December 28, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 9108

Russian Commentator Alksnis: As Erdogan Faces A Concerted Attack From The West, He Should Grasp Putin's Helping Hand

December 28, 2020
Russia, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 9108

Russian political scientist Irina Alksnis, a lead commentator for Russia Today, wrote an article for RIA Novosti titled "Payback Time Has Come for Erdogan". Erdogan, she argues, is facing a concerted attack from the West that is intended to bring the Turkish defense industry to its knees. Europe hates Erdogan with a passion; for the Biden Administration globalists humbling Erdogan will serve as an example to other NATO renegades and restore American supremacy. Alksnis concedes that Erdogan's elephant-in-a china-shop diplomacy was doomed to crash. However, if he wants to salvage his ability to defend Turkish national interests, Erdogan can find a welcoming reception from Vladimir Putin, who went out of his way to praise the Turkish president. The price will be a further step away from the West and strengthened ties with Russia, limiting Erdogan's ability to play both sides against each other.

Alksnis' analysis follows below:[1]

Erdogan grasps Putin's hand (Source:

"The New York Times published an article by former US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, who manned this post from 2006 to 2011 (that is, under the Republican George W. Bush Jr. and the Democrat Barack Obama) and is an old school secret service officer from the peak Cold War era.

"The text is dedicated to the required renewal of American foreign policy, which is required by the challenges of the time. The very first thesis states the need to increase pressure, however, not on geopolitical opponents, as one might expect, but on the closest allies.

"Gates focused on two countries that started to allow themselves too much. He is talking, of course, about Germany and Turkey. That aside, the former minister backed the sanctions introduced the other day against Ankara, while clarifying that this is nothing more than a “good start.”

"If the FRG's [Federal Republic of Germany] prospects in view of future US administration actions are not yet completely clear, then we can now already say with confidence about Turkey that difficult times await it, during which it will have to defend its right to a sovereign policy.

"Last week, Washington introduced personal sanctions against Ismail Demir, head of the Presidency of Turkish Defense Industries [formerly - Undersecretariat for Defense Industries], and three other officials for the acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

Ismail Demir (Source:

"This is a painful blow for Ankara, not only because Demir is one of the Turkish president's closest associates. More importantly, Turkey's military-industrial complex, in whose development Erdogan personally invested a lot of effort, vitally depends on cooperation with the West: licensing issues and components supply.

"Warning bells began to ring for Ankara a long time ago. For many months, a major contract with Pakistan on the supply of Turkish military T129 helicopters [T129 ATAK] is on the verge of collapse. The reason for that is the American license freeze on the engines, with which the vehicles are equipped.

"The Canadians halted supplies of their electro-optical systems used in the Bayraktar TB2 drones, employed with astonishing success during the recent escalating in Nagorno-Karabakh. Germany cut off the oxygen for serial production of “Altay” tanks, for which Turkish officials accused it [Germany] of violating contractual obligations.

"The sanctions imposed by the United States against Ismail Demir, the head of the related department will undoubtedly exacerbate the industry’s difficulties, since the Turks are still not good at import substitution.

"What is even worse, the S-400 contract is not the only problem in country’s relations with Washington and other Western capitals.

"Over the course of several years, the Turkish leadership has managed to worsen relation and create squabbles with almost all partners. The same Robert M. Gates recalled in his article that, among other things, Turkey “must also be held to account for its actions in Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and Syria,” since they “contravene the interests of other NATO allies and complicate efforts to achieve peace.”

"Moreover, the issue is not only the substance of the existing differences, but also the way that Ankara states its position. Ankara’s stance in relations with partners is often insolent, if not boorish. Thus, the Turkish leadership not only has quarrels with almost everyone, but also aroused in a number of world leaders a deep personal motivation to put Erdogan in his place.

"The highly risky or indeed, the doomed nature such Turkish policy has been evident for some time. The question was purely in terms of when [Turkey] would be held accountable.

"Apparently, this moment has come - and the West, putting aside other internal tensions, launched a consolidated offensive against Ankara, aiming to punishing it for actions already committed and forcing it into unquestioned obedience to 'senior comrades' in the future.

"So now this is Recep Tayyip Erdogan's biggest problem.

"Theoretically, one could imagine a horse-trading scenario, with Turkey making some concessions towards the United States on the S-400 issue. But in reality, the chances for this are practically nil.

"Washington does not need some relaxations- it needs Ankara's unconditional capitulation.

"If for Western Europe the desire to make an example of Erdogan is largely based on an emotional foundation- he became tiresome for everyone with his aggressive and loud impudence – then for globalists returning to the White House this is purely a matter of pragmatism and downright vital importance.

"Western unity based on the unconditional supremacy of the United States is crumbling in front of our very eyes. To restore discipline among allies, they need a good example of restoring order. In this regard Turkey is the most convenient target, since all the others can be united against it. After that [the US] can move on to other “renegades”.

"Indubitably, President Erdogan is aware of these very grim prospects (including for him personally) and, consequently, he understands the futility of even the slightest concessions to Washington. This is confirmed by Ismail Demir’s statement that US sanctions will not affect his country’s agreements with Russia on the S-400.

"But will Turkey have enough strength to withstand the pressure building up from all sides at once, which will become a serious test of the national economy's strength?

"This automatically raises the question of the geopolitical forces, to which Erdogan can turn to for help in his confrontation with the West.

"Last week, following the introduction of US sanctions against Turkey, Vladimir Putin commented on Russian-Turkish relations at his major press conference. He, noting the existing disagreements, very flatteringly characterized Erdogan and called him a man who 'keeps his word' and 'does not wag his tail' [a Russian expression meaning that Erdogan does not cheat or dissemble]. At the same time, the Russian leader added that the straightforwardness of his Turkish colleague in promoting of national interests [of Turkey] is 'an element of predictability.'

"It is difficult to interpret Putin’s statements other than a readiness to provide a 'helping hand' to the Turkish leader.

However, by accepting it, Ankara will take another step away from the West and towards strengthening ties with Russia, which in turn will reduce its ability to balance between the interests of the great powers, and pursuing a policy independent of them all.

But there’s nothing else to be done: for many years Turkey has acted in foreign policy with the grace of an elephant in a china shop, ignoring warnings about the danger and shortsightedness of such an approach. Now is the time to pay for it.

Irina Alksnis (Source:


[1], December 21, 2020.

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