We are in the middle of September.
President Tayyip Erdogan has a meeting traffic that is very critical and at the same time a candidate to produce strategic results.
While discussing whether he will go to Samarkand, he is now making important contacts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit.
In a photo taken in the evening, Erdoğan is seen chatting with leaders, including Russian President Putin.
The view in the lobby is like a family gathering. Next to Erdogan is Azerbaijani leader Aliyev. More like a friend.
Putin’s stance, on the other hand, can be summarized as mischievous and contented.
The President is extremely relaxed and cheerful, giving an image that dominates the environment.
Sometimes a photo frame really says a lot. But the answer to the question of where Turkey will be in the near future, of course, requires seeing much more.
The invasion of Ukraine would unite the West at the center of NATO concepts. That was the expectation. In other words, democratic countries would be united against the threat of autocracy.
While this may seem partly true, the cracks in the alliance, the restless and anxious ones are considerable.
Those who want to reduce Turkey’s post-occupation stance to a mere mediator have now accepted the emerging active balance role.
No problem so far. The number of those who appreciate this success is increasing day by day.
But we have new questions before us and we have to discuss them.
Does our presence at the SCO meeting, the attention we receive and the messages we will send to the world mean that we have turned our role towards Russia?
President Erdogan’s interest in the SCO is not new. In 2015, at a meeting that I also attended, he explained his interest in this alliance, especially underlining its commercial appeal. Of course, there is a before; we can go back at least a decade.
RUSSIA-IRAN STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
Russia has made efforts to include Iran in this alliance in recent years. Iran’s full membership process is nearing completion. This effort and common ground produce results that strategically deepen the Moscow-Tehran alliance.
Does the same effort and approach apply to Turkey? Instead of saying yes or no to this, I can say that Putin wants Turkey to show up on the ground of alliance with a cautious approach.
We cannot separate the role of the talks between Ankara and Damascus, which continue at the highest level, in the progress of this parenthesis.
NATO’s “RUSSIA PLAN”
Let’s go back to the main question here. Does Turkey define itself as Russia in the new multipolar world, while taking part in the SCO meeting and giving the message “Putin has been treated unfairly” by Erdogan himself?
We are still NATO members, despite supporting all kinds of hit men against us. An approach to leaving NATO does not seem strong on the state side, either.
Then, it is necessary to focus more on the questions of what is the “Russia plan”, what does the threat concept declared by the NATO-centered global mind mean in practice, and what it aims at.
If this “Russian plan” will produce new problems and conflicts that also concern us in our near geography, what kind of responsibilities will these bring to us? I think that’s the real question.
The sudden resumption of conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia seems to be a part of this process, as I have told you before. Russia has its own move in the crisis.
As it moves away from its targets in Ukraine, it will head south of itself. He will make unexpected hard moves.
It’s no surprise to those who follow, that more and more people in Russia accuse Putin of not being tough enough. Let’s also note that the name of ex-president Medvedev is being pronounced more and more.
CRISES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Now I will quote three titles and finish. All three are harbingers of the responsibilities that come before us in possible crisis areas, and even themselves.
First, the Turkey-Azerbaijan partnership, which deepened after the Karabakh victory, has a global dimension with Britain and Israel in its parentheses. The fact that the West sees Azerbaijan as a lifeline in energy is also part of this process.
Secondly, maintaining our interest in the Turkish world by establishing an organization in this field (Turkish World Cooperation Organization) seems to be the responsibility offered to us in a possible problematic area.
Third, Turkey may again be faced with a balancing role in the face of the Russia-Iran strategic alliance that I have just described.
It seems more correct to discuss these instead of hasty answers and approaches.