Friday, 1 July 2016

Moscow and Ankara make up

Sinking Ship? Erdogan 

Apologized to Russia to 'Save 



After 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.

30 June, 2016

Speaking 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.”

The 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.
The 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.’
Erdogan’s 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.”

OFFICIAL: Putin Accepts Erdogan’s Apology, Ends Quarrel between Turkey and Russia

As The Duran earlier predicted, Russia and Turkey have patched up their quarrel.
Alexander Mercouris

28 June, 2016

Just 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 that.

Russia’s Presidential website has just published a statement (in 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.

My translation of the Russian text is as follows.  The official translation should appear within a few hours:

Telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

On Russia’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
29 June 2016 14:10

The 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.

Vladimir 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.

The 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.

It 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.

The Russian and Turkish presidents agreed to study the possibility of near-term summit meeting between them.

The 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.”

As to the reasons why the Turks and the Russians have agreed to settle their quarrel and repair their relations, I refer to my previous article.

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