When “to war-war is always better than to jaw-jaw”

Why this title reverse the Winston Churchill’s quote “to jaw -jaw is always better than to war -war”?

Because we have to consider that there are many kinds of war, there is the fight war (the classic “version”), but there are also economic and diplomatic ones, and what happened between Turkey and Russia during the last months is the clear evidence that many words have been spent, but nothing has been done.

Who’s wrong and who’s right?

Ankara find itself between the devil and the deep blue sea because it can’t intervene with its Army (as it would do) in that area, because it could find a wall “made” of Russia and Assad but also of the U.S.A. (the Kurds protectors), the Nato and Iran. At the same time, the Turkish government feel that it must do something to avoid a future establishment of a Kurd State (the Erdogan’s obsession), and in this sense it is a hidden supporter of Isis.

Moscow is pursuing a long term politics of power, which does have to reaffirm the Russian Federation as global power after  twenty five years of darkness. In this way, Mr. Putin must defend its interests in the topic areas of the Russian economy or strategic power and Syria, with its president Assad, and Kurds are parts of the game. Russia is just trying to break the nets that the Western world weaved against it: we can clearly compare its actions with what the US and the Eu Countries  have always done without any respect of UNO charts or the sovereignty of the States.

So the Russian economic sanctions and the retaliation anti-Turkish agenda, are the consequences of bad Turkish behaviours like the shot down of the Russian jet and the anti-Kurds politics pursued by Ankara.

We find ourselves in front of two emerging States, historically enemies, belonging to opposite side of power (the Nato for Turkey and Russia goes alone) that are aggressively prosecuting their interests in the same area: we have to be happy if a larger war it is not burst out yet.


Morosin Walter


Is Turkey in Collusion with ISIS?

Turkey is officially a Western powers’ ally in the fight against ISIS. Nevertheless, we have seen that many facts suggest a different reality. The reason of a plausible tacit complicity between the Turkish government and the Islamic State lies on the Kurdish people. Indeed, the Kurds have always been perceived by Turkey as a great threat, especially after the PKK started to engage in a terrorist war against the government in 1984. To President Erdogan they clearly represent an obsession, and he’s ready to do whatever is needed to prevent them from getting a possible independence, including a secret collusion with ISIS.
His ambiguous attitude has risen after all the terrorist attacks occurred in Turkey so far, for example. In these cases, Erdogan has never taken a firm position against ISIS. On the contrary, he has always tried to seize the opportunity and condemn the Kurds, if possible.
Another fact is that even though Turkey has a strong army and a long sealed border with Syria, it has never tried to stop ISIS from replenishing its ranks, while it has always prevented the Kurds from crossing that border. If it can do it with the Kurds, there is no reason to think that it cannot do the same with the Islamic State’s militants.
We have also seen how at the end of last year Russia tried to show to the Western powers that Erdogan has an illegal oil trade with ISIS. President Putin affirmed, among the other things, that the shooting down of the Russian warplane on November 24 was motivated by a will of protecting the traffic.
Both Erdogan and the US denied all the Russian accusations and labelled them as ridiculous, even though it’s quite hard to really believe that the US is completely unaware of this very probable collusion.
Nevertheless, things are changing. After Russia delivered a letter on March to the UN Security Council reporting many facts that should prove an illegal oil trade between Turkey and ISIS, several different countries in the Council are considering them seriously, according to strategic analyst Tugce Varol.
The accusations reported in the letter, added to the fact that Russia wants to upgrade this case international, leave little doubt that a secret collusion between Turkey and the Islamic State is a real possibility that cannot be ignored anymore.

Federico Tirindelli

Violation of freedom of expression in Turkey

In my blog I have tried to highlight the problems currently affecting the world of free expression in Turkey.

Liberal and European ideas that about 90 years ago Ataturk spread seem now give way to a return of religious power in the field of politics  coming to moralize even the private life of Turkish citizens.

President Erdogan makes no secret of his intentions and uses the power of which is invested to suppress the protest voices emerging in Turkey using ad hoc laws to prevent manifest dissent against him.

