The Russian Federation has a special influence on the political dynamics of Turkey, a state which has been growing in significance in the region. Turkey is particularly dependent on Russian energy supplies, says publicist and former CIA-Analyst Paul Goble in an interview with the Azerbaijani news agency Trend on September 21st.
The former intelligence analyst is convinced that the energy dependency of Anatolia is a steady subject for geostrategic negotiations, during the meetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Russia also seems to have a huge impact on the potential for conflict in southeastern Turkey, the operational-regions of the so called “Kurdish Workers party” (PKK); to which Russia continues to have relations since the era of the Soviet Union. Moscow would have the potential, for an escalation and intensification of PKK operations against state institutions. The PKK is a Kurdish nationalist and Marxist organization, which has been listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the United States, due to their controversial political objectives and military practices.
Critics of this theory, however, argue that Russia lacks any interest to support the cause of the PKK, due to the PYDs / YPGs, approach towards the West in recent years. The PYD and the YPG are sister organizations of the PKK, operating in northern Syria, and are the closest partners of the US in the fight against ISIS.
In the case of Syria, where both countries are diametrically opposed, regardless of their close bilateral cooperation, Goble hardly sees any opportunity for rapprochement between Russia and Turkey. The views on the future of Syria differed radically from each other. While Ankara views President Bashar al-Assad as the core for the crisis in Syria, the Russian Federation supports the Syrian government through political and military means. Recent moves to intensify the support for the Syrian military, are based on claims to focus primarily on the fight against terrorism.
According to recent, but unconfirmed reports, Russian marines were spotted taking part in armed clashes in the northwestern region of Lattakia for the first time. It is not clear, what militias have been engagend in the fight against the marines. The self-proclaimed “Islamic State”, does not operate in the region, limiting the possibilities to Turkmen-militias, or armed Salafist groups such as Ahrar al-Sham.
Meanwhile, current negotiations on the construction of the joint Pipeline, Turkish Stream, were put on hold. Apparently due to the political instability within Turkey and the upcoming election on November the 1st. Analysts and critics believe, however, that Turkey is not interested in the Russian project, due to their own projects in the Caspian Sea with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
The Turkish President and his Russian counterpart, will meet on September 23, for the reopening of a historic mosque in Moscow, as well for consultations.