#Official Commentary of Evgeny Orlov on Turkish President`s greatest mistake

As one should expect, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has publicly stated that he is disappointed with the development of Turkey`s relations with America and Russia.The Turkish President pinned great hopes on lasting friendship with the USA and close trade cooperation with the RF. However, the military conflict in Syria changed the situation, and Erdogan`s decisions, concerning Russia in the Syrian conflict and imposed by the West, led to serious economic and political losses for Turkey.

Friendship with Putin promised Ankara very good strategic prospects, but friendship with Obama seemed to Erdogan more attractive and profitable. It resulted in downing of the Russian SU-24 by the Turkish Air Force and a sharp deterioration in Ankara`s relations with Moscow. Most likely Turkey`s actions were dictated by the “American dream” of economic and political alliance with the USA which, as Erdogan admitted, still hasn`t been fulfilled. 

The Turkish President`s policy turned out short-sighted. Erdogan underestimated the degree of Turkey`s dependence on Russia. Two-thirds of gas and a third of oil is imported to Turkey from Russia. In addition, the Russian Federation is an important trading partner for the country, not only in the energy sphere but also in tourism and the export of agricultural products, as well as in other sectors of the economy. Ankara also depends on Russia regarding the construction of the “Turkish stream” and the Turkish nuclear power station. Work on these projects is temporarily (and perhaps at all) stopped. Trade cooperation with the Russian Federation has strongly reduced, though cooperation with America in the economic sphere has not improved, quite the contrary. Hopes for improvement of foreign policy relations of Turkey and the USA have collapsed too. Simply put, Erdogan has seriously miscalculated in his choice. At some point, Ankara regarded Washington as an ally, a partner and a good alternative to Moscow, but it did not consider the fact that the United States always plays only its game and pursues only its own interests. Turkey has always been nothing more than a springboard to put pressure on Russia or an instrument in the foreign policy struggle.

So far, it is not known what Washington promised Erdogan for the downed Russian plane and the conflict with the Kremlin, but we can already see Erdogan eating his heart out for letting the USA push himself around. And the Turkish President himself does not conceal it…

Evgeny Orlov, DPR People`s Council Deputy

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