Mon, 22 Jul 2019
| Usbed Usbed  |  Experts  |  About SO  |  Executive Board  |  Advisory Board  |  Collaborating Bodies  |  Contact Us  |  CALL FOR PAPERS  |  Policy Brief


A Sharp Turn in Turkey-Russia Relations
1-What are the reasons that go beyond the assassination of the Russian Ambassador?
I am on the opinion that the assassination of Ambassador Karlov is not a simple incident, the reason being that ambassadors only agree to participate in events if they are sure up until the very last second that there will be no security issues where they are going. Even the security guards closest to them learn about their daily program at the last second. If a young, 22-year old police officer is able to murder an ambassador, the issue requires to be examined. As you know, the July 15 insurrection was held by the FETO terror organisation. After July 15, the government discharged a number of police officers on the grounds that there were FETO members. However, it is known that there are still on duty police officers who are secretly members of this organization and the investigators have not been able to determine the names of all of them. I am on the opinion that a terrorist carrying out such an act cannot be planning it alone. It is without doubt that he was being led by a group with foreign intelligence. Especially the timing of the terrorist act is rather significant. First of all, since the Turkish Stream project is going to be approved in the Duma at 9th of January, and also the Syrian issue was going to discussed by the foreign affairs ministers of Russia and Turkey the day after the assassination, I am on the opinion that this assault can only be made by those who do not like the idea that Turkey and Russia getting further closer. The planners of the attack aimed to show Turkey as a "weak state"; before the incident PKK made two suicide attacks in Istanbul and Kayseri, therefore the assassination of the ambassador immediately after these two events should be perpetrated by someone who wants to escalate the chaotic situation in Turkey. The attack was a threat aimed directly at Putin more so than Russia. Lately Russia has peak influence in world politics with the part it plays in the Syrian crisis. The US' press has accused the Obama administration with failure in the face this Russian accumulation of power. Recently, President-elect Trump has announced that the CEO of Exxon Mobil, who is known to enjoy good relations with Russia, is going to be the new foreign secretary of the US. As we know from the election campaigns, Trump's character has somewhat similar qualities to Putin, and that perhaps he might also be admiring him. As the World is expecting for Russian relations to soften due to Trump's choice of foreign secretary, we can say that there may have been a secret power who wants the continuation of the US-Russia tensions behind an attack such as this one. 
2-How will this incident influence Turkey-Russia relations?
We can say that Russia has believed the sincerity of Turkey since day one, because Turkey and Russia both had vigorous efforts to rehabilitate their bilateral relations after the Plane Crisis. Nevertheless, both sides has expressed that time is needed for bilateral relations to go back to the level before the crisis. In my opinion there can be two intentions to carry out such an attack. The first to fuel the chaotic situation in Turkey and as such make it more dependent to NATO. The second is to marginalize Turkey from the West completely by creating the perception that it is a weak state and as such it will draw nearer towards Russia. Both of these political aims are in direct conflict with the Turkish foreign policy as of now. Right now, Turkey tries to develop its relations with not only the Western states but also with Eastern ones. It looks like this terrorist attack will push Turkey closer towards Russia. 
3-What is your prediction regarding the Syrian crisis?
I do not believe that stabilisation can be achieved in the Middle East without the resolution of the Syrian crisis. As it did in Chechnya, Russia is in search of a Kerimov in Russia who will be loyal to its authority. In this regard, I think the chances are improved that after the terrorist attack Russia will agree to new a name that Turkey will also be OK with to replace Assad. Russia is aware that without a resolution the region will never see stability. This is why they will fasten this process. If Russia agrees with Turkey for a post-Assad Syria, they might decide to give West a message by withdrawing from the Western struggle with ISIS and watch it from a distance. 
4-Will this attack affect Turkey's counter-terrorism efforts?
Turkey has three kinds of terror issues. The first is FETO terror organization. The second is PKK, and the third is ISIS. Turkish public sphere is on the opinion that all three of these organizations get moral and logistical support from the West. Turkey may further distance itself from the West after the assassination of the ambassador. This is because West was unable to find a resolution to the Syrian crisis and even pulled back after throwing Turkey into the fire. For this reason Turkey has become a part of the Syrian crisis, as it was pushed further towards it involuntarily. Today, the Syrian crisis has to end if we want to weaken these terror organizations. In this regard, Turkey will draw nearer towards the party who is more likely to reach a solution. This is because as an iceberg with the capacity to pit every state against each other, no state has a clear idea about the positions of post-Assad and post-ISIS Syria and Iraq, and all have conflicting interests. It can be said that the most important step to take to is to clarify these questions which may cause an interstate conflict in the future.
Dr. Yusuf ÇINAR, Analyst, USBED
Places where the interview was published in:
11.01.2017 - Hit : 1721

  • Find us on Facebook


    Call For Papers

All Rights Reserved - 2012 © Strategic Outlook | Editored By ertugruloztarsu