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#1 vladzo


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Posted 06 November 2015 - 10:29 PM

The future of Turkey-Russia relations

By Harun Yahya

Although an atmosphere of uncertainty prevailed in Turkey for the last couple of months after the elections in June, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) managed to emerge victorious in the November elections and maintained its tradition of 'single-party rule' and added another four years to its 13-year run. What's more, unexpected vote losses in other parties - as opposed to their previous results - was another surprise that shocked the world.

Many thought that the snap elections held on November 1st would produce similar results. However when the AKP managed to increase its votes by 9% in only five months, even its own voters were surprised. More importantly, even the seasoned pollsters who had been previously known for their spot-on estimations had to appear on TV to apologize for their incorrect predictions.

The world media was also watching the results and acted quickly to report the results to their followers. Media outlets such as the BBC, The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, and The Financial Times widely covered the news with words of astonishment such as 'surprise', 'shock', 'unexpected'. While The Guardian described it as 'the shocking election results in Turkey', many others chose to see it as an 'unexpected AKP victory'.


Surely, there are important reasons behind this surprising, unexpected and extraordinary victory that represents a remarkable shift from defeat to victory in a matter of only five months.


First and foremost, the government finally took the required stance against terrorism through intense and widespread military action.


Before that, the AKP government had not been following an active policy with respect to the fight against terrorism on the pretense of holding peace talks. The Solution Process, which was believed to bring peace in fact brought no solution to the existence of the PKK over the last two years but instead set the ground for the PKK to gain field domination.


This was one of the main reasons behind the loss of votes the AKP sustained on June 7th.

However when the results came out on June 7th, President Erdogan, Prime Minister Davutoğlu, and the AKP administration made it clear on various occasions that they were determined to end all terrorism, and managed to gain back the trust of the people. This trust shifted the balances largely in favor of the AKP in the November elections.


Another important factor had been the sensitive time Turkey had been going through. Threats to national security and territorial integrity were enough to make Turks feel that stability and political power should be the top priority at a time like that; for these reasons, a majority of the voters of other right-wing parties set aside their hesitations and reservations and chose to make the AKP the sole victor, considering that the AKP was most likely to achieve a majority in the parliament.


But most importantly, the withdrawal of AKP rhetoric in favor of a presidential system was the most significant reason behind this outcome. People knew that at a time when the PKK, a separatist terrorist movement, was seeking an opportunity to declare autonomy or independence, a presidential system based on a federal administration would inevitably lead to separation. Being aware of this danger, the Turkish people showed their staunch opposition to such a possibility and gave a response to the AKP on June 7th as a reaction.


However, after this charged message of the voters, both Erdogan and AKP officials swiftly ceased bringing this idea up and helped ease the worries of people. This was taken as a clear sign that the AKP has given up on this dangerous idea. Consequentially, those lost votes came back to the AKP.

Surely, difficult days are ahead for the AKP, as it will be put to a rigorous test in the aforementioned matters. Therefore, we are in a process where the AKP should prove that the positive policies, followed after the June elections, that take lesson from previous mistakes and that give reassurance to people were not merely for show and purely temporary. Needless to say, one of the most important points in any future foreign policy of the AKP in the coming years will be Turkish-Russian relations.


As anyone would agree, Turkey has always enjoyed very strong ties of friendship and alliance with Russia, which is one of its most strategic neighbors. These relations had recently reached their zenith in politics, economics and trade under the AKP and Erdogan's direction.


At a time when NATO, the USA, Europe and their allies turned against Russia and applied sanctions, Turkey chose to remain outside of this trend. Although it is also a NATO member, Turkey also kept away from the crisis during the Ukraine problem.


Clearly, the Turkish and Russian administrations might have differing views as to Syria. Such disagreements are natural occurrences in international relations, in relations between states, neighbors, and allies. However, such differences will not impair historical friendships, relations and alliances.


President Erdogan, following his visit to Russia last September, said that any hypothetical transition period might involve Assad, in line with the recent statements of the USA and Russia, served as further proof that Turkey chooses peace and reconciliation despite potential differences over issues. President Putin is known to have close ties both with the President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu vis -a -vis a solution to the Syrian civil war, regional movements, the matter of the energy corridors and a solution to Russia's trade issues. These connections have always been useful in bringing forth solutions when they come to a deadlock and both parties have always made decisions in favor of reconciliation. These days, especially during the transition period discussion on the Syrian issue, the negotiations should be focused on an immediate solution.


This election result is important in ending Turkey's matter of not having a government for the last five months. During this period of instability, Turkey had to deal with terrorism, an economic downturn and public unrest. Now, to regain stability within the country, Turkey's alliance with Russia will give more room to bring peace to the region.

