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Turkish somersault

The crisis in Turkey's relations with Western countries raises many questions. Answers are sought from Mirlyas Agaev, graduate student of the Faculty of Political Science

Turkish somersault
Photo: verelq.am

The crisis in Turkey's relations with Western countries raises many questions. There are opinions that Ankara's attacks against Western partners are a sign of a crisis in Turkish foreign policy. This is particularly indicative against the backdrop of criticism of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the opposition People's Republican Party, which is distinguished by its pro-Western orientation.

But there is an alternative point of view regarding this issue. It is known that after Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power, Turkey increased the priority of the Eastern direction of its foreign policy, and with the beginning of the “Arab Spring” this direction became the main one. But if for a long time, Turkey sought to maintain harmonious relations with Western states, now Ankara is ready to go on a scandal even with its main partner, the United States. At the same time, a number of analysts began to put forward ideas about the ineffectiveness of Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East. Turkologist Ekaterina Chulkovskaya in one of her last articles put forward the thesis that the reason for this is the lack of adventures that allowed to maintain the interest of partners.

A rather logical deterioration of relations with the West looks at the absence of such adventures. That is, challenging European and American capitals, Turkey is trying to take on the role of the main anti-Western force that can lead the entire Middle East. Particularly noteworthy is the diplomatic scandal with the United States against the background of the Qatari crisis, the Astana negotiating track to resolve the Syrian crisis, the visits of Saudi Arabia's King Salman ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Moscow and the President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Tehran. All these facts can be interpreted as examples of the decline in the role of the United States and the search for a new balance of power in the region.

It is no accident that Turkey does not publicly declare the agreement of positions with the US in the Syrian, Iraqi, Qatar crises. Ankara tries to distance itself as much as possible from the unpopular collective West. Turkey raises themes that are closer to the states of the Middle East, not the West: the security of not only the state, but also religion, the involvement of only regional powers in the crisis, the real struggle against terrorism. In these statements, it is important that Turkey itself experiences these problems and itself solves them. Turkey underscores its interest in solving those problems that are not solved by Western states.

At the moment, the main task of Turkey is to declare its leadership ambitions. But in view of foreign policy failures in Egypt, Libya, Morocco and partial failure in Syria, the success of the implementation of these tasks began to be called into question. But after the attacks on the Turkish statehood, the search for a new balance and a new impetus for the activation of foreign policy in the Middle East began, which allowed to change the vision of further contacts of the Republic of Turkey in the international arena. Ankara began to advance in the development of multi-state formats, in which it has the opportunity to play the role of the first violin, which was not before. The independence of Turkey's foreign policy began to be expressed not only in statements or refusals, but in the real involvement of Ankara in the problems of the region, which pushes it to active participation in coalitions. This became a reality through the use of partnership opportunities with Russia, Iran, which had previously been described as potential.

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