Putin is unlikely to trust Erdoğan despite Western pressure mounting on Turkey

by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst, via South Front

[ Editor’s Note: Erdoğan has burned a number of bridges with Russia and the US, the latter’s relations going sideways even at the end of the Trump regime. Bitter at not being able to leverage his NATO position into EU membership, Erdoğan began making side bets.

He moved into Northern Syria for what could be a permanent occupation of that part of Idlib province where VT sources have long reported Turkey’s occupation of Syrian offshore gas fields land there.

Erdogan stripped all the industrial equipment out of NE Syria and trucked it all back to Turkey as loot, and also eliminated all regional competition of that Syrian production equipment over two months.

We also saw how quick he was to team up with the Azeris in their war with Armenia, where Turkish forces, including its combat drones were a decisive force in Armenia losing more of its ancestral lands.

And no, Turkey was not sanctioned in any way for its participation, nor was Israel. Biden knows who and what Erdogan is and, by keeping him at a distance, will not be exposing himself to getting hustled by Mr. Erdogan any time soon.

As Gordon would say, “Welcome to how the world really works”… Jim W. Dean]

Jim's Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPal
Jim's work includes research, field trips, Heritage TV Legacy archiving & more. Thanks for helping. Click to donate >>

Erdogan has a big dose of the Sultan Erdogan complex

First published … September 25,2021

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that unlike his relationships with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, which “worked well,” he has “not gotten off to a good start” with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden since his arrival in the White House on January 20.

Erdoğan also vented that the source of his frustration with Washington was the removal of Turkey from the F-35 fighter project two years ago after purchasing the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.

Turkey is also frustrated at Washington’s Syria policy and newfound enthusiasm to be involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue in a meaningful way.

The acquisition of the S-400 system did not only result in Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program, but also led to U.S. sanctions last year. Ankara claims to have already paid $1.4 billion towards 100 of the stealth fighter jets. Many Turkish military contractors were to also be involved in the project.

Yet, despite the sanctions and removal from the F-35 program, the Turkish president remains steadfast in his decision to acquire the S-400 system. In fact, he plans to purchase more units of the air defense system.

“For us, the S-400 affair is done. It is not possible to go back on that. The United States must understand. We, Turkey, are honest, but unfortunately, the United States were not and are not,” he said, adding that Ankara would go “knocking on other doors” so that Turkey can “purchase what it needs for its defense.”

It appears that one of the doors that Erdoğan will be knocking on is that of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders are due to meet in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on September 29. Erdoğan said that he would discuss with Putin bilateral relations and Syria, particularly the situation in Idlib. In his statement, he said that the pair “will make a decision on the fate of Turkish-Russian relations. We will also discuss Syria.” The Turkish president stressed that he “has not seen any Russian mistake towards our relations.”

It raises the question whether Moscow would be willing to trust Erdoğan, especially given that his friendly rhetoric can just as easily turn vicious. It is recalled that Turkey is responsible for the deaths of many Russian military personnel in Syria, attempted to change the power balance of the South Caucasus out of Moscow’s favor by enthusiastically encouraging and backing Azerbaijan to capture Armenian-held Nagorno-Karabakh, and undermined Russian interests in Africa by propping up the then Libyan Muslim Brotherhood government.

Although a variety of actors, such as NATO, Israel and the Peninsula Arab countries, all initially conspired together to support the war against the Syrian state, a decade later and the war is continuing mostly because of Turkey’s unilateral aiding, training and financing of jihadist forces in northern Syria. Venting his frustration, Erdoğan would in fact claim the opposite and say that “Biden is transporting weapons to YPG terrorists operating in Syria.”

The People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – but the YPG are directly supported by Washington. Ankara considers the PKK and its affiliations as terrorist organizations because of their calls for Kurdish independence or autonomy, as well as equal human rights.

The U.S. has effectively been locked out of the Syrian quagmire, having failed to dislodge Bashar al-Assad from power or weaken Russian and Iranian influence in the region. They now only control areas held by the YPG in Eastern Syria. This region also happens to be Syria’s food bowl and source of domestic energy, something that the U.S. weaponizes against the Syrian government.

Russia and Turkey have competing interests in Syria, with the former wanting to maintain the decades long status quo and the latter attempting to reconquer, through hard and soft power, its former imperial Ottoman possession.

However, Turkey has shown in the past that it is willing to work alongside Russia and Iran in the context of the Astana Platform on the Syrian file to wane and limit U.S. influence on the peace process. As disappointing as it may be for Turkey as it is desperately attempting to become a Great Power, the reality is that its presence in Syria depends on Russia.

Despite permeating issues between Moscow and Ankara, particularly because of Turkey’s policies regarding the South Caucasus, Ukraine and other areas of interests, there are actual opportunities for deepening ties and collaboration.

Following positive remarks by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the potential reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey, Erdoğan announced that Ankara will soon take some steps to establish a platform with six countries to create a regional synergy to resolve issues. It can be assumed that these six countries are Turkey, Russia, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Effectively, as Turkey’s economy continues to tumble, it no longer has the capabilities to operate on multiple fronts at the same time. It is likely that Erdoğan wants a new regional format to relieve a pressure front knowing full well that the U.S. and France plan to exploit the Nagorno-Karabakh issue against Turkey. In this way, Turkey is once again turning to Russia to relieve mounting pressure from the West.

Although Erdoğan’s suggestions of creating a regional platform to resolve issues is a positive step in the right direction, given his consistent untrustworthy behavior and betrayals in the past, Moscow would on the one hand be enthusiastic about such a bloc, but will also be wary knowing that Turkey very often turns back to the West easily if it can gain any kind of advantage, especially if it related to domestic considerations as his ratings continue to reach new lows.

Biography
Managing Editor
Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. Read Full Complete Bio >>>

Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014
ATTENTION READERS
Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy

4 COMMENTS

  1. I would cite a Russian proverb as an example: trust, but verify. But in the modern world, from a political point of view, it is impossible to trust anyone. Trust is something personal, private. We (in Russia) should rather keep the Turkish leader on a short leash. The concept of trust is very different in Russia from the countries of the Middle East. Just a historical experience.

    • ” We (in Russia) should rather keep the Turkish leader on a short leash.” Ah yes, any agreement is one that lives day by day, until someone does not agree anymore. Your only salvage then is if you had them post a bond, that you not get 🙂

    • Jim, you know it well about Rus-Turk attitudes. Always contradictive, changing 180 degrees from time to time. I don’t spend vacations with Mr. Putin in Siberia and I don’t know what’s in Putin’s pocket.

  2. It’s hard to get jazzed about the shifting alliances in the Middle East, and their Western relations.
    They’re like an extended family squabbling over a rich inheritance.
    Not long into the article, China’s absence became an invisible presence.
    When General Milley got nervous, about Trump’s insanity, he called Xi, not Putin.
    The swing of U.S. military power to the Asia/Pacific rim, and the Covid19 controversy plainly draw the picture.
    Of all nations, China should be courted for alliance, and not shown provocation and disrespect.
    Since America helped China play economic catch-up so soon, to the point of being an integral player in the U.S. economy, friendship between us and them should be ripe for brotherhood, even marriage (hopeless romantic).
    China is now like a perpetual motion machine, and an “aspiring” force for good in the world.
    They are aware of our part in their success, though they took full advantage of the alliance, and rightfully so.
    As a benevolent partner, they could return the favor to a war-weary and stumbling America.
    That our foreign policy is upside down and self-defeating should make one reflect on who’s setting it.