Latest in this blog:

2019.05.27 - I wrote a piece on how Russian influence in the Turkish political system may go beyond Erdogan due to erosion of state institutions and derailment of formalized political processes in Turkey.

2019.05.21 - I translated Alexander Dugin's recent piece on the role of Turkey within the emerging multipolar world and how Turkey's unique assets would turn the new world order, according to Dugin, into a great geopolitical opportunity.

2019.05.20 - I wrote a piece on possible plans in Turkey to use Russian S-400 anti-aircraft/anti-missile systems in the Mediterranean waters to improves its overall defence capabilities within the emerging assertive maritime posture around the Cyprus gas conflict with regional powers. 

2019.04.03 - I wrote a piece where I tried to look at different aspects of Russian-Turkish relations, especially areas where both sides may potentially exert influence via weak points.

2019.04.01 - I wrote a piece for the Jerusalem Post titled The emerging diplomatic Crimea-Cyprus highway where I explore emerging Russian policy of anchoring its Cyprus stance to the Turkish position on the Crimean issue. As the most vocal advocate of the rights of Crimean Tatars Turkey will be forced to rethink its policy on Crimea if Russia undertakes some positive steps towards supporting Turkish position in the Cyprus issue:
For Russia’s Crimean dossier, this arrangement would mean Turkey will stay within the scope of predictability while its behavior could be increasingly prone to restraint. Cooperation between Ankara and Moscow in Syria presents two good examples of how a web of agreements may exert a constraining effect on Turkey. Russia has brought Turkey into a row of agreements and given it reasonable concessions. Now Turkey, once it decides to openly challenge Russian interests in Syria, may face an escalation of multiple fronts in Idlib, the Kurdish issue and anti-Turkish sentiments in the Arab world.
2019.03.28 - I wrote a piece for the Moscow Center of Carnegie Foundation titled Why Erdogan loses his own party in local elections where I explain that nature of a political campaign before local elections in Turkey suggest that Erdoğan's ruling party has waned in recent years and serious changes in domestic politics are to be expected:
The presidential system built by Erdoğan failed to become a universal solution to all Turkey's problems as was initially promised by its pundits. It did not help the authorities to work out a clear plan to deal with the economic crisis and other issues, instead it only facilitated further concentration of the entire political process on Erdoğan's figure, resulting in bleeding out of its own ruling party and depriving it of its independence.
2019.03.11 - I translated Kübra Par's interview with Sinan Ülgen on S-400 deal, Syria, Iran and US-Turkish relations. Ülgen, who heads the pro-Atlantic Turkish EDAM think-tank delivers some very good arguments against buying the S-400s and gives his opinion on best policy solutions for Turkey in Syria.

2019.03.10 - I wrote a piece titled The S-400 deal with Turkey and Russian views on emerging new world order where I try to show that Russia's decision to sell the S-400s to Turkey corresponds to its long-term policy to reinforce global trend towards emergence of independent regional/global power centers. Having such a powerful weapon like S-400 would allow Turkey to renegotiate terms of security cooperation with the United States and NATO. During this discussion Turkey may lobby the idea that the Alliance's approach to Russia should be more pragmatic and take into account Turkish views.

2019.02.19 - I wrote a piece Local elections in Turkey: nationalists brace for takeover of state resources where I try to explain that Turkish nationalist will eventually benefit more from the alliance with the ruling Justice and Development party than other way around. Local elections will witness further reinforcement of the nationalists, especially through their increasing access to budget money and, thus, to resources that would allow them to expand its clientalist network of supporters, who stem from the former supporters of Erdoğan.

2019.02.15 - I wrote a piece Why Russia could agree with another Turkish operation in northern Syria? where I explore reasons why Russia could benefit from a Turkish military operation in northern Syria and under what conditions such operation would be of the best utility for the Russian long-term interests in Syria.

2019.02.08 - I translated a small article Why Turkey blocks Russian oil tankers in the Straits? explaining what caused interference of the Russian oil tankers in the Turkish Straits and whether one should look for political reasons behind this.

2019.02.06 - I translate an article Greece seeks Turkey's favor over Turkish Stream pipelines to Europe explaining how Greek government seeks ways to divert TurkStream pipelines into Greece or, at least, send a signal to Russia that Greece is interested in participation in relevant projects.

2019.02.03 - I translated a very interesting article Why Putin's chief ideologue writes about Turkey, deep state and Kemalist six arrows? written as a analysis of early written article by the Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Vladislav Surkov on nature of Putin's political rule. One of his arguments deals with "a special bond of Putin with a hidden people in Russia", a unique feature of every successful ruler. This idea was inspired by the Kemalist ideology of Populism. Surkov makes many references to the Turkish case of modernization and special nature of a political rule in Turkey.
The article of Vladislav Surkov titled Long State of Putin, which is vigorously discussed in the media and social networks, contains references to many symbols and ideological constructions. Some of them are known to the Russian public, others are an invention of the author himself. At the same time, drawing its ideological forms, designed to explain historical and state-forming role of Vladimir Putin, Surkov more than once wove into them terms from the Turkish political history - in particular, by mentioning the ideology of the six arrows of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as the so-called "deep state ". Turkey is not a country from which it was previously fashionable to draw political samples. And the emergence of Turkish concepts in an article devoted to Putin and his state is hardly a mere whim for Surkov.

