mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Pivot to Russia
Erdogan to Meet Putin in St. Petersburg Tomorrow
Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Fat_Man

    Fine. Putin can have Erdogan and Turkey, on a platter, with stuffing and gravy. Turkey is of no strategic consequence top the United States. But little in that part of the world is.

  • Dhako

    Wrong, again, folks. In other words, you would think that the bright sparks who run places like TAI, who are to a man a well-read Geostrategist theoretician, or at least have sufficient credential in that regards, will now know how to read nations like Turkey and what her agenda under Erdogan is. pity really, for this deeply-held ignorance about others, really bespoke the genesis of US’s confused foreign policy in regards to greater Middle East, ever since the Dimwit Dubya thought a democracy can be introduced to the Middle East by the business end of a gun. Which in turn, also is the same misguided father, who sired Obama’s agenda of thinking some rag-tag militia – financed by the CIA – could remove a well-established regime in Syria. In other words, the sheer stupidity of the western’s agenda in that region seems to be showing no end in sight, nor does it have a sufficient promise of learning anything useful any time soon.

    As for Turkey, Mr Erdogan, is essentially putting a tentative move for the expected Turkey’s eventual divorce from NATO, since, to him, the western’s usefulness in Turkey have ended once he had achieved his political goal of neutralizing the army, who was essentially the insurance policy of the west, which guarantees for Turkey to remain in Western-orientated state. Also, now that Russia is not a threat to Turkey (at least under Putin) then there is nothing of meeting of the mind in which western’s powers and Turkey’s Erdogan shares.

    Secondly, now that Asad (supported by Iran and Russia) seeming to be victors against the Sunni-powers of the region, then, like a good political opportunist (or nationalist-minded statement) Erdogan sees the usefulness of US in this region to be receding. Furthermore, he has no desire to on the losing side of this strategical reversal of the West in the region, now that Iran-Syria-Russia, are likely to be the winners in Syria’s civil war.

    Thirdly, Turkey’s economical interest is not towards the anemic Western’s states, but rather towards Asia Minor, (with it’s Turkic influence from the Ottoman’s empire), and to even Africa, where Turkish companies are competing for infrastructure opportunities against the Chinese behemoths, who have cornered that continental market to themselves. Hence, Turkey’s financial and economical destiny distinctly is towards wider world not the western’s states. Which means, China’s one-belt-one-road has far more benefit for Turkey than the whole of the EU’s internal single market. Which in turn means, very soon you will see, Mr Erdogan making a strategical play towards China, in the hope that Chinese huge foreign direct investments (FDIs) towards the Emerging Markets (EMs) will be something that Erdogan’s Turkey can have a larger slice of it.

    Fourthly, when you put all these together, its more than likely that Erdogan’s foreign policy as well as his nation’s destiny (as he sees it) is to recalculate the geo-strategical vocation of his nation away from it’s western-orientated-secularist directions and towards China-Russia sphere of interests. And, nothing the western powers do, could change that changed reality, since, when the facts of the nation’s interest change, then nation’s direction of travel will inevitably change. And finally, think of it that Mr Erdogan’s move to be something akin to what Generalissimo Franco did with the western’s powers after the end of world war two, with the view of creating geo-political understanding between Franco’s Spain and the western powers in general and the US in particular.

    Hence, just as Franco’s dalliance with the Nazis ended when the tide has turn against the Hitler’s regime, it seems likely, that Erdogan’s Turkey has turned against western’s alliance, once it became apparent that, in the middle east, the US, will no longer be calling the shots and in fact, usefulness of the western powers in the greater middle east is essentially on a road that will end at a point not dissimilar to the situation in which the likes of Iran and Turkey will be the most powerful states, and therefore it’s important for Turkey to cut it’s loses with the western powers and speedily come to some sort of “accommodation” with the likes of Iran, going forward.

    • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

      Your comment represents the perils of thinking too far ahead. In the immediate term, ahead of this particular summit, neither side trusts the other very much. Erdogan’s number one nuisance is the Kurds, whom the Russians have been cultivating for decades. I believe there will be no breakthrough announced on that count, simply because the Kremlin sees no need to give up the Kurds in exchange for something they’ll get later anyway (Turkey’s acquiescence to Assad).

      That said, re: the bigger picture, let me quote myself, from the above post: “…a truly consequential geostrategic shift is not the matter of a single summit. Turkey’s turn from the West is well underway, and will likely continue. But its extent will manifest over the course of months and years, not in one single meeting between leaders.”

      • Dhako

        I think you confuse trust with interest. In other words, Russia has interest as much as Turkey has one. And therefore, Russia will act on it’s own interest as much as Turkey will do, without even thinking that they need to trust each other so long as they could both get their transaction-based interest from each other. Subsequently this means, Turkey will simply accede to Russia’s support for Assad (and his regime). And, in return, Russia will get Erdogan to end the NATO’s air campaign from Turkey’s jurisdictional air-space. Which in turn will mean, Russia will not have to put too much effort in shoring up Assad’s regime, if Turkey could be persuaded to put end to NATO’s aggression towards Syria from Turkey’s front.

        Furthermore, the Kurds are essentially a “bargaining chip” for Putin, in the sense of using this card as way of tweaking the “political tail” of Erdogan, so long as Erdogan’s Turkey was in turn a torn flesh of Russia’s side through NATO as well as Turkey being a front to attack Assad’s regime. Hence, once Putin realize he can put that “Kurdish Card” on the table in-order to win the Turkey’s hand in effectively ending NATO’s attack to Syria from Turkey, then he will see how a bigger prize Turkey is in comparison with what Kurdish could be to Putin’s Russia in the greater scheme of things.

        And finally, you do know that I take, that when and if, Assad’s consolidates his power in Syria (with the help of Russia) then the Kurdish card will be an end, since there is no love lost between Assad’s regime and Syrian’s Kurds. Hence, from Putin’s Russia perspective, the Kurdish card has a “sell-by-date” attached to it, whereby it will end the minute Assad’s regime wins it’s civil-war. Consequently, it will be strategical move for Putin to “cash-in” his Kurdish card as soon as possible, while it could still fetch him some sort of a meaningful substance in his negotiations with Erdogan’s Turkey.

        And therefore, I am sure he will reason, that, why not put that “Kurdish Card” in play now in-order to get a bigger fish that is Turkey’s parting of the way with the West in general and with the US in particularly. And while they are at it, the Russian could even get that the soon-to-be-expiring “Kurdish Card” to be good enough for them to have Turkey stopping the attack of NATO on Assad’s regime from their territory.

        So, in a nutshell, I do not share your perspective of how important “Trust” is essential to this kind of a deal between Erdogan’s Turkey and Putin’s Russia. And, secondly, how important the “Kurdish Card” is to the Putin’s Russia, when set beside what Putin could get out of the Turkish’s side, were he to “liquidate” (or cash-in) his Kurdish card at the negotiation table with Erdogan’s Turkey. But, we shall see soon enough.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service