months of confrontation, Recep Tayiip Erdogan apologized to Russia
for the shoot down of its jet operating over Syria and made a move to
normalize relations with Israel. The editor of leftist Turkish
newspaper “soL” Kemal Okuyan believes it was the only option for
the Turkish president.
with Brian Becker of Loud&Clear,
Okuyan, who’s on trial in Turkey for criticizing the
president, said that Erdogan policies have led the country
to political standoff with the US, Israel and the EU
as well as Russia. Ankara has also traditionally had
strained relations with Iran, Greece and Armenia that haven’t
improved. As a result Turkey became “the country that has problems
with all the world and regional powers.”
Erdogan administration’s unsuccessful policies, along with its
stance on Syria, split public opinion among the Turkish
population, Okuyan says. Nearly half of the country’s citizens
still support the president, while the other half oppose him.
Turks are fighting Erdogan, although they have supported him for a
while,” he says, explaining that the more progressive part
of society opposes Erdogan’s policies that combine nationalism
and regionalism into what Okuyan describes as ‘Ottomanism.’
new ‘Ottomanism’ philosophy fits in well with the
intervention in Syria, Okuyan adds. While the president hoped
to create an expanded region populated by Sunni Muslims
to counterbalance a growing Iran, Ankara’s “policies
in Syria have lost completely.”
In addition, the downing of a Russian jet over Syria severed relations between Ankara and Moscow. As a result, Turkey experienced harsh economic consequences, particularly in the tourist sector. Without Russian tourists, some parts of the country are completely deserted.
“Erdogan was using Russia to balance some criticism coming from the United States. He tried to use the Russian card.”
Finding himself being criticized on all fronts, Erdogan extended a hand toward Russia in an attempt to save his political career. This does not mean, however, that all his problems with Russia are solved.
“This is the move Erdogan [made] to save himself. Of course it has some political and economic context, but the main issue is to save Erdogan.”
Putin Accepts Erdogan’s Apology, Ends Quarrel between Turkey and
The Duran earlier predicted, Russia and Turkey have patched up their
a few hours after I finished my
previous article saying
that the Russians would almost certainly accept Erdogan’s apology
for the shooting down by Turkey of the SU24 came confirmation from
Russia’s Presidential website that the Russians have done just
Presidential website has just published a
Russian, no official translation into English yet) which confirms as
much. It also says that Putin has instructed the Russian
government to take steps to restore relations to the level they were
at before the SU24 shoot down and that preparations for a summit
meeting between Putin and Erdogan are underway.
translation of the Russian text is as follows. The
official translation should appear within a few hours:
conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Russia’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation
with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
June 2016 14:10
President of Russia expressed his deep condolences over the terrorist
attack in Istanbul airport, which caused numerous casualties. He
expressed sympathy with the bereaved families and passed on his
wishes for a speedy recovery of all those injured. Both sides
underlined the need to intensify international cooperation in the
fight against terrorism.
Putin noted that the message he had received from the President of
Turkey created the preconditions for the two sides to turn the page
in their bilateral relations and to begin the process of resuming
collaboration on international and regional issues, as well as in the
development of the entire range of Russian-Turkish relations. In that
context, he expressed the hope that the judicial investigation
against the Turkish citizen accused of the death of the Russian pilot
would be carried out in an objective way.
Russian leader said that he has instructed the government to enter
into negotiations with the relevant Turkish authorities to restore
the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in trade, economic and
other spheres. It was also noted that the Russian side intends to
remove the restrictive measures regarding the visit to Turkey by
Russian tourists. In this case it is desirable that the Turkish
government takes extra steps to ensure the safety of Russian citizens
on the territory of Turkey.
was agreed that the foreign ministers of both countries will meet on
1st July 2016 in Sochi at a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Black
Sea Economic Cooperation. At this meeting the situation in the region
will be discussed with the focus being on the settlement of the
Syrian conflict, as well as on topical issues for the further
development of Russian-Turkish relations.
Russian and Turkish presidents agreed to study the possibility of
near-term summit meeting between them.
conversation was conducted in a businesslike and constructive manner
and was aimed at restoring the traditionally friendly nature of the
multi-faceted bilateral cooperation between the two countries.”
to the reasons why the Turks and the Russians have agreed to settle
their quarrel and repair their relations, I refer to my