Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Seyed Behzad Akhlaghi (Journalist)

Persian-Russian Cultural Encounter in Tajikistan: from Confrontation to Cooperation

Tajikistan is a land-locked country of Central Asia with population of 8 million. Now, the country sees its contemporary life facing an encounter of cultures, both of identity importance, Persian from the south and Russian from the north; during the Soviet era, Russian language and Cyrillic alphabet had been important elements of Tajikistan's culture and literacy; after the fall, in 1991, of Soviet Union however, and the parallel change of state in Iran a decade before, the new Islamic government in Tehran sought to voice interest in Persian-speaking countries especially Tajikistan, and played an important part in commissioning a domestic peace during the Tajik civil war in 1997 signed in Moscow as one of successful Tehran-Moscow cooperation examples in the Central Asia. The region generally has been a vast arena where, traditionally, three settled civilizations of Iran, China, and Russia extended their influence. Tajikistan, with its ample water sources and special geography as 'Roof of the Central Asia,' had been central to any power struggle. The revival of historically important Silk Road is a Chinese development initiative; with 414km common borders with China, now Tajikistan sees its importance unfolded. Currently, China, the US, Turkey, and the EU seek to have higher share of international presence in Tajikistan, which would rival and reduce Russian or Iranian influence. Western sanctions against Russia and the dwindling income of Tajik labour workers of Moscow would deflect their attention from Russia to Chinese or Turkish economies as potential sources of jobs. Iran, now raising from its debris of a hard-hit economy after signing a nuclear deal with the west, actively seeks to find strong footholds in global markets. An examination of Russian-Iranian pact to hold the grounds in Central Asia is highly important and a trilateral Russia-Iran-Tajikistan alliance, based on cultural common elements, is a necessity in terms of security, [fighting] terrorism, energy, and economy, worthy of deeper examination.