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Turkish Gambit: Why Biden-Erdogan's deal is interesting for Ukraine?
112.International ^ | June 25, 2021 | Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili

Posted on 06/25/2021 8:56:36 AM PDT by elpadre

On Monday, June 21, Turkish President Recep Erdogan said that his recent meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels opens a "new era" in diplomatic relations between the two countries. According to Erdogan, there are no problems in relations between Turkey and the United States that cannot be solved, and there are much more areas for cooperation. Biden expressed the hope that countries can make real progress. At the same time, the parties did not agree on problematic issues, such as the acquisition by Turkey of Russian S-400 anti-missile systems, violation of human rights by the Erdogan regime, persecution of the opposition, attempts to appropriate oil and gas fields on the shelf of Cyprus, unauthorized redistribution of borders in the Mediterranean Sea, support for Palestinian extremists in the conflict with Israel 13:00, 25 June 2021

AFP

The Biden administration is pursuing a gambit tactic with Turkey. In chess, a gambit is a combination in which one of the parties sacrifices a piece at the beginning of the game in order to speed up the course of the game, gain benefits and advantages over the opponent. In the case of US-Turkey relations, Biden's victim is that he turned a blind eye to Erdogan's expansionist ambitions, contrary to NATO values ​​and democratic principles, in order to enlist Turkey's support in deterring America's competitors and opponents in certain regions. Ukraine can also benefit from the rapprochement between the United States and Turkey.

"Watcher" of the Middle East

The United States hopes that Turkey will help them control the situation in the Middle East so as not to be distracted from the main priority of foreign policy: containing the military, economic and technological might of China. The Americans had to come to terms with the existence of Erdogan's regime in Turkey, as it turned out to be stronger than they expected. It did not work to overthrow the president in a military coup in 2016 or blackmail him by canceling the supply of modern multirole F-35 fighters.

The states could not find an alternative to Turkey among the Middle Eastern countries for the role of a regional ally. Waiting for rapprochement between Israel and the Arab countries is too long. The latest escalation of the conflict in the Gaza Strip and the unrest in Jerusalem has had a negative impact on Arab-Israeli relations. Oil monarchies are not credible. Qatar is in difficult relations with neighboring states due to suspicions of sponsoring terrorism. Biden still has questions for the Saudi Arabian authorities about the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The military operation of Riyadh in Yemen, where civilian casualties are too great, is unpopular among American and European liberals. In January 2021, the United States suspended arms shipments to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Turkey will not return to its role as a pillar of US influence in the Middle East, as it did during the Cold War, but it is doing well as a counterbalance to Russia and Iran in the Middle East and North Africa. Russia's allies are opponents of Turkey and its protégé in armed conflicts in Syria and Libya. The Turkish military is conducting operations against the armed formations of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. Iran's influence is strong in these countries. Erdogan is seeking to strengthen Ankara's presence in Arab countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire, where the Americans are reducing their presence. The United States is withdrawing some of its anti-aircraft missile and anti-missile systems, aircraft from military bases in Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. The Turkish military is present in Qatar.

Afghan deal

The NATO summit discussed the possibility of the Turkish military guarding the airport in Kabul after the withdrawal of US troops and their allies from Afghanistan until September 11, 2021. There are 500 Turkish military personnel in Afghanistan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu believes that the protection of the capital's airport is vital for employees of diplomatic missions of various states. The Afghan authorities see this move as a continuation of NATO and international assistance to Afghanistan. However, Turkey's mission is much broader than airport security.

Turkey's advantage is that it is a Muslim country and over the years of participation in the military operation in Afghanistan has managed to establish contacts with representatives of the clans of former President Hamid Karzai, incumbent head of state Ashraf Ghani, with the leader of the Uzbek community, former Vice President, Marshal Abdul-Rashid Dostum, who in 2001 assisted the American military during the invasion. Even with the Taliban, the Turks have connections. Although the representative of the Taliban movement Zabihullah Mujahid opposed the presence of the Turkish military at the Kabul airport, he expressed interest in "fraternal" relations with Turkey.

