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Pan-Turkism is a political ideology that promotes closer political, economic and cultural links between nations of Turkic ancestry. It is something of a Turkic counterpart to pan-Arabism, and views the barriers between "brother Turkic nations" as artificially imposed upon the true unity of the Turkic peoples.

There are two main forms of pan-Turkism: an extremist, sometimes imperial form characterised by the Wolf Brotherhood political party in particular, and a more moderate federal or league-based form that is included by several political groups throughout the Turkic world.

Imperial Pan-Turkism

Extremist pan-Turkism sees the Turkic people as one nation whose great destiny to form a mighty unified empire has been frustrated by other nations who keep the Turkic people divided because of envy or fear. This ideology is often Turkic-supremacist, and in the former Snorist Turkic states and territories often takes on a SNOR-like centralist and authoritarian character. In addition, this ideology is much more expansionist in nature, often envisioning a great destiny for the Turkic nation as it expands to dominate or conquer the surrounding nations. The great nomadic Turkic hordes and empires are held up as models: Timur, Alp Arslan and the Seljuks, the Golden Horde and the Kök Türks are all seen as great golden ages of the Turkic people. Occasionally, as with the Wolf Brotherhood, Genghis Khan's Mongol-Turkic empire is reinterpreted as fully Turkic in character.

In many nations, particularly those with large non-Turkic minority populations, imperial pan-Turkist political parties are carefully watched by the main political powers, though in most cases the parties themselves are fringe groups without much in the way of serious following.

Federal Pan-Turkism

Federal pan-Turkism, sometimes just called moderate pan-Turkism, is much more prevalent. This form of pan-Turkist ideology sees the diverse Turkic peoples as distinct, but related; "brother nations", as it were. But due to their close family relationship, the peoples should cooperate with one another for the greater good of all the Turkic peoples. Moderate pan-Turkic parties frequently desire to establish mutual defence and economic cooperation treaties with other brother Turkic nations, giving them favoured partner status. Pan-Turkic parties typically favour strengthening the Silk Road League into a full-blown economic and political union.

Federal or League-based pan-Turkism is used as a primary ideology by parties all over the Turkic world; moderate pan-Turkism is an important component of the ideology of many other mainstream parties throughout the area.

Pan-Turkism and the Central Asian Unity movement

Pan-Turkism is distinct from the ideology of the Central Asian Unity movement, though the two do overlap. The distinction is basically that pan-Turkism is an ethnically-based ideology, whereas the concept of Central Asian unity (especially as expressed by groups such as the Heart of Asia Coalition in Turkestan) concentrates on a regional identity as Central Asians with common overarching cultural and historic ties, whether the ethnicities involved are Persian, Turkic or Mongolic. Some Central Asian Unity groups have definite pan-Turkist leanings, and some moderate pan-Turkist groups in Central Asia (particularly those for whom moderate pan-Turkism is a component of their overall political stance rather than a major thrust) are inclusive of non-Turkic Central Asians. Pan-Turkism also includes the Turkic peoples of Northern Asia and Siberia, as well as those in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It transcends regionalism in a way that the Central Asian unity movements do not.

List of Turkic nations

Those in italics are fully independently sovereign; others are part of the Russian Federation

Other nations with Turkic minorities