Russian world, Pan-Turkism and EU normative power in Gagauz Yeri: competing geopolitical ideologies and regional identity at the sub-state level
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The current state of Gagauzia, a territorial autonomy within Moldova since the 1990s, reflects its troubled historical past and geographical location. Located at the crossroads of geopolitical interests, Gagauzia even today is subject to geopolitical influence of various power sources, as the interests of Turkey, Russia and the European Union converge in the region. This competition can be best reflected as a struggle of geopolitical ideologies emitted by Turkey (Pan-Turkism), Russia (Russian world) and the European Union (EU normative power), which are certainly interested in either shaping their international milieu or bringing the adjacent regions into their sphere of influence. The major aim of this research is to find out the post-2014 elitar narrative in Gagauzia toward each geopolitical ideology. The relevant Self and Other narrative of Gagauz political, cultural and intellectual figures shapes not only contemporary Gagauz identity, but also which region(s) they belong to, which geopolitical civilization(s) they feel ascribed to, which external actors are constructed as their closest allies and enemies and where they see their future.