On a day when 130 Russian diplomats were expelled from 20 countries including the United States and a majority of EU nations, Turkey has confirmed that it is not going to participate in any diplomatic rows with Russia.
According to Turkish Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag,
“Turkey and Russia’s bilateral relations are at a good level. We are currently not considering such decisions against Russia”.
Turkey, which from the middle of the 20th century until very recent years was considered a reliable ally of the US and its European allies, has clearly pivoted its geopolitical trajectory to the wider Eurasian space. This phenomenon has resulted in Ankara developing a closer relationship with Iran, expanding ties with China and perhaps most importantly, developing a valued partnership with Russia in spite of a history of confrontation between the two states.
Turkey’s abject refusal to participate in the western led diplomatic expulsions of Russian officials is another sign that Turkey’s geopolitical priorities no longer lie in the west.
On the 24th of November, 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 near the Syria-Turkey border. The incident resulted in two Russian deaths. The downing of the fighter jet led to many in Russia to call for war or something close to war with Turkey. In the event, war was averted and instead relations were significantly downgraded.
In June of 2016, Turkey’s President Erdogan wrote a letter of condolence to Russian President Putin. The next month, Russia tipped Erdogan off about the failed coup against his government. Many credit the tip-off from Russian intelligence with saving Erdogan’s life as it gave him a chance to change his location and address his supporters who stopped the coup in its literal tracks. By late 2016, Russo-Turkish relations saw a rapid acceleration that has resulted in the currently strong Russo-Turkish partnership which has helped form the Astana Group along with Iran. The Astana Group is currently working towards a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict.
While emotions ran high in Russia after the downing of the Su-24 and rightly so, President Putin resisted calls for war and eventually engaged in a rapprochement that has had significant effects on the region. While Turkey was firmly in the bosom of NATO’s illegal war against Syria in 2015, today, Turkey not only cooperates in the Astana peace process, but is helping to fight US proxy YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria.
President Putin’s restraint in the face of war contrasts sharply with war hungry western leaders who are willing to fight over issues that affect neither the safety, sovereignty nor dignity of their countries. Earlier today, US Ambassador to the United Nations threatened further military action against the Syrian Arab Republic due to the US opposition against Syria’s anti-terrorist operations in Eastern Ghouta. Notably, Nikki Haley blamed Russia and Syria for pushing the US towards more military action in spite of the fact that the only ostensible crime being committed by Syria and Russia is fighting terrorism, on Syrian soil, in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2401.
It would appear that Nikki Haley whose country voted for Resolution 2401 is experiencing what can only be described as “voters remorse” and now wishes to inflict a new resolution on Syria which would forbid the targeting of terrorists within the framework of a larger ceasefire, even though there is no chance that the Takfiri jihadist terrorists of Eastern Ghouta would ever comply by any such ceasefire. After all, while Resolution 2401 forbids the terrorists of Eastern Ghouta from shelling Damascus, this has continued without abatement. As Russia would clearly veto such an absurd resolution that disallows the targeting of terrorists who continue to kill civilians, Haley threatened to do what the US did to Syria in 2017 and Iraq in 2003, and take military action without UN approval.
In an even more surreal declaration of war in all but name, on the same day that Haley threatened more war in Syria, British Prime Minister Theresa May threatened Russia due to the fact that a retired British spy of Russian origin is currently hospitalised with a mysterious illness. The man in question, a legally defined Russian traitor called Sergey Skripal was allegedly poisoned and although it is not known who poisoned him or how, the British Prime Minister has said, “he government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible”. The UK Premier then said that Russia has two days to “explain” what happened before the UK would automatically draw a conclusion that Russia was engaged in the “unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”, which in plain English means an act of war.
The absurdity of this would be analogous to the following hypothetical situation. Someone in an English city committed a school shooting. Most school shootings in the western world happen in the United States and are typically perpetrated by young white American males with a drug addition. By the logic that is being applied to the Skripal case, this would mean finding a random young white American male with an unhealthy addition to prescription drugs somewhere in the world and saying that if he cannot explain a specific crime in two days, than he would automatically be found guilty of the crime, even if he had nothing to do with the crime.
Before even finalising the investigation or waiting to see if Sergey Skripal recovers from his illness and can make a statement, Russia is already being blamed without anything remotely resembling due process. Many UK politicians have already started talking about banning Russia from the international SWIFT banking system, banning the news broadcaster RT from Britain and many are talking as though they are actually contemplating some sort of military response.
Of course, the people of the United States are in no way threatened by the events of Eastern Ghouta, that is unless the terrorists that Syria is trying to neutralise were to flee abroad. Likewise, the people of the UK are in no way threatened by the Russian Federation and any suggestion to the contrary could be easily taken as fundamentally insane. Russia poses no more danger to Britain than Poland, Finland or Lithuania. And yet, the US is threatening Syria and Russia over a conflict the US helped to start, while Britain is turning a localised incident which may not even be a crime (it could well have been an accident) into an international conflict.
Back in 2015, Russia could have easily justified military action against Turkey, but Russia, a country that has experienced centuries of war and lost more men in the Great Patriotic War (Second World War) than any other, knows that war is hell and that it is only a last resort when every other option to defend one’s nation has been exhausted.
By contrast, the US and UK brazenly threaten war and make war, even when their countries are not threatened, but when the financial position of elites along with their egos are seemingly threatened. This is not the 21st century that any child deserves to grow up in. In a western world allergic to peace, honest physicians are treated like bearers of poison. This is the real crime.