Any form of communication such as newspapers, internet, TV or protest meetings are severely repressed, often with police intervention.

Many men of culture, writers, teachers and journalists are jailed and deprived of their rights to make the facts known.

Lorella Ceschi

Turkey and ISIS: The Oil Case (Part 2)



Last time we saw how Russia is trying to show to the rest of the world that President Erdogan has a traffic of smuggled oil with ISIS. In the past, Russia was a fundamental oil exporter to Turkey, but since their relation deteriorated, Russia has been replaced with ISIS. Turkey has a desperate need of oil, while ISIS has a desperate need of cash, so the deal perfectly suits the necessities of both parts. Furthermore, we saw in the last post that the US denied all the Russian accusations. Nevertheless, it’s hard to believe that the US doesn’t know anything about the traffic, especially because of the satellite imagery, not to mention the fact that Allied air strikes sometimes hit the oil trucks (observer.com/2016/02/deal-with-the-devil-turkey-props-up-isis-by-buying-its-stolen-oil/).





Looking at more recent events, it’s noteworthy to consider a letter that the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN addressed to the Secretary General and the President of the Security Council. The letter is dated 29/01/2016 and is titled “Illegal trading in hydrocarbons by ISIL”.
It reports many facts accusing Turkey of a clear collaboration with ISIS, among which the most important are: the use of tankers from BMZ Group Denizcilik ve İnşaat A.Ş, owned by Bilal Erdogan, the son of the Turkish President, and other family members; the legalization of the crude in the Turkish territory, which then ends up in other parts of the world without being traceable; the donations from private individuals and Islamic organizations, especially from Gulf States and Turkey, which are a key source in providing assistance to fighters, not to mention the accounts they have opened at several major Turkish banks; the detection of three major Turkish banks doing money transferring transactions with ISIL linked groups; and last, but not least, the provision of weapons and ammunition to ISIL through parts of the Syrian border with Turkey and Iraq.
Dr Tugce Varol, strategic analyst working on Energy Security Policies of Russia, Turkey, Middle East and Central Asia thinks that even though the Western powers  disregarded the first Russian accusations of Turkey at the end of last year, now many countries in the UN Security Council are considering them seriously. According to Dr Varol, the fact that Russia has decided to carry its accusations to the UN Security Council level is noteworthy, as it means that Russia wants to upgrade the Erdogan case international (www.huffingtonpost.com/aydoaean-vatanda/russian-letter-to-unsc-cl_b_9502784.html).




Federico Tirindelli

Will Turkey be able to deal with its big issues?

The human cost of the PKK conflict in Turkey

I chose to analyze the topic Turkey and Kurds, about which I found many websites. I read deep analyses on Foreign Affairs Magazine and Limes on line, and news on sites like BBC, The Guardian, AlJazeera, Nena- news.it, Al-Monitor.com and others.

I didn’t realized before how much the Kurdish issue is deeply rooted in the Middle-East area. It has been going on from the end of the first World War without a solution. Since then, Kurds  have always fought to retain their ethnic, political and cultural identity.

It seems to me that Kurds don’t have a common vision about their future and they never have had a common political view. For example, in Turkey there is a moderate left party like HDP and others like PKK that are on more violent and radical positions, especially their most extreme fringes. A cease-fire was signed in March 2013 between PKK and the Turkish government. It looked like the end of a 30-year low-intensity war and the begin of a democratic political dialogue on Kurdish issue but, in July 2015, the relations between PKK and the government broke down again.

The present situation shows an escalation in fighting in Kurdish area in which the Turkish troops are bombing civilians, while in other parts of the country Turkish army and the civilians  are suffering constant attacks and suicide bombings from the Kurdish rebels.

In addition to this, President Erdogan is proposing to strip the citizenship to everyone related to Kurdish terrorism, including not only rebels but also, journalists, academics, politicians,.. everyone who support the Kurdish claims

The Kurdish question is only one of many problems Turkey has to deal with. There are arguments inside the country, like the secular nature of the state, the democracy, the freedom of expression and it cannot be forgotten the 3 million refugees from Syria, and almost 140.000 from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and other.

