A Witness from His Family Testifies: Erdogan is Putin’s and Russia’s Enemy

Arabi Souri

President Biden’s position may be the reason why President Erdogan’s team talked about a “new Turkish model” against Russia, which the members of this team believe “lacks many of the ingredients to confront the rising Turkish power.”

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

On June 2, Omer Oz Kzelcic wrote on the website of the state-run TRT channel in English, an article in which he talked about the content and goals of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy, in which he referred to “Russian concern about the echoes of the Turkish model in Eastern Europe”.

He said, “Turkey has proven that it can limit Russia’s role in the region, without the need for American and Western European forces, which means the need to talk about a new Turkish model in the face of Russia,” adding: “This model has confronted Russia with its military approach in Syria, and turned the balance of power in Libya in favor of the forces hostile to Haftar, who is backed by Russia. Turkey’s success in establishing and developing close relations with Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Libya, the interim government in Syria, and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary), is an alliance aimed at curbing the Russian expansion. Also, Ukraine and Poland, which contribute to confronting Russia, have bought Turkish drones, while Hungary, Romania, and the Baltic states are planning to buy these planes for use against Russia.”

He added, “On the other hand, Russia is seeking to confront the new Turkish model by imposing sanctions on Turkey, including limiting imports of agricultural products and preventing Russians from going there for tourism, but Moscow will find that these measures will not work, and it only has to take into account the possibilities of a hot confrontation with it or to make its most difficult decision to accept Ankara’s unwritten terms regarding Turkey’s neighborhood. In turn, Ankara can encourage Moscow to favor the second option, through joint projects. Biden has only to be aware of what Russia and Eastern European countries have realized of Turkey’s importance and reconsider his overall calculations with Ankara.

This is briefly what Kzelcic wrote about President Erdogan’s approach to foreign policy, which I referred to in many of my articles on this site, with an important difference: the man is from the very close staff of President Erdogan. In other words, the article is like “the testimony of a witness from the family of the house.”

Before commenting on this article, which came on the eve of the important meeting between Erdogan and Biden on June 14, it is necessary to shed light on its writer and the institution in which he works. Oz Kzelcic is of the cadre of the Institute for Political, Economic and Social Studies “SETA” founded by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in 2006 when he was an advisor to Prime Minister Erdogan, and before him to Abdullah Gul.

Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s financial advisor and spokesman was the general manager of this center, while Fahrettin Altun, now head of the communications department (media officer) in the Turkish presidency, was his assistant at the time. As for the current director of the center, Burhanuddin Duran, he appealed to “the United States and the European Union (formerly) to stand by Turkey in its confrontation with Russia in Idlib.”

“Russia is not a reliable ally for Turkey,” said Professor Kemal Inat, one of the center’s authors.

The hostility of this crew surrounding President Erdogan to Russia, directly or indirectly, prompted the leader of the “Homeland” party, Dogu Barincak, who is also an ally of Erdogan, to launch an attack on the aforementioned center, as he appealed to the Turkish president to cut off state aid to it, and said: “This aid means helping America and Israel because the center obstructs reconciliation with President Assad and Syria, which serves Washington and Tel Aviv.”

This Barincak attack may have come as a reminder of the information at the beginning of this year about the possibilities of appointing Ovuk Ulutas, one of the center’s cadres, who is a specialist in Jewish history and studied in Israel, as a new ambassador in Tel Aviv, after the formation of the new government.

In all cases, and whatever the outcome of the summit between President Erdogan and Biden, it has become clear that Ankara, with the continuation of this team surrounding Erdogan, will not change its traditional approach, which does not trust Russia, just as it did not trust the Soviet Union and its communist regime, as evidenced by the fact that the late President Turgut Ozal raised the slogan “One Turkish nation from the Adriatic to the impenetrable dam of China”, after the fall of this regime, about the borders of the Ottoman Empire, which started from the borders of this dam, to reach Bosnia and its surroundings.

In October 1991, Ozal gathered the heads of the Turkic republics in Ankara, namely Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, in an attempt to establish a new Turkish bloc with which to challenge Russia, given that these republics were, and still are, Russia’s back garden.

He also ordered the army to invade northern Iraq and annex it to Turkey after Saddam Hussein’s defeat in Kuwait, in an attempt to revive the memories of the borders of the National Charter (Mili), which saw in northern Iraq (Mosul, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Kirkuk) and all of northern Syria as part of present-day Turkey. At that time, the chief of staff refused these orders and it forced him to resign, so President Bush intervened and prevented Ozal from achieving his dream, which Erdogan remembered after the so-called “Arab Spring,” and he is now in northern Syria and Iraq after he failed to market his Islamic party’s model in a secular, democratic state to the countries and peoples of the region, which is what Washington and Western capitals have sought, which no longer hide their concern and annoyance with this model, after Turkey lost its secular and democratic identity, as recognized by all the opposition parties, which President Biden emphasized at the end of 2019 “the need to support it until it gets rid of the tyranny of Erdogan in the elections.”

President Biden’s position may be the reason why President Erdogan’s team talked about a “new Turkish model” against Russia, which the members of this team believe “lacks many of the ingredients to confront the rising Turkish power.” And thanks to Moscow, it allowed the Turkish army to enter Jarablus in August 2016, then Afrin at the beginning of 2018, then east of the Euphrates in October last year, and finally, Azerbaijan, the sensitive flank of Russia, in whose territory more than 20 million Muslims live, most of whom are near the borders of Azerbaijan and its neighbor Georgia, and its relations with Ankara will soon witness interesting developments, serving the goals of the new Turkish model! Ankara may want this model to counter at the same time the traditional national and sectarian rival, Iran, with its regional extensions, which President Erdogan is closely watching.

This explains the important information that talks about the possibility of sending the Turkish army to Afghanistan, to replace the US and NATO forces, which will withdraw from it by next September, a topic that President Erdogan will discuss with President Biden, amid information of talks about a prior agreement in this area, so that The Turkish army will protect Kabul airport and international facilities, in coordination with the “Taliban”, which has a good relationship with both Doha and Ankara.

The press information also talks about interesting scenarios about the reasons for the Turkish interest in Afghanistan and its background, and of course, in coordination and cooperation with Washington, this country that was the cause of the fall of the Soviet Union is bordering both Iran and China, the media is talking about the possibilities of transferring foreign fighters from Idlib and its neighborhood to Afghanistan is the most interesting in the medium and long term, especially with the information that talks about strong relations between Islamabad and Ankara, despite Riyadh’s efforts to obstruct this, especially that some of these fighters are from the Chinese Turkistan minority, and that there are others from the Islamic republics of Central Asia that border China and Afghanistan. Some of them also fought in the ranks of “Al-Qaeda” and “Taliban” in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and they are ready to return to these areas with the return of the “Taliban” to power.

All of these facts may bring us back to the “Green Belt” project, through which America sought at the end of the seventies of the last century to bring down the Soviet Union and tear it apart, which it achieved 10 years after the war in Afghanistan. It seems that the latter may once again become an arena for American campaigns aimed at tearing Russia apart from the inside, after besieging it from the outside, which is what Turkish analysts talked about in “SETA”, as if they want history to repeat itself, as long as some do not draw lessons from it!