Is Turkey pivoting closer to Russia?

erdogan wave

Turkish Defence Minsiter Fikri Isik has told the press that his country is in the final stages of a deal to purchase Russia’s famed S-400 anti-missile defence system.

Isik said,

“It is clear that Turkey needs a missile defence system but NATO member countries have not presented an offer which is financially effective”.

If the deal goes through, it will represent a further Turkish side step from NATO. Turkey and the US led bloc have been at odds over Syrian policy as the Trump administration continues to back the Kurdish led SDF forces in Syria while under President Erdogan, Turkey has put its weight behind the jihadist terrorist group FSA who are fighting both Kurdish forces as well as Syrian forces.

Many strains in Ankara’s relationship with Washington have continued since the failed anti-Erdogan coup attempt in the summer of 2016.

Turkey continues to blame forces loyal to US based, exiled Islamist leader Fethullah Gülen for organising the coup. The US has consistently refused to extradite Gülen to Turkey where he faces charges relating to terrorism.

Turkey finds itself in an increasingly precarious position vis-a-vis NATO. On the one hand, like its fellow NATO powers, Turkey is eager to foment regime change in Damascus. However, Turkey’s increasingly tense relationship has caused a clear movement of Turkey away from NATO, Europe and the United States.

Turkey’s attempts to build its own neo-Ottoman sphere of influence as a rival to both NATO and Russia’s traditional partners, has largely failed and continues to do so.

Therefore, unless Turkey wants to be without powerful allies, it will have to eventually make some sort of decision in this respect.

While Russia is anything but a traditional Turkish ally, Russia under Vladimir Putin has been vastly more accommodation and respectful to Turkey than its traditional NATO allies. Russia has also all but fully forgiven Turkey for shooting down a Russia fighter jet in 2015, an event which led to an incredibly difficult period of relations between the two countries.

It is not unfair to say that many countries would have retaliated militarily after such an incident, but Russia decided against this approach and for the time being it appears to have paid off.

If Erdogan decided to forgo his neo-Ottoman dreams and cease being a terrorist supporting menace in Syria, Russia could potentially be a solid partner to Turkey. Unlike the large NATO states, Russia and Turkey share a common region and trade with many of the same countries.

Turkey is increasingly dependant on Russia for scientific, technological and energy needs and Russia is keen to import hot-weather agricultural produce from Turkey to replace products formerly important from the EU prior to 2014’s sanctions regime.

For these reasons among others, a pragmatic Turkish leader would be wise to pivot further towards Russia.

However, Erdogan is anything but a pragmatic leader. Furthermore, he is now stronger than ever on the domestic front, at least legally speaking. Realistically, he has a heap of problems.

The recent referendum vote exacerbated regional, political and sectarian tensions that are not about to go away. This has been magnified by the fact that many, including Turkey’s leading opposition party, the secular Kemalist CHP, have called for the vote to be nullified amid widespread accusations of fraud.

It is clear from Fikri Isik’s statement that Russia is easier to work with for Turkey at this time than NATO is. The question for Turkey is, will Erdogan make himself pliable to being anything resembling a reliable partner for Russia?

Russia is sceptical of this and for good reason, but still no doors have been shut.

It is ultimately Erdogan’s decision.

The post Is Turkey pivoting closer to Russia? appeared first on The Duran.

The Duran

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
The Real News 238
Scrutinised Minds 16
Need To Know News 833
FEE 1904
Marine Le Pen 92
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 50
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 347
Mohamed Omar 170
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 36
Angry Foreigner 14
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 28
Filosofiska rummet 49
Vetenskapsradion Historia 65
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 144
Les Crises 1057
Richard Falk 64
Ian Sinclair 54
SpinWatch 31
Counter Currents 3403
Kafila 256
Gail Malone 24
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 74
The Duran 4696
Vanessa Beeley 65
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 3014
Paul Craig Roberts 711
News Junkie Post 40
Nomi Prins 17
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 2069
Sir Ken Robinson 13
Stephan Kinsella 39
Liberty Blitzkrieg 702
Sami Bedouin 60
Consortium News 1700
21 Century Wire 2351
Burning Blogger 243
Stephen Gowans 47
David D. Friedman 111
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1293
Tom Dispatch 299
Levant Report 17
The Saker 2551
The Barnes Review 422
John Friend 305
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 122
New Eastern Outlook 2499
School Sucks Project 1074
Giza Death Star 1218
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 528
GMWatch 1380
Robert Faurisson 113
Espionage History Archive 33
Jay's Analysis 534
Le 4ème singe 67
Jacob Cohen 171
Agora Vox 6585
Cercle Des Volontaires 376
Panamza 1209
Fairewinds 98
Project Censored 515
Spy Culture 281
Conspiracy Archive 56
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 313
PINAC 1455
The Conscious Resistance 430
Independent Science News 60
The Anti Media 3929
Positive News 791
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 47
Lionel 224
The Mind renewed 191
Natural Society 2391
Yanis Varoufakis 648
Tragedy & Hope 106
Dr. Tim Ball 52
Web of Debt 113
Porkins Policy Review 272
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 494
Libyan War Truth 254
DeadLine Live 1882
Kevin Ryan 57
Aaron Franz 153
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 102
Dr. Bruce Levine 91
Peter B Collins 1126
Faux Capitalism 203
Dissident Voice 8350
Climate Audit 207
Donna Laframboise 240
Judith Curry 986
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1625
Newsbud 2255
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 85
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 8446
Laura Wells Solutions 15
Video Rebel's Blog 397
Revisionist Review 474
Aletho News 15186
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2306
Northerntruthseeker 1755
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4474 Blog 2281 Original Content 5272
Corbett Report 1854
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1015
Webster Tarpley Website 739

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public