Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Post Mortem by the Turkish Side: Relations between Moscow and Ankara Worsen

Kerim Has,

image from article

Within hours, the downed Su-24 took Turkey-Russia relations, which had been cooling for some time, to a new low, thus marking a peak of tensions between Ankara and Moscow. There is more to what happened on November 24, 2015 than meets the eye. On the one hand, the military, diplomatic and inter-state tensions seem at first sight to involve two actors - Moscow and Ankara. On the other hand, it is clear that Turkey is perceived under these circumstances as a member of NATO and, in the opinion of many Russian politicians, part of the political games of the United States and not independent international player. President Putin’s description of the actions of the Turkish Air Force as “a stab in the back” is a statement that Russia has lost political trust in Turkey, which in the context of the Middle East crisis can be seen as a step back in the peace process.
In the context of what happened, it is necessary to explain the position of Ankara on several key issues [among them]: ...
[T]he responsibility of the leaders of states should not be shifted onto their peoples. In this context, it is critically important to determine the role of the media, which on both sides is forming a negative image of Ankara and Moscow by stoking up public hostilities. There has to be an awareness that at moments when tensions between two states are at their peak, the role of civil society and public diplomacy steadily grows. The people of Turkey and Russia must not suffer because of the temporary difficulties between the countries and ill-thought-out statements by both sides. ...

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