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Russia and Turkey together change the world order

Russia and Turkey together change the world order

07.02.2018
Tags: Russia, Turkey, Politics, War in the Middle East, Syria, Analytics, United States, Polls, Middle East

Turkey is increasingly unfolding from the US to Russia. It is important that we are talking not only about the course of political leadership, but also about the mood of the population of this country, and this is clearly shown by public opinion polls. This process has no exaggeration of historical significance, and not only for Moscow and Ankara.

The heroic death in Syria of the Russian pilot Roman Filipov gave birth to a new wave of claims against Turkey. Some even say that almost the Turks put the jihadists in the province of Idlib that PZRK, from which our Su-25 was shot down.

At the same time, in reality, the Turks helped to pull the body of Filipov out of the hands of militants, which was sent to Russia. But there are many who want to quarrel Russia and Turkey, and the mistrust of the Turkish side in Russia is still great. As after the destruction of our Su-24 in the Turkish sky more than two years ago, and due to the "historical tradition" in its own way: they say, they always fought with the Turks, there is nothing to trust them.

But the last Russian-Turkish war was over a hundred years ago. And now, in the war in Syria, where initially the Turks and I supported various opposing forces (that is, actually were on different lines of the front), we were able to agree not only on joint actions, but also to come to an understanding of common interests. If Russia's relations with Turkey stand the test of the Syrian war, we can talk about their super-strong nature. And about the great prospects that opens for both countries strategic cooperation.

But are the peoples of the two countries ready for this? This is not an idle question - especially since analysts skeptical about the prospects of Russian-Turkish relations constantly emphasize that

the rapprochement between the two countries is primarily a consequence of the geopolitical choice of the two presidents, Putin and Erdogan.

They say that it is advantageous for them to stake on strengthening relations, and almost to achieve concessions from the West in this way. But there will be no Putin and Erdogan, or their relations with the West will change, and all Russian-Turkish "air castles" will dissolve.

Such an "analysis" borders on a conscious denigration, but it can not just be ignored. Indeed, the same Turkey was playing a double game at the time of the start of the Syrian operation of Russian videoconferencing stations - which ultimately cost our Russian pilot and nine months of pause for Russian-Turkish relations. But since then, Erdogan has gone his way - not only apologizing for the death of Oleg Peshkov, but also staying in power during an attempted coup. Erdogan made his choice and will no longer try to play on Russian-American contradictions. It is no accident that his rhetoric against the US is getting tougher - and literally on Tuesday he again reproached Washington for its anti-Turkish attitude:

"We are asked when we finish our operation in Syria. And you (the US) have already left Afghanistan, from Iraq? You say that IG * is no more. Then why are you staying there? So, you have calculations against Turkey, against Iran, or, perhaps, against Russia. But we will stand firm. "

Relations with Iran and Russia are becoming a geopolitical choice for Turkey - not just in the Syrian situation, but also, broader, in the Middle East, and in the global. Even the meetings of the three presidents are already becoming regular. And the relations in the triangle Russia-Turkey-Iran, and the Turkish-Russian relations are in fact determined not by the desires and sentiments of the leaders of these countries, but by the objective interests of our states. Moreover, Russia and Turkey have such a number of mutually beneficial projects - from the energy projects, both intra-Turkish, as the construction of nuclear power plants, and regional ones, such as the Turkish flow, to geopolitical ones - that it is simply foolish for the two countries to refuse to build reliable strategic relations.

Turkey's affiliation with NATO, its focus on joining the European Union, does not play the same role - it came as an awareness of the illusory hopes for European integration, and discontent with dependence on NATO and the United States. Moreover, the war in Syria and the supply of Russian S-400 (that is, the decision to buy them against US pressure) pose the question of Turkey's complete self-sufficiency as a regional power. And in itself, Erdogan's course for building a great and self-sufficient Turkey, in fact, pushes Ankara to increasingly dense cooperation with Russia. Russia benefits from an independent and strong Turkey, not participating in the Atlantic games around our country.

At the same time, fears and mistrust of our country are constantly heated in Turkey - from those who want to prevent the weakening and breaking of the Atlantic ties of Turkey, as well as those who look at Russia as a historical opponent of Muslims in general and Turks in particular . The more interesting are the results of recent public opinion polls, which testify to the mood in Turkish society.

Thus, according to a poll conducted by the Turkish research company Optimar (Anadolu agency leads them), 62 percent of respondents named the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia a positive phenomenon. Negative attitude to this is only 22 percent, and 15 does not have a definite position. In the same poll, the Turks were asked: "Do you consider yourself an adversary of the US?" - and affirmatively answered 72 percent. Another 23 percent said that it was "partially", and only 5,4 percent gave a negative answer.

The gigantic figure of the dissatisfied states reflects not only the fresh situation - with the support of the Kurds by the Americans, but all the accumulated disagreement with American interference in Turkish affairs. As a result, the US almost completely lost sympathy in Turkish society.

The research company AGS GLOBAL conducted a sociological survey of almost four hundred Turkish entrepreneurs: 66 percent of them reported that they were negative about the US, 13 said they had a positive attitude and 21 refrained from rating. In another poll, the question "Which countries should Turkey jointly operate in foreign policy?" The US named 13,6 percent (in 2015, there were 23 percent, and earlier even more). According to a survey conducted by Kadir Has University last month, the United States was in first place among threats to Turkey, even ahead of Israel - 64 with over a percent named America "the biggest threat."

In third place, with 50 percent, was the UK - and this despite the fact that this country, like the US, is Turkey's ally in NATO. However, the other NATO allies found themselves in the following lines of the list: letting Armenia and Iraq and Syria ahead only (they have Turks fear not Baghdad and Damascus, but the Kurds there), France, Germany, Greece and other NATO and EU countries lined up.

The friendly Turkish is considered by the Azerbaijan they are related to, but also by the eternal rival Iran, and the brotherly Sunni Pakistan has outstripped as a friendly Western country. But these are all Islamic countries - maybe it's the turn in the Islamic world? No, not only - because both China and Russia are increasingly perceived by the Turks as friendly states.

And so the talk that Turkey may join the SCO with time does not seem like empty fantasies (like the desire to get a special economic status in trade with the Eurasian Union).

Peter Akopov
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