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Russia – Turkey Relations Change Balance of Forces in Europe and Middle East

...The agreement concluded by Russia-Turkey on December 1, 2014 changes the balance of forces in Europe and the Middle East. The extension of Blue Stream kills two projects backed by Washington and Brussels: Nabucco closed in 2013 though the idea is not completely forgotten and TANAP (the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline), a natural gas pipeline stretching from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe. The Iranian South Pars gas field may become part of the Blue Stream as Tehran has plans to sell gas to Europe too. The Leviathan, a large field located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel, is another potential source of gas to fill the Blue Stream pipeline... The deal signed by Russia and Turkey envisions the construction of gas hub near the Greek border with a leg stretching to Europe. To secure long-term supplies a second «input» hub may be required to bring together the flows from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran.

Alexander DONETSKY | 04.12.2014


 

Will Ankara Continue Its Gas Games behind Baku’s Back?

...If Ankara continues its game behind Baku’s back, forcing Azerbaijan to make concessions on gas contracts previously entered into, then Azerbaijan has an alternative. Two days before Erdogan’s visit to Ashgabat, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan announced the resumption of gas exports to Russia in 2015, which were suspended for technical reasons in August 2013. By strengthening its ties with Moscow, Baku will be able to successfully withstand increasing pressure from Turkey on the issue of gas.

Vyacheslav MIKHAILOV | 23.11.2014


 

Turkey: One Step From Invading Syria

On September 30, Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported that 36 Turkish soldiers in Syria were in danger. The tomb of Suleyman Shah (XII-XIII), the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire Osman I, on the Euphrates River, 35 km from the Turkish-Syrian border, is Turkish territory under the Ankara 1921 treaty and still guarded by a few dozen Turkish troops. The Islamic State militants were advancing on a tiny exclave where the guards were encircled. The very same day on September 30 the Turkish government held an emergency session. Vice Premier Bulent Arinc confirmed that the memorial and the Turkish servicemen were threatened...

Mikhail AGHAJANYAN | 03.10.2014


 

Erdogan and his Pattern

...One way or another, Neo-Ottomanism allows Ankara be flexible while adopting the policy of protecting Islam and being secular while promoting the policy of expansion in the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. The policy requires constant correction. But the local election on March 30 gave testimony to the fact that that the «Erdogan’s pattern» has great clout, its potential is far from being exhausted.

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 07.04.2014


 

Obama Chats up Old Friend in Ankara

When the United States President Barack Obama renews a neglected friendship, there has to be a compelling reason for that. There was a time when Obama would have counted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan as his best friend in the Middle East and spoke of the latter as a role model for the «new Middle East» in the making...

Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 26.02.2014


 

Erdogan Goes to Tehran: Business First, Politics Second

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan got a warm reception during his two-day long visit to Iran. Friendly attitude was emphasized at the summit – it all goes to show that Ankara and Tehran decided to forget the serious political differences for the time being so that the parties could concentrate on economic issues... Setting up Iran-Turkey Supreme Political Cooperation Council is an important step which would be impossible to take without aligning positions on regional conflicts, especially regarding the situation in Syria. According to Erdogan, the members of Council should work as members of one cabinet. At that, it’s too early to make far-reaching conclusions about the emergence of Ankara-Tehran alliance...

Igor PANKRATENKO | 04.02.2014


 

The Turkey Trap

Although they helped stabilize the situation, the emergency personnel measures taken by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and the reshuffling of the cabinet after the December corruption scandal did not eliminate the contradictions which are undermining the country's sociopolitical system... And if one is to believe the estimates of the American intelligence center STRATFOR, one of the main factors in international relations in 2014 will be events caused by economic stress and political unrest in Turkey...

Mikhail AGHAJANYAN | 18.01.2014


 

Turkey Caught Up in a Storm

A corruption scandal has broken out in Turkey. At the epicenter of the scandal is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Over 50 people have been detained on suspicion of exceeding official authority, taking bribes, and merging authority and business (according to various data, between 52 and 84 people). The greatest resonance in the Turkish media was caused by the arrests of the sons of cabinet members. The hidden political motives for the revelations of corruption in the ranks of the ruling party are intriguing as well...

Mikhail AGHAJANYAN | 28.12.2013


 

Ukraine, Turkey and America’s Selective Human Rights Rhetoric

The US government was quick to condemn its Ukrainian counterpart for the brutality of police in Kiev against pro-European Union demonstrators after the Ukrainian government’s suspension of negotiations on closer association with the EU... Flash back to May and June in Turkey, which, like Ukraine, is also a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Over a period of several weeks, police cracked down on crowds of demonstrators many times the size of those in Kiev, using truncheons, water cannon and tear gas, injuring hundreds and ultimately killing half a dozen... The White House and State Department never criticized the Turkish government for heavy-handedness... The vocal negative reaction of the US and EU is almost certainly attributable to geopolitical perceptions still rooted in the outdated mentality of the Cold War. But one thing should be certain: in the wake of the Turkish upheaval of 2013, Washington’s indignation over police brutality – such as what has occurred over the last few days in Kiev – is hollow and phony. It is truly selective, and has nothing to do with human rights...

Chad NAGLE | 07.12.2013


 

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan: What’s in Store for Alliance of Convenience?

The Kurdish conundrum makes Turkey face tall orders again. Its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent forces in Syria has stymied. Now the Turkish officials change the tune. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks more frequently about «extremist activities and the damage they cause to the Syrian revolution» and the fact that «Turkey has never supported radicals fighting Bashar Assad». The use of the term «Syrian revolution» as a figure of speech implies that Ankara still wants the power changed in Syria, but it has changed the ways to achieve this goal. The main reason is the growing role of Kurdish factor in the Arab country that shares a long border with Turkey...

Mikhail AGHAJANYAN | 23.11.2013




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Finian CUNNINGHAM

Ending the Cold War on Cuba? From the Freezer to the Chiller

As US President Barack Obama announced his surprise «historic» bid to normalise relations with Cuba this week, the New York Times swooned with glowing news. ‘US to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility’ was how its top headline put it. Welcoming the development, the American «newspaper of record» said Obama vowed to «cut loose the shackles of the past» and to «sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War». But, purple prose aside, the hard detail is that the ongoing illegal American embargo on Cuba will stay in place. Moreover, the move comes as Washington slaps on more sanctions against Russia and unleashes new sanctions on Venezuela...

19.12.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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