Turkey NATO – Esen Fidanlik http://esenfidanlik.com/ Thu, 11 Aug 2022 16:47:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://esenfidanlik.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png Turkey NATO – Esen Fidanlik http://esenfidanlik.com/ 32 32 Explanation: why is Europe carefully monitoring the deepening of Russian-Turkish relations? https://esenfidanlik.com/explanation-why-is-europe-carefully-monitoring-the-deepening-of-russian-turkish-relations/ Thu, 11 Aug 2022 16:47:38 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/explanation-why-is-europe-carefully-monitoring-the-deepening-of-russian-turkish-relations/ Russia and Turkey agreed to strengthen economic cooperation during a meeting held in the city of Sochi, Russia, on August 5. The meeting was viewed with some concern by European countries, at a time when the West has sought to reduce the scope of its economic relations with Russia over the ongoing war in Ukraine.

However, Turkish President Recip Tayyib Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have not always maintained warm relations. The two countries are often seen as geopolitical rivals, with tensions dating back centuries. Currently, the bilateral relationship seems to be getting stronger, and experts say this could lead to some kind of retaliation from the West. We explain what happened and how Europe can react from now on.

What is the agreement signed between Russia and Turkey?

Turkish TV channel TRT said in a report citing President Erdogan‘s statements, that the two leaders discussed gas exports to Turkey and agreed to pay for them partially in Russian currency, the rouble.

According to a Bloomberg report, five Turkish banks have adopted Russia‘s Mir payment system for ruble payments.

The countries also agreed to “meet each other’s expectations in terms of economy and energy”. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters: “We talked about the financial banking sector – on which great agreements were also reached – so that our commercial companies, our citizens can transact during their tourist trips and exchanging money as part of commercial turnover,” according to Russian news agency TASS.

Other areas of cooperation mentioned in a joint press release issued later are transport, trade, agriculture, industry, finance, tourism and construction.

Why are European countries concerned?

An EU official told the Financial Times that the bloc was monitoring Turkish-Russian relations “increasingly closely”. A senior Western official also suggested that in the event of more extreme measures, countries could demand the withdrawal of investments from Turkey and prevent their banks and companies from operating in the country.

Another source of concern could be Russia’s Mir payment system, the Financial Times reported, which has been adopted by 5 Turkish banks. Visa and Mastercard having suspended their operations in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian tourists in Turkey can now use their Mir card, thus circumventing certain Western sanctions.

At the same time, Turkey is an important partner for the EU, without being an official member. The country is also a long-time member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the security alliance of Europe and Western countries.

He holds the key to allowing Sweden and Finland to be admitted into NATO, which the alliance may be keen to do given events in Ukraine. The Financial Times report also referred to Turkey’s instrumental role in handling the Syrian refugee crisis, stating that the country was hosting around 3.7 million Syrians under an agreement with the EU and “has contributed to stemming the flow of migrants to Europe”. Overall, Turkey is an important partner for the West and taking action against it could lead to a new set of problems arising for the West.

A balancing act?

Russia is a friend of Turkey but also a centuries-old geopolitical rival, dating back to the Russo-Ottoman wars. For Turkey, Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2015 has been a nagging concern and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will never recognize this “illegal” action. Their strategic interests also led them to take opposing positions during the Syrian civil war.

Over the past few years, Ankara and Moscow have been able to collaborate on projects, albeit sometimes at loggerheads. In their statements after the August 5 meeting, available on the Kremlin’s website, the leaders referred to the ongoing construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, supported by the Russian company Rosatom since 2010. Once completed, it would be the first nuclear power plant in Turkey. plant.

They also referred to TurkStream, an undersea gas pipeline across the Black Sea that “directly connects Russia’s largest gas reserves to Turkey’s gas transmission network, providing reliable energy to Turkey, Europe South and Southeast,” according to its website.

On the other hand, the United States sanctioned Turkey in 2020 under its Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), for purchasing the S-400 air defense missile system from Moscow. India also bought this system, but got an exception to the imposition of CAATSA by the US government.

Erdogan neither supported the invasion of Ukraine, nor did Turkey join the Western-led economic boycott of Russia. This middle position was again used by Turkey recently, when it negotiated the grain export agreement between Ukraine and Russia in July, which unblocked Ukraine’s important ports on the Black Sea. . How long this position can be maintained in the face of Turkey’s growing proximity to Russia is the question that remains.

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US set to arbitrate Turkey-Greece-Cyprus maritime dispute https://esenfidanlik.com/us-set-to-arbitrate-turkey-greece-cyprus-maritime-dispute/ Mon, 08 Aug 2022 18:30:00 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/us-set-to-arbitrate-turkey-greece-cyprus-maritime-dispute/

To help stabilize the Eastern Mediterranean and challenge Russia, President Biden is expected to mediate the maritime dispute between Turkey and Greece-Cyprus. Direct negotiations between Greece and Turkey have stalled indefinitely, weakening NATO and the West, as troops and resources are diverted to push back, rather than deter adversaries such as Russia.

