Erdoğan – Putin Summit: A Crucial Strategic Movement in the Middle East
This is the first time that two important leaders of the world diplomacy, Erdoğan and Putin held a meeting after the Russian Jet crisis which was a tragic incident for the Russian side and complicated the relations with Russia from the Turkish side. The world diplomacy is full of remarkable strategic meetings, yet the recent summit between Erdoğan and Putin is a milestone for the Russian Federation and Republic of Turkey as well as European Union in terms of refugee crisis and readmission agreement; United States of America in terms of military movements and the Middle East diplomacy.
Erdoğan’s statement in the interview made by Russian news agency TASS, “Basically, Russia is fundamentally the key and most important player in establishing peace in Syria”1shows that Republic of Turkey sees Russian Federation as a primary factor in the Middle East.Inactive military policy in the Middle East region which has been conducted by USA after having a lot ofcausalities in Iraq war is paving the way for many countries to change their policies, primarily the Russian Federation. Putin’s diplomacy strategy will shape the future of the Middle East region, mainly Syria since Esad regime is considered to have been supported by Putin.
Erdoğan made his first official visit to Russian Federation after the failed coup attempt made by FETO terrorist organization. This strategic movement of Erdoğan can be seen as a menace to EU and US since Erdoğan thinks neither of them showed their support to Turkey after this failed coup attempt. According to Independent “Turkey's president has accused the West of “supporting terrorism” and said the coup in his country was organised by foreign powers. Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested Turkey would be unable to continue its strategic allegiance with the US if it continues to “harbour” the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by the Turkish government of instigating the coup attempt.”2 Diplomatic affairs between US and Republic of Turkey are likely to go through hard times in the following days unless there is a step from the US side.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish official authorities think that the “West” didn’t stand behind Turkey and democracy. Moreover, the foreign affair minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu strongly criticized the EU and said "the approach of the EU and many other European states, politicians and especially the media [toward the coup attempt] has been highly negative. It is not only our citizens' opinion but rather all of our opinion. Thus, the EU, European states and media must end the wrongful stance they have been holding until today."3 According to Daily Sabah, “Since the coup attempt, the EU and its institutions have not shown solidarity with Turkey, contrary to when then EU foreign affairs chief Ashton visited the leader of the Egyptian coup, el-Sissi, two weeks afterward.”4 Furthermore, death penalty might be reintroduced in Turkey according to wish of Turkish citizens which concerns EU countries deeply since death penalty doesn’t exist in EU’s law, and negation with Turkey about joining EU could be cut all of a sudden. "Let me be very clear on one thing ... No country can become an EU member state if it introduces [the] death penalty," 5 Mogherini said.
Apparently, this summit between Erdoğan and Putin is highly important for the Middle East region as well as for the international affairs between Republic of Turkey and EU & US. Let’s see what is going to happen next, but be sure that it is going to be a new milestone for the world diplomacy.
Anıl İpekçi – Head of MUNEF 2017