Turkey still has resources to resort to deceptive maneuvering actions between Russia and the West - Turkologist
YEREVAN, 11 JULY, ARMENPRESS. At this moment, we are witnessing the emphatic diplomatic behavior of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the last years of his tenure. Turkey is either getting closer to Russia or a little closer to the West. This is also characteristic of Turkey's comprehensive foreign policy of the last period. They conduct this policy with the intention that Ankara will get the dividends it seeks for a long time.
In an interview with ARMENPRESS, Ruben Safrastyan, Turkologist-academic, Counselor of Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, expressed said this, referring to the changes in the relations between Turkey and the West.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkey agreed to confirm Sweden's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Turkish media noted that after that the Turkish government received full support from the West in lifting sanctions and liberalizing the visa regime.
"The supply of modernized American F-16 aircraft is also extremely important for Turkey. That issue was raised again two days ago during a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden organized by Erdogan's initiative, and probably the Turkish leader received certain promises. The financial and economic support of the West is certainly important for Turkey, especially since after the devastating earthquake, the Turkish economy and especially the financial system is in a very difficult condition," Safrastyan said.
According to him, the situation of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has major role in that matter. It should not be forgotten that he received higher education and has experience in the USA and has been involved in the works carried out with NATO for many years. Fidan has a more pro-Western mentality, in contrast to Çavuşoğlu, and represents the circle of the Turkish political elite that is more pro-American.
According to Safrastyan, Ankara once again raised the issue of EU membership, especially since the process has been suspended by the EU in recent years. If Turkey supports Sweden in becoming a member of NATO, the latter has promised to support Turkey in European integration, although it is a rather difficult and long process. Regardless of everything, Erdogan is trying to turn the situation to its advantage in return for once again showing reverence to the West and realizing his long-standing goals.
Safrastyan reflected on the statement of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to which Sweden's membership in NATO cannot be connected with Turkey's European integration, and emphasized that the EU will never allow this issue to become a subject of negotiation.
"This problem is related to fundamental phenomena. The EU has set demands for Turkey, and only after fulfilling them, the latter can become a member of the European Union, while Ankara has no intention of fulfilling those demands. The demands include the protection of human rights in that country, the repressions that still exist, therefore, at this stage, Erdogan's purpose to join the European Union is not serious, it is just a part of a big plan. "The Turks understand that it is not possible to become EU member by non-fulfillment of demands. The contradictions are very deep," said the Turkologist-academic.
Speaking about the Turkish mediation efforts in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Safrastyan said that although Turkey, violating the agreement with Moscow, returned 5 commanders of the "Azov" battalion to Ukraine with Vladimir Zelensky, who had visited Turkey, however, even that step should not be considered as a sharp turn of policy towards Russia.
"That is also calculated. Ankara and Moscow understand very well that the current level of relations is of great benefit to the parties. Turkey does not join the sanctions against Russia, taking into account the implementation of large joint projects in various areas. Even in case of demarches and tough position from Moscow, the two countries will not abandon a very high level of interaction. On the other hand, Turkey has resources to resort to deceptive maneuvering actions between Russia and the West, despite the fact that its range is relatively small. The reason is that Turkey is strategically an inseparable part of the West, an ally of the USA and a loyal member of NATO," explained Safrastyan.
He did not exclude the point of view circulating among experts that the above-mentioned political course of Ankara with its expected new manifestations may gradually cause problems in relations with Moscow, which will have a certain impact on the situation in the South Caucasus.
"Judging from the current stage of the processes, it can be concluded that in our region there may be a certain hardening of Russia's positions towards the Turkish-Azerbaijani duo. But this will not lead to big changes or drastic shifts in Russian policy towards Turkey. As for the Armenian-Turkish relations, Ankara definitely connects this process with the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and here Ankara will never change its attitude towards Armenia. If the Armenian side agrees to the maximalist demands of Azerbaijan, on the basis of which some agreement will be signed, then Turkey will take some positive steps, but not complete. Otherwise, it is not worth expecting anything from Ankara," concluded the Turkologist.