[Marxism] Fwd: The Algerian Connection: Will Turkey Change Its Syria Policy? - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jun 24 05:17:29 MDT 2016

Turkey has already started to warm up its relations with Israel. 
Contacts were made in Europe last year and a series of meetings then 
took place this spring. Both countries have an interest in building a 
gas pipeline and Israel already imports much of its oil from Iraqi 
Kurdistan via Turkey. Now, Jerusalem is dangling diplomatic and 
intelligence cooperation before Ankara, which could, in turn, clamp down 
on Hamas officials based in Turkey . But the Palestinian question is 
politically sensitive in Turkey, and obviously in Israel, and talks seem 
to be moving slowly.

Relations with the European Union are currently dominated by the refugee 
issue, in which Turkey has found an unexpected source of leverage. In 
return for taking migrants and refugees from Europe, Ankara is seeking 
visa-free admittance for Turkish citizens to the union. But negotiations 
over the Turkish-European refugees-for-access deal have recently 
stumbled, with the divided Europeans uneasy over the possible social, 
political, and economic effects of a deal that could mean drastically 
increased Turkish immigration to the union, as well as over Turkey’s 
authoritarian drift. For its part, Ankara remains unwilling to make 
required liberalizing reforms, including to its widely criticized 
anti-terrorism law.

Turkey’s Russian outreach is not going well. Erdogan recently sent a 
letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s national day, the 
first official contact of that kind since the Su-24 incident. Swallowing 
his pride, the Turkish president wrote that he hoped their relationship 
would again reach the “level it deserves.” If this was an outstretched 
hand, it was brusquely slapped down when the Kremlin responded that the 
letter was insufficient and demanded an official apology. “My perception 
of what happened between Moscow and Ankara is that these relations 
unfortunately became too personalized,” says Nikolay Kozhanov, a Russian 
Middle East specialist and nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow 
Center. “Some of my colleagues even call this the war of the two 
machismos. This state of relations is unnatural for both countries, but 
I’m afraid that we may see this conflict continue for as long as both of 
these guys are in power together.”

full: http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=63847

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