Yet, Turkey is, and will remain, different from Russia. Turkey’s Relationship with Russia A source of American disbelief about Turkey’s readiness to buy arms from Russia has been the assumption that Turkey and Russia are fated by geography, history, and culture to be adversaries. © Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, 2020. In Libya a conflict that the US was once … First, you need to demonstrate empathy on issues that are sensitive and important to Turkish security. Putin and Erdoğan have turned into a diplomatic double act, with the recent agree­ment for a ceasefire in Idlib being the latest example. Turkey and Russia have already agreed to set up a joint centre in the region to monitor the Nov. 10 ceasefire, which ended weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan’s troops and … For decades, parties of various ideological stripes have vied for votes in competitive elections, bargained, and entered into coalitions to share spoils and governance responsibilities. Op­po­sition parties were co-opted by the Krem­lin while opponents, such as oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had their business empires destroyed and assets redistributed to pro-regime tycoons. Con­stitutional changes in Turkey, in force since 2018, transferred all essential powers to President Erdoğan. Expectations that he might cede power, step by step, to a successor have evaporated. Turkey's relationship with Russia is historically fraught with suspicion and friction. In the 2000s, Putin changed the rules, becoming an indispensable arbiter for clans in government: e.g. Putin sought to bolster his ratings through assertive foreign policy, opposition to the West, and the appeal to nationalism. Libyan News Agency (LANA) 17:21 31-Dec-20. (3) See Igor Delanoë, ‘Russia extends Black Sea control’, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, February 2019. In contrast to Russia, Turkish elections are contested and, as the 2019 local polls demon­strated, the opposition has a chance to win. The Turkish electorate is conscious of its power to change governments through elec­tions and is unwilling to relinquish that privi­­lege. Russia’s Rosatom is building Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu, at a cost of $25bn. Their trade partnership was worth $26.1bn in 2019. and centres on tourism and agriculture: 6.7 million Russians visited Turkey in 2019. and Turkey will be the world’s second largest importer of Russian agro-industrial products in 2020. With a twist of irony, it is now Russia that may break this alliance. Yet, democ­ratisation faltered at two critical junc­tures. Igor Delanoë is deputy director of the Franco-Russian Observatory in Moscow. Putin and Erdoğan have managed. Although Russia will remain authori­tarian for some time to come, Turkey is approaching a historic crossroad: Either authoritarianism will be consolidated or some sort of return to parliamentary de­mocracy will prevail. That has started to happen only recent­ly in Russia. Checks on the executive branch, from the media all the way to par­lia­ment, have been dismantled. The constitutional changes of2017 handed all power to Erdoğan, sub­stantially downgrading the Grand National Assembly, the ultimate check on executive authority. Although there were impropri­eties in the Ankara election in 2014, the overall validity of the vote was only seriously questioned in the constitutional referen­dum of April 2017. The Russo-Turkish wars (or Ottoman–Russian wars) were a series of twelve wars fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 20th centuries. It opened up its political system, abolishing one-party rule after the Second World War. mentary elections and even capture a ma­jor­ity of seats in the Grand National Assem­bly. Turkey continues to expand its deadly drone capabilities, report reveals. Such was the case with the sale of the S-400 to Turkey. EU foreign policy, It still has a strong interest in maintaining links with the EU and the US instead of membership in a league of autocrats. Hence, it is critical to understand the gravity of the current time frame and take a pro-active stance in favour of Turkish democracy. Defying expectation… These differences bring into question the argument that Turkey and Russia constitute an autocratic bloc. Foreign policy of a country / a region, "Russia and Turkey coordinated their efforts to undermine the SDF, even when the tensions between the two countries had escalated after the shootdown of a Russian Su-24 aircraft. Turkey and Russia are often portrayed as two authori­tarian regimes led by strong leaders who favour an omnipotent state at the expense of fundamental freedoms and liberal democratic institutions. This Comment reflects the authors’ views. Turkey, Russia maintain delicate balance in three hotspots. The military was defanged thanks to EU-led reforms and, later on, through a series of highly con­tro­versial trials. After a Turkish Air Force fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft violating Turkish airspace near the Syria–Turkey border in November 2015, trust became a casualty of their bi­lateral relations. Although Russia and Turkey are rivals in several conflicts, including Libya and Syria, Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan seek to maintain good relations. The Kremlin propaganda machine blew this argument out of pro­portion after Putin’s 2012 return to the presidency, and especially with the seizure of Crimea and the war in Ukraine. Turkish-Russian joint center to be ready in two weeks: Aliyev Hurriyet Daily News 07:24 1-Jan-21. free” to “not free”. Turkey is not likely to consolidate as an auto­cratic system, even though such an out­come cannot be dismissed altogether. However, Russia as well as Turkey have proven flexible in their day-to-day conduct­ing of foreign policy. Suat Kınıklıoğlu, SWP Comment 2020/C 24, The two countries are jointly monitoring a Russian-mediated truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region after a six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan that claimed more than 6,000 lives. Putin’s third term as president (2012–8) saw Russia drifting further into authoritar­ianism. Moscow also facilitated contacts between Ankara and Damascus on the Kurdish issue on different platforms, including through Algeria." This time it was in the Caucasus, through the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the Nagorno-Karabakh plateau. Turkish-Russian joint center to be ready in 2 weeks Anadolu Agency 16:48 31-Dec-20. After Syria and Libya, Russia and Turkey have fought yet another proxy war. But tensions between the two rose during the conflict, Russia accusing Turkey of deploying Syrian fighters to combat Armenian forces. Russia’s Rosatom is building Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu, at a cost of $25bn. Ankara’s assertive foreign policy is an increasing factor in broad geopolitical dispute. Electoral success propelled Erdoğan to power and ultimately enabled him to elimi­nate constraints to his rule. Vote rigging or removal of elected officials, e.g. 4 Pages, taken back into custody, this time on charges. When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Turkey condemned this mildly as the geopolitical landscape had changed in the previous decade and its rivalry with Russia over energy resources had come to an end. Yet, putting these two countries into the same basket and formulating policies accordingly is problematic. (1) According to Russian Federal Customs Service data. Most read . For further information on our quality control pro­cedures, please visit the SWP website: https://www.swp-berlin.org/en/about-swp/ quality-management-for-swp-publications/, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Ludwigkirchplatz 3–410719 BerlinTelephone +49 30 880 07-0Fax +49 30 880 07-100www.swp-berlin.orgswp@swp-berlin.org, Dimitar Bechev, Targeted repression tamed the opposition and civil society. On 17 February 2020, a court in Istanbul acquitted prominent philanthropist Osman Kavala, who was accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government by organising the 2013 Gezi protests. Russia and Turkey seem to be in agreement to remove us from Ain Issa and its surrounding areas. European decision-makers must look beyond the nativist populism of Erdoğan and recognise that a considerable part of the country no longer supports an executive presidency, but rather prefers a return to parliamentary democracy. But, at the same time, their willingness to use military force has seen them sideline EU and Nato powers in the principal conflicts shaping competition for power in the Mediterranean. mayors from the pro-Kurdish HDP, is part of the toolbox. While the West was struggling to respond to the crisis, Turkey seemed to distance itself form its allies when it asserted the primacy of the Montreux Convention. Erdoğan, too, has been rallying the public behind the flag for years: holding mass rallies during the Mavi Marmara crisis, which aimed at breaking Israel’s embargo on Gaza in 2010, labelling Gezi Park protests a foreign con­spiracy, blaming the US for the 2016 coup attempt, and intervening in Syria to fight the outlawed PKK. Comparing Erdoğan and Putin is nothing new. Still, military tu­telage al­lowed for free and sufficiently fair elec­tions, a robust media, and civil society. Ankara remains part of NATO and the EU’s Customs Union. Presidents Putin and Erdoğan inspect a Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet, August 2019. Political pluralism resurfaced only during perestroika of the 80s and in the early 90s with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the birth of the Russian Fed­eration opening new opportunities. "Relations between Russia and Turkey are self-sustainable and self-sufficient; they don’t depend on someone’s aggressive and hostile actions and whims," Lavrov said on Tuesday. Yet there appear to be striking parallels throughout