2018-07-11

Tactical cooperation between Russia and Turkey can become strategic

by Prof. Dr. Salih Yılmaz


After the June 24, 2018 elections in Turkey, the West is likely to take decisive steps in foreign policy. Turkey and Russia should reconsider their relationship, especially against possible US maneuvers. After Nikol Pashinyan came to power in Armenia, supported by the US, Turkey and Russia should return to the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will allow resolving an important regional crisis. If this problem is not solved, Azerbaijan can enter the Western bloc, created by the United States in accordance with the plans of Iran's encirclement. After all, both Israel and the United States are interested in strengthening ties with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the current conditions. Iran, trying to deprive Azerbaijan of influence, is trying to use the Talysh population of the country for this.

Talyshs are a national minority of 500,000 people residing in Azerbaijan. In 1993 they rebelled, proclaiming the establishment of the Talysh-Mugan Republic. As a result, their leader fled abroad. Currently, they are broadcasting from Armenia via the Talishistan-TV channel, headed by Alikram Khumbetov. Turkish-Russian cooperation can not be durable without the solution of the problems in the Caucasus. Obviously, the two countries will cooperate in this direction.

As you know, relations between the US and Turkey over the past 3 years are extremely tense. The Astana process, which unites Iran, Turkey and Russia, causes concern in Washington. In fact, the tactical cooperation of these three countries is beneficial to each of them. Iran because of economic problems is in an increasingly difficult situation. The US, apparently, will try to set up Turkey against Iran. However, it is obvious that Turkey, Iran and Russia are currently "floating on the same ship". And if one of these states drowns, then others will suffer injuries. Therefore, neither Turkey nor Russia will support the anti-Iranian position of the United States.

The cooperation of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Syria is aimed only at establishing peace through political means. Therefore, it can not be said that the three countries agree on all issues. Most likely, their cooperation is limited to Syria. In addition, Russia is trying to use Turkey as an energy corridor. The tactical nature of this cooperation is due to several factors. As you know, three countries in the past have fought against each other many times. And without US intervention, their interests often did not match. If the US weakens its pressure on the region, the cooperation of the three states can also be weakened, and each of them can follow its own path. After all, they, in the end, united the Syrian crisis and the US position. Thus, cooperation between Turkey, Russia and Iran will continue as long as the American threat remains in the region.

Of course, the US will not attack Iran. Over the past 2 years, they have moved to a new systematic policy on Iran. In Armenia, through a coup d'état, a government has come to power, which will coordinate its actions with the United States. Thus, the alliance between Iran and Armenia became controversial. Recently, Azerbaijan conducted an operation on the border with Armenia, whose goal, in particular, was to convey to Iran's understanding that Azerbaijan would not tolerate the presence of pro-Iranian militias in its territory, namely in Nardaran. The reason was the statement that Iran tried to make a coup in Azerbaijan. At this time, Azerbaijan is trying to turn into a field of confrontation between Israel and Iran. Undoubtedly, Turkey in the near future will try to strengthen cooperation with Azerbaijan.

In Georgia, the government has also changed. Even at the opening ceremony of the TANAP project, Georgia was not represented at the highest level. All these events are somehow connected with Iran. The US does not want to interfere in Iran, but at the same time it does not mind to cause a turmoil in this country that could lead to its disintegration. The real goal of the US in Iran is regime change. In addition, Washington, calling on Turkey to participate in the embargo against Iran, is trying to spark a crisis in relations between Turkey and Iran.

As the US intensifies pressure on Turkey, Turkey will move away from the United States. Turkey is not afraid of threats from the EU or the US. The most critical for Turkey was the election process. But even before the elections Ankara, assuming any risks, confronted all threats of the West, and after the elections, President Erdogan would never bow before them. The author of the article thinks that Turkey will refuse purchases of S-400 air defense systems. In this case, the only way out of the current situation may be the US refusal to support PKK / PYD in Syria and ignoring Turkey in a new world order. Otherwise, Turkey will be able to exercise its right to legitimate self-defense. In this process, tactical cooperation between Russia and Turkey can turn into strategic cooperation.

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