The announcement of a series of economic sanctions against Turkey means, in effect, the nomination of Putin’s ultimatum – no expiration. Sanctions will remain in place as long as Erdogan does not apologize for the destruction of the Russian bomber and the death of the Russian military. And you can even imagine in what form he could do it without losing face.
Russian-Turkish crisis is growing in intensity. In response to the destruction of the su-24, Putin instructed the government to develop what Prime Minister Medvedev said the package of measures in the economic and humanitarian spheres on the response to an act of aggression by Turkey”.
“The sooner you apologize, Erdogan, the less damage will be dealt to Russian-Turkish relations”
Within two days we’ll prepare a list of sanctions – and there is no doubt that they will act in the coming days. Because Erdogan yet pretends he knows nothing, for its part is offering Russia to apologize for the violation of the airspace, promising to continue to do the same as November 24.
These statements Erdogan made shortly after Vladimir Putin on Thursday is even more sharply expressed to the Turkish authorities, calling “totally inexplicable” and contrary to common sense and international law “traitorous stabs in the back from those whom we have seen partners and allies in the fight against terrorism”. The President of Russia noted that “the impression that the Turkish government deliberately pushes Russian-Turkish relations to a deadlock, because still we do not hear any intelligible apology from the highest political level Turkey or proposals relating to compensation and damage, no promises to punish criminals for their actions a crime.”
In fact, Putin issued an ultimatum to Ankara and listed the conditions, after which a possible exit from the crisis: apology, punishment of perpetrators and compensation. Turkey’s refusal was expected – Erdogan said that “we didn’t know whose plane was shot down,” and reported that “very saddened by the reaction of Russia”. But the main disappointment ahead of Moscow took a decision to introduce large-scale economic sanctions against Turkey.
This means that the Kremlin decided fast and hard to force Erdogan to apologize. Would actually covered everything except gas and oil supplies from Russia, the cessation of which would cause economic and humanitarian catastrophe in Turkey. Practically Russia declares Turkey a mild form of economic war, “easy”, because without disconnection of energy supplies.
But the goal is good. The sooner you apologize, Erdogan, the less damage will be caused to the relations (including economic), that is, the faster they will be able to recover. Any other option of fixing the situation – from his ultimatum demanding an apology Putin will not give up ever. Form of apology can be discussed – they may not bring Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign Ministry or even the military – but to retreat from this requirement is impossible.
And this is not a deadlock but a conscious strategy of the Kremlin. They decided to push as hard economically to speed up the process of realization of the Turks that the situation is hopeless.
The calculation is only true in a situation where a military response is impossible, and even harmful. The destruction of the Turkish plane in response it would theoretically be possible in the first hours after the death of our su-24 near the Turkish-Syrian frontier – but the Turks after challenge started to behave more than neatly slicing the shot. To attack Turkish aircraft in Turkish territory after Turkey turned to NATO, too, is impossible. Not even because it would lead to confrontation with NATO (which it was not), but because it would be the inevitable armed conflict with Turkey and a full breakdown of all the talks on joint actions in Syria with the same France.
Armed conflict with Turkey would proceed in the form of the air war on Syrian territory. And this local war is not necessary for any of the parties – but extremely beneficial for those who would like to disrupt Russian operations in Syria, and to draw Russia into a full-scale war in the middle East.
No military response from Russia does not mean that we have lost face is one of the favorite arguments of the supporters of retaliation – but only means that we chose another, more reasonable solution.
But the pressure on Erdogan’s economically useless, mind the same proponents of “military solution” – Turkey will never apologize, so it would be better just to respond on the principle of “an eye for an eye,” and thereby settle the conflict.
Yes, for the President of Turkey is politically and humanly unacceptable to recognize the incompetence, or at least the fallacy of action against the su-24 – Turkey protects its sovereignty, its borders about four years there is a war on its territory and millions of refugees in Syria, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, related Turkomans. Erdogan returns to the greatness of a great nation, he has long expressed dissatisfaction with Russia’s actions in Syria, Turkish authorities warned of the possible consequences of violations of the Russian Turkish border. And now to admit that anyone can violate Turkish space, and even to apologize to almost “aggressors”? And accept the fact that you deliberately staged provocation?