In May, Greece went so far as to ban Turkey from a NATO exercise after Turkey violated Greek airspace 125 times in 24 hours. In late July, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Greek counterpart, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, to reaffirm US support for Greece’s security in the face of rising Turkish threats and an arms race that could potentially lead to conflict. open.

Biden has the authorization of Congress to arbitrate this dispute. The Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 states: “The President is authorized to appoint a special envoy at the ambassadorial level who will be responsible for representing the United States in direct negotiations with parties to the Cyprus dispute. … As agreed by Greece and Turkey, the special envoy will also represent the United States in promoting mutual discussions between these countries regarding their differences on Aegean issues.

All Biden needs to do is act, and now is the time for American leadership and statecraft.

The Eastern Mediterranean is a geostrategic location that is home to an array of coastal states working to secure their interests in the resource-rich environment beneath the sea. In its quest for natural gas, Turkey has carved out a vast exclusive economic zone ( EEZ) for the exploration of natural gas which violates the maritime rights of Greece – another NATO member – and Cyprus, a European Union state. Turkey’s maritime deal with the Libyan government, which largely ignores Greek and Cypriot legal claims, is destabilizing the eastern Mediterranean, as are Greek actions such as the militarization of Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast. The aggressive maneuvers of the Turkish Navy have led to numerous naval incidents with Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Russia and China perceive the Eastern Mediterranean as a node of competition between great powers. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is expanding in the region, while Russia seeks to undermine US, EU and NATO goals in this theatre. Russia’s soft power initiatives aim to eliminate US allies such as Greece, Cyprus and Turkey – countries that are susceptible to Russian offers of investment, energy and tourism dollars. These Russian efforts rely on exploiting the fissures between Eastern Mediterranean states, and between them and the United States, especially fissures that could be repaired by Russian energy or political capital.

Robust American diplomacy in the form of mediating maritime disputes would help bring order and cohesion to NATO allies and have the downstream effect of sealing off areas of opportunity for Russia – and China, to start. Moreover, successfully brokered US-sponsored talks would strengthen US ties to the region and help contain a recalcitrant Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Engaging Erdoğan will require vigilance. Some analysts rightly point out that Turkey is unreliable, deceptive and cooperative with our adversaries, including Russia. The United States should take advantage of the falling Turkish lira, the upcoming Turkish elections, and Erdoğan’s pursuit of an F-16 deal, to attach concessions to any deal that benefits Turkey. Turkish compromises are to be expected in the Greek-Cypriot context, but also with regard to other American objectives such as Turkey’s commitment never to buy Russian weapons systems again, which present risks to NATO’s security and interoperability. That said, Erdoğan’s recent pivot to the Gulf and Israel – and apparently away from the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran – prompts cautious optimism.

Notably, the Biden administration is currently negotiating a maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon — countries that, like Turkey and Cyprus, have no diplomatic relations and need outside-led arbitration. The current US effort in Lebanon, which appears to be working, should serve as a precedent for a broader mediation strategy aimed at stabilizing the entire eastern Mediterranean, despite malign local actors such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria and the Lebanese terrorist militia, Hezbollah.

Given the strong congressional mandate to host the talks and escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, the United States is expected to mediate the Turkey-Greece-Cyprus dispute. Compartmentalizing and resolving the EEZ issue could lead to the resolution of other Greek-Turkish-Cypriot disagreements and a more integrated Western-leaning regional architecture. Negotiating a maritime agreement would help build trust between aggrieved parties and could lead to cooperation on important issues such as renewable energy, water scarcity, climate change and regional security.

Additionally, this low-cost, high-impact strategy would help create a more united front against enemies and rivals in the region.

Nicholas Saidel is Associate Director of Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response at the University of Pennsylvania. He was previously a Fellow of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at Penn Law School; a partner at the law firm Wolf, Block LLP; a legislative aide to Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.); and Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

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US calls for tighter control of Turkish TB2 drones https://esenfidanlik.com/us-calls-for-tighter-control-of-turkish-tb2-drones/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 05:03:52 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/us-calls-for-tighter-control-of-turkish-tb2-drones/

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

As countries around the world add armed drones to their arsenals, federal lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to investigate how American parts and technology ended up in what has quickly become one of the models most popular on the world market: the Turkish TB2.

Manufactured by Turkish company Baykar Technology, the TB2 can hover over a battlefield and strike targets with laser-guided missiles. Baykar maintained that TB2s are produced domestically, with almost all parts sourced from Turkey.