Erdogan consolidates success in defeating the West

It is not for nothing that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, the former Prime Minister of Turkey, the leader of the Justice and Development Party, is called the Sultan

Erdogan consolidates success in defeating the West
Photo: © POOL

The point is not only that after almost a hundred years of Ataturk westernization in Erdogan’s Turkey, there was a sharp turn towards traditional values. And not only that, in the spirit of the first sultans from the house of Osman, Erdogan managed to avoid numerous dangers, destroying or neutralizing all his enemies in turn. First of all, the Turkish society is struck by the fact that never in the last 200-250 years has Turkey enjoyed such influence in the world and has not pursued such a sovereign foreign (and not just domestic) policy as it is now.

Of course, favorable circumstances played a role: the decline of American power, the twilight of Europe, the growing importance of Russia and China, seeking to rely on regional leaders in their struggle against Washington hegemony. But Erdogan’s personal role in the revival of Turkey is very great – no less than Putin’s role in the revival of Russia. Perhaps that is why these two strong politicians find a common language with each other, despite the considerable amount of objective contradictions that exist between Russia and Turkey.

The relations between Russia and Turkey in recent years show that if the two states sincerely want to come to an agreement, they will always find a compromise solution to any problem. At the same time, the relations of Russia and Turkey with the West, just as undeniably testify that if they do not want to negotiate with you on an equal footing, you can always make the unwilling one regret his choice.

On June 27, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Turkey, Sweden and Finland are working on an agreement that should open the door to NATO for the latter two. On June 28, the agreement was signed. Turkey withdrew its objections. At the same time, Erdogan noted that Ankara got everything it wanted.

Let me remind you that Erdogan initially took a rather constructive position on the issue of Scandinavian membership in NATO. His demands were based on the fact that NATO is an organization that ensures the collective security of its members. Therefore, Sweden and Finland cannot become NATO members if they do not change their attitude towards the Kurdish YPG / PYD organizations and the Gulenist FETO, which the Turks consider terrorist.

In fact, Erdogan’s position looked something like this: “If you want to join NATO, refuse to support our terrorists.” And it was logical. In Russia, at the beginning of the Second Chechen War, the attitude of society towards the Chechens was an order of magnitude better than in Turkey towards the Kurds. Kurds, to paraphrase Lukashenko, until the beginning of the 20th century were “Ottomans with a quality mark” – Muslim subjects of a multinational empire founded by the Turkic family of the Ottomans. It was the Kurds who regularly formed the basis of the Turkish military forces in the Caucasus and in numerous confrontations with Iran. Muslim Kurds were also active participants in the Armenian massacres at the beginning of the 20th century, since they lived with Armenian Christians in the same territories, but gravitated toward different powers: the Armenians – to Christian Russia, and the Kurds – to the Islamic Omani Empire, which was then or in a state of war.

However, other times came and Ataturk, who carried out the westernization of the country and built a Turkish nation from multi-ethnic Muslims, appointed the Kurds as Turks. It was then that the nationalism of the warriors of Islam flared up, carelessly awakened by Ataturk. The Kurds decided that since the empire ceased to be Islamic (united on the basis of religion), but became Turkish national, then they (Kurds) have the right to their own state.

They had the right, but the Middle East was already divided among other powers and there was no place among them for the Kurdish state – too many would have to give up interests and territories. Since then, the Kurds have been fighting for statehood with the methods available to them – using partisan actions, and hence terror. Moreover, numerous Kurdish organizations see Turkey as the main enemy, although they did not put up with Iraq (especially under Saddam Hussein).

In general, although the Kurds are not to blame for what happened, Erdogan’s claims are more than justified. As long as some Sweden simply welcomes the Kurds, this is her own business. But if she wants to be in the same security system with Turkey, she must respect Turkish interests.

In the same way, the hard opposition of the Gülenists is not a secret. Although it is based largely on the personal confrontation between two ambitious politicians: Fethullah Gülen and Recep Erdogan, no one has canceled the active participation of the Gülenists in the military coup attempt in 2016. And this, whatever one may say, is a crime against the state. And even if Gulen himself had nothing to do with it (he claims that he had nothing to do with organizing the coup), then his supporters undoubtedly participated in the coup and were inspired by Gulen’s invectives against Erdogan.

In general, Erdogan ensured that Sweden and Finland agreed on paper, within the framework of a formal agreement, to record a change in their attitude towards the Kurds and Gulenists: the rejection of their state support and the readiness to cooperate with the Turks in the fight against those whom Ankara considers terrorists.

Western “gentlemen” thought that they would, as usual, sign an empty piece of paper – Sweden and Finland would join NATO, and then pretend that they had not promised anything to Erdogan. The wolf may not be very full, but the sheep are safe and under reliable care. But Erdogan would not have been Erdogan if he had not provided for an attempt at deception by hardened political thimble-makers. He made a move that was clearly not expected of him, and which, cuts off the path to retreat for Stockholm and Helsinki. Immediately after the signing of the agreement, based on its spirit and letter, Erdogan demanded that Sweden and Finland extradite 33 people suspected of crimes to Turkey for trial.

The West found itself in a very difficult situation: on the one hand, if Erdogan’s claims are not satisfied, he will rightly accuse Sweden and Finland of lying and may withdraw Turkish consent to their entry (all the same, membership has not yet been legally finalized – there is only an invitation to NATO to join the alliance ). There are four more steps ahead, one of which involves the signing and ratification of the membership protocol by each current NATO member (at which point Turkey is free to block further movement).

On the other hand, Western norms prohibit the extradition of political refugees if they face the death penalty in their home country. And in Turkey, those accused of terrorism face the death penalty. Moreover, Kurdish organizations (also Gülenist, but to a lesser extent) are actively involved in the social and political life of Finland and Sweden – the extradition is guaranteed to destabilize the situation in both countries and may even lead to the fall of the current governments.

Now, Turkey’s Western partners, who already thought that they deftly deceived a naive Eastern man, will have to turn around as if in a frying pan in order to find a way out of an uncomfortable situation. Erdogan, on the other hand (according to unconfirmed, but very plausible rumors), is also crushing the Americans, demanding that all restrictions on the supply of weapons to the Turks, imposed after the S-400 deal, be lifted. True, the Washington thimblemakers, unlike their younger European brothers, although they promise orally, flatly refuse to fix anything in writing. But in principle, Turkey really already got what it wanted. No matter how the current crisis is resolved, the Turkish oppositionists will learn: Scandinavia has ceased to be a safe haven for them. As for Erdogan, on the eve of the fundamental elections, his rating as a result of the combination carried out has grown significantly, and his positions have strengthened.

The traditional sacramental question remains: what should Russia do?

The same as planned. For us, the situation has not changed. Sweden and Finland, regardless of the fact of joining or not joining NATO, received security guarantees from the United States and Great Britain a month ago. That is, the military infrastructure in the Northwest must be strengthened in any case. The Swedes and Finns themselves are unlikely to attack, but the Yankees have become adept at organizing provocations that force countries, even against their will and national interests, to take part in foreign wars. Given the general state of military danger and the growing tension in global politics, we have to play it safe just in case.

Rostislav Ishchenko,

Due to censorship and blocking of all media and alternative views, stay tuned to our Telegram channel