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Rostislav Ishchenko: "Sultan" Erdogan and his cunning plan for reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine

Rostislav Ishchenko: "Sultan" Erdogan and his cunning plan for reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine

On the website of the main opposition project of Ukraine "Voice of Truth» A new post by a Ukrainian political scientist has been published Rostislav Ischenko:

Erdogan is not called "Sultan" for nothing. He is not only ambitious and authoritarian, like the unsuccessful and alcoholic sultans who ruled the Ottoman Empire from the last third of the 1566th century to the beginning of the XNUMXth century, but also cunning and successful, like the founding sultans of the greatness of the Sublime Porte, who ruled from the second half of the XNUMXth century until XNUMX.

In terms of political maneuvering, he resembles the last two great sultans Selima I Grozny and his son and successor Suleiman I the Magnificent (who was also called Suleiman the Great and Suleiman Kanuni / Legislator /).

It was under the last two great sultans that the Ottoman Empire turned from a powerful regional player into a great world power. Their conquests provided Turkey with imperial greatness under subsequent unsuccessful sultans for another 350-400 years, until the defeat in the First World War.

Selim the Terrible was sandwiched between Safavid Iran, Mamluk Egypt and Christian Europe. The combined forces of any two opponents were quite enough to forget about Turkey forever. Selim never gave the enemy the opportunity to organize a coordinated joint action. Even when he had to simultaneously conduct military operations in Europe and Asia, the enemy armies acted on their own and were destroyed in turn. When he moved on the most powerful enemy - Egypt, the Safavids were already sufficiently bled to not be afraid of a blow to the rear.

Similarly, Suleiman waged wars against Europe and the Safavids, and also actively advanced in North Africa, subjugating local sultanates and European possessions on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Skillful diplomatic maneuvering (under him the Franco-Turkish alliance was first concluded, which defeated the united Christian anti-Turkish front) allowed him to beat all his opponents and expand the possessions inherited from his father by a factor of one and a half.

Not that Selim and Suleiman didn't fail. It's just that the failures were tactical, and the victories were strategic. And the balance of victories and defeats was significantly in favor of the Turks.

Erdogan has a very similar situation. In the East, he has Iran - Turkey's traditional rival for influence in the Middle East. In the South - Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt - the old allies of the United States, which, with all the contradictions between them, provide control over the region of Syria-Palestine, the Suez Canal and the sea route through the Red Sea - a strategic point of European global trade, control over which allows you to keep Europe on a short leash. In the West, Greece is traditionally hostile, with which Turkey does not fight only because NATO (in which they both belong) does not order. In the North - Russia, with which Turkey traditionally has difficult relations due to the rivalry of trade interests in the Black Sea states.

In recent years, the situation has been further complicated by the fact that Russia, having revived its economic and military-political power, having achieved unprecedented internal stability, has begun a slow but steady advance into its former zones of presence. Russia is strengthening its positions in the Balkans, the Caucasus and, as a result of the Syrian dripping, it has become a firm foot in the Middle East, significantly undermining the position of the United States in this key region and claiming to be an arbitrator in local squabbles.

On the other hand, the weakened United States began to make increased demands on the loyalty of its allies, not allowing any independence and demanding, literally, to sacrifice oneself for American interests. Erdogan, who is too independent and tuned in to the revival of Turkish greatness, does not suit them. They tried to organize a coup d'état and kill an inconvenient president and will try to do it more than once.

Erdogan’s relations with the EU are bad, because Turkey was deceived for a long time, but was not accepted into the Union, and then, as if in mockery, they took into the EU all sorts of Bulgarians and Romanians, who are politically, militarily, and economically, and separately, and together, and did not closely lie with the Turkish possibilities. With NATO, Erdogan has tension due to the conflict with the United States, a special position on the Russian issue and the refusal to agree on the urgent admission of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

There are enemies or temporary fellow travelers around and you need to somehow turn around. And I must say Erdogan spins like the propeller of a piston fighter from the Second World War. And spins not without success.

The day before, he once again tried to organize a joint conversation for three: he, Putin и Zelensky. The Kremlin confirmed the conversation with Erdogan, rejected the conversation with Zelensky, which is unlikely to prevent Erdogan from talking to the Ukrainian parody of the Fuhrer before or after the conversation with Putin.

