Contingent nature of Turkey’s ties with US and Russia

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi. The two leaders …

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  • After a six-hour meeting between leaders and technical committees, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart announced a cease-fire for Syria's Idlib. During the meeting at the Kremlin, the presidents gave short speeches. The whole world followed the process as the decisions could trigger an escalation in violence while intensifying the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria. Turkey and Russia both wanted to end the civil war but were unwilling to concede their positions. For both Turkey and Russia, bilateral relations were at stake as well.

  • Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has faced the gravest problems in the region regarding security, economics and refugees. That picture has not changed. At every turn, a new wave of issues knocks on Turkey’s door. That Europe and the U.S. have not taken initiatives required for a political transition in Syria is a major factor in this. Another leading cause is Russia’s desire to solve the crisis through military force. From the outset, Russia has deployed a course of destruction called the 'Grozny model." It is a policy consisting of three stages: besiege, destroy and rule. Russia has implemented this formula in many areas, particularly in Aleppo, which has wreaked extensive destruction and killed thousands of civilians.

  • Last week’s agreement between Turkey and Russia established a new deconfliction plan and demonstrated that the two countries were united in their commitment to the Astana and Sochi processes. Even more important was their ability to stop the clashes in Idlib and preserve the framework of their bilateral relations.

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Moscow this week to hold talks on the Idlib crisis. The world closely followed his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. All experts were sure that this would be the tensest meeting between the two leaders since the 2015 jet incident.

  • For days, both Syrian public opinion and the world have been discussing the question of “What is Turkey doing in Idlib, Syria?” If you are really curious about this question, you must have been born after 2015. Turkey has intervened in northern Syria for both humanitarian and security reasons due to a number of problems, such as nearly 4 million refugees coming to the country during the nine-year war, instability spreading from Syria and dozens of people killed in missile strikes on Turkish soil, which were launched from across the Syrian border.