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The Russian fleet and the Turkish trace of oil
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-10-04 07:16:39
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The Putin dogma regarding foreign policy is very old, actually it is as old as the Russian empire is and it always worked the same way. First we secure our borders and then we guard our sphere of influence. And the Russian fleet sails this moment towards east Mediterranean to prove exactly that and remind Turkey that Russian interests are there and they are going to be guarded the proper way. And Turkey knows, centuries of experience. Because Turkey is the one who creates ripples – for the moment – in east Mediterranean and Russia is afraid that these ripples might turn into tsunamis.

Turkey has seen the last few years the European dream slipping away and the crisis in Europe doesn’t stop in Greece but it has moved beyond the economics into a deep political crisis that keeps any idea of expansion into a standstill. The Turkish government had invested too much into the European dream mainly calculating the support of certain interests, economic and geopolitical, and of course the American support expecting a quick entrance with few difficulties – name Cyprus for one – and then turning due to her population and army, into a European power that could influence things and serve her geopolitical ambitions. But as I said Europe this minute is in a standstill and even if things could rush Turkey still has to deal with the strong possibility that in a referendum in the European states the Turkish membership might not be welcome and politicians might give promises but they depend on their voters to keep their seats. The same time many things have change into American foreign policy since Obama took over and Turkey doesn’t feel anymore the favourite kid of the transatlantic ally.

So Turkey turned to her natural environment and under the contemporary circumstances in the Middle East tries to enforce her position as the regional superpower. And the whole situation this minute works for Turkey’s favour. Most of the former Middle East powers – Iraq, Syria, and Egypt – are under power and most of them look like sandcastles ready to fall in the first wave and the only other stronghold of the era looks a bit isolated since Israel’s biggest ally, USA looks too occupied with huge internal problems, not to forget that the superpower is too tired – physically and mentally - of repeated wars the last decade with the expenses nearly drowning the world’s biggest economy.

And the south is the one side then there is another equally interesting for the Turkey’s plans and that’s northeast. Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and mainly Kazakhstan are part of the Turkey’s geopolitical plan with the Trojan horse already there under the name Turkish minorities, the very same one they use in Iraq with the Turkmen. And when it comes to the Caspian neighbours the smell of oil has strong dollar sense. After all the whole story with Israel and Cyprus has to do with the drilling and the often mixture into the Iraqi internal issues especially on northern Iraq has got to do with the Kurdish oil …again!

Cherchez la femme is a good advice in any mystery story but when it comes to diplomacy and international politics the best idea is to follow the trace of the money! And I have the feeling that the ripples the Russian fleet is leaving behind are showing the trace of the money. Turkey from the other side should remember a bit of her own history, to play games with Cyprus is one thing to open conflicts in all sides of the horizon is another all together and it has cost in the past empires.

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