The ongoing confrontation between the West and Russia is rapidly gaining momentum and affecting the entire world.
But there are also countries that benefit from the confrontation between the West and Russia, writes the Russian political analyst of international relations Petr Makedontsev in Eurasia Daily and relays the Balkan Periscope.
One of these countries is Turkey, which, although a member of NATO, is distant from the West, not least because it refused to impose sanctions against Russia.
Ankara’s refusal of sanctions is logical, since the Turks want to get rich and develop economic cooperation with Russia, while the Europeans will lose the Russian market due to the sanctions policy and suffer losses.
But the latest event can be called as another great success for Ankara.
On July 20, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed an order to expand the list of countries unfriendly to Russia.
Among these countries was Greece, which in recent years has openly pursued a hostile policy towards Russia.
This fact is a worrying message for Athens in the context of deteriorating Greek-Turkish relations (see Turkey prepares to take territory from Greece).
Greece should think about this in relation to the next anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
In Turkey, this event is referred to as a peacekeeping operation in Cyprus.
In relation to the 48th anniversary of the invasion, on the social network “Twitter”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself made an appeal, while in Nicosia official events were held, which included speeches of a political nature.
Thus, the President of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)”, Ersin Tatar, said:
“I would like to emphasize that we will resolutely continue our struggle until we bring our struggle for justice and freedom to victory on the international stage.
“We will never give up our state, independence and sovereignty.”
“Turkey, as a guarantor country, will continue to protect the sovereign rights, freedoms and well-being of the Turks in Cyprus, as well as fulfill its historical and contractual obligations…
“Our country defends the legal rights of the Turkish Cypriot community, considering long-term peace and settlement on the island important…
“If you want a settlement of the Cypriot issue, you must first of all recognize the right of sovereign equality for the Turks.
»The future of the island should be determined equally by both communities. This is the only solution.”
Why is this remarkable? Turkey had no intention of withdrawing troops from Cyprus, after all in the past and in 2020 it did everything to win the presidential elections in the “TRBK” of Ersin Tatar, who supports the solution of the Cyprus conflict according to the “two states for two peoples’ (while the previous president of the TRNC, Mustafa Akinci, supported the union of Cyprus and criticized Erdogan’s policies in the Middle East).
However, regarding the confrontation between the West and Russia, the statements of Turkish leaders on the Cyprus conflict should be taken somewhat differently.
Turkey’s economic weakness currently prevents it from taking aggressive steps
No matter how Turkish propagandists present Turkey as a strong and fast-growing power capable of putting Americans and Europeans in their place, the reality is that Ankara is afraid to make sharp moves against Greece and Cyprus because of its economic weakness.
This is now being achieved by Russia, and not by Turkey, which since the end of February 2022 has been able to fight in Ukraine, withstand the weapons of NATO and withstand the frenzied pressure of sanctions from the strongest economies in the world.
That’s why Ankara can only wait and prepare for hostilities with Greece, as possible US and European Union sanctions for a military operation (against Greece and Cyprus) will bring down the Turkish economy.
Unwittingly, Russia has rendered enormous favors to Turkey which is strengthening itself militarily (arms supplies to Ukraine and mercenary involvement) and economically by avoiding participation in Western sanctions.
Circumstances have developed in such a way that at this historical stage both Moscow and Ankara are interested in their own reasons for the military and economic weakening of the US, the European Union and Greece.
Russia has relatively acceptable relations with Cyprus, especially against the background of other European Union countries.
However, Cyprus is an ally of Greece, which is hostile to Russia and cannot break with the US and the Greek Euro-Atlanticists.
Thus, the Cypriot Orthodox Church (like, indeed, the Greek Orthodox Church) recognized the Russophobic schismatics from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
As expected, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said in a May interview with FRANCE 24 that Russia in Ukraine is using “exactly the same arguments that Turkey used to invade Cyprus.”
Given that now the head of the Good Party in Ankara Meral Aksener is not currently in power, who calls for participation in the West’s anti-Russian sanctions, but more capable politicians are in place, Turkey’s insistence on resolving the Cyprus conflict is quite understandable.
While Greece and Cyprus and at the same time other Western countries will suffer economic losses from the break with Russia, the Turkish side will expand its influence on the Russian market.
In view of the confrontation between the West and Russia, the Turkish leadership can only choose priorities.
Soon, Turkey is likely to launch a military operation against the Syrian Kurds, despite protests from the US, Russia and Iran.
After that, Ankara can take a break from active hostilities.
And there, you see, before the 2023 elections, he will probably carry out the “demilitarization” of the Aegean islands and the “operation to protect the Muslims of Western Thrace”, especially if by then the Greeks and other Europeans really feel the economic effects of the rupture with Russia.