Military Review

About how Ankara turned away from Washington

Western analysts believe that the Turkish president is pursuing a “strange” policy in the field of cooperation with NATO: sometimes he avoids interaction, then generally makes decisions contrary to the interests of the alliance. At the same time, Turkey is “turning its back” on American interests, negotiating with the Russians about the Turkish Stream gas pipeline. The more the union of Russia and Turkey grows stronger, the more fragile relations between Ankara and Washington become.

Turkey. On the border with Syria

In an editorial "New York Times" The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey reports. The submission indicates that NATO plays an “important role” in ensuring the country's security, and therefore Turkey, which became a member of the alliance a long time ago, in 1952, “attaches great importance” to cooperation with NATO.

However, according to the editors of the American newspaper, Turkey’s commitment to the alliance has never seemed so “ambivalent” as it is today.

On the most important issues - from fighting the “Islamic state” and creating integrated protection systems to jointly confronting “Russian aggression in Ukraine” - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government cooperate with the alliance either not fully or even in spite of the priorities and even the interests of NATO.

In addition, the newspaper notes that Turkey under Erdogan is becoming an "increasingly authoritarian" state. The editors of the publication are “obviously” that the country is moving away from an alliance “built on the principles of democracy.”

For long months, the Western Allies put pressure on Turkey to force it to close the "loose" border, through which thousands of jihadists are easily leaking, wanting to leave for Syria and join the ranks of the Islamic State militants. In addition, Turkey turned a blind eye to the smuggling of "IG" weapons and illegal oil trading.

Yes, in the end, the Turkish government took some steps to obstruct these “supplies”. Nevertheless, the flow is not completely stopped, evidence of eyewitnesses testifies to this (for example, recently published in The Times). The smugglers themselves say that yes, their “work” became more difficult, but sometimes the Turkish border guards still “look the other way”.

James Klapper, director of National Intelligence of the United States, recently told Congress that he did not hope that Turkey would take any serious measures against IG, because it has "other priorities and other interests."

And one cannot say that Erdogan is doing something contrary to the will of his people: public opinion polls show that the Turks do not consider IG as one of the main threats.

The North Atlantic Alliance and the United States also dislike the idea of ​​the Turkish government about the possibility of buying an air defense system from China at the price of 3,4 billion. The American and European allies do not approve of such cooperation with China. They do not like the fact that Turkey does not want to acquire the appropriate systems from them. Finally, NATO will not be able to integrate its system with the Chinese: they are incompatible.

Well, and Russia. This year, Ankara should sign an agreement that will allow Russia to build a gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine. The government of Erdogan, not paying attention to Western sanctions, benefits from the friction between Russia and the West, seeking for itself energy at preferential prices.

Moreover, Russia is going to build an atomic power station in Turkey.

American officials, of course, do not admit that Turkey will ever withdraw from NATO. Such a move "would be a catastrophic mistake." But the mere fact that there is a talk about such a possibility is of great concern to officials and experts in the field of defense.

As for the gas pipeline, an article about it in 20 March appeared in the Turkish English language edition. "The Journal Turkish Weekly".

The note states that on March 17 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed by telephone the Turkish Stream gas project. During the negotiations, Moscow confirmed its readiness to continue work on the new pipeline.

The planned pipeline will transport 63 billion cubic meters. m of natural gas to Europe. In fact, the magazine notes, this is the replacement of the South Stream pipeline, which Russia decided to close on December 2014 of the year.

The article further states that the Turkish state-owned energy company BOTAŞ and the Russian Gazprom agreed on a significant discount for Turkey - this is the 10,25 percent discount (“10.25 percent discount”) on natural gas, which Ankara will receive as a result of participation in gas pipeline project.

19 was held on March 14-I Turkish International Oil and Gas Conference in Ankara, during which the Minister of Energy of Turkey Taner Yildiz said that the deal with Moscow will provide Turkey with 10,25-percent discount on Russian gas. The agreement has not been signed yet, however, “trust in the Turkish-Russian relations is key”.

Yıldız told the reporter that this is about ensuring Turkey’s energy security. First, the country needs to diversify gas supplies; secondly, if the situation in Ukraine deteriorates, Turkey’s energy security will be threatened. Therefore, the government is making efforts to create a separate pipeline.

Yildyz noted that natural gas will also be purchased in Azerbaijan and transported through the TANAP project. However, this gas will cost Ankara more expensive than gas purchased from Russia. But at the same time, the lower price of Russian gas will make all gas more affordable for the population.

Yıldız also explained that the “Turkish Stream” will not replace “TANAP”.

What do experts think about cooperation between Turkey and Russia?