Outside, Turkey has difficult diplomatic relations not only  with its neighbours but also with Russia and the European Union, not to mention the old issue of Cyprus Nord.

Will Turkey be able to deal with these big issues? I think that the situation is very complicated and not solvable in a short time. However  for the Kurdish question, I believe that it would be desirable to cease the fire and to resume the peace talks.

Maria Maddalena Vanzin



Migrant issues in EU-Turkey relations

I have focused on migration and the new walls in Europe.

I have analysed various official sources to find the different points of view and the decision of the European Commission.

The basis of my research is focused on the border between Turkey and Syria and consequently the ISIS issues and the war in Syria.

This has led to mass migration into Europe.

The EU is discussing how to stop this migrant flow and has drafted an agenda to manage the crisis.

The agenda proposes:

  • Tripling the presence on the sea
  • A new system of emergency solidarity to relocate asylum seekers
  • Mobilization of the European budget to address the refugee crisis
  • A new coordination and cooperation framework for the Western Balkans
  • A new partnership with Turkey
  • A new European border and coast Guard

If external borders are secure, Europe can keep the Schengen system of free border controls.

Even though the EU had prepared the agenda, Angela Merkel took initiative of direct discussions between herself and the Turkish President, to the surprise of the majority of the other European leaders.

Merkel agreed the “one in, one out” proposal and the sum of 3 Billion Euros for Turkey, without the acceptance of all 28 Member States.

This decision is a risk for Merkel’s reputation and position, and is leading to the breakup of the European project and pushing Britain out of the Union.

Given the situation, the European Commission has set out the priority actions on the agenda to be implemented immediately:

  • Permanent exchange of information and effective cooperation
  • Limiting secondary movements
  • Increasing reception capacity
  • Managing the migration flows together
  • Border management
  • Tackling smuggling and trafficking

Sorgente: Furlan Barbara     Migrant issues in EU-Turkey relations

Russia total war! (part 2)

Russia total war! (part 2)

The international and diplomatic plan

Last week we dealt with the economic embargo put by Moscow to Ankara. Today we will handle the second and the third points of the Russian retaliation, which are closely related with the international issues.

On international and diplomatic plan, Russia started to isolate Turkey throughout the action of the President Putin,  that of his Foreign affairs Minister, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, and with its ambassadors around the world.

Briefly, they talked how Turkey committed a mistake and refused to talk with Moscow, neither did an official apologize, but only accused Russia of air space violations and then hide itself behind the “NATO shield”.

The recent events once again proved that NATO membership is the defining item of Turkish foreign policy character. Turkey is a NATO-member country since ’50, but however Ankara has long sought alternatives to the West. It was not many years ago that Ankara was talking about membership of the Shanghai Five. Today, ironically, Ankara’s only guaranteed ally is NATO. No Muslim country or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has yet said a positive word in favor of Turkey about its tension with Russia. It is clear: Without NATO, Turkey would be alone.

But, why the NATO refused an open and clear support to Turkey? Maybe because the sudden changing  of direction into Obama’s administration.

John Kerry, US Secretary of State, aligned himself  with a Russian plan to keep Mr. Assad in power indefinitely. The US has conceded publicly that the Syrian leader can stay “for now”, and it’s clear also that they have used considerable pressure to compel their allies to go along with the Munich agreement.

So in this way, the NATO would have been completely alone, without the Western States support, facing the Russians pressures against Turkey.

In this sense, following the Russian violation, the NATO Secretary-General  Jens Stoltenberg only called on Russia “to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace” but also urged for calm and a de-escalation of tensions between Moscow and Ankara; just political words from a military organization.

Jens Stoltenberg

Vladimir Putin’s decision to increase military support to Bashar al‑Assad has encouraged Damascus to believe it can now win the war outright. Doubtless, this is one reason why the Russians have sought to broker a ceasefire at security talks in Munich, in order to consolidate the regime’s gains.

This mix of western indecision and Russian strength could be the fatal mix of a dangerous future.


However, nowadays…….sfyoq

Morosin Walter







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