1. After a tensed relations between Turkey and Russia presidents of two countries met in Saint Petersburg yesterday. How do you appreciate the meeting, what do you think about the further developments of relations between two countries?
The good relations between Turkey and Russia damaged and these two countries almost were on the brink of war with the downing of Russian jet by Turkey in 24 November 2015. On the other hand, Turkey was perceived as supporting Russia within the crisis in Ukraine due to keeping silent for the crisis.
The West needed Turkey in order to become successful against Russia. Nevertheless, Turkey did not isolate Russia in this case. However, Turkey was suppressed and almost threatened by the EU and US. As a result of this, Erdoğan had some difficulties with Russia in his relations by the effect of international suppression over himself and published bad news against him. Erdoğan was encountered Putin by the jet crisis. Some people expected that this crisis will cause a war between Turkey and Russia.
The West aimed Erdoğan and Putin to fight each other in order to get rid of both of them. However, they have been reconciled after the military coup attempt in Turkey in 15 July 2016. The meeting among these two leaders was held in Petersburg since it has been reckoned both in Russia and Turkey that the military coup was supported by US. We will have further significant developments between these two countries.
2. What do you think what kind of influence will have the normalization of relations between Russia and Turkey in region. What kind of geopolitical developments we should wait for now in the region (especially in the Middle East) and what do you think what kind of influence it will have on Armenia?
Aftermath of the coup attempt in Turkey, some arguments and views increased that the world politics will have some changes. Especially, Russia reviews its relations with its neighbours in order to prevent receiving any attempts against itself by the EU and US. In this respect, meetings of Turkey, Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan will be at the agenda of world politics. I think, Turkey and Russia will agree on the Syria case in the short-run since it was one of significant topics of the meeting between Erdoğan and Putin. As a result of this, the conflicting parties within Syria can cease fire. The establishing alliance of Turkey, Russia and Iran can have common policy against the EU and US in order to promote stability towards the Middle East.
Turkey will contribute to regional peace as making changes in its Syria policy. In this sense, the following meetings of Turkey, Iran and Russia will continue. In parallel with this, the meetings will begin for achieving peace in the South Caucasus. From my perspective, the events both happened in Turkey in 15 July and in Armenia in 17 July are related each other. After Pope Francis’s visit to Armenia, the attempts against Russia have increased. The West has aimed Armenia to use against Russia in the context of the Ukrainian crisis. The recent developments in Armenia have been affected by both domestic factors in Armenia and external factors using against Russia. Armenia will be more at the agenda of international politics through some meetings of Putin-Sargsyan as well as meetings of Putin-Erdogan in the future.
3. After the meeting of two presidents Foreign minister of Turkey Mevlut Chavoshoglu announced that Russia agreed to have discussion about the Nagorno Karabakh issue with Turkey. What do you think about it? Do you think that Russia will help Turkey to involve on the process of the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict and what it will be bring with it.
Karabakh is the most topical issue of Southern Caucasus. The conflict in Karabakh has potential to turn into a war which can damage Russia’s internal and external security. The rising reactions against Russia after Pope’s visit to Armenia and the Yerevan hostage crisis in Armenia have proved that there are serious problems towards the region. After Putin’s meeting with Sargsyan and meetings of Iran, Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan, the Karabakh problem will be more negotiated.
According to Putin’s statements after his meeting with Sargsyan, a resolution in favor of both Armenia and Azerbaijan has been more discussed. If this does not achieve, Russian peacekeeping forces might will be settled in Karabakh. Russia feels of anxiety since the EU-US alliance has more stressed to act against Russia via following conflicts in Karabakh. The ways for peace to Karabakh will be more discussed in meetings of Turkey, Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. I do believe, following meetings between Erdoğan and Putin will be able to result with a common way and perspective to achieve peace in Karabakh.
Turkey desires the issue to be resolved in peaceful ways. Peace makes Armenia become more active towards the region. It is currently not possible for Armenia to move together with the West. Therefore, Armenia might have some domestic turbulence in the short-run due to rising attempts for regional alliance. However, Armenia is able to overcome this difficulty in the short period, and thus Armenia can turn into a state holding responsibility and mission from a problematic state. Armenia continues its existence as long as solving its problems for becoming a state.
Dr. Hasan Oktay