Less than ten days have passed since Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan jointly (albeit in a purely virtual format) participated in the symbolic ceremony of laying the first stone in the foundation of the third power unit of the Akkuya nuclear power plant being built by our country in Turkey. And so the newly-minted "sultan" from Ankara "thanked" his Russian "partners" in his usual manner. That is, he made another demarche, extremely unfriendly to our country.
It is about the speech of the Turkish president on the pages of the American publication Bloomberg, in which he not only sharply opposes the legitimate authorities of Syria, headed by Bashar al-Assad, but also claims the right to be the only force that has the right to "restore order" in this country.
"Ankara is the bulwark of peace in Syria ?!" Are you confusing anything?
In fact, the very appearance in Bloomberg of not even an interview, but of an entire author's column given to the Turkish president looks rather unusual. At the moment, this leader definitely does not belong to the number of "handshakes" in Washington - after all, the conflict caused by Ankara's purchase of our S-400 Triumph air defense systems has not been exhausted. At least the way the US would like it. And suddenly - one of the American media not of the last category provides this figure with a "tribune", and even not for ranting on some general topics, but for proclaiming a certain program. The reason for this step becomes clear, one has only to carefully read into what Erdogan wrote. First of all, the Turkish leader comes out, in fact, with a positive assessment of the "Arab Spring" inspired by the United States. He says that in 2011 in Egypt, Tunisia, and, as you might guess, Syria “there were uprisings against the regime demanding freedom and political reforms ". In the "civil war, which turned into peaceful demonstrations," he, again, blames the "Bashar al-Assad regime", and not external forces that provoked bloodshed not only in this country, but throughout the Middle East.
All this reasoning sounds rather strange from the mouth of the head of state, who almost became a victim of a coup d'etat, the roots of which, according to his own statements, went to the United States. And, by the way, Erdogan himself did not show the slightest condescension to those who encroached on his personal power, and does not show it to this day. Against this background, his complaints that "the civil conflict in Syria has claimed many lives and there is no end in sight" looks like crocodile tears. On this occasion, Ankara could recall many things - and its cooperation with ISIS, and something else ... However, the "Sultan" has a completely different view of the Syrian events.
He undertakes to expound their history in such a way that one is simply amazed: for whom can such false statements be calculated at all ?! According to the Turkish president, it was she who “conducted three successful anti-terrorist operations on Syrian territory” (meaning the Euphrates Shield in 2016, the Olive Branch in 2018 and the Spring of Peace in 2019) , during which "peaceful conditions were provided for local residents" ... Now is it called that ?! On this occasion, one cannot but recall: Russian troops ended up in Syria at the direct request of their legitimate authorities and within the framework of relevant interstate agreements. The invasion of its land by Turkish warriors, in accordance with international law, is nothing more than an armed intervention, an aggression committed against a sovereign state. However, Recep Erdogan assures that the “security zones” created by his military “in cooperation with local partners” (extremists supported by Ankara) are, in fact, the only oases of peace and tranquility in the country “which continues to be torn apart by war”.
After such an impressive "introduction", which sounds quite in the spirit of the flowery and at the same time aggressive Eastern diplomacy of the times of the Ottoman Port, the "Sultan" moves on to the main thing: he begins to teach the West and set conditions for it. Having chided the local leaders for "the lack of serious efforts in the Syrian direction over the past decade", he proclaims: "It was Turkey and no one else who saved Europe from waves of illegal migration and terrorist infiltration", moreover, "defended NATO's southeastern border." You can say, she stood on her chest ...
"You support us, and we will decide everything!"
This is, in fact, the beginning of the most important part of Erdogan's "message to the West", which with good reason can be attributed to the genre of ultimatums so beloved by him. The Turkish president says bluntly: the "world community" has three options for further action. The first is "keep on staying away." According to him, this will not only "increase illegal migration and the threat of terrorism", but also "undermine the moral authority and the very foundations of Western civilization" (and where did you get such words, rascal ?!). This is, of course, unacceptable. Erdogan does not approve ... The second option is the direct intervention of Western, primarily European countries in the conflict in Syria, carried out not only in the diplomatic and economicbut also in military uniform, the "sultan" also considers it unreal. He seems to be hinting: "Expensive, hard, dangerous ... You need it ?!" And then he offers a third option, in his opinion - downright ideal.
