Russian President Vladimir Putin had all grounds for saying that Allah must have decided to punish the Turkish leaders by taking away his reason. He is right: by treacherously downing the Russian Su-24, Erdogan and his clique have ruined their good partnership with Russia.
In 2014, Turkey was Russia’s fifth biggest trade partner, with the trade turnover between the countries amounting to $32.7bn. The incident will certainly affect this figure. The sides had lots of plans in energy, trade, construction and tourism. In the coming years they were planning to raise their trade turnover to $100bn. They were also going to lay a South Stream gas pipeline, to enlarge the Blue Stream one, to build a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu and to develop contacts in many other sectors.
Turkey’s relations with Russia were on the rise. In the meantime, its relations with the West were degrading. Historically inclined to let their partners down, in 2003, the Turks refused to let U.S. troops to cross their territory on their way to. By doing that they showed that their plans were not in harmony with NATO’s strategy. In 2010, the Turks had a conflict with the Israelis. Shortly afterwards they welcomed the coup in Egypt and the country’s new “moderately Islamic” leader Mohamed Morsi. And when Morsi was dethroned, Egypt turned into one of their biggest enemies.
All this was against the West’s plans to create chaos in the Middle East. And the last drops were Turkey’s refusal to join the western sanctions against Russia and its support for ISIL. In words, the Turks are fighting that terrorist organization but in reality they are fighting Kurds, the only force that can effectively fight ISIL on the ground. And one more annoying factor for the West is the personality of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is becoming more and more difficult to agree with and seems to be seeing himself as the first sultan of a neo-Ottoman Empire.
Once Erdogan faced the Su-24 crisis, he rushed to NATO and claimed that he was authorized by President Barack Obama (which was contrary to his initially assurances that the Turks didn’t know that the plane was Russian). This situation is very much like the one created by President Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia in 2008. Saakashvili was also very unpredictable. And he also claimed that he was authorized by the West to start the war against Russia. The result is known: Georgia lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while Saakashvili lost his office. Now Georgia is ruled by a more moderate force, Georgian Dream. They are not very pro-Russian but are not more balanced in their policies, which is good for both Russia and the West.
As far as Erdogan is concerned, NATO stood up for him - though not in the way he hoped for. When the Russians provided proofs of Erdogan’s being privy to smuggling of Syrian and Iraqi oil, they in the Pentagon said that they had no such evidence. But they do. In fact, they know much more than the Russians know. But the question here is, why are they so persistent in supporting Erdogan though not being very enthusiastic about doing it?
The answer is obvious: when they in the West saw that Allah had taken away all of Erdogan’s reason, they carefully set him against the Russians.
The result is no less obvious: Russian-Turkish relations have been ruined. Russia has lost lots of promising projects in Turkey. Turkey has lost much more as it missed the chance to have stable gas supplies and its own nuclear power plant. This will make things in that country even worse and this will certainly encourage the Turkish opposition and the Kurds.
And very soon Turkey may face a “Turkish spring.” This fits well into the United States’ plan to create a new Middle East, a region where all states will have new borders and where the key targets are Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Also in line with this plan are the Americans’ steps to improve relations with Iran (something their partner Israel all but welcomes). This will be their foothold once they launch the special operation named “Bad guy Erdogan and the end of Turkey.” In fact, Erdogan did all he could to get into this trap. Let’s hope that Allah will give back reason to him so he could at least realize what he did.
Guy Borisov, EADaily’s political analyst