the twentieth century in the ways Russians and Turks conceived of the relationship between religion and modernity. In recent months, Turkish and Russian military patrols on the strategic M4 highway came under fire by a new and opaque militant group called Khattab … Rather than deliver justice, the court’s mission appeared to be stamping out dissent. Their core messages converge: first, that strong leadership is essential for bet­tering ordinary citizens’ lives, delivering eco­nomic growth, and ensuring stability; second, that the Motherland, whether Russia or Turkey, is under threat from “foreign” – read Western – and “domestic enemies” sowing disunity to prevent its rise in the in­ternational arena. The 2010 referendum diluted the judiciary’s autonomy. A Turkish Foreign Ministry official claims, “Ain Issa has become a foothold of infiltration, harassment, and terrorist attacks for PKK/YPG. Putin­ism, a product of conditions specific to Rus­sia, is hardly a blueprint either. (2) According to Rostourism (Russian Federal Agency for Tourism). World An Assertive Turkey Muscles Into Russia’s Backyard Erdogan extended support for Azerbaijan’s military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, a rare foray into Kremlin’s sphere of influence The rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) proved to be a game changer. The clash with the Gülen movement – accused of foment­ing the July 2016 coup – and the ensuing purges completed the takeover of state bu­reaucracy. It was one of the longest series of military conflicts in European history. Turkey found itself seeking loans or swap deals from the US and UK and hinted at freezing the deployment of the S-400 air defence system. On the contrary, factors such as a highly educated population, a large middle class, as well as the rising intolerance to corruption and state capture may favour democratic development over the long term. The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) is funded by Stiftung Mercator and the German Federal Foreign Office. Dimitar Bechev is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.Suat Kınıklıoğlu is a Fellow at the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) at SWP. Turkey, Biden appoints staunch Turkey critic Brett McGurk to National Security Council. Days before, on 11 February, magistrates in the Russian town of Penza sentenced seven young left-wing activists to 6 to 18 years in prison. That does not imply that, in contrast to Turkey, the Russian polity is destined to remain authori­tarian. The next few years will determine the outcome of the drawn-out struggle for the soul of Turkey. Opposition parties (CHP, HDP, and the Iyi Party) are relatively strong in Turkey, despite suppression. The strength of the opposition, the structure of the econo­my, and the nature of linkages to the West make it unlikely that Turkey will consoli­date an authoritarian system resembling Russia’s. Putin fails to inspire much enthusiasm, but a majority of citizens see no credible alternative. AKP-friendly businesses gradually took ownership of major media. Turkish-Russian joint center to be ready in two weeks: Aliyev BAKU- Anadolu Agency. Ankara is aware of this and is acting accordingly. May 2020, In dealing with a difficult actor like Turkey, Russia has learned three things. The Turkish oppo­sition has adapted and learnt to compete under the presidential regime: coordinating electoral strategies, fielding joint candidates, setting aside ideological differences, etc. Turkey can ensure its territorial integrity only in cooperation with Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Russia and eliminate the threat from the United States. Though, overall validity of the vote was only seriously, etc. Such support should not be only at the discourse level, but must be augmented by concrete measures to support pro-democ­racy forces in Turkey. NAT 9th January 2021. Both espouse a vision of a multipolar world free of US hegemony. There are, however, two other powers that have benefited from the conflict and the resolution effort: Turkey and Russia. That is not the case in Russia, where only communists have similar reach, yet are co-opted by the Kremlin. oligarchs, the siloviki (security elite), and civilian technocrats. The EU has a high stake in this matter, and thus it needs to take a proactive stance in favour of pro-democracy forces. Still, Turkey has not transitioned to a full-fledged autocracy. Recently, for instance, Moscow sought US mediation in its oil price dispute with Saudi Arabia. At a time when Russia and Turkey are engaged in a wide range of economic and military projects—the South Stream pipeline, joint development of the S … Rather than an outpost of NATO or an eternal EU membership candidate, Turkey sees itself as an autonomous power whose writ runs from Libya to Syria and from Sudan to the Gulf. It was the Soviet threat that gave birth to the U.S.-Turkey alliance. 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