Today, I’m going to appear as a guest on TV100 with Ahu Özyurt again. I’ve been giving conferences back to back in Antalya for almost two day now, where I had the chance to meet the representatives of various sectors. I must say that everyone wonders where this Syria issue is going. I’ve tried to provide them with some insight into the issue as best as I could.
As you may remember, I’ve said in my previous articles and statements that Turkey’s military budget has been quite stable when we consider the ratio of Turkey’s military expenditures to its total GDP; while, in the meantime, Saudi Arabia and Israel have been spending billions on national defence.
And I’ve also said, “If countries in the Middle East do not stop igniting conflicts, Turkey will have to take some strong measures and probably start arming itself militarily as well.”
Let me put this straight: Putin’s efforts to turn diplomacy into armed conflicts just because there is an ongoing cabinet change in Russia has recently caused Turkey to suffer the loss of many young soldiers. It’s hard to figure how President Erdoğan will respond to Syrian attacks which can be interpreted as retaliation for the statements he made during his visit to Ukraine. As a matter of fact, a further conflict between Turkey and Russia would serve both the United States and Russia’s purpose.
The fact that this incident happened just prior to the Special Representative for Syria Engagement’s visit to Turkey hasn’t escaped my attention either. Jeffrey was to probably provide insight about the extent Russian-Syrian alliance has reached and possible efforts to terminate the unwilling alliance Turkey had to form with Russia after the nefarious coup attempt of 15 July.
“Neither Russia nor Iran is our friend…”
Putin’s approach to diplomacy is actually based on brute force and the fear he raises using Russia’s military capabilities. Although the Western World is not exactly pure as the driven snow, none of the Western countries tries to invade its neighbours whenever they are bored or feel like it.
Quite probably, all of these events are transpiring as a part of a scenario designed to push Turkey to give up S-400 deal and buy patriots instead. Except its dependence on Russian natural gas, Turkey exports fresh fruits and vegetable to Russia as well, not to mention that Russia is the top tourism market for Turkey. If we can devise a well-thought out plan and take actions accordingly, there’s nothing we can’t overcome. Any move that involves cutting trade ties with Russia especially now when our economy is thriving would put the government in a difficult position.
Putin knows that too but there is one very important thing that we should never forget: Both Russia and Iran are unreliable partners. It would be best to interact with these countries considering the realities in the region.