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 60
Scrutinised Minds 11
Need To Know News 239
FEE 781
Marine Le Pen 92
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 50
HAX on 5July 197
Henrik Alexandersson 304
Mohamed Omar 85
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 34
Angry Foreigner 13
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 25
Filosofiska rummet 31
Vetenskapsradion Historia 43
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 122
Les Crises 507
Richard Falk 36
Ian Sinclair 32
SpinWatch 22
Counter Currents 1651
Kafila 169
Gail Malone 21
Transnational Foundation 143
Rick Falkvinge 46
The Duran 2814
Vanessa Beeley 65
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 1915
Paul Craig Roberts 450
News Junkie Post 36
Nomi Prins 13
Kurt Nimmo 189
Strategic Culture 1278
Sir Ken Robinson 12
Stephan Kinsella 25
Liberty Blitzkrieg 594
Sami Bedouin 59
Consortium News 1367
21 Century Wire 1911
Burning Blogger 213
Stephen Gowans 44
David D. Friedman 95
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1168
Tom Dispatch 240
Levant Report 17
The Saker 2017
The Barnes Review 319
John Friend 260
Psyche Truth 137
Jonathan Cook 112
New Eastern Outlook 1997
School Sucks Project 1041
Giza Death Star 935
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 498
GMWatch 1093
Robert Faurisson 100
Espionage History Archive 33
Jay's Analysis 455
Le 4ème singe 62
Jacob Cohen 139
Agora Vox 4783
Cercle Des Volontaires 325
Panamza 918
Fairewinds 92
Project Censored 460
Spy Culture 223
Conspiracy Archive 49
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 261
PINAC 1328
The Conscious Resistance 368
Independent Science News 50
The Anti Media 3414
Positive News 646
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 47
Lionel 224
The Mind renewed 179
Natural Society 2293
Yanis Varoufakis 544
Tragedy & Hope 102
Dr. Tim Ball 50
Web of Debt 105
Porkins Policy Review 223
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 478
Libyan War Truth 235
DeadLine Live 1828
Kevin Ryan 54
Aaron Franz 145
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 101
Dr. Bruce Levine 89
Peter B Collins 990
Faux Capitalism 197
Dissident Voice 7454
Climate Audit 193
Donna Laframboise 232
Judith Curry 946
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1384
Newsbud 2039
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 81
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 7423
Laura Wells Solutions 15
Video Rebel's Blog 390
Revisionist Review 446
Aletho News 13692
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2074
Northerntruthseeker 1560
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4333 Blog 2067 Original Content 4778
Corbett Report 1694
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 945
Webster Tarpley Website 620

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public