Turkey, Russia make peace after falling out to avoid political isolation – Armenian analyst

11:45 • 24.11.16



In an interview with Tert.am, President of Modus Vivendi Center Ara Papyan commented upon the developments in the Russia-Turkey relations over the past year, focusing on the two countries’ reconciliation after a break-off that followed downing of a Russian jet on the Turkey-Syria border.


The analyst described Turkey’s policies in the region as neo-Osmanic attempts to re-establish the one-time empire and caliphate.


Exactly one year ago, the Turkish air forces shot down the Su-24 bomber, and later also a rescue helicopter, causing a strong break-off between Ankara and Moscow. That reached its culmination after the Russian-Turkish sanctions and Moscow’s move to boycott the Antalya coasts. What came next was the landmark reconciliation between [Presidents] Putin and Erdogan. What is your evaluation of the mutual steps towards backing off promises?


What happened was logically understandable, but it was a heavy blow to Russia’s international reputation (though the country is now making attempts to present it as a victory).  We have to agree, some way or another, that Russia set preconditions for normalizing the two countries’ relations. Turkey followed none of them, its only move being the expression of regret through shut teeth. So why didn’t that take place? The reason is absolutely clear: Russia is facing a political and economic isolation, and so is Turkey after deteriorating its relations with the West. And the state or process of isolation attracts one to the other.  So it is, first of all, an attempt to arouse jealousy in Europe, especially on the part of Turkey, and to demonstrate that they do really have an alternative. From that perspective, it isn’t absolutely good for us, as we saw the dire consequences of such rapprochements in the 1920s. And we now hear different Turkish officialss appeals to Russia [urging for] a pro-Azerbaijani settlement of the [Nagorno-]Karabakh conflict etc.  


What you repeatedly state is that Turkey and Russia see their interests match in the economic domain and clash at the apex of political controversies. Are they now facing the regular round [of such relations]?

Turkey’s controversies with the West are much more profound in essence, so this is not just yet another whim. Erdogan is obviously pursuing anti-Kemalist policies. Having set aside all the Kemalist values, they have now embarked on a tough campaign against the Gulenists. Some 10,500 officials were sacked from office as early as yesterday. So against its deeper conflicts with the West, Turkey is expected to take a more conformist stance on Russia. But it isn’t practically possible, as both Turkey and Russia see their interests apply to the same region. Plus, Turkey’s policies are very active with the Turkish-speaking peoples residing in Russia. Their prime minister said yesterday that Turkey is no longer the former state of Turkey as its borders encompass the 1.7 million Muslim world.  Hence, Turkey is obviously heading towards neo-Osmanism in an effort to re-establish the Ottoman Empire and Caliphate.

 

Anush Dashtents





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