The visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg on August 9 – the first foreign visit of the Turkish leader after the failed military coup undertaken in the country on July 15. And the meeting of Erdogan and Putin, in turn, the first after the incident in November last year, when Turkish forces shot down a Russian su-24 bomber. Therefore, the attention to Erdogan’s visit, rightly so. Some have already called the meeting of the Russian and Turkish leaders historical. What are the expectations of Turkey from her? This “MK” asked the experts.
“The crisis in Russian-Turkish relations have several dimensions. First, it is trade and economic ties, which were destroyed. Obviously, both parties will take steps to restore them. Another aspect is regional. For Turkey, the situation in Syria is very important, in particular, the emergence in the North Kurdish territorial entity. Ankara, of course, will seek a consensus with Moscow, the Kurds did not threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. And of course there is the international dimension: how will further develop relations of Ankara with the European Union and the United States? Especially after the attempted coup and the measures taken in response to the West and that the Turkish side was not expecting. So now comes the process of making a new balance of power in which Russia and Turkey are the main players in the region. The Russian side, of course, also will try to take advantage of changes in Ankara’s relations with the West. And the consequences of the meeting of Erdogan and Putin in the international aspect will become clear in the future. With regard to regional issues, the power project is very important for Russia. As you can see now, the “Turkish stream” is the future on two threads, not four, as suggested by Moscow. This aspect is obviously important for regional balance. Therefore, this historic meeting. Turkey will be the most important to restore trade and economic relations, to resume the flow of tourists. For Russia, the more important geopolitical aspect.”
Gumer ISAEV, orientalist, living in Turkey:
“The Turkish side, I think, will be quite a lot. In political terms, it is worth noting that the current visit of Erdogan – his first trip abroad after a coup attempt. And the fact that chosen Russia, of course, in the Turkish format is presented as a turn from the West, with which relations have deteriorated. Here Erdogan acts more pointedly. He “teases” Western partners, going to Putin. The restoration of relations with Moscow because it is served as a counterweight to Ankara’s relations with Washington and the European Union. It was announced about resumption of the “Turkish stream,” about the growth of trade, as Turkey is in need of markets for their products. Of course, Ankara worried about the visa regime imposed by Moscow and the resumption of tourist arrivals. In this sense it occurs in the framework of normalization of relations, which outlined the Turkish side. As far as Russia will go forward? In Turkey its not really in doubt. Statements by Turkish officials sound as if Russia have agreed on a plan of Ankara. You may recall that even when there was no clear Moscow’s reaction to the letter of Erdogan, the Turkish media talked about the complete reconciliation here has a way to run into this issue forward. And already, a number of Pro-government media paints some quite phantasmagoric paintings of close interaction and cooperation.”
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