Ankara’s assertive foreign policy is an increasing factor in broad geopolitical dispute. The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) is funded by Stiftung Mercator and the German Federal Foreign Office. The clash with the Gülen movement – accused of foment­ing the July 2016 coup – and the ensuing purges completed the takeover of state bu­reaucracy. (1) According to Russian Federal Customs Service data. That said, Turkey is quickly approaching a critical crossroad on its turbulent political journey: The country will either consolidate its authoritarian regime or return to democracy. Russian Foreign Minister Calls on UN to Fill UN Special Representative Post Vacancy. Turkey and Russia are often portrayed as two authori­tarian regimes led by strong leaders who favour an omnipotent state at the expense of fundamental freedoms and liberal democratic institutions. It was one of the longest series of military conflicts in European history. mayors from the pro-Kurdish HDP, is part of the toolbox. There are, however, two other powers that have benefited from the conflict and the resolution effort: Turkey and Russia. The US says Russia's S … (4) See Fiona Hill and Omer Taspinar, ‘Turkey and Russia: Axis of the excluded?’, Survival, vol 48, no 1, London, 2006. Their trade partnership was worth $26.1bn in 2019. and centres on tourism and agriculture: 6.7 million Russians visited Turkey in 2019. and Turkey will be the world’s second largest importer of Russian agro-industrial products in 2020. Turkey and Russia have already agreed to set up a joint centre in the region to monitor the Nov. 10 ceasefire, which ended weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan’s troops and … However, Russia as well as Turkey have proven flexible in their day-to-day conduct­ing of foreign policy. Rather than an outpost of NATO or an eternal EU membership candidate, Turkey sees itself as an autonomous power whose writ runs from Libya to Syria and from Sudan to the Gulf. oligarchs, the siloviki (security elite), and civilian technocrats. A Turkish Foreign Ministry official claims, “Ain Issa has become a foothold of infiltration, harassment, and terrorist attacks for PKK/YPG. Russia’s Rosatom is building Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu, at a cost of $25bn. "Relations between Russia and Turkey are self-sustainable and self-sufficient; they don’t depend on someone’s aggressive and hostile actions and whims," Lavrov said on Tuesday. The Blue Stream pipeline, a section of which crosses the Black Sea, has supplied Russian gas to Turkey since 2003; and this January the smaller TurkStream began to supply southern and southeastern Europe via the Turkish port of Kıyıköy. Although Russia will remain authori­tarian for some time to come, Turkey is approaching a historic crossroad: Either authoritarianism will be consolidated or some sort of return to parliamentary de­mocracy will prevail. Being neighbours, these countries have developed many common traits although plenty of differences still remain. Such support should not be only at the discourse level, but must be augmented by concrete measures to support pro-democ­racy forces in Turkey. Their relationship is all about spheres of influence and balances of power, and their ambitions have brought them into conflict from North Africa to the Caspian, via the Levant and the Black Sea. Likewise, Rus­sia considers Turkey a partner, even though their policies may be at odds, as in Syria and Libya. In Libya a conflict that the US was once … Yet, democ­ratisation faltered at two critical junc­tures. Nato. May 2020, Kavala was promptly taken back into custody, this time on charges of espionage and links to the failed coup in 2016. And Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile batteries in 2017 shows that military-industrial cooperation is strong, greatly displeasing the US. (2) According to Rostourism (Russian Federal Agency for Tourism). Igor Delanoë is deputy director of the Franco-Russian Observatory in Moscow. That does not imply that, in contrast to Turkey, the Russian polity is destined to remain authori­tarian. In contrast to Russia, Turkish elections are contested and, as the 2019 local polls demon­strated, the opposition has a chance to win. After a Turkish Air Force fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft violating Turkish airspace near the Syria–Turkey border in November 2015, trust became a casualty of their bi­lateral relations. © Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, 2020. Over the past years, economic stagna­tion, anti-elite sentiment, and traditionally low levels of trust in public institutions have eroded the regime’s legitimacy. Turkey has no expansionist goals. The two countries have built a geoeconomic partnership based on natural gas and nuclear energy projects. the state of emergency during the 2017 constitutional referendum or the outbreak of war with the PKK during the November 2015 legislative elections. That has started to happen only recent­ly in Russia. For both of them, rally­ing the public behind the flag, with help from loyalist media, became the strategy of choice. What Erdoğan does – similar to his role model Sultan Abdulhamid II – is play Russia against the West, and vice versa, in pursuit of maxi­mum strategic autonomy. Though, overall validity of the vote was only seriously, etc. Their core messages converge: first, that strong leadership is essential for bet­tering ordinary citizens’ lives, delivering eco­nomic growth, and ensuring stability; second, that the Motherland, whether Russia or Turkey, is under threat from “foreign” – read Western – and “domestic enemies” sowing disunity to prevent its rise in the in­ternational arena. After Syria and Libya, Russia and Turkey have fought yet another proxy war. Putin and Erdoğan have turned into a diplomatic double act, with the recent agree­ment for a ceasefire in Idlib being the latest example. Hence, it is critical to understand the gravity of the current time frame and take a pro-active stance in favour of Turkish democracy. In the 2000s, Putin changed the rules, becoming an indispensable arbiter for clans in government: e.g. NAT 9th January 2021. In Russia, Putin has amended the constitution so as to be eligible to rule for another two six-year terms after 2024. But, at the same time, their willingness to use military force has seen them sideline EU and Nato powers in the principal conflicts shaping competition for power in the Mediterranean. That has started to happen only recent­ly. Turkish-Russian joint center to be ready in two weeks: Aliyev Hurriyet Daily News 07:24 1-Jan-21. Foreign policy of a country / a region, In dealing with a difficult actor like Turkey, Russia has learned three things. … Since Turkey’s controversial acquisition of the S-400 missile system from Russia, the narrative that the EU is facing a twin challenge from the East has been gaining currency in European capitals. Russian Federation, Strategic partnerships, mentary elections and even capture a ma­jor­ity of seats in the Grand National Assem­bly. Putin sought to bolster his ratings through assertive foreign policy, opposition to the West, and the appeal to nationalism. The Turkish oppo­sition has adapted and learnt to compete under the presidential regime: coordinating electoral strategies, fielding joint candidates, setting aside ideological differences, etc. Putin and Erdoğan have managed to keep conflicts under a lid and maximise overlapping interests. Defying expectation… SWP Comments are subject to internal peer review, fact-checking and copy-editing. Turkey–Russia relations are currently fragile and transactional. Suat Kınıklıoğlu, SWP Comment 2020/C 24, In this tug of war for Turkey, Russia has positioned itself as a more pragmatic, predictable and “delivering” partner than the United States. Ties with influential global players such as Russia and China are, according to Erdoğan and his circle, essen­tial to the national interest. Read more about: Turkey, Journalists. Hence, the EU should strongly support pro-democracy forces in Turkey by increasing its support for civil society, intellectuals, and the remaining independent media. Yet, putting these two countries into the same basket and formulating policies accordingly is problematic. These two stories lay bare the unnerving similarities between Turkey and Russia. Turkey is not likely to consolidate as an auto­cratic system, even though such an out­come cannot be dismissed altogether. EU foreign policy, Turkey's relationship with Russia is historically fraught with suspicion and friction. The constitutional changes of2017 handed all power to Erdoğan, sub­stantially downgrading the Grand National Assembly, the ultimate check on executive authority. It still has a strong interest in maintaining links with the EU and the US instead of membership in a league of autocrats. 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