Report of Research Travel to Turkey and Azerbaijan
by Professor Ryoji Tateyama, School of Social Sciences,
National Defense Academy, Japan


1. I visited Istanbul, Ankara, and Baku from August 18,1998 to August 28.

2. The main topic I discussed with officials of the AIOC (the Azerbaijan International Operating Company) and SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) was the plan to construct a main oil pipeline from Baku. My impression was that the construction of the Turkish route (a pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan) would not be implemented in one stage, but possibly in two stages, because of the following reasons:

1) financial constrains;

2) expanding both the northern route (Baku to Novlorossisk via Grozny) and the western route (Baku to Supsa) could lead to an increase in future oil demand in the Black Sea region (particularly in the Ukraine and Rumania);

3) the maximum volume of oil which could be shipped through the Strait of Turkey would be half a million barrels per day, and to that extent the total capacity of the northern and western routes could be expanded;

4) constructing only the Turkish route may cause political friction with Russia.

3. An official of the Azeri Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed not only the threat raised by Armenia, but also from Russia and Iran. By pointing out Russia's military assistance to Armenia, he expressed a strong concern for Russia's possible re-expansion of its influence over the South Caucasus. In this context, the official went on to say that Azerbaijan considers it important to expand its relations with Turkey, U.S.A., and Israel from the point of view of security.

4. Information concerning Jews in Azerbaijan was collected:

1) the number of Jews in Azerbaijan is 30,000 to 40,000;

2) the majority of them are so-called "Mountain Jews", whose main population center is Guba (Quba in Russian), about 150 kms north of Baku;

3) in addition to "Mountain Jews", there are Ashkenazim and Georgian Jews, and most of them live in Baku;

4) in the first half of the 1990s, a number of Jews (it is said up to 25% of the population) emigrated to foreign countries (Israel, U.S.A., Canada and others), but present emigration is very limited.