Home | Articles | Turkish interest in russia`s war against Ukraine

Turkish interest in russia`s war against Ukraine

Turkish interest in russia`s war against Ukraine

The endless search for agreements and compromises, considering possibilities for personal gain, is a distinctive feature of the traditional Turkish mentality. That is why Turkey’s position regarding russian aggression in Ukraine is predictable.

More than 700 Turkish companies worked in Ukraine before the war. In addition, Turkish construction companies participated in essential infrastructure projects in Ukraine.

There is a base for producing engines and components for Turkish helicopters and tanks in Kharkiv and a joint venture for producing and maintaining “Bayraktar” drones.

Ukraine’s military imports from Turkey in the 1st quarter of 2022 reached $59.1 million, which is 30 times up compared to last year. The total volume of Turkey’s defense exports during the war increased by 48.6%.

Turkey condemned russia for its invasion of Ukraine, provided the Ukrainian army with additional drones, and opened its doors to Ukrainian refugees. In addition, Turkey closed the Bosphorus Strait for warships to prevent the concentration of reserves in the Black Sea for a large-scale amphibious operation near Odesa. Turkey also supported the resolution of the UN General Assembly on the suspension of russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council.

At the same time, Turkey is the only NATO country that has continued trade relations with russia and may benefit from the substitution of Western companies. There are many economic reasons, such as tourism and trade, as well as significant exports from russia, which Turkey is unwilling to ignore.

The country’s leadership believes that Turkey should be guided only by its interests to “not allow its citizens to freeze without russian gas.” Also, official Ankara claims it did not join the international sanctions against russia to preserve the dialogue channel with Moscow.

Turkey has kept its skies open for russian planes. One of the crucial factors in developing the tourism industry in Turkey is the flow of russian tourists. Its potential is estimated at 2.5-3.5 million russians. However, due to sanctions, russian carriers will be able to transport only 500,000. In addition, a new airline was created in Turkey exclusively for the transportation of 2 million tourists from russia.

In March, russia became the leading foreign trade partner of Turkey. The volume of its exports reached $4.1 billion. Turkey is preparing for economic expansion into the russian consumer market after the departure of Western companies.

To solve the energy crisis in the EU caused by the rupture of relations with russia, Turkey has started reconciliation processes with former enemies in the region, which have many energy resources. That is how the war in Ukraine positively impacted Turkey’s international status and strengthened its position in the Middle East.

Strategically, the Turks seek to squeeze the maximum gains from the war in Ukraine. This has manifested in the military exports increase, the growth of energy resources transit supply from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to Europe, and the replacement of Western imports on the russian and belarusian markets by Turkish products.

They call on Western companies that left the russian or Ukrainian markets due to war to invest in Turkey. They also position their country as a convenient bridgehead for setting up business in Africa.

Turkey’s relations with its traditional allies in the West, particularly with the EU and its member states, the USA and NATO, have been in a constant crisis for the past few years.

The geopolitical situation in Europe requires the return of American-Turkish relations. In 2019, Turkey purchased four S-400 air defense batteries from russia with 36 launchers and more than 190 missiles, saying they were better than Washington’s proposed MIM-104 Patriot systems. However, for this démarche, in 2020, the US imposed sanctions on the Turkish defense industry and excluded the country from the program of the most advanced F-35 aircraft.

The proposal to transfer its S-400 complexes to Ukraine was a potential window of opportunity for Turkey. It would become possible to participate in the production of parts and the purchase of promising NATO aircraft. But Turkey did not agree to help Ukraine with protecting the sky.

The complete defeat of russia or its substantial weakening, and its strategic victory, with an even more powerful entrenchment in the Black Sea region, are not beneficial to Turkey.

Membership in the EU is Turkey’s strategic goal. The country seeks to actively participate in the post-war architecture of defense and security, which the EU is trying to create. Its position in the war proved the country’s importance in security, supply chain logistics, energy, and migration. Turkey believes that due to geopolitical challenges, the EU should be interested in keeping Turkey on its side and integrating it into its structure.

Ankara’s mediating activity between moscow and Kyiv increased the rating of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the country. Turkish elites believe that thanks to him, Turkey has become an influential entity in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Members of the central board of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey advocated nominating their leader for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

  • 19 April, 2022

Comments are closed.

Pin It on Pinterest