Sunday, December 2, 2018

Gumilyev’s Eurasian Vision of Slavic-Turkic Unity Said Gaining Ever More Support in Moscow

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 2 – Scholars, activists and political figures from Russia and the Turkic world have been meeting in Moscow for an international forum entitled “The Russian-Turkic World: A Response to Global Challenges” and promoting ideas associated with Lev Gumilyev and other Eurasianist thinkers.

            Adgezal Mamedov, an Azerbaijani researcher who helped organize the meeting, says that in the view of participants, “the Slavic-Turkic world represents a special, independent civilization having both Eastern and Western aspects but not corresponding either to the East or the West (

            Thus, he continues, this civilization “on the one hand is part of Europe but on the other is an alternative to Europe” and will only be strengthened as Slavic and Turkic nations recognize how similar they are in history and mentality and how different they are from the Europeans and the Asians.

            According to Mamedov, “we are seeking through the prism of key moments of our common history to set ourselves apart from the present-day geopolitical system. The dynamics of the development of the past, present and future of the Eastern-Slavic and Turkic world makes it an exceptional region and a new geopolitical center.”

            The Azerbaijani scholar said he began studying the links between the Slavic and Turkic world in 2002, drawing on the works of Lev Gumilyev, Nikolay Trubetskoy, Petr Savitsky, S. Efron and other literary figures and researchers who now are called ‘Eurasians” and who “saw that the roots of Russian statehood … have much in common with the Turkic world.”

            “When we began,” Mamedov says, “we didn’t even think about the response we would get. The Slavic-Turkic unity was out understanding toward which we should move. However, honestly, we were pleasantly surprised by the genuine interest in this idea in Russia” and its spread across the former Soviet space.

            Support for it is growing “in Azerbaijan, Russia and Uzbekistan,” he continues. “Next month a conference will take place in Kazakhstan” whose purpose will be to respond to the late Samuel Huntington’s suggestions that there would inevitably be a clash of “all against all” in Eurasia.

            Slavic-Turkic unity is not only intellectually important but a means to ensure that the Harvard professor’s predictions will not come to pass, Mammedov concludes. 

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