President of the Middle East Institute Yevgeny Satanovsky in an article for "Military Industrial Courier" noted that Turkey is the largest trading partner of Russia in the region. Strengthening ties is facilitated, among other things, by the differences between President Erdogan and President Obama.

The expert recalls that Ankara "adopted the reunification of the Crimea with Russia more than calmly."

Speaking about the gas pipeline project, Satanovsky noted that the disruption of the construction of the South Stream gave Turkey "ideal chances to put the EU on its own gas needle." Ankara got the opportunity to create an instrument of political pressure on Brussels. And for the Turkish government this “is no less important than the economic benefits of the project.” "Gas needle" will allow Turkey "to regulate the pricing policy in Europe and relations between suppliers and buyers, as Ukraine has never dreamed of with its gas theft and non-payment." It is curious that the Europeans will provide Turkey with the competition of the suppliers themselves, trying to “reduce the dependence of the EU market on Russia”. “Than this market’s dependence on Turkey is better,” Satanovsky writes with irony, “they haven’t realized yet that in itself speaks about the level of modern European and American politics.”

On the other hand, “from any bilateral project, Ankara will benefit first of all, since the Turkish elite, with all its“ east, ”is much more professional than the Russian in defending national interests.” In addition, for Russia there is a significant danger of the bet on pan-Turkism and the Islamic component traditional for Turkey’s foreign policy. Ankara, the expert reminds, together with Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood, whose activities in Russia are prohibited.

Satanovsky also calls Turkey a “jihad junction”. Yes, Ankara suppressed any attempts at anti-Russian activity, but today in Turkey there lives “a large and financially wealthy North Caucasian diaspora that maintains relations with relatives in Russia on an ongoing basis”. According to the analyst, the mechanism of radical Islamist pressure on Russia through Turkey "can be turned on at any time." In this case, Moscow "relies on the pragmatism of Ankara," for which the economy is a priority. But "calm down ... Russia nevertheless can not."

The expert focuses on the health of President Erdogan. The fact is that "independent sources talk about leukemia." The departure of Erdogan would inevitably entail "the strengthening of his many enemies and the weakening of contacts with Russia." According to the analyst, the US opposition is “Erdogan’s personal project.” Therefore, with a high degree of probability, Moscow can see Ankara "much more pro-American and pro-European, and therefore anti-Russian."

The expert reminds that the joint projects are “practically not funded” from the Turkish side, and all the economic risks lie with Russia.

To summarize If Erdogan leaves, the political situation in Turkey may change to the opposite. Talking about the diversification of gas supplies in this case will be a thing of the past, and the Turkish Stream will be closed for Russia just as the South was closed. The priorities of Turkey will be the interests of "Western partners." However, information about health problems in Erdogan may be common rumors. Or guessing.

On the other hand, it is difficult to allow politicians who after some time inevitably replace Erdogan and his government, refused because of the beneficial gas project for Turkey just because Uncle Sam is looking askance. Erdogan’s success in politics is precisely related to his ability to pursue an independent policy and think about the interests not of the United States or the EU, but of the interests of the motherland. As says the same Satanovsky: "Turkey's main partner is Turkey." The independence of Erdogan is just annoying overseas "partners" who want to dictate their will to everyone.

Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
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  1. Teberii
    Teberii 25 March 2015 05: 56
    Erdogan is a strong politician who leads his game.
    1. Shirioner
      Shirioner 25 March 2015 07: 27
      Perdogan is an extreme Islamist. He moved away not only from America, but also from Europe. No non-Muslim side can rely on Perdogan Turkey, neither Russia nor China
      1. Green
        Green 25 March 2015 07: 54
        Of course, you shouldn’t rely, but you can and should cooperate; why not that?
      2. Aleut65
        Aleut65 25 March 2015 08: 43
        ohhh ka Jews spit saliva ...
        1. Dry_T-50
          Dry_T-50 25 March 2015 11: 35
          Quote: Aleut65
          ohhh ka Jews spit saliva ...

          He has an 2 profile. Moderators take a note.
          1. Alex
            Alex 25 March 2015 18: 54
            Quote: Sukhoy_T-50
            He has an 2 profile. Moderators take a note.

            Which second? It is interesting to look at this cloven hoof.
      3. Days
        Days 25 March 2015 12: 16
        Quote: Chirioner
        Perdogan is an extreme Islamist. He moved away not only from America, but also from Europe.

