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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Western media: the Meeting of Erdogan and Putin is a recognition of the power of Russia


World press analyzes the results of the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Reporters wonder whether it was real reconciliation or a good game. Many agree that the West has behaved inappropriately in relation to Turkey after the coup, and Erdogan began to look for allies in the East. Russia may use the situation for development of economy and the Syrian settlement.

The world’s press examines the results of the talks between Russian and Turkish leaders Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The views expressed are very different, and some points of view are diametrically opposed. In any case, this strong interest suggests that the West is closely watching the development of Russian-Turkish relations, the impact of which affects not only the situation in the countries themselves, but also on many other geopolitical processes.

“Most likely, Erdogan plans to use the agreement with Russia as a lever of pressure on the EU”

According to the correspondent of the American newspaper the Wall Street Journal, the meeting between the two leaders may be a tactical maneuver rather than strategic cooperation. However, Putin and Erdogan have a common interest to support anti-American sentiment, and both allegedly want to draw from this conflict of benefits. The author argues that Putin is always looking for opportunities to spread the influence of Russia due to the US, so the establishment of relations with Turkey gives him a chance to sow discord in NATO.

A different interpretation of the reconciliation of Russia and Turkey gives the French press. The influential newspaper Libération considers that the current context favours a pragmatic agreement between Russia and Turkey. Moreover, both countries are geographically and politically located on the periphery of Europe”.

Erdogan on the hook

An analytical article about the changes in Russian-Turkish relations recently published by the American intellectual center Stratfor, which the media called the “shadow CIA”. According to the authors of the publication, Erdogan, making concessions, staged a “show of diplomatic reconciliation.” Thus, both leaders belong to the incident with the downed Russian su-24 as to the anomalies, which should not interfere with relations between the two countries.

At the same time, the interests of Moscow and Ankara came into conflict in the middle East, and USA decided to contribute to the rapprochement between the two countries, if this will reduce the risk of another major confrontation on the battlefield in Syria. But despite the demonstration of restoration of relations, they are actually “in the overall geopolitical dynamics, nothing has changed” and the main friction remain. First of all we are talking about Syria, particularly about the battle for Aleppo, where yet none of the parties is unable to take the city under their control.

“Russia will continue to use the Syrian opposition with Turkey and Erdogan to keep on the hook, supporting Kurdish separatists. Therefore, given the large geopolitical ambitions of Putin and Erdogan, the two countries are waiting for new points of collision of national interests”, – predicts Stratfor.

A different angle of view on the reconciliation of the two leaders watching the German newspaper Tagesspiegel. Putin and Erdogan allegedly operate from a position of weakness, so the West should not fear their approach. According to the paper, both policies are trying to shift attention from its isolation and to convince the peoples that have political influence on the world stage. “Putin and Erdogan should seek to cooperate with the West, and not turn away from him, because otherwise deprived of opportunities to modernize their society and economy,” says the author.

The Russian show of force

Note that the German media paid more attention to the meeting. If some perceive in the reconciliation hypocrisy, the other is the Russian show of force and did not rule out the appearance of the chances of progress in the Syrian settlement. “The meeting of Turkish President Erdogan with his counterpart Putin is an acknowledgment of the power of Russia. Both parties share not only common interests, but also rivalry. Russia pays for its power cost”, – the commentator of the TV program Tagesschau on the first of the German public legal TV channel ARD Sylvia Steber.

It clarifies the RIA “Novosti”, it said that Erdogan and Putin concentrated power in his hands. “While Erdogan leads reislamization” Turkey, Putin stimulates the rethinking of Russian society towards the traditional pattern of values of the Orthodox Church”, – says the journalist.

In turn, the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau sees the reconciliation signal to the European Union. Moreover, the visit of Erdogan was possible precisely because the EU is “inadequately treated with complex partner after a failed coup attempt.

However, the business newspaper Handelsblatt did not believe in the sincerity of the reconciliation. “In world politics, the smile says more than a thousand words. After months of sanctions, insults and threats, Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan are sitting in the luxury of the Konstantinovsky Palace at the gate in Saint Petersburg and make a good face. This is the first, with the stress the expected meeting of the two presidents since the beginning of the heavy Russian-Turkish crisis. Despite the conflict, the greeting seems friendly”, – writes the edition.

Alarm in Western capitals

Not paid attention to the meeting and the most famous American newspaper The New York Times, which writes that the meeting of the presidents took place after nine months of “open antagonism”. “Although the meeting in St. Petersburg a little like a vow in friendship and cooperation, the meeting of two antagonists for friendly conversation was enough to cause alarm in Western capitals. Being a NATO member, Turkey is vital for Europe trying to control the flow of migrants from Syria and Afghanistan,” he said.

The NYT also notes that between Washington and Ankara, there is disagreement about support for the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. “Anti-Americanism in Turkey is on the rise – amid accusations that the United States played a role in a failed military coup,” notes NYT.

“For Mr. Putin, who has made little secret of its ambitions to weaken NATO and the destruction of European enterprises with the aim to establish a new rapprochement with an aggrieved Mr Erdogan can bring deep satisfaction and become a justification of its actions in Syria,” the author notes.

The observer reminded that no one expected such a quick normalization of relations. “In November, the two leaders were at each other’s throats, Russia and Turkey were on different sides of the Syrian conflict,” he writes.

“Any agreement between Russia and Turkey can have big consequences for the Middle East and Europe. Most likely, Erdogan plans to use the agreement with Russia as a lever of pressure on the EU to conclude more favorable migration deal, – says the author. – Closer ties with Russia may also cause stress and within NATO that would be used, Mr Putin.

The Wall Street Journal drew attention to the “gas issue”: the publication writes that Russia and Turkey were given to understand that they will revive the “Turkish stream”, which could undermine Europe’s efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas through Azerbaijan. “The pipeline will be pumped to Turkey more natural gas than it can consume, making it a potential hub for Europe, reminded the WSJ. – It will be a real blow for Azerbaijan.”

Financial Times writes that “axis of friendship” was resurrected after a four-hour conversation Putin and Erdogan. “The choice of Russia as the first place to visit after a failed military coup gives this meeting a much wider geopolitical significance that makes some in the West worry that a NATO member can be retracted into the orbit of the Kremlin, despite the differences in the Syrian conflict”, – writes the edition.

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