Of course, in this form, neither Erdogan nor Turkey never recognize. But Russia does not require that the Turkish President sprinkled his head with ashes. It needs only to ensure that losses in that case he will remain in his position at the su-24, will be immeasurably greater than if he starts to give it up. Let gently, gradually, but begin. We are not talking about choosing from the good and the bad of the options will have to choose from bad and very bad.
While Russia itself does not choose from the good and the bad. We in any case have suffered the loss of reputation by the very fact of the missed stab in the back, and starting the sanctions war with Turkey, and we will incur economic losses. Just for the sake of temporary damage to the reputation of the great powers became permanent, to a spot on the Russian uniform is not turned in indelible dirt, we are ready not only to punish the culprit, but they incur high costs. The question is, can you afford Turkey and Erdogan to choose stubbornness? Not too great cost?
And it’s not only in the economic damage. The gap with Russia reduces freedom of maneuver of Erdogan – both domestic and foreign policy. Aggravated all the threats that exist both for him personally and for Turkey in General. Erdogan is smart and strong-willed politician, he managed to do with Turkey what could not be anyone from the times of the founder of the Republic Ataturk. But the scale of change over the 12 years of his reign comparable with the size of the challenges it faces.
Of course, he tries to use the conflict with Russia to strengthen their position and unite the people around his figure during “the ordeal”. But Erdogan has always been primarily raising the status of Turkey on the world stage – and without falling into dependence on any foreign power, whether the US, EU, Russia, China or the Gulf countries. The conflict with Russia, and even in terms of running along the Turkish border wars, puts Erdogan faced with a choice.
Of course, he can summon the nation to accept the loss of the Russian market and tourists to tighten their belts and stand to the end, and even begin to play the anti-Russian card to get help from enemies of our country. And it may even at some point lead to the consolidation of its internal political positions and to the big advances on the part of the Atlanticists. But for what the Turks will “stand against”?
In the name of national pride and the preservation of respect for Turkey as a regional superpower? But in the case of confrontation with Russia, Ankara will not even be able to defend the interests of the Syrian Turkomans – not to mention the Kurdish issue. A rapprochement with the Atlanticists and all would mean a far greater loss of face than an apology to Russia – after all, Turkey will have to do what she so carefully avoided under Erdogan: to play someone else’s game.
In order not to drive themselves to a standstill, Erdogan just need to start moving in the direction of an apology. And gradually he has almost started – said on Thursday evening in an interview with France 24 that “if we knew that the plane was Russian, perhaps we would have warned him otherwise.”
For starters, you can create a Russian-Turkish-international Commission, which will set the exact coordinates of the events of November 24. And suddenly, for Ankara will establish a discrepancy in the readings of the instruments, satellites, pilots. Like, according to one, the su-24 was crossed, and on the other – not crossed, and the Turks seems to be slightly wrong with the definition of its location and distance. If you wish, you can always think of something to say what you need, not recognizing, of course, deliberate provocation.
For example: we had to knock because he thought that knocking over its territory, but as it turns out, was shot down over the Syrian, ” what a mess, so we, it turns out, is not right, and this we regret. And then the next step you can do is apologize. Not on behalf of Erdogan – that he’ll never lose, the more that Russia has no purpose to humiliate him. Yes, that compensation can offer – in order to restore normal relations, but not because we are absolutely wrong. Yes, in this case a little wrong, but our border will not allow anyone to violate and will continue to shoot down. Yes, that’s the agreement with Russia on the avoidance of incidents in the air signed so that the Russian, now we are even more afraid and will not fly for even five seconds.
The only question is, how long will it take to Erdogan for recognizing the obvious. God forbid that a couple of weeks or a month – but, if need be, Putin can wait six months, a year… And despite the fact that all this time will go to the Syrian operation. That is, Turkey will live in the position of a frontline state, on the borders of which country at war, declared it an economic war.
Russia will have to wait as long as necessary, even if it takes many years, maybe even as long as the apology will bring a completely new Turkish authorities. It would be strange if Erdogan did not understand.
And he certainly understands what the word “Straits” should not even say out loud. This we fear that “Turkey will take, and will close for Russian ships of the Bosphorus and what will happen to our operation in Syria?”. But Erdogan this may not even come to mind – the closure of the Straits in peacetime will lead to consequences against which the provocation with the destruction of the su-24 seems a minor episode.Related posts: