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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“Negotiated apology”: what’s behind the letter of Erdogan to Putin

Letter of the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan Vladimir Putin, in which the Turkish leader apologizes for shooting down a Russian su-24, produced a great effect. It seems that relations between Moscow and Ankara, the survivors are not the best seven months that will work out. However, many believe that preparations for this step were very long, and the message to Erdogan’s Putin was not a surprise for the Kremlin. The Turkish public perceived the act of the President, and why the letter was not sent to Moscow before? This “MK” talked with experts living in Istanbul.

photo: AP

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“Of course, many of the Turkish media put emphasis on the fact that Erdogan’s apology to Russia, which negatively affects his image of President – said in an interview with “MK” Turkish analyst Orhan GAFARLI. Some opposition politicians, social media users are also trying to portray this situation in a bad for Erdogan light. But, on the other hand, the apology in the letter, if read carefully, relate to the deceased pilot, who was killed by a Turkish citizen. In this respect the Turks were always excuses, for them is unacceptable the Commission of a crime by their compatriot. In addition, almost all positive about the resumption of Russian-Turkish relations, that countries will work together to address common geopolitical challenges. We are mindful of what is happening in Syria, we know about the NATO summit in Warsaw, scheduled for 8-9 July, – all this is important both for Russia and for Turkey.”

The letter Erdogan had a strong impact, suddenly giving momentum almost stalled bilateral relationship, why it was written and sent before?

“Obviously, it was the joint work of Russian and Turkish diplomats, clarifying certain points. Shows that was finally found a format that was acceptable to both countries”, – said Orhan Gafarli.

Because the letter of Erdogan to Putin was the product of a long preliminary work, I agree and living in Istanbul orientalist, analyst of St. Petersburg center for the study of modern Near East Gumer ISAEV.

“Don’t forget about the may letter to Putin Erdogan in which the Turkish leader expressed the desire to improve relations,” he recalled in a conversation with “MK”. – Some signals from both sides arrive, and something like current events some of my Turkish colleagues were expecting in the spring. Obviously, none of the leaders were not ready for bright, open move – first of all, in order not to damage their own image. Probably, Turkey could not to apologize, fearing that Russia will not accept them, while Russia could not make out any particular format. Therefore, the present letter, I believe, was not a surprise for the Kremlin – he was preceded by some negotiation. And, I think, for all this is something more: Moscow had originally proposed Ankara to apologize, to find guilty, to punish them, but now perhaps we are talking about some contracts, projects — the same “Turkish stream”.

As for the Turkish opposition forces, it is not necessary to forget that many have criticized Erdogan else for the deterioration of relations with Moscow, said Gumer Isayev: “Now they, of course, to criticize it will continue, but about Russia issues will be gone. In addition, while the move was only by Ankara, and in Turkey many are waiting for the Russian response. Of course, one of the main issues that everyone is concerned — the resumption of tours to the country.”

Normalization of relations with Russia at the moment, best of Turkey in a number of foreign factors, the expert said: “Relations with Washington, Ankara is not too good – because the Americans support the Kurds, with Germany all too bad. So we see that, in General, Erdogan decided to make a foreign policy maneuver, look into those areas, the opening of which does not require super efforts. It concerns the rapprochement with Russia and with Israel.”

The aggravation of relations with Turkey. Chronicle of events

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