November 25th, 2015 -
Katehon - exclusive with Fort Russ -
The Turkish army says that it downed a foreign plane near the Syrian border yesterday. The Security sources said there had been a violation of airspace.
- Two non-Turkish helicopters tried to rescue the pilots, but there were clashes on the ground.
- The Turkish PM ordered the foreign ministry to consult with NATO & the UN on latest developments on the Syrian border.
- Earlier the Russian Ministry of Defense says its warplane SU-24 was downed over Syria and it can prove the aircraft was over Syria during the entire engagement.
- One pilot was killed by Turkmen militia controlled by Ankara.
- Earlier the Turkish media published the trajectory of the Russian flight. The Russian jet allegedly crossed a narrow part of Turkish territory wedged next to Syria and was shot above the Syrian land.
Geopolitical duplicity of Erdogan politics
- Turkey as a state of the Rimland zone usually balances between Atlanticist and Continentalist powers.
- The Turkish involvement in the Syrian war and their hostility towards Assad’s government are examples of Atlanticist influence.
- The common Turkish-Russian project 'Turkish Stream' is an example of the possibility of an opposite orientation.
- However the downed Russian fighter jet, that was shot down on 24.11.2015 is a sign of uppermost Atlanticist orientation of contemporary Turkey, and will be seen as more than an unfriendly act. The possible killing of two Russian pilots in ground battle will rapidly deteriorate Russian-Turkish relations.
The Turkish Stream under question
- The future of the 'Turkish Stream' deal is unclear in these circumstances.
- The start of construction was scheduled for December 2015 after the forming of new Turkish government.
- Both countries are economically interested in this sphere, and the project is mutually profitable. 80% of natural gas consumed by Turkey is Russian, the country’s tourist industry is strongly dependent on Russian tourists. Russia is Turkey’s major import partner.
- After the incident these strong economic ties are unlikely to bolster the development of political cooperation and strategic projects like 'Turkish Stream'. They are to be frozen.
Prognosis: War is unlikely
- It is unlikely that the incident will provoke military conflict, but political and strategic ties will be cooled.
- Ankara has room to maneuver, as it might counterbalance this anti-continentalist step by friendly actions, but presently there are no indications of this course.
- Russia also has certain room, and it is not interested in military conflict with Turkey. There is a great possibility that Russia will make concessions.
- NATO is to hold an extraordinary session upon Turkish request. The possible aim – a no-fly zone in the sphere of Turkish interest. Russian jets recently bombed some routes of ISIS-linked oil trade near the Turkish border, including the territory of Syrian Turkmen. It is known that members of Erdogan family participate in this business. Erdogan is trying to to salvage his position in Syria by putting harsh pressure on Russia, using his Atlanticist allies.