia (abbreviation in Russian of the phrase Social Political
Movement Eurasia). Sometimes Dugin's form of Eurasianism is called
neo-Eurasianism, to distinguish it from the traditional 19th-century
Eurasianism, which is much closer to the pan-Slavic nationalism,
Slavophile movement and Christian Orthodoxy. Dugin's ideology, in
contrast, is much more of a geopolitical doctrine.

Considering Russia's current state of development, Eurasianism seems
increasingly likely to be the form of nationalism that will prevail in
Russia and become Russia's new national strategy. Eurasianism could
replace Communism as an ideology to counter what is being perceived in
Russia as American dominance in the world. The post-Soviet Russia has
lacked a coherent national goal to unify Russians and give them
something to believe in other than personal survival. At present, the
Eurasian movement seems to be the most likely nationalist movement to
gain power in Russia. Dugin already serves as an international affairs
adviser to several senior Duma leaders. Neo-Eurasianists have access to
President Vladimir Putin and support him as long as he continues to move
in a direction they feel is in Russia's long-term interests.

Through his contacts in the Russian government, Dugin acquired access to
some foreign politicians and dignitaries. He is especially interested in
courting the leaders of the Turkic nations. According to Dugin's
ideology, Eurasia's core consists of Slavic and Turkic elements and
combines Christian Orthodoxy with Islam. In order to promote his vision
of Eurasianism, Dugin needs help from leaders and peoples of countries
such as Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and  Kyrgyzstan.
The public and the leaders of these countries are not very familiar with
the views of Alexander Dugin and sometimes tend to overlook his hidden
agenda, naively believing that Dugin promotes nothing but friendship,
cooperation and inter-cultural integration. Instead of viewing him as an
enemy of the Turkic peoples, they see him as a friendly ambassador of
good will from Russia.

For example, Dugin, not so long ago, met with the Turkish ambassador and
held negotiations with Turkish parliamentarians on the creation of a
Eurasian-oriented "assembly" consisting of members of the parliaments of
both countries. Outside Russia, Dugin's ideas seem to be most
influential in Central Asia, namely, in Kazakhstan. This republic has a
wide network of Eurasian-oriented groups and organizations. Dugin, in
his book devoted to Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, praises
him for cooperating with Russian Eurasianists. Dugin's web site,
www.evrazia.org, contains links to numerous foreign (including three
Turkish) organizations that share his ideology or cooperate with his
movement.

All these contacts and interactions seem innocent enough until we find
out what the real goals of Mr. Dugin are. It needs to be noted that
during Perestroika and in the early 1990's Dugin was involved with the
extreme right-wing nationalist movement Pamyat (Memory).  Members of
Pamyat were notorious for organizing anti-Semitic and xenophobic
demonstrations and meetings in Moscow and other cities that often ended
up in violence. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Dugin helped write
the platform of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Later he
abandoned the Communist Party and started espousing a mixture of Russian
nationalist and quasi-Fascist ideas that finally evolved into
Eurasianism. While Dugin's Eurasian movement cannot be immediately
identified as a form of neo- or post-Fascism, its ideology certainly
includes some elements of the Russian variety of Fascism, such as
idealization of the Russian people, selective xenophobia, hostility to
Western-style democracy and glorification of the Russian Orthodox
Church. The Eurasian movement advocates a mixed economy with small-scale
capitalism and strategic vital sectors under control of the state.

It is illuminating to read what Mr. Dugin suggests Moscow's policy
should be with regards to Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, two autonomous
regions within Russia populated by Turkic peoples. According to his
writings these ethnic republics ought to be discouraged from
establishing closer ties with each other and instead should be urged to
seek closer integration with the neighboring Russian regions in order to
prevent the emergence of a powerful Turkic bloc in the Volga-Urals area
capable of challenging Kremlin's authority.

Nevertheless, despite Dugin's overt hostility to Tatars and Bashkirs, he
managed to convince some prominent Tatars, such as Mufti Talgat
Tajutdin, to join his movement (Talgat Tajutdin is, in fact, a member of
the ruling committee of the above-mentioned OPOD Eurasia.) During the
recent celebration of Kazan's 1000-year anniversary, both Putin and
Tatarstan's President Shaimiyev spoke enthusiastically about Tatarstan's
role in strengthening Eurasian integration.

The Eurasian ideology presents a grave danger for Turkic peoples because
it can deceive Tatars, Bashkirs, and other ethnic minorities of Russia,
as well as leaders of independent Turkic nations into believing that
Moscow is not trying to re-create its empire but rather to establish a
geopolitical bloc in which all the ethnic groups would have equal
influence and power. Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Central Asian states ought
to be very cautious and suspicious of Dugin's "Eurasian movement." 
Despite superficial appearance of being a Turkic-friendly ideology,
Dugin's doctrine seeks to promote expansion of Russia's sphere of
influence with the ultimate goal of creating a global Russian empire
dominating the entire world. If this goal ever becomes a reality, Turkic
peoples would once again find themselves colonized and oppressed by
Russia.


*Sabirzyan Badretdinov is a former senior editor of the Tatar-Bashkir
service of Radio Liberty and a member of the editorial board of the
Turkistan Newsletter, an on-line
publication

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