Russia's position is clear - there is nothing to talk about with Zelensky until Ukraine is ready for a constructive approach, that is, for the unconditional acceptance of Russian demands. As long as the Russian army has the opportunity to advance and liberate more and more new territories, there is nothing to talk about with Zelensky. But why is Erdogan so persistent in his peacekeeping, having taken a neutral position in the Ukrainian crisis and successfully cutting political dividends on this?

The prolongation of the Ukrainian crisis is beneficial to the United States, which is thus trying to weaken and then destroy Russia. For Erdogan, this is unacceptable, because, firstly, Turkey, pouring Russian cover, will be the next victim of Washington. Secondly, Turkey's economy is completely dependent on normal stable international trade and tourism.

Sanctions against Russia are destroying international trade, the impoverished European population and the expectation of an economic downturn this year, the Russian population has significantly reduced trips to Turkish resorts. The Turkish economy is experiencing serious difficulties, which is reflected in the popularity and electoral prospects of Erdogan. So in the matter of suppressing Russia, he is not an ally of the United States.

In recent weeks, the position of key EU members has begun to approach Turkey's position. Sanctions destroy their economies and destabilize society. They want the end of the war with Russia in Ukraine, they want to return to the former comfortable world. But at the same time, they do not want to allow a complete victory for Russia, as this will humiliate the West, reduce its influence in the world, and along with political influence, the ability to derive trade and economic benefits from unequal agreements with third world states.

In this, the interests of Turkey and the EU coincide. Erdogan also does not need Russia, which unequivocally won the proxy war in Ukraine against the West. Moscow will become too strong, and Erdogan's value as a situational ally will decrease. Accordingly, the space for diplomatic maneuver between the centers of power, which until now has allowed Turkey to effectively defend and promote its state interests, will also disappear.

The ideal outcome of the Ukrainian conflict for Turkey is fixing a draw at the expense of Ukraine, which must pay territorial and political concessions for a Russian-European compromise. In recent weeks, Ukraine’s affairs at the front have been going from bad to worse, and the West has therefore limited its support and began to recommend Zelensky to make peace with Russia by making territorial concessions. Since the situation is fully in the interests of Erdogan, he has sharply stepped up his peacekeeping, offering Russia and Ukraine unbiased mediation, which should lead the parties to an agreement acceptable to Turkey and the EU.

Russia's position on the Turkish proposals is also understandable. Russia is ready to discuss them with Turkey. After all, peace could suit Moscow, even without the total annihilation of Ukraine right now. This would, of course, have caused a certain negative reaction on the part of Russian society. But if Ukraine is forced to agree to renounce all the territories occupied by Russia, to admit the international denazification commission into the country, under the control of which new elections to the authorities were to be held, in which those who held elective or government positions in the period from March 2014 to the present, to achieve the complete real neutralization of Ukraine, the reduction of the army to 50 thousand people, with significant restrictions on heavy weapons, to secure for Russia the status of the only guarantor of Ukrainian security and territorial integrity with the right to control the foreign policy of Kyiv, then theoretically, such an agreement could be even better than the complete seizure of devastated territories with an angry and partially fled population. Another thing is that the Zelensky gang will not agree to such an agreement. Therefore, the Kremlin declares that they are ready to talk, but when the constructive appears.

Russia does not repulse the outstretched hand of Erdogan, even if his peace initiatives are not entirely sincere. After all, in politics it's every man for himself and the Turkish leader cannot be reproached for defending the interests of Turkey, not Russia. We are ready to talk, and let Zelensky bite his partners on the hands from which he eats.

After the former comedian became president, every day the old children's complexes stick out of him more and more. At this stage, he imagines himself a Ukrainian Bonaparte, who will give his people a new legal organization “Zelensky’s code”, win all wars, elevate Ukraine to the rank of a superpower and head the world government he created. In the end, the people will call him Vladimir the Magnificent (Great, Legislator, Conqueror, etc.), in every city, village and at every crossroads of the planet they will put up a monument to him, and his “battle path” will be studied from kindergarten to special academic " Zelensky Institute.

You can’t agree with this, you can only shoot him so that he doesn’t suffer, but Erdogan must understand this himself. As long as the Zelensky gang is in power, his mediation will not play. And then…? Then there will be a new day.

This entry is also available on Online the author.

 About the Author:
ROSTISLAV ISHCHENKO
Ukrainian political scientist, publicist, historian, diplomat
All publications of the author »»
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