2019.02.01 - I translated an article Strategic importance of the Caucasus for Turkey explaining how the Caucasus is important to Turkish national security and what role it can play in the Russian-Turkish relations and power-politics.

2019.01.31 - I wrote a piece titled "From Astana XII to Adana II: what needs to be done to revive the Syrian-Turkish dialogue" on how Russia may influence Turkey to reestablish dialogue between Ankara and Damascus. Though it could be difficult to achieve, a well-thought policy and understanding of domestic political dynamics in Turkey may contribute to stabilization of the Turkish-Syrian relations:
"The clinch between Washington and Ankara in regards to the situation in northern Syria provides a unique opportunity for Russian diplomacy to assist the ongoing attempts to resume official relations between Turkey and Syria. First of all, Russia needs to influence the process of making foreign policy decisions in Turkey: Erdogan’s ambitions to create a security zone can be leveled by Erdogan’s pragmatism. The ruling elites and their political allies within the political establishment can together put pressure on the president if, in general, the cooperation mechanism with Syria will be able to serve Turkey’s national interests in the sense in which they are represented by the Turkish nationalist and patriotic circles within academia, military and bureaucracy. 
In consultation with the Turkish side on the issue of restoring dialogue with Damascus, attention should be paid to the regional nature of cooperation, in which the problems of the region are to be solved only by the countries of the region itself. The anti-imperialist connotation of the initiative will fit well with the growth of anti-American sentiment in Turkey and the experience of anti-terrorism cooperation with Iraq and Iran. 
On the other hand, the statements of the Syrian side regarding the recognition of Hatay province as a sovereign territory of Turkey, recognition of Turkey as a priority partner in the matter of the early return of Syrian refugees and the restoration of cross-border trade - all this can also contribute to attempts to bring the Turkish leadership out of a state of hesitation and promote resumption of bilateral dialogue."
2019.01.23 - I translated Salih Yilmaz's piece "Russia's plan for PKK-PYD: what will Moscow offer Ankara?" where he tries to analyze Russian and American counter-proposals offered to Turkey in attempts to dissuade Ankara from launching a military operation in northern Syria. Yilmaz offers some good points against Russian offer:
"The implementation of Russia's proposals to continue the process after the withdrawal of American troops in the framework of the Astana talks is also not possible, because the Astana format is based on the process of political settlement in Syria as part of the termination of clashes. For Turkey, it is important that its security threats emanating from the terrorist organization in the east of the Euphrates be eliminated, and that neither PKK-PYD nor Assad should make local people suffer. Since this is directly related to Turkey, the policy of Russia and Iran also causes objections from other external subjects that may hamper Turkey’s operations. It seems that the United States and Israel will not be able to put up with the influence of Iran in the region."
2019.01.23 - I wrote a piece title "Russia wants to decide on a buffer zone in Syria collectively with Turkey" on Erdoğan's January 23 visit to Moscow where Turkish officials wanted to persuade Russia in necessity of yet another military border operation in northern Syria. Russia is concerned with real intentions of Turkish government and in talks may try to diffuse anxiety by bringing Turkish deliberation into collective decision-making envisaged by the Astana mechanism.
"The fact that the Turkish leadership is actively coordinating positions with the Russian side, even on the status of the territories of northern Syria, which until recently remained exclusively a subject of dialogue between Ankara and Washington, speaks about the evolution of the Astana mechanism for resolving the Syrian conflict. 
Provided that the Turkish side can give tangible assurances that the proposed buffer zone does not turn into a US-Turkish protectorate over time, Moscow, following the spirit of cooperation, could approve the operation necessary for Turkey’s interests. At the same time, the parties must clearly define the physical parameters of the Turkish operation and determine the prospects for the political future of the territories within the framework of the political dialogue between the Syrian opposition and the government."
2019.01.21 - I translated interview of Vitaly Naumkin on constitutional committee in Syria, Syrian Kurds and Turkey's role. My attention was caught by Naumkin statement on Turkey's positive influence in the Russian attempts to form a constitutional committee. This contribution is of great value because of the Western attempts to derail the process. This makes Turkey a preferable partner in Syria and forces Russia to take Turkish interests into account:
"There remains a serious problem with Idlib, with the intentions of Turkey. Their presence in Syria, according to Damascus, is illegal - no one invited them to send troops, neither the UN Security Council, nor the Syrian government. Relations between Turkey and Syria are tense, the Syrians view the Turks as aggressors and occupiers. We have a slightly different point of view. Moscow presumes that their presence there is illegitimate, but Turkey has its own concerns, which need to be taken into account related to their national security. All the more so to us, as a power, friendly Turkey. Turkey for us is one of the priority partners in the Middle East."