Killing strong friendships that are built on long -standing efforts for simple reasons of an emotional response could be expected only in some primitive, third -world governments that lack a coherent strategic vision of statecraft. Maintaining and improving useful and fertile relations, regardless of the situation, requires that leaders of world powers that have shaped history to act with wisdom, intelligence, talent, strong will and decisiveness: There are leaders with such a vision both in Turkey and Russia. Thus, Turkey-Russia relation has always been alive and it is expected to bring a stronger solution in terms of peace in the coming days. Being convinced that both countries and their respective leaders have these superior qualities, we sincerely hope that Turkish-Russian relations will continue and improve in this new period.


Harun Yahya


The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com


Also read:


Turkey will not leave Russia alone


How Russia and Turkey can work together


Turkey and Russia change international energy hub


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Edited by vladzo, 06 November 2015 - 10:37 PM.

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#2 vladzo


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Posted 06 November 2015 - 10:42 PM


Turkey will not leave Russia alone

By Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya)



World politics have seen a lot of changes in the year 2014.


One of the most significant developments was the Ukraine crisis and the subsequent EU-USA alliance against Russia. According to Putin, this is the result of a 25-year-old policy that seeks to isolate and push Russia towards East, and Putin believes that there would be another excuse for this behavior. Gorbachev also drew attention to the problem, stating that the world was on the brink of a new Cold War, and went on to say, "...We must make sure that we get the tensions that have arisen recently under control."[1] This policy of isolation following the Ukraine crisis turned into threats in the recent G20 Summit. For example, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Russia was bullying smaller countries and that the sanctions against Russia would intensify. Obama claimed that the stance of Russia was almost as bad as the Ebola threat. Putin, on the other hand, having arrived with two warships, left early after having delivered his show of strength. However, neither the economic sanctions nor the suspension of Russia's membership of the G-8 brought about any changes in Russia's Ukraine policy. This unwavering stance of Putin's only increased his popularity in his country, which had already been around 80%.


Putin, since the first day he took over, made concrete steps for political, economic and military integration with the EU and the USA. He chose to side with the EU and the USA with respect to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Libya. The only thing Putin wanted in return was being able to maintain Russia's historical bonds with countries such as Ukraine, Crimea, Georgia, Belarus and Moldova, which he considers as Russia's gateway to Europe and of which Russia feels protective. He wanted respect from the Western world in this quest and to end their policy of isolating Russia. However, the Western world didn't pay any heed to such requests and started a race to take those countries under their own control and weaken Russia's influence over them. It is very clear that it is not only Russia who will be hurt by this isolation policy, but EU countries as well. The domination of Russia over energy corridors and its close relations with the Middle East, the Far East and Turkey make Russia one of the indispensable players in world politics. Turkey is the one country that is most aware of this fact, which makes Putin's trip to Turkey in December crucial for not only Turkey and Russia, but also for the USA, the EU and their neighbors.


Turkey is the only option available to Europe, if she doesn't want to need Russia with respect to multiple issues such as ending the recession, energy matters, trade movement and market integrity. Russia is also keenly aware of the importance of Turkey. Everyone can see that significant changes are about to take place in the global balance of power from Eastern Europe to the Middle East if the visit of Putin yields concrete results.


Even though the two countries have differing opinions on several matters like Syria, Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh, the relationship between Turkey and Russia is shaped by the historical respect and friendly ties they have enjoyed so far: Both sides take the necessary precautions to prevent these disagreements from impairing their friendly ties. They both make efforts to act carefully so that communication channels remain open. This desire was also evident in Ankara's refusal to take part in the sanctions of the West against Russia.


Turkish deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan, in an interview with the Russian news agency also pointed out to this detail, "We have strong ties with Russia, ties coming from our history... We are cooperating in multiple areas. So we will not give up on that for the sake of others.."[2]


In the time leading up to Putin's visit, the commercial relations between the two countries have reached their peak. After Turkey's markets diminished following the ongoing Middle East problems, and Russia's following the Ukraine crisis, the two countries moved closer in their trade relations as well. After the sanctions against Russia, she stopped buying many commodities from the EU and turned to Turkey. The officials from both sides will discuss increasing the current trade volume of $35 billion to $100 billion by 2020. They have also decided to cooperate in the areas of energy, natural gas and nuclear energy. Russia is now the fourth biggest exporter of oil to Turkey and also meets 60% of its natural gas needs. The "Blue Stream" project that commenced in 2005 is one of the most significant projects between the two countries.


The most sensitive topic between Russia and Turkey is Crimea.


Yet, both sides approach the issue with a calming style. The fact that Putin declared Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha official holidays for Crimea, allocated $250 million so that the Tatars can readjust, appointed young Tatar politician Ruslan Balbek as the Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Autonomous Republic, the continuance of the construction of mosques in the region and the decision to grant titles which were denied by Ukraine for the past 18 years, is putting both the region and the Turkish government at ease.[3]


This approach of Russia to Crimea highlights the importance that Russia attaches to Turkey. Turkey doesn't refrain from taking concrete steps to maintain its strong ties with Russia, without being affected by other developments in global policy. The next step should be Turkey assuming the role of a broker between Russia and NATO. Russia, no doubt, can greatly help solve the problems in the Middle East, as long as it closely interacts with world countries and is embraced warmly by them.


The writer has authored more than 300 books translated into 73 languages on politics, religion and science.

Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya)  


[1] http://www.theguardi...union-us-russia

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk...e_putin_ziyaret

[3] http://haber.stargaz...li/yazi-965499


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Edited by vladzo, 06 November 2015 - 10:48 PM.

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#3 vladzo


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Posted 06 November 2015 - 10:49 PM

How Russia and Turkey can work together


By Harun Yahya

Such a great power as Russia has major responsibilities at this particularly difficult time in the Middle East. Those circles in the West and the USA that insist on excluding Russia for the sake of regional peace are mistaken. Rather than isolating Russia, one of the major powers in the region, relations need to be improved by the adoption of a compassionate and honest approach; because justice and prosperity cannot be built by excluding one particular country.

We want to see a world in which people of all faiths, races and beliefs can live happy and peaceful. We must strive for a brotherly world where everyone is respected and valued, be they Russian, Ukranian, Turkish, Armenian, Arab, Kurdish, Christian, Jewish, Sunni, Shiite, Wahhabi or anything else, where all live as first-class citizens and where nobody is regarded as superior to anyone else. Russia has important duties regarding the building of that world.

The picture in the 11 years since the Iraq War of 2003 is proof that 'violence leads to worse violence.'


The use of force has made terror organizations ever stronger. The crimes of these organizations initiated against them largely end up in harming civilians, women, children and the elderly. Indeed, the Syrian civil war has caused one of the largest waves of migration since the Second World War, with more than 8 million people being forced to leave their homes. The wave of migration that has increased due to recent aggression by ISIL will probably accelerate still further in the wake of U.S. bombings. It is now essential to establish a safe zone where these people can live. The 'safe haven on the Turkish-Syrian border' proposed by Turkey is a matter of the greatest importance. What will make that project strong is support from Russia.

Throughout the Syrian civil war, Russia's policy has for various reasons diverged from that of the West. However, the current situation makes the establishment of a safe zone essential for Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, Nusayris, Alawites, Sunnis, Shiites and all the other people of the region. The safe zone project must not be perceived as a threat to Syria's territorial integrity. On the contrary, it is intended to protect Syria and its inhabitants. With Russian support, the safe zone will inspire confidence in all the Syrian people, eliminate unfounded concerns and be an important step toward peace. It will also overcome Russian worries concerning the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey will guarantee Russia's interests. Material and psychological support from Russia in establishing this safe zone will be of inestimable value.


Turkey has never adopted aggressive policies toward its neighbors. Yet it is also a fact that some neighboring countries back the PKK, a terror organization whose aim is to break Turkey up into separate statelets. Turkey prefers to let the past be the past, however, and always strives for good relations with its neighbors. The purpose of this safe zone is therefore to meet a human need, not to represent a policy of aggression.

One of the problems now concerning Turkey is the human tragedy unfolding on its own border. The number of refugees admitted in 2013 by all the countries of the EU is the same as that admitted by Turkey just one day during the fight in Kobane. The number of Syrians admitted by Turkey is approximately 2 million. Turkish spending on these refugees currently exceeds $4 billion. The Turkish people are delighted to take these people in. Yet the fact remains that the problem is an international one. Turkey shares a border with areas under ISIL control. The PKK terror organization is also a major presence in the area.  The establishment of a safe zone is not intended as an act of aggression, but solely for security and humanitarian purposes.

It is of the greatest importance for Russia to trust Turkey on this matter.

International talk aimed at isolating and excluding Russia, which was so prevalent during the recent crisis in Ukraine, needs to be set aside. Those sections of Ukrainian society that desire closer links with Europe have a perfect right to do so, but the democratic right of those who wish to maintain links with Russia must also be respected. Policies of fait accompli that ignore Russia are one of the failed stratagems of the last century. Our hope is that Russia will play a role in every step taken in the region and the world, and in the new order that needs to be established. Due to its close commercial ties and friendships with both the EU and Russia, Turkey is ready to act as intermediary. That will make it easier to put an end to these polarized policies.

Russian collaboration with Turkey on security in the Middle East and material and other support for the peace and security of the people of the region will ensure that it enjoys friendships in the region. Collaboration between Turkey and Russia on a safe zone is urgent and vital.

The Russian people deserve our respect and friendship. When a new order is established, it must take their happiness into account as well as that of all other societies. If there is one lesson be learned from the sufferings from the 19th century to the present, it is that you cannot build happiness on the unhappiness of other societies. The region cannot be happy if Russia is unhappy. We cannot feel secure if Russia is insecure. The days of saying, "It does not matter what happens to others as long as we are strong' are over. Now is the time to advocate the principle of, 'Let us all be happy and safe and at ease,' without excluding anyone...

Harun Yahya

The author is a leading Muslim commentator from Turkey. He has written more than 300 books in 73 languages

- See more at: http://english.pravd...h.ES2Jp8NL.dpuf

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