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

Russia total war! (part 1)

Russia total war! (part 1)

The economic embargo

This week we will deal with the economic embargo which Moscow is putting on Ankara.

The same day of Su-24 was shot down, the Russian government and the department of foreign affairs elaborated a “retaliation plan” against Turkey.

It was developed into three points:

  • an economic embargo on Turkish exports
  • a fast and progressive isolation of Turkey on international, political and diplomatic, plan.
  • a military escalation in the Syrian war landscape

The effect of the economic sanctions were reflected in Turkish export figures in January, which show that exports were 14.4 percent lower this year than for the same month last year. There are growing problems, even bankruptcy, in the food (food will mean losses of about $764 mln), textile (traders have already lost 60%), tourism and construction sectors. In the agriculture sector, according to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), from December 2015 to January 2016, exports to Russia dropped by 56 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. In addition to launching an anti-Turkish campaign in Russia, Putin called on citizens not to travel to Turkey for security reasons. According to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), tourism revenue dropped by 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 (Turkey’s Mediterranean resorts  were the second most popular holiday destination for Russians in 2014).

Turkey risks losing $3.5 bn annually in income from Russian tourists, and another $4.5 bn annually through the cancellation of construction projects. Economist Erhan Aslanoglu predicts that the cost for Turkey in lost business could be at least $10 bn.

 

 

Morosin Walter

 

Credits:

https://www.cihan.com.tr/en/turkey-and-russia-the-dynamics-of-confrontation-1961238.htm

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35209987

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/09/ever-heightening-tension-putin-puts-turkey-in-a-corner

“The Syrian war: the Turkish-Russian crisis in a historic perspective ”

“The Syrian war: the Turkish-Russian crisis in a historic perspective ”

What is happening in these months between Russia and Turkey is not a news: Russia and Turkey are old enemies, they fight wars against each other since the middle of the 17th century.

At that times the orthodox Principality of Moscow proclaimed itself as the protector of all the orthodox people and started to fight against the Ottoman Empire to protect Greeks and  Serbians orthodox people, but, most of all, to reach Mediterranean Sea and Bosporus.

Until the end of WW I°, Russia and Turkey were close enemies; after the war, the Communist Revolution and the Kemal Revolution changed many things in both countries. Russia and Turkey started to “recollect” their tensions with the glue of strong economic ties, even if both countries have nowadays huge interests in the same areas of influence.

Unfortunately, this situation of peace, trade and bilateral contacts broke down with the emersion of the ISIL, which caused the spark that set off the war into the almost hot Middle East.

How we arrived at this chaotic situation?

screen20shot202016-01-0220at2010-35-2720am

The ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, after having submitted the northern part of Iraq, insinuate itself in Syria where almost a war was fighting among the president Bashar Al Assad, supported by Russian government, and groups of rebels (wishing to overthrow the Assad regime), supported by the U.S.A. and Western governments.

All the area, furthermore, was destabilized because the ISIL was fighting a war also against Kurds (helped by Russians), and many people were leaving the region trying to cross the Turkish border with the aim to reach their Turkish relatives or, however, a safe zone.

This caused a harsh reaction of the Turkish government, which historically doesn’t consider Kurds a national country (they are, more or less, considered like bandits); besides Kurds, many thousands of Syrian people left their houses to escape from ISIS, they entered in Turkey with the goal of reaching Europe.

Cutting many points of troubles among the playing “actors”, how arrived the hard face to face between Russia and Turkey?

At first, Putin sent only arms, equipments and trainers to Assad Army; then he sent air forces (bombers, fighters and helicopters) and some troops. But was during last G-20 summit that the Russian President Vladimir Putin set the turning point: he criticized some G-20 members for helping the Islamic State, with a clear reference of Turkey. These critics had a double importance because the summit was set in Antalya, Turkey, and only two days after the terroristic attacks in Paris (13th November).

The foul deed happened on 24th November 2015: a Russian Su-24M was shot down by a patrolling Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet.

abbattimento-su-24

One of the two Russian pilots was killed by anti Assad rebels, while another Russian soldier was killed during the rescue operations of the survived pilot.

When Ankara immediately turned to Nato for support after the event, rather than turning to Russia to find a way out, Putin was furious and stated that it was a “stab in the back.”

The Russian government reacted  preparing a sophisticated anti-Turkish agenda in retaliation for the jet issue: an economic embargo on Turkish goods and a progressive political isolation of Turkey on international plan.

Turkey seriously underestimated how Russia would react to the plane shoot-down. Ankara seemed to presume that the crisis would be temporary. This was a serious miscalculation and demonstrated the failure of Turkey’s leadership to understand the Putin persona.

Morosin Walter

 

-http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/16/g20-barack-obama-and-vladimir-putin-agree-to-syrian-led-transition

-www.EncyclopaediaBritannica.com

-https://www.rt.com/news/331878-russia-turkey-relations-worst/

-https://www.cihan.com.tr/en/turkey-russia-crisis-2026139.htm

Images credits:

-https://novosti-ru.ru/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/b7951c41f3.jpg

-http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5687ef53c08a8017028b6545-824-770/screen%20shot%202016-01-02%20at%2010.35.27%20am.png

-http://www.riflessioninuove.it/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/abbattimento-su-24.jpg