On 20 of January 2017 elected on the 8th of November for the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump will officially take the office. Until this date and probably even few months after, almost whole World will hold its breath. Those who oppose him will continue scaremongering. Those who support him will feed their hopes with the vision of the president-elect making their dreams come true.
But while vast majority was solely following US elections, the others found some time to focus on different issues as well. Less than one month before the day Americans decided who would be their next president, on 10th of October presidents Erdoğan and Putin met in Istanbul. What I learned from العربي الجديد(the New Arab) discussion between the two was mainly concentrated on the issues like energetic safety and improving bilateral relations. More precisely according to the article Turkish and Russian presidents debated about international order, finalising Turkish Stream (new gas pipeline which would transport Russian raw material to its European recipients bypassing Ukraine) and Akkuyu (nuclear power plant) projects. Both leaders expressed their will to recover trade ties to the level before the incident with Russian plain being shot down by Turkish air forces. Moreover it also suggested that in the future both countries will concentrate on closer cooperation with one another and even putting it before Syrian matter.
That’s the meeting. The actions came shortly after, but not really coherent with anything what officially discussed Erdoğan and Putin. Russians actually started two days before their presidents’ visit to Istanbul. On 8th of October on board of civilian ship short-range ballistic missiles Iskander-M were transported to Kaliningrad. On the night of Monday 24th of October to Tuesday 25th aircraft carrier ‘Kuznetsov’ entered Maditerranean Sea with tactical aircraft and inertial navigation rockets aboard. Officially to support mission in Syria. On the following day other kind of weaponry reached Baltic Sea. More specifically Buyan-class corvette most probably armed with nuclear-capable Kalibr missiles with a range of at least 1500km up to 2500km what in practice means it could hit almost any target in Europe, plus with capability of launching anti-aircraft missiles.
Regarding Turkey, after five years of being military inert and at the same time turning blind eye on western fighters and teenage girls joining Daesh, decided to take an action in Syrian conflict. On 24th of August Operation Euphrates Shield has started. Initially to create safe zone in northern part of Syria, fight the terrorists and drive the Kurds out from the west side of the river. Nevertheless Turkish involvement which was supposed to concentrate in the region between the Euphrates river to the east and the area around Azaz to the west eventually reached much further. It is really hard to determine whether or not Turkish forces are taking part in retaking both – Mosul and Raqqa, but one we can be sure of, Ankara tries to get much more involved and even dictate who should and who should not take part in those operations even despite strong objections from Iraq and Syria alike.
Latest events and actions of both presidents clearly reflect their imperialistic ambitions. In this situation election of Donald Trump for a US head of state opens up for them new possibilities to operate. A person who suggested in his campaign that Europe should take care of itself regarding self-defence in a case of war and whose future administration consists of people accused of racism and incitement to religious prejudice brings only more chaos to already chaotic world. And this is exactly what leaders like Putin or Erdoğan need. Green light from the other site and nobody to disturb. No matter how much I try not to be one of the scaremongering ones it’s really difficult to remain positive.