        Netanyahu can move away, and Erdogan can not?
        1. Shirioner
          Shirioner 25 March 2015 16: 05
          Netanhu did not move away from America. It was Obama who moved away from America, that’s the tragedy ...
    2. knn54
      knn54 25 March 2015 10: 17
      Despite the global financial crisis, Erdogan’s team managed to overcome many difficulties and get out of economic turmoil with the least losses, which is especially evident against the backdrop of difficulties in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and a number of Eastern European countries. This fact already stops those wishing to integrate the state into the EU as soon as possible !!!
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. siberalt
      siberalt 25 March 2015 16: 07
      East is a delicate matter. If Greece leaves their EU, this is the collapse of the Union. If Turkey leaves NATO, this is the collapse of the bloc. A new world order is coming. The Russian world at the crossroads of all roads. The East already understands this, the EU is at the threshold of understanding. The process went fast, the potential is ripening. Now the main thing is without war.
  2. yurikh
    yurikh 25 March 2015 06: 09
    America with its ambitions of the last allies is losing. They do not see the picture as a whole, hence the miscalculations going one after another.
    1. SteelRatTV
      SteelRatTV 25 March 2015 08: 34
      Not greedy mattresses are surprised that someone is also looking for their own benefit. Do you soared how? laughing
  3. andruha70
    andruha70 25 March 2015 06: 24
    Western analysts believe that the Turkish president has a "strange" policy in the field of cooperation with NATO
    However, according to the editors of the American newspaper, Turkey’s commitment to the alliance has never seemed so “ambivalent” as it is today.
    ahah lol see, such a thing as - pragmatism - they do not know request
  4. Barboskin
    Barboskin 25 March 2015 06: 24
    Well, what can you do if any actions for the good of your state are contrary to the interests of the alliance. Maybe they just chose the wrong alliance?
  5. Andrey Yuryevich
    Andrey Yuryevich 25 March 2015 06: 24
    About how Ankara turned away from Washington
    what not so categorically ... the Turks are still in NATO.
  6. Don Cesar
    Don Cesar 25 March 2015 06: 32
    nothing personal! as they say, who will give more that and comrade
  7. Alexander 3
    Alexander 3 25 March 2015 07: 06
    The Americans can give Turkey nothing but weapons and cookies, and Russia gas.
    1. SteelRatTV
      SteelRatTV 25 March 2015 08: 36
      And the market (!!!). fellow
  8. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 25 March 2015 07: 20
    The Turks understand that there may not be another such moment to make the EU dependent on Ankara. A gas pipeline is not a paper contract. Therefore, in this historical period, the Turks are allies, regardless of NATO.
  9. _umka_
    _umka_ 25 March 2015 07: 21
    We’ll wait, not far off when Turkey sends NATO and Obama far and for long.
  10. parusnik
    parusnik 25 March 2015 07: 44
    Turks are not reliable ally .. at the end of the 18th century, Russia and Turkey were allies, but not for long ..
  11. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 25 March 2015 07: 47
    Erdogan's success in politics is precisely connected with his ability pursue an independent policy and think about the interests not of the USA or the EU, but about the interests of the motherland.

    And rightly so. But it’s time for EU politicians to start thinking about the interests of their countries, not the United States. It seems to me that business relations between Russia and Turkey will grow stronger and it is possible that in the future they will grow into a closer union.
  12. fomkin
    fomkin 25 March 2015 07: 56
    The whole story claims that the Turks believe this is the height of frivolity. All these grandiose projects can end no better than the Mistral story.
    1. 97110
      97110 25 March 2015 12: 24
      Quote: fomkin
      To believe the Turks is the height of frivolity

      It turns out that now believing in the Turks is the height of sanity. Because the background for them is created by 100% countries of Europe dependent on the US. What does not cancel the rules do not sell anything to the Turks without prepayment.
      1. Alex
        Alex 25 March 2015 19: 24
        Quote: fomkin
        To believe the Turks is the height of frivolity.

        Quote: 97110
        To believe the Turks now is the height of sanity.

        It seems to me that faith in politics is generally an irrational concept. Here, as nowhere else, it is necessary to operate with the concepts of benefit, pragmatism, situation. And then for half a century Eastern Europe was kept for the sake of faith in their gratitude, and what happened. If the Turks fail, then the contract must be terminated. The main task is not to take everything upon ourselves, so that the new CMEA does not work out: we - everything, we - "fraternal help" and an ax in the back.
  13. Wolka
    Wolka 25 March 2015 08: 21
    naively, it would be preferable for Turkey to leave NATO and declare its international neutrality than not Switzerland or Sweden militarily and in the future play a role of a bridge between the Muslim world and Europe and the West as a whole ...
    1. Talgat
      Talgat 25 March 2015 22: 35
      Not at all naive! Many write about this now - the world has changed. Turkey to NATO in general because of the threat of the USSR - and now the Turks have no need for NATO