Ankara can act as a mediator in negotiations on the future development of Afghanistan between the Islamist Taliban and other influence groups. So far, the dialogue between the Taliban and Afghan officials has not developed. The militants continue their offensive operations against the Afghan security forces and capture new areas. Turkey has offered to hold a conference in Istanbul on the peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in Afghanistan with the participation of the Taliban, representatives of states, and international organizations, but it has been postponed from April 2021. The Taliban refuse to discuss anything until the foreign military leaves the country. In turn, the United States and Turkey make it clear to the Taliban that NATO will have to maintain a presence in Afghanistan until they end hostilities.

Related: Turkey urges NATO allies to soften their response to forced landing of Ryanair plane in Minsk

Perspectives of Turan

The Turks are not ready to stay in Afghanistan because of NATO commitments. Turkey's foreign policy is influenced by the ideas of pan-Turkism, which consists of the rapprochement of Turkey with the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and some regions of Russia in the political and economic spheres. Pan-Turkists are interested in creating a supranational entity, Turan. There are also Turks among the inhabitants of Afghanistan, including ethnic Uzbeks, Turkmens, Kyrgyz. By supporting Azerbaijan in the armed conflict with Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, Turkey has demonstrated itself as a defender of the Turks.

Hypothetically, if Turan's idea is implemented in the form of an integration entity, then this bloc will be able to squeeze China's position in Central Asia, which is in the interests of the Biden administration. Container routes from China to Europe pass through the territory of Kazakhstan within the framework of the Chinese logistics project "New Silk Road". The Central Asia - China gas pipeline passes through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, thanks to which the Celestial Empire gained access to Turkmen gas. There is a pipeline in Kazakhstan for the supply of oil to China. Afghanistan is interesting to China in the context of the implementation of the logistics and infrastructure project "One Belt, One Road". In the event of a settlement of the armed conflict, the state will become a link between the regions of South and Central Asia.

Open source

Turkey will be able to strengthen transport links with Turkic-speaking countries and tie up on itself part of the container traffic that goes from China to Europe through Russia and from Central Asian countries through the Georgian Black Sea ports in the event of the opening of rail and road links with Azerbaijan through the territory of Armenia (Zangezur corridor). Turkey can also transit Turkmen gas to Europe through its territory if Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan build a gas pipeline under the Caspian Sea. This project will connect the gas fields of Turkmenistan with the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline. The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is among the priority projects in the EU. The entry of Turkmen gas to the European market will create competition for Gazprom.

Hypothetically, if Turan's idea is implemented in the form of an integration entity, then this bloc will be able to squeeze China's position in Central Asia, which is in the interests of the Biden administration. Container routes from China to Europe pass through the territory of Kazakhstan within the framework of the Chinese logistics project "New Silk Road". The Central Asia - China gas pipeline passes through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, thanks to which the Celestial Empire gained access to Turkmen gas. There is a pipeline in Kazakhstan for the supply of oil to China. Afghanistan is interesting to China in the context of the implementation of the logistics and infrastructure project "One Belt, One Road". In the event of a settlement of the armed conflict, the state will become a link between the regions of South and Central Asia.

Open source

Turkey will be able to strengthen transport links with Turkic-speaking countries and tie up on itself part of the container traffic that goes from China to Europe through Russia and from Central Asian countries through the Georgian Black Sea ports in the event of the opening of rail and road links with Azerbaijan through the territory of Armenia (Zangezur corridor). Turkey can also transit Turkmen gas to Europe through its territory if Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan build a gas pipeline under the Caspian Sea. This project will connect the gas fields of Turkmenistan with the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline. The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is among the priority projects in the EU. The entry of Turkmen gas to the European market will create competition for Gazprom.

The United States, the EU, and Turkey are concerned about the oppression by the Chinese authorities of the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people living in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The Chinese authorities send them to special labor camps, where they inculcate communist ideology, force them to work to the point of exhaustion, and stop practicing Islam.

Containment of Russia in the Black Sea

In a communiqué following the NATO summit, the member countries expressed their intention to strengthen their presence in the Black Sea and called on Russia not to impede shipping in certain areas. Today, of all NATO member countries with access to the Black Sea, Turkey has the most powerful navy. The Turkish authorities are guided by the "Blue Homeland" doctrine, the essence of which is that 462 thousand square meters. km of shelf and waters of the Black, Mediterranean, and Aegean Seas belong to Turkey. If in the Mediterranean Sea the appetites of Turkey met with resistance from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, and France, then the dominance of Turkey in the Black Sea is beneficial for the United States to curb Russia's military activity.

