Analysts affirm a shift in balance with Erdogan meeting Putin, a bid to pivot towards the East. Souring relations with the west could be the consensus between the two.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unhappy with its allies esp US and the EU, sat down with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Tuesday for a diplomatic reset — just as relations with the United States and Europe show strains after last month’s failed coup.
Thought it is affirmed that the summit was aimed at ending a period of high tension and trade sanctions after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border last November — an act described by Putin as a “stab in the back.” Critics claim it as the dawn of a new era where Turkey remains oblivious to the power drift, being a NATO member.
Turkey’s relations with traditional allies including the U.S. have faltered over Ankara’s post-coup crackdown, with members of the government implying the U.S. could have been behind the coup — a claim denied by leading American officials.
Turkey has also blasted its European allies for what it sees as a lack of support for a democratically-elected government which survived a violent attempt to overthrow it. The EU on the otherhand is upset with Turkey to have re-enforced Death Penalty post failed military coup.
In contrast, the Kremlin was quick to voice support for Erdogan, reflecting Putin’s intention to mend bilateral ties.
Erdogan in June sent a letter to Putin apologizing for Turkey’s downing of the jet, setting the scene Tuesday’s talks at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg.
The current event has left Turkish officials denying that they are not turning their backs on the West. But Erdogan’s cordial trip to Russia, a nation at odds with the West on a host of issues from Syria to Ukraine, may give Turkey’s western allies pause for thought.
An analyst questioned the reality of the Russia’s dreams of Turkey pivoting east? He suggests that such hopes are in many ways naive.
According to him,
- Authoritarian regimes never forge sustainable friendships
- Neighbouring states with expansionist agendas will sooner or later fall out;
- Why would Turkey want to leave Nato and confront the ambitious Iran and Russia on its own?
Other, nonetheless, see a change in the current milieu, claiming it a breeze for the eastern world with Russia Turkey and China as main players. While in the Middle-East Turkey’s new found love might forge ways to mend relationship with Iran as well.