erdogan: Turkey and Russia: Are they rivals or cooperating rivals? – Times of India

NICOSIA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 29 mentioned the scenario in northwestern Syria, the place the 2 sides assist opposing camps, in addition to methods of deepening the cooperation between their defence industries.
In latest years, Turkey and Russia have had a posh and unusual relationship, as in some points they act as cooperating rivals, whereas on others they are clearly implacable rivals.
After his talks with Putin on the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Erdogan informed journalists that he had the chance to debate with the Russian President “what steps could be taken on plane motors, warplanes and on building boats and submarines.”
He additionally stated that he proposed that Ankara and Moscow might work collectively on constructing two extra nuclear energy vegetation in Turkey, on which the Russian aspect agreed to cooperate.
Erdogan and Putin additionally mentioned the scenario created within the insurgent stronghold within the Idlib area in northwestern Syria, a area that has been beneath the management of Turkey and its Syrian insurgent allies. In latest weeks Moscow has elevated its airstrikes there.
Ankara fears that if Russia continues its airstrikes, an enormous new wave of Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey shall be created. For Erdogan, the countless battle in Syria has turn into a legal responsibility, as there’s extensive resentment in Turkey in the direction of the three.6 million Syrian refugees residing there.
However, it seems that the 2 Presidents didn’t attain an settlement on this topic, as that is evidenced by the truth that they didn’t communicate to reporters at a standard press convention after their assembly, and on the next days prevented questions on the scenario in Idlib.
Although Ankara and Moscow are on reverse sides in Syria, in a transparent affront to the NATO alliance, Erdogan stated that Turkey’s navy cooperation with Russia was of “utmost importance”. This clearly reveals that Erdogan is ignoring NATO’s insurance policies in the direction of Russia and defiantly follows his personal views on what serves Turkey’s pursuits.
The proven fact that NATO member Turkey is buying weapons programs and participating in navy cooperation with Russia undoubtedly undermines the credibility of the Alliance.
Despite having the second-largest navy power in NATO, Turkey is now very near the purpose the place it turns into a attainable legal responsibility, as an alternative of an asset for NATO.
Reacting to the acquisition of the S-400 air defence system, the US Administration booted Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program and slapped different sanctions on Ankara.
Professor Ilter Turan from Istanbul’s Bilgi University says: “This purchase has resulted in doubts about Turkey’s commitment to NATO and sowed the seeds of discord within the alliance.”
In an interview aired on CBS News on 26 September, President Tayyip Erdogan stated Turkey nonetheless meant to purchase a second batch of S-400 missile defence programs from Russia and added: “In the future, nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defence systems we acquire, from which country and at what level.”
Although this assertion has certainly delighted the Russian aspect, all will not be effectively in Turkish-Russian relations. Moscow is usually sad with Turkey’s positions on regional conflicts starting from Syria and Libya to Ukraine and the Caucasus.
Just a few days earlier than his assembly with Putin at Sochi, Erdogan in his tackle to the 76th UN General Assembly declared that Turkey believed it was necessary to take care of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, together with Crimea. This, of course, angered the Russians.
Reacting to an identical assertion by Turkish officers on Crimea final May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned his Turkish colleagues “to carefully analyze the situation and stop feeding Kiev’s militaristic sentiments…. Encouragement of aggressive Ukrainian initiatives in Crimea is tantamount to an encroachment on the territorial integrity of Russia.”
Ignoring Moscow’s warnings and needs, in October 2020, Turkey and Ukraine signed an settlement beneath which Ankara would provide drones to Kiev, whereas Ukraine would offer gasoline generators to Ankara and provide engines for Turkey’s T129 Atak helicopters.
Moscow is kind of delicate about this subject, because it has an open dispute with Ukraine and as a result of the identical Turkish drones performed an enormous function in Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia within the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Moscow regards the realm as its personal yard and has a defence settlement with Armenia, which was defeated within the battle. The Azerbaijani victory was a severe loss of worldwide status for Russia, which noticed that its dominance over the South Caucasus is compromised not by NATO however by Turkish interference and Erdogan’s vanity.
In the protracted battle in Libya, Russia and Turkey discover themselves supporting reverse sides within the civil battle. Russia has despatched mercenaries of the shadowy Wagner Group to assist “Field Marshall” Khalifa Haftar.
Turkey has helped the embattled Government of National Accord (GNA) cease the offensive of Haftar’s forces within the suburbs of Tripoli. Erdogan’s important intention was to power the Libyan Government signal a maritime border delimitation settlement, the validity of which is questionable by any worldwide requirements.
So, we see that regardless of the acquisition by Turkey of the Russian S-400 missile defence system and the attainable cooperation of the defence industries of the 2 international locations, relations between the governments of the autocratic presidents of Russia and Turkey stay complicated and troubled. The vacillating insurance policies and orientation of Turkey provides to the confusion.
As Galip Dalay, a specialist on Turkish politics factors out “The loss of strategic orientation in Turkish foreign policy, coupled with the troubles in Turkey’s traditional alliance structure, is keeping Turkey from sufficiently appreciating the geopolitical challenge that Russia poses to Turkey as a result of it being present on almost all of its borders.
Yet, once some level of calm and normalcy prevails in Ankara, it is inevitable that Turkey will be disturbed by Russia’s strong military presence in its neighbourhood. Turkey is likely to see this presence both as a geopolitical challenge and a threat.

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