Open source

The Russian Black Sea Fleet took part in the Russian-Georgian conflict in August 2008. In November 2018, the Russian coast guard attacked and hijacked Ukrainian military boats in the Kerch Strait. Russia is building up its military presence in the annexed Crimea and has deployed Iskander tactical complexes there. Historically, Russia and Turkey compete for influence in the Black Sea. From 1568 to 1918, there were 12 armed conflicts with their participation. Turkey is concerned about cases of violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars, who are a people close to the Turks in linguistic and cultural terms. The Black Sea is a storehouse of natural gas for Ankara. In 2020-2021 the Turks discovered gas fields with a total volume of 540 billion cubic meters. Turkey's plans are to achieve energy independence.

Cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey in the trade, economic and military-technical spheres can complement the interaction in the energy sector. Ukraine will be able not only to expand the direction of natural gas imports but also to offer the services of its gas storage facilities for blue fuel from Turkey and Turkmenistan. Their capacity is designed to store over 32 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In 2020, Ukraine imported 9.24 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

In relations with Turkey, the Biden administration adheres to a balanced pragmatism. The White House recognized Erdogan's regime in the form in which it is, turned a blind eye to his geopolitical adventures, and for the sake of profit agrees to cooperate despite differences. Washington will loosen its grip on certain regions and transfer them to the jurisdiction of a not the most unreliable, but rather influential NATO partner who speaks on equal terms with Russia and wants the whole world to take his interests into account. At the same time, Biden is risking his reputation among American liberals and human rights advocates. After all, he actually sacrificed democratic values ​​for the sake of a deal with an authoritarian leader. But that's a completely different story.


TOPICS: Egypt; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Israel; News/Current Events; Russia; Syria; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: abdulrashiddostum; afghanistan; africa; armenia; ashrafghani; azerbaijan; bidengambit; blacksea; caspiansea; china; crimea; cyprus; egypt; erdogan; f35; france; gaza; gazprom; georgiykuhaleyshvili; germany; greece; hamas; hamidkarzai; iran; iraq; isis; israel; jamalkhashoggi; jordan; kazakhstan; kerchstrait; kurdistan; kuwait; kyrgyzstan; lebanon; libya; mediterranean; methane; mevlutcavusoglu; minsk; nagornokarabakh; nato; newsilkroad; opec; qatar; receptayyiperdogan; republicofgeorgia; russia; ryanair; s400; saudiarabia; sinai; syria; taliban; tatars; turkey; turkmenistan; uae; uighurs; ukraine; unitedkingdom; uzbekistan; waronterror; xinjiang; zabihullahmujahid; zangezurcorridor

1 posted on 06/25/2021 8:56:36 AM PDT by elpadre
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To: elpadre

a long read but very interesting article about happenings in the Turkey area of influence.


2 posted on 06/25/2021 8:58:47 AM PDT by elpadre ( )
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To: elpadre

Does this mean that Erdogan renigs on his claim to the Incirlik-USAF-occupied airbase and the nuclear arms stationed there?


3 posted on 06/25/2021 9:03:12 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: Terry L Smith

I didn’t see that in the article but I doubt that is on the table. Read at the link with photos and charts to be better understood.


4 posted on 06/25/2021 9:08:42 AM PDT by elpadre ( )
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To: elpadre

so says 112.International, which is owned by a leading member of the pro-Russian political block in the Ukraine.

I would take all of this with LESS THAN a grain of salt.


5 posted on 06/25/2021 9:37:54 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: elpadre

Look for hundreds of thousands of Turks to suddenly be allowed to migrate to the USA. That’s what this means. /spit.


6 posted on 06/25/2021 10:13:25 AM PDT by Flavious_Maximus
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To: Wuli; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; Bockscar; cardinal4; ...

Good call.


7 posted on 06/25/2021 10:35:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.)
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To: ETL; StoneWall Brigade

What rubbish. Turkey has been an unreliable ally at best, and is likely to be part of the splitting of NATO that is coming up. BTW the western European powers don’t much like Poland, the baltic states, or Hungary right about now either, and are likely to cede them and Ukraine to Russia to save their own skins.


8 posted on 06/25/2021 1:38:54 PM PDT by Thunder90 (All posts soley represent my own opinion.)
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