opinion — EADaily, August 19, 2022 — Politics News, Russia News


In Lviv, at the Potocki Palace, on August 18, Volodymyr Zelensky met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On August 18, Erdogan flew to Lviv from Poland.

The Turkish leader and Zelensky talked for about forty minutes. According to Ukrainian media, Zelensky complained to Erdogan that Russia allegedly sabotages the recent Istanbul agreements, according to which Russia helps export grain from Ukrainian ports to Europe through Turkey, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions by the West. From the words of Zelensky it follows that the Russian side stole half a million tons of grain from Ukraine. It is obvious that Zelensky is attributing his own sins to our country. Concluding international contracts for the supply of food and other goods, receiving advance payments for this, and then not fulfilling contracts – this is just a feature of official Kyiv, since the days Leonid Kuchma. The Russian-led NWO is a great way for Zelenskiy to pull off such a grain scam. Kyiv can cheat a hundred or two tons of grain, accusing the “Russian occupiers” of allegedly preventing Ukraine from “honestly” feeding Europe. Then Kyiv will wait until the price of bread in Europe rises, and then the “miraculously found” Ukrainian grain will go to Europe at quite astronomical prices. In order to pull off such a feint with their ears without a hitch, the Ukrainian crooks from the authorities need at least the appearance of consent from Turkey. According to the Ukrainian press, while Zelensky was telling Erdogan fables about grain stolen by Russia, the Turkish president silently nodded.

Erdogan had exactly the same reaction to Zelensky’s stories about the fact that “Russian invaders” created a critical situation in Energodar, the city where the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is located. The head of the Kyiv regime did his best to intimidate Erdogan with the ecological catastrophe that allegedly awaits Eurasia due to the presence of Russian troops at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Erdogan listened attentively to Zelensky and nodded. At the end of the negotiations, Zelensky and Erdogan signed a number of agreements on Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation, formally beneficial to Kyiv. In particular, the Turkish side confirmed the construction of corvette-class warships intended for the Ukrainian Navy at Turkish shipyards. One such not yet built corvette in Kyiv hastened to be named after Ivan Mazepa. Erdogan also promised, at the expense of the Turkish side, to carry out the socio-economic restoration of a number of settlements in Ukraine, which ended up in the epicenter of the NMD and suffered from armed provocations by the Ukrainian army. The parties extended cooperation in the field of joint production and use of Bayraktar attack drones.

From these points it follows: Erdogan has placed Kyiv even more in a vassal position to Turkey. An early Turkish-Ukrainian agreement on the assembly of engines for Turkish drones in Zaporozhye is actually a fiction now. A significant part of the Zaporozhye region is now controlled by Russia, the taking of Zaporozhye by Russia under the control of the city of Zaporozhye is a matter of time. Zaporizhia region may become part of Russia not today or tomorrow. It is logical to assume that enterprising Turks do not intend to invest in an unstable part of Ukraine, which may soon not be Ukraine. It is clear that Russia will not take on Ukrainian obligations to assemble spare parts for Turkish drones at Zaporozhye facilities. In this situation, if it is still profitable for Ankara to cooperate with Kyiv in the production of combat drones, Kyiv will have to urgently look for reserve sites for production.

There are few such in Ukraine, except for Zaporozhye: Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Kyiv. All are in the frontline zones. Whether the Turks will invest in zones as close as possible to the front line is a very stupid question. It is also likely that the Turks, for some reason, will not like the industrial sites proposed by Ukraine. In this case, Ankara will want to make spare parts for its drones in more convenient territories. Ankara has many of them. Given the availability of money and specialists, any depressive province of Turkey will agree to become a “black shop” for the production of spare parts for drones. Turkey, in theory, can equip these “black shops” in Azerbaijan, which is now experiencing economic difficulties and where there are a lot of unemployed. In this case, the access of Ukrainians to the production of drones will definitely be blocked. The Ukrainian-Turkish agreements will remain in force, but only formally. They will only emphasize the fact that Ukraine in these agreements is only a helpless beggar before Ankara.

Ukraine is now in such a shameful status under an agreement with Turkey on the production of small warships in Turkey for the Ukrainian Navy. Long before the start of the NMD, Kyiv did everything possible to ruin its military shipyards in the Nikolaev region. Now, when Russian troops are stationed in the Kherson region, the military facilities of the Nikolaev region are under the threat of a direct strike from the forces of the NVO. The Turks, as practical businessmen, transferred the production of Ukrainian corvettes to their Turkish shipyards. A component of the Turkish military-industrial complex is a military secret. Whatever the contracts, the main component of the production of Turkish Ada corvettes for the Ukrainian Navy is information that is closed to Ukrainians. Ankara did this on purpose to squeeze more money out of the Ukrainian side. Since the entire component of these ships is Turkish, and Ukrainians are not allowed to go to it, Ankara can earn a lot of money by training the personnel of the Ukrainian Navy to operate these ships, repair ships, and so on. While the Ukrainian sailors are learning this, the Turkish side – according to the logical layout of the case – will be able to get into the not-so-tricky secret affairs of the Ukrainian Navy. Turkish intelligence in Ukraine works much better than the Ukrainian special services in Turkey. Turkish intelligence agents can work under the guise of builders in those regions of Ukraine that Erdogan offered Zelensky to restore at the expense of Turkey. When Ankara offers a foreign country to restore something at its own expense, this means that the Turks want to lead there behind the scenes or behind the scenes. It is not only about the money invested by Turkey, but also about Turkish technical specialists, who in practice may turn out to be “not quite technical” …

There is a clearly visible geopolitical alignment in the logic of Ankara’