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First the Middle East, now Central Asia slipping away from Turkey

Having lost influence in the Middle East, Turkey finds itself increasingly isolated from Central Asia and the Caucasus after its dust-up with Russia in Syria.
Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan (L-R), Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev pose for a family photo during a meeting of the heads of state of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the Burabai resort near Astana, Kazakhstan, October 16, 2015. The meeting of ex-Soviet leaders, including Putin, have agreed to create a joint task force to defend external borders in crisis situat
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Turkey — which with its deterioration in relations with Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Israel lost its economic, political and diplomatic influence in the Middle East — is now on the verge of losing Central Asia because of Ankara's crisis with Russia stemming from events in Syria.

The sanctions Moscow imposed after the Nov. 24 downing of a Russian plane are spreading to Russian spheres of influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus, as Central Asian countries that had established close ties with Ankara after the collapse of the Soviet Union appear to be preparing to distance themselves from Turkey. At the December 2015 Moscow summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) — which includes the Turkic states of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in addition to Russia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Armenia — calls were made for Turkey to apologize to Russia.

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