2019.01.21 - I translated Alexander Dugin's article "Principles and strategy of the coming war" on principle "front" between two empires, Russia and the United States. Without delving into details, I just wanted to show that Dugin showed Turkey as one of the area of the confrontation. In his article Dugin implies that in order to turn Turkey away from the Atlantist alliance several "weak points" should be exploited to change the domestic political dynamics: support for pro-Russian circles and utilization of the Kurdish issue:
"Both factors are key to success in the Russian-Turkish conflict. It should be extremely thoughtful to conduct anti-Turkish propaganda in Russian society, constantly emphasizing that the United States and their accomplice Erdogan are responsible for the escalation of relations, and that the Turks are not considered by Moscow as a historical enemy. 
Therefore, any parallels with the Russian-Turkish wars - even for internal use - will only rally the Turks around Erdogan and strengthen the enemy. And on the contrary, the outstretched hand of friendship to those politicians of Turkey who do not share the views of Erodogan and Neo-Ottomanism Davutoglu could be decisive. In parallel, of course, interaction with the Kurds should be intensified, since this is an impressive force in Turkey itself."
2019.01.17 - I translated Anton Lavrov's article "How Turkish Bayraktar UAVs can contribute to Ukraine's defence" where he tries to show that recently purchased Bayraktar UAVs will not contribute considerably to offensive capabilities of the Ukrainian army:
"President Poroshenko’s dreams of reversing the situation in the Donbas with Turkish help, establishing control over the Sea of ​​Azov or recapturing the Crimea are fruitless. Against Russian air defense new clothes completely useless. A large and slow UAV with a cruising speed of 150 km / h is an ideal target for all anti-aircraft missile systems. He can not escape not only from the fighter aircraft located on the peninsula, but also from combat helicopters. 
Unrecognized Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics do not have such powerful air defense systems as Russia. But they have already repeatedly demonstrated their ability to shoot down not only Ukrainian UAVs, but also combat aircraft and helicopters. 
With a maximum range of 8 km of weapons, the Turkish drone is able to act only against the leading positions. Any deepening of the front line will be fatal for him. Low and communication range with Bayraktar TB2. Unlike the heavier Turkish brother Anka-S, this one cannot be controlled via satellite and is limited by direct visibility. This limits it to a radius of 150 km from the ground station."
2019.01.15 - I translated Alexander Alesin's article on Turkey's desire to develop ties with Belarus in the aftermaths of news that political dialogue between Minsk and Moscow can have serious flows. Alesin explores ways how Turkish-Belarus relations can be stimulated:
"Perhaps, Belarus will open niches for Turkey where we have not been allowed before. It is possible to create Turkish industries in Belarus in order to supply these products to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. If the degree of localization reaches the level that the goods will be recognized as originating from Belarus, then the obstacles for deliveries of this goods to Russia will be removed. This may concern processing enterprises, the textile industry: perhaps Turkish capital may want to participate in the fate of our enterprises in Kamvol, Sukno..."
2019.01.10 - I wrote a piece on Turkey's views on US-Turkish relations in post-withdrawal period in northern Syria. I write that Turkish government made a series of statements in afterwards of Trump's decision that indicate Ankara's strong desire to restart full cooperation with Washington in the Syrian civil war. This is especially interesting development for Russia since it has been trying so far to keep Turkey away from arrangements with the United States in Syria and regulate Turkish actions within the Astana agreements:
"Turkey may be facing next serious changes in its Syrian policy: Ankara’s hopes for military-political cooperation with Washington may have come to their bitter end. The decision of US President Donald Trump to pull out American troops from Syria in the near future may cause serious adjustments not only to Turkish plans to combat the terrorist threat along its borders, but also to Turkey's approach to resolving the Syrian crisis. Whether Turkey will be able to realize its ambitions in northern Syria in the conditions of increased unpredictability and without reliance on its ally is hard to tell."
2019.01.01 - I published a translation of Kirill Erchenko's article "Unequal marriage between Turkey and Ukraine" on nature of Turkish-Ukrainian relations in the light of their impact on Turkish-Russian relations. Recent deal on purchase of some Turkish UAVs by the Ukrainian army for the purpose to enhance its capabilities in operations against Russia-supported separatists in the eastern parts of the country made Erchenko mention that Turkey can use technologies of Ukrainian defence industry and Soviet legacy for improvement of its own military industry:  
"The Russian vector for Ankara remains a priority, but it also considers it important to develop relations with Kiev. Therefore, one should not wait for Turkey to stop declarative political support of Ukraine in matters of its territorial integrity and “de-occupation” of the Crimea. Moreover, for Erdogan, Ukraine remains a potential means of pressure on Russia, especially if its actions in Syria will categorically not suit Turkey. Idlib's persistent problem does not exclude such a scenario. 
Relations between Kiev and Ankara are far from the declared level of strategic partnership and boil down to the fact that the Ukrainian junta is selling the raw materials and the remnants of Soviet defense technologies to the Turks for miserable financial handouts and empty phrases of anti-Russian content. In a word, unequal marriage according to the Turkish calculation."