Mischa Gabowitsch

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22 January 2014

Both your houses

There is one central similarity between Euromaidan and other recent movements across the world: protesters’ self-reliance and distrust of politicians who pretend to represent them is what gives their movement its democratic credentials, but it is also a weakness.

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November 2005 saw the opening of the monumental Blue Stream pipeline, which pumps natural gas from Russia across the Black Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Is a new Eurasian alliance forming at the margins of Europe? Looking back on centuries of Russian-Turkish hostility, that seems unlikely, says Mischa Gabowitsch. The anti-Westernism that appears to bind the two nations is irreconcilable: in the one case it is the phantom pains of the superpower, in the other a moderate Islamism and frustration with EU accession talks. However, in Europe there is still a sense that if Russia and Turkey are non-European, they are less so than other non-European countries. And the lack of high-cultural relations between the two nations is being made up for by processes of grass-roots cultural exchange.