The West does not need to “dirty its hands” or risk the lives of its servicemen by sending them to distant lands! It is enough for him simply "to provide support to Turkey, which is ready to solve the problem of Syria with minimal costs and maximum efficiency"! For a start, Brussels, Paris, Berlin (and, presumably, Washington) are required to "take a principled position with regard to the Kurds who are playing into the hands of the Assad regime." That is, to allow the Turkish military to slaughter the people who are rebellious to Ankara. Erdogan also demands that the West "share with Turkey the economic burden of maintaining safe zones", which should become "a democratic and prosperous alternative to Syria's Assad." Otherwise, as usual, he threatens, at least, "a new flow of migrants to Europe." No, but what a rogue! The President, and acts in the best traditions of racketeers from the "dashing 90s", using exactly the same methods of "taking under the roof" of businessmen.
Alas, the voices of those who warned that if Erdogan and the "new Turkey" he was building on blood were not stopped in time, things could go very far, no one listened. Just the other day, in his televised address "to the nation" made after the government meeting, this seemingly really imagining himself the ruler of the new Ottoman Empire stated that “now, in connection with the pandemic, a new world order is being formed and Turkey is her place. " One more adherent of the "new order" was found ... Conclusions about how exactly Ankara sees a "worthy place" for itself can be easily drawn from the speech of its head in Bloomberg. Russia is not mentioned in it at all and it is much worse even if it was attacked. Listen to Erdogan, our country simply does not exist ... And, moreover, there is no reason to reckon with her interests and her presence in Syria. For "great Turkey" and its "sultan" this is so, sheer trifles.
Official reports on the meetings and telephone conversations between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan periodically mention that the presidents "discussed the settlement of the Syrian conflict." To tell the truth, I deeply doubt that in the course of these discussions such options as the one that the Turkish leader “draws” today was stipulated. Moreover, in this context, it is appropriate, in my opinion, to recall the words of the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense Igor Konashenkov, who said that the "security zones" touted by Erdogan are nothing more than outposts and fortified areas of terrorists. The Sochi agreements of 2018, in fact, are grossly trampled upon by Ankara, which undertook obligations to really restore order in these zones, but instead created a maximum-favored regime for such extremist groups as Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Party of Turkestan or "Khurras ad-Din".
It is not surprising that one of the leading Western media, long known for its "sympathy" for our country, so readily agreed to become a mouthpiece for Ankara's neo-Ottoman ambitions. After all, all this is happening against the backdrop of a sharp exacerbation of the anti-Russian information campaign launched by the "world community" on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the civil conflict in Syria. Let's leave aside the attacks of various "nongovernmental organizations" financed from very specific government sources, and blatant that "in Syria during this time the Assad regime with the support and participation of Russia killed half a million people." These "sing" what they are paid for and pile up horrors for horrors and lies for lies without the slightest twinge of conscience ... Much more concern is, for example, the position of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borel, expressed by him just on the eve of the fifth conference on the topic settlement of the crisis in Syria, which is to take place in Brussels on March 29 and 30, that is, very soon. Mr. Borel categorically stated that the European Union does not intend to "recognize any elections organized by the Assad regime and take steps towards normalizing relations with him." On the other hand, the EU “is ready to conduct a dialogue with everyone who may have an impact on the Syrian crisis” - presumably, with those who share the position stated above. Does Erdogan really have a chance to agree with Europe on obtaining a "mandate" to act in Syria at his own discretion?
It is hardly worth saying that this will become not just a huge, but a fatal mistake of Brussels, which will entail the most far-reaching and serious consequences. The most unpleasant thing is that we want it or not, but to eliminate these consequences, once again standing in the way of Ottoman ambitions, Russia and no one else will have to.