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The new "Turkish gambit" – from Recep Erdogan
Material posted: Publication date: 09-01-2023
Turkey has long been stuck in difficulties in almost all directions – both economic and political. With the exception of the resort areas, there is unrest everywhere, and now headaches, along with additional income, have been added in the straits. Nevertheless, the recent actions of the Turkish authorities surprisingly clearly show what position this country has chosen. On the one hand, officially Ankara supports Russia in many ways, but not in its own way. On the other hand, the Turks are playing games with the West, actively trading with Ukraine (Pan–Turkism of the XXI century is an experiment of Erdogan or something more).President Erdogan clearly wants to sit on two chairs.

The other day, the official representative of the President of Turkey, Ibrahim Kalyn, very unexpectedly said that Russia needs new agreements with Western countries on the world order. But his words were not very clear, although this is in the style of the Eastern mentality.

Kalyn said about some root causes of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, without naming them. Although everything is quite clear: the root causes lie in the confrontation between the major world powers: Russia and the United States, in which the President of Ukraine Zelensky is nothing more than a puppet.

But Ankara (and Erdogan personally) obviously wants to play a role too. In Turkey, the army is much larger than in any of the European countries, and quite competes in personnel with the Russian, not to mention the Ukrainian. Moreover, almost everyone serves there, even disabled children, they also have a job there.

The doctrine in action

Most Turks remember Erkin Koray's song "Call girls to the army too", which, in principle, describes all the aspirations of a young citizen of the country. But at the same time, despite Erdogan's pronounced revisionist policy, the Ataturk doctrine is still in effect.

It lies in the fact that the Turkish army is focused exclusively on defense, not on the offensive. In this regard, it is impossible to expect Turkey to get involved in the conflict. They have enough problems with the Kurds: if, as planned in the USSR, they create an independent Kurdistan, Turkey will lose a significant part of its eastern territories, including Mount Ararat, which has historical significance.

Turkey is also unlikely to recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territories to Russia: Erdogan is smart enough to understand that with such a precedent, ideas will immediately appear to remind him about it from the Kurds. They say, you recognized the DPR and the LPR, and why don't you recognize us?

Kalyn said that even as a member of NATO, Turkey seeks to build good relations with Russia. But the goal in this case is unambiguous: to use your country as a springboard for negotiations. The only question is that neither Putin nor Zelensky wants these negotiations.

Belarus has already tried to become a field of negotiations, but Lukashenka's decision to get involved in the SVO, which matured according to a number of signs, put an end to these plans. Erdogan is more cunning: on the one hand, Turkey supplies Ukraine with Bayraktars, on the other hand, it does not get involved in any military operations.

Fez of Discord

Erdogan could not help but see the show of the 95th quarter even before Zelensky's presidential election, when he went on stage in a fez and called him a mustachioed cockroach. Zelensky is also not so stupid as not to know that the wearing of fezzes was banned in Turkey even under Ataturk.
But foreign policy is doing its job: both have forgotten everything. And after that, Erdogan began to shake hands with Zelensky in Lviv. This, again, shows the Asian peculiarities of the policy of cooperation.

Erdogan, while supporting the national movement of the Crimean Tatars, nevertheless, after the annexation of Crimea to Russia, repeatedly stated that Crimea is Ukrainian territory. But at the same time, he seemed to forget about the fact that under Ukraine, the Crimean Tatars declared their desire for independence many times.

However, Ukraine ignored these calls. It is clear that we cannot expect any independence from Russia now, but we should not make the Ukrainian authorities angels either.

The Crimean Tatars, as in Ukraine, suffered problems with the development of their native language and culture, with their self-determination, so they suffer under Russia. It must be admitted that little has changed since 2014, except that Russia has changed for the better some aspects in the status of the people.

Pikey bulletproof vest

As soon as the special operation began, Turkey began to supply weapons to Ukraine. Ankara was not at all embarrassed by the fact that she was communicating with Russia at the same time. Moreover, they almost started building a factory for the production of drones in Kiev, however, the plan failed.

And in October, the Turks launched a corvette intended for Ukraine. It's no secret that Zelensky's bulletproof vest, in which he flaunts on all channels, is made in Turkey.

Turkey is clearly competing with Russia for leadership in the Black Sea region. But this did not prevent Russia from agreeing to a Turkish mediation role in negotiations with Ukraine. From this we can conclude that Russia still underestimates Turkey as a rival.
Similarly, the military leadership of the Russian Federation at one time, judging by the results of almost a year of struggle, underestimated the combat capability of the Ukrainian armed forces. The success of the rapid defeat of ISIS in Syria intoxicated the Russian General Staff, but Ukraine and Turkey are not a bunch of unskilled and semi–literate scumbags, with whom the regular armies of Syria and Russia fought.

Forget Ataturk

It can also be recalled that in 2019, Erdogan purchased an anti-aircraft missile system from Russia, which shocked the United States, which counted on the supply of its similar systems to Turkey. It seems that America still cannot recover from such a scale of Ankara's geopolitical multi-vector nature.

Recently, Erdogan has been moving away from the principles of Ataturk, according to which the Turkish army is focused only on defense. Turkish troops took part in the conflicts in Syria, Libya and, apparently, in Nagorno-Karabakh. Apart from the aggravation of relations with Greece.

At the same time, all this was done not in the framework of general cooperation with other NATO armies, but on their own initiative. The forecast of the situation is disappointing not so much for Russia and Ukraine, but for the United States with their well-known plans to create a military base on the Black Sea. The Montreux Convention prohibits the passage of foreign ships through the Bosphorus.

However, as you know, Turkey is already working on digging the Istanbul canal. It is no secret that it will become a sovereign Turkish alternative to the Bosphorus. This will allow the United States to circumvent the convention in the future, and Turkey to manipulate Washington.

As a result, Erdogan will have the opportunity to continue maneuvering not only between Russia and Ukraine, but also in relations with his larger NATO colleagues.

Mikhail Vikentiev, Alexey Baliev


Tags: Russia , Turkey

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