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New "Erdogan's trump card"

Author : Mykola Siruk

17:26, 16 August 2016
New "Erdogan's trump card"

Author : Mykola Siruk

Some thoughts of the consequences of “Turkish-Russian reset"

17:26, 16 August 2016

Read the origanal text at day.kyiv.ua

112 Agency

The St. Petersburg meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan who recently were ardent enemies after shooting down Russian Su-24 aircraft, has caused a lot of comments in the media world. Publications about the revival of Turkish-Russian relations are usually written with great caution. Indeed, how else can we consider a rapprochement between the two capitals after the two leaders called each other enemies?

In particular, the European portal Politico in materials entitled "Turkish-Russian reset" writes that the unsuccessful coup in Turkey pushed Erdogan into the arms of the man he now calls "a valuable friend" and who until recently was his ardent enemy. "The seismic shift in international relations," the publication explains with the deterioration of relations between Turkey and the US because of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accused of attempting a coup and demands his extradition. And since Washington is not going to give them this Sunni priest then the Turkish president has the only option "to seek allies in improbable places and receive invaluable opportunity to change hostile attitude of Turkish public toward Russia".

Meanwhile, The Washington Post in article “Erdogan pivots to Putin as tensions rise with the West” notes that in an atmosphere of deepening anti-Western feelings Erdogan's move on warming relations with Russia may increasealienation with Turkey's traditional allies.It is clear that this primarily refers to Turkey's membership in NATO.

Turkish Foreign Minister criticizes NATO, says EU ‘humiliates’ Turkey

"The foreign policy of Turkey is currently at crossroads. For the first time in recent memory, there is serious discussion about Turkey's membership in NATO ", - quotes publication director of Turkish research program at Washington Institute for Middle East Policy Soner Chahaptay. He said some Turkish officials expressed doubt whether they should move towards Russia. Erdogan "can easily make this turn," said Chahaptay, and draws attention to the weakened role of the Turkish military, which has always had the greatest interest in preserving ties with NATO.

On the other hand, The New York Times in article “Russia and Turkey Vow to Repair Ties as West Watches Nervously” stresses that any future agreement between the two countries will have serious consequences for the Middle East and Europe. According to the newspaper, Erdogan is most likely hoping to use leverage of improving relations with Russia to conclude a better agreement with Europe on the refugee crisis.

"Closer ties with Russia also carry the potential to create tensions within NATO that Mr. Putin would be happy to exploit. Ultimately, Moscow would like to draw Turkey into its orbit and into the security and trade organizations it is promoting in Asia, although such a shift is not expected anytime soon", - writes The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times is a bit more optimistic considering meeting in St. Petersburg and its consequences. "Erdogan has always been a changeable ally, especially in recent months," - said in an editorial article. Despite all the above, it’s early for the West to put a cross on Erdogan, says the newspaper, not least because the EU for Turkey is still much more important trading partner than Russia and also NATO is the best guarantee of security in the war-torn region. In fact, the West has much more trump cards for effective interaction with Erdogan than it seems today for the leaders of the EU, US and NATO - stresses Financial Times.

Related: Turkey Coup Attempt: Gulen faces two life sentences and nearly 2000 years in prison

Related: NATO: Turkey is valued ally

Related: Turkey Justice Ministry: Anti-American sentiment peaks

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