The developments in the region and the geopolitical game of Ankara, which is still “playing” on different tables, are forming new data. Occupying Turkey is trying to become the most “wanted bride”, who holds many strings and will never… get married! It maintains open channels of communication with the USA, Russia, Ukraine, Brussels, develops partnerships while ensuring that its expansive plans in the wider region will not be affected.
The Turkish President, having in mind the internal affairs in view of the elections, moves keeping delicate balances, knowing at the same time that his country is considered “useful” and “necessary” for the various international players, especially the big and powerful ones.
As the Turkish delegation traveled to Washington to discuss Turkey’s purchase of F-16 fighters and other upgrades, Russia’s TASS news agency reported the purchase of a second batch of S-400s.
The American reaction, like the first time, was strong, but Washington is not going to cut off the communication channels with Ankara. What will be done next remains to be seen, especially regarding the much-discussed sanctions. That is, if Ankara gets the second array of missiles and at the same time … convinces the Americans to sell the F-16s. In the case of the USA, however, not everything depends on the Biden administration and the State Department, who may see the Turkish request positively, but also on the Senate. There, as you know, is the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Robert Menendez.
Relations with Israel
The restoration of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel took place with Ankara making concessions regarding the list it had previously set for the Israelis. From the “apology” he demanded from Tel Aviv and compensations to the families of the victims of the “Mavi Marmara”, to a series of others, which were raised knowing that the Israelis would not accept, the “re-approach” was made without conditions being met. This move, which did not start now, is also linked to calls from third parties, such as the Americans, to restore relations.
It is possible that this is also connected to the F-16 issue. At the same time, the Israelis obviously stand to gain financially from this development, as Turkey has historically been a good customer, and this is “measured” by the volume of exports.
Relations obviously cannot be the same as in the past, before the great rupture in 2010, but it serves both countries, for different reasons, to have one less front. The assurances to Nicosia from Tel Aviv, that nothing changes, count as long as the Cypriot side raises issues and has an agenda.
It is known that the Turks, along with the openings towards Israel, also made towards Egypt, with the aim, among other things, to “break” the collaborations with Greece and Cyprus and to shape other data on the energy map, with Ankara, certainly, present. It is clear, however, that with Egypt the course of normalizing relations is long and more difficult. Cairo is aware of the Turkish schemes against the country’s Government and the support that Ankara provides to the “Muslim Brotherhood”.
What about Syria?
After eleven years, it seems that moves are being made between Ankara and Damascus to “re-bond relations”. Attempts were made in the past as well, at the initiative of Moscow, and the issue seems to be coming back up again. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that he had a brief conversation with the Syrian Foreign Minister “on foot” during the Non-Aligned Summit in Belgrade, on the sidelines of that summit, but ruled out a summit meeting between Erdogan and Assad at this stage. .
At the same time, the Turkish newspaper “Turkiye” refers to requests from Damascus to become “Turkey’s neighbor” again. It stipulates a trade corridor between Cilvegözü and Damascus and full control of the transport corridor (M 4) between the cities of Deir al-Zor-Hasakah in eastern Syria and Aleppo-Latakia. Another demand from Damascus is Turkey’s support against European and US sanctions against bureaucrats, businessmen and companies that support the Assad family regime, according to the newspaper.
Nicosia and Athens
All these games, developments, “new partnerships” concern Cyprus as well as Greece, as it is obvious that those who think and say that Ankara is “useful” and “necessary” sometimes turn a blind eye to any actions taken by occupying Turkey at the expense of the two states, Athens and Nicosia. It is obvious that the question is not whether the Erdogan regime is upgrading (or attempting to do so), but how Greece and Cyprus act, so that they are not affected by Turkish movements. The field of the tripartites and their “refreshing” is a field in which Greece and Cyprus must obviously give importance. Mainly the collaborations with Israel, Egypt, Palestine, while Jordan, Syria, Lebanon should also be included in the equation.
At the same time, the news of the second batch of S-400s to be procured by Turkey from Russia would have been expected to mobilize Greece and Cyprus, especially when Brussels had proceeded without a second thought with sanctions against Russia. Turkey dealing with Russia, in the matter of armaments, is not even a matter for discussion. The same applies to the US, which makes references to sanctions, but falls short of it. They are obviously considered E.E. and USA for the tolerance towards occupying Turkey, at the same time, however, Greece and Cyprus are under scrutiny for how they act and exploit events.
Two weeks after the Turkish President traveled to Sochi and met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last Thursday, Erdogan met with Volodymyr Zelensky. At the same time, a joint meeting between Erdoğan and Zelenskiy was held with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, in relation to the agreement on the export of grains and a number of other issues. As the Turkish President himself stated, he will discuss the issue of the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant with his Russian counterpart. “We will discuss the issue with (Vladimir) Putin and I will specifically ask him that Russia do what it needs, as an important step for world peace,” said the Turkish President, who has no inhibitions about speaking this way . To present a factor of peace and stability.
Erdoğan’s presence at the tripartite meeting, held in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, near the Polish border, confirms that he is one of the protagonists in the Ukrainian world. It is recalled that Volodymyr Zelenskiy had stated that he wants Turkey to participate in a future system of guarantees for his country. It is clear that Ankara, while it has a profit from the ongoing war in Ukraine, has no costs, from the fact that it has transactions with both sides at a time when one, Russia, has suffered sanctions. The agreements, mainly commercial, with Moscow, which were discussed with Vladimir Putin, were not an obstacle to be achieved, in parallel with the Ukrainians. As a result, an agreement was reached to rebuild Ukraine’s war-damaged infrastructure. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov and the Minister of Trade Mehmet Mus. The projects concern roads, bridges, water and electricity infrastructure, hospitals and schools.
The composition of the meeting in the city of Lviv was certainly not accidental. Especially when the UN Secretary General accepts Erdogan to be part of the international initiatives in Ukrainian. Antonio Guterres did not hide his… admiration for Turkey and its President. In a meeting he had in New York with the ambassadors of the European Union member states, it was mentioned how “useful” Turkey is and how necessary its role is. These reports of his, which reached the point of exaggeration, do not seem to have been well received by all the European ambassadors.