Turkey’s Erdogan pivots to Putin as tensions rise with the West


#1

washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/turkeys-erdogan-pivots-to-putin-as-tensions-rise-with-the-west/2016/08/08/43c19884-5d93-11e6-84c1-6d27287896b5_story.html

**Turkey’s Erdogan pivots to Putin as tensions rise with the West

MOSCOW — Regional rivals Turkey and Russia plan to begin mending ties Tuesday after nearly a year of hostile relations. But a meeting of their presidents will probably raise alarms in the West, as an increasingly authoritarian Turkey drifts further from its European and American allies.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, in what is the Turkish leader’s first trip abroad since surviving a failed coup in July.**

But now the two sides — neighbors, trading partners and off-and-on rivals for centuries — are ready for reconciliation, and it was Putin’s swift condemnation of the July 15 coup attempt that helped advance the rapprochement, analysts say.

Erdogan and other Turkish officials have criticized the West for what they say was tepid support for Turkey in the aftermath of the attempted takeover, which saw rogue military officers seize combat aircraft and fire on parliament and protesters, killing more than 250.

Turkey’s government has blamed U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of planning the rebellion, and Turkish media have accused the United States of backing the plot.

**In a climate of heightened anti-Western sentiment, Erdogan’s move to warm relations with Russia may cement Turkey’s alienation from its traditional allies, analysts say.

The meeting between Putin and Erdogan “is a big deal . . . Turkish foreign policy now stands at a crossroads,” said Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“For the first time in recent memory, there is serious discussion of Turkey’s NATO membership,” he said. And some Turkish officials are questioning whether Turkey should move toward Russia, he said.

Erdogan “could easily accomplish this pivot,” Cagaptay said, especially given the reduced state of the Turkish military**. The armed forces have the strongest interest in maintaining NATO ties, he said, but are damaged after undergoing thousands of arrests since the coup attempt.


#2

Make not mistake about it President Erdogan or Turkey is a shrewd politician. The meeting between Erdogan and Putin is a big deal. When Turkey shot down a Russian jet in November of 2015 relations between Turkey and Russia were greatly strained. Turkey get it’s oil and gas from Russia. Erdogan realized that with his relationship strained with Russia he needed to find an alternative source for oil and gas. In 2010 Turkey tried to send humanitarian and construction materials to Gaza on the MV Mavi Marmara ship in an event that became known as Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Israel did not let the ship through for Israel believed that much of the supplies would be used by Hamas for terrorist activity against Israel. There were several deaths that occurred when the IDF stormed the ship. For the next six years Turkey and Israel had no relations.

A large oil field had been found of the Israeli coast. Erdogan realizing that he needed an alternative source for gas re opened diplomatic relations with Israel. If Erdogan is successful in re establishing diplomatic relations with Russia it will be interesting to see what happens in relations between Turkey and Israel.

I agree that both Erdogan and Turkey are at a cross roads. President Obama and Recep Edogan had a very friendly relationship for several years. President Obama’s hope was that Turkey would become a positive and stabilizing influence in the Middle East. In time the relationship soured because Obama realized that Erdogan was more interested in authoritarian rule than he was in true democracy. Erdogan is also in the process of taking Turkey from a secular democracy to an Islamist country. He is potentially a dangerous figure for both the Middle East and the U.S.


#3

Both political regimes in parallel with identical religious chauvinism and the messianism, and the two leaders believe that they have the task of changing the world for the better.(for the sake of the holy faith)


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