Ivan Starodubtsev Turkish Stream What Erdogan’s victory means for Russia 29.05.2023, 10:58

According to the results of the second round of the presidential elections in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is winning the competition and extending his mandate until 2028.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who received 99.85 percent of the vote, received 52.16 percent of the vote, while his opponent, the unified opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, received 47.84 percent. The vote gap of more than 4%, which is very solid by the standards of Turkish domestic political realities, made it possible for the Supreme Election Commission to declare Erdoğan the winner on voting day.

In terms of the intensity of interest in the domestic information field, the elections in Turkey are at the same level as the US presidential elections. If there’s a yawn in this statement, it’s not much. I will say more: interest in the election of the Turkish president in the West has gone off scale. So much so that they have been labeled as “the most important elections in the world in 2023”.

And yet: why do the Russians show so much interest when it comes to the Turkish elections? If I were faced with the difficult task of answering this question in one syllable, I would say:
As an important southern neighbor of Russia and a regional power stepping up to global power status, Turkey has chosen not only the president but the further development path.

The country has followed a path since 2002, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party came to power.

And there is an alternative path that Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the candidate of the united opposition, offers to the public.

If we leave Turkey’s domestic agenda aside and focus solely on the country’s international position, then the choice between Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu is the choice made by the citizens of the Republic of Turkey between their own Turkish development path and a return to the western path. .

As part of his own path, President Erdogan is trying to follow a balanced policy, equidistant from the great powers in the international arena, with his Turkish goals and objectives as a priority. Unlike the same Europe that is being dragged into the funnel of US interests before our eyes.

One of the results of the Turkish balancing policy with the so-called “leadership diplomacy” efforts of Presidents Putin and Erdogan was the implementation of a number of strategic projects by Russia and Turkey. I note this – to the great discontent and even active opposition of the USA and the EU.

We’re talking about the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, the Russian S-400 systems and much more, including the Syrian settlement’s Astana format and plans to create a Russian-Turkish gas hub.

Turkey’s non-compliance with Western sanctions against Russia caused an explosion in Russia-Turkey relations in every way. Trade turnover is breaking historical records, Russian trade is shifting to Turkey, Turks are actively replacing the West, which left Russia “beyond the horizon”, and the number of open Russian “girls” in the country has reached thousands. , while previously there were only dozens of startup companies per year.

In addition, the West’s shift from the Russian tourist map to Turkey has brought with it an additional flow of Russian “VIP tourists” from those who previously conditionally preferred Nice and Miami. Now they went to explore the elite resorts of Turkey, including the Bodrum Peninsula “Turkish Rublyovka”.
To summarize briefly: After the turbulent 2022 results for Russia, the phrase “Turkey is our everything” has become widespread, and our relations with this country have become so colorful.

On the other hand, there was a look at Turkey’s foreign policy from the defeated opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

In his election campaign, he mentioned the need to “normalize” relations with the USA and the EU as the main task of Turkish foreign policy. And of course, the “normalization” of relations will require the elimination of sources of tension with Turkey’s Western “partners”.

But it is no secret that a significant part of the problems between Turkey and the West are somehow connected with Russia. And here you can list exactly the same projects mentioned in several paragraphs above. Their continuation was and continues to be highly undesirable for the West. Not to mention the West’s persistent demand from the Turkish government to impose official sanctions on Russia.

Thus, opposition foreign policy striving for a return to the West inevitably had to pay the price for its notorious “normalization” with its relations with Russia. I will make this clear right away, with a conclusion that is not guaranteed from the West itself.

While it was clear that he wanted to “please” the West before the first round of the presidential elections held on 14 May, the opposition candidate Kılıçdaroğlu publicly announced that Russia interfered in the elections and on the eve of the second round of elections to be held on 28 May. criticized the Russian-Turkish gas hub project for saying it would lead to Turkey’s “energy dependence” on Russia. Both theses frankly do not stand up to criticism and have caused confusion among experts.

So for Russian observers, there were no two sights: During the Turkish presidential elections on May 14 and 28, Turkey chose between a partner for Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, albeit “close” in the words of Sergey Lavrov. “he ate a puddle of salt” and the unpredictable but distinctly pro-Western Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

I stress that the election of Turkish President Erdogan does not promise Russia an easy life in the south. There are a number of issues on which our countries do not agree, or even on the “opposite side of the barricades”.

But on the other hand, for the NWO period according to the Montreux Convention, the Black Sea Straits were blocked by Turkey for NATO warships, and Turkey remains a destination and a hub for Russia in the broadest sense of the word – “import substitution”, “parallel import” , energy, finance, logistics, tourism, etc.

And most importantly, Turkey remains subjectivity in our eyes when the Russian side can always count on Turkey to be followed by no one else, and when decisions about our bilateral relations are made in Ankara, not Washington. Brussels. In politics, subjective partners should be sought, not non-existent mythical “friends”. And our country received such an issue partner against Turkey with the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan by 2028. And then we’ll see…

The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the editors’ position.

Source: Gazeta


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