      Since they destroyed our homeland, the Turks should no longer be afraid of us. and the Eurasian Union, even if it gets stronger together with the ODKB. will not threaten Turkey for at least 30 years, if only because. that several countries in the union simply belong to the Turkic world (maybe the Turkmens will enter, or the Uzbeks, even more so). And in general, it seems to me that our countries are not hatching any "aggressive" plans now - to be alive and to protect themselves

      Turkey should not be afraid of us in any way - on the contrary, strengthen cooperation with us - which they seem to do
  14. K_LarISA
    K_LarISA 25 March 2015 08: 31
    If we put Turkey on Russian gas, they will forever drop out of the camp of our enemies. We not only offer them gas at a significant discount, we offer them control over Europe. And not one, even the most pro-American, receiver of Erdogan will be able to refuse it.
    1. Alex
      Alex 25 March 2015 19: 27
      Quote: K_LarISA
      If we put Turkey on Russian gas, they will forever drop out of the camp of our enemies.

      Well, on the "forever" account, I would be in a little rush. Of course, they will take gas at a discount and a pipe at the expense of Russia, but for the future ... There are sad examples in the past ...
  15. mishastich
    mishastich 25 March 2015 09: 59
    And that is why everything is calm in Ukraine. Gas at a significant discount, transit control.

    Europe will not tolerate energy-control over itself and in Turkey there will immediately appear "Jig for the restoration of the Ottoman Empire", Kurds will stir, and so on.
  16. asadov
    asadov 25 March 2015 10: 17
    Erdogan is now trying to benefit from the conflict between the West and Russia. It is beneficial for him now to cooperate with Russia in the interests of Turkey. What will be later see.
  17. RuslanNN
    RuslanNN 25 March 2015 14: 18
    Quote: Chirioner
    Perdogan is an extreme Islamist. He moved away not only from America, but also from Europe. No non-Muslim side can rely on Perdogan Turkey, neither Russia nor China

    But the Saudis are liberals and democrats, with whom Petanyahu has been mercifully lately.
  18. Mjohn
    Mjohn 25 March 2015 14: 52
    Pan-Turkism is Evil
    1. Talgat
      Talgat 25 March 2015 22: 45
      The one that the Americans muddied during the years of the collapse of the USSR - yes - maybe - the goal was to bring the Eurasian Turks out of Russian influence and replace the Russian Federation with Turkey. But the efforts were wasted in vain - nothing came of it because of too much historical inertia - thousands of years have not passed in vain - and especially left their mark on the people's memory the last centuries together in the Golden Horde then in tsarist Russia and especially then in Soviet times

      In general, despite the collapse - in general, we all somehow stayed together

      But now Pan-Turkism can have a positive side - that is, play back - against the West, attracting Turkey to us
      at least it will be morally difficult for Turks to consider the Eurasian Union and the CSTO as an enemy because there are not only Kazakhs and Kyrgyz (and maybe Turkmens with Uzbeks in the future), but also many Turkic peoples inside Russia
  19. Grandfather Sadomazay
    Grandfather Sadomazay 25 March 2015 17: 42
    Gee, dear.

    You cheered me up.

    Then someone else remembers that Turkey considers something of its own, the same Crimea, for example. It would be interesting to compare without stupid pathos, what is the strength of the Turkish army against the Russian? What the hell is not joking, while Erdogan has thoughts of greatness in his head?
    1. Days
      Days 25 March 2015 22: 52
      Why didn’t you mention Egypt? He, too, once upon a time was part of the Ottoman Empire. Both Crimea and Egypt were under the control of the Ottomans when only Indians fled across the United States.

      You’d better remember Greece and Bulgaria then, they were recently Turkish. This is especially true against the background of the current weakness of the European Union :)
  20. beybars
    beybars 25 March 2015 18: 09
    East is a delicate matter. At the moment, the Turks are using the crisis between Russia and the West with maximum benefit. In the East, they always traded well, and the Turks always succeeded in this matter!
  21. Boot Chrome
    Boot Chrome 25 March 2015 20: 52
    Yes, a risky project. A dangerous, although effective and efficient (as well as fashionable, asymmetric) move. In time! Bulgarians-brothers threw, podgadil, and with the Ottomans we will kiss in a hickey. And smile, and they are to us, but how much sincerely?
    1. kamikaze
      kamikaze 25 March 2015 21: 30
      the risk of blogging. East is a delicate matter. first they will think to consult aug then they act like Turkey to rush slowly
    2. kamikaze
      kamikaze 25 March 2015 21: 30
      the risk of blogging. East is a delicate matter. first they will think to consult aug then they act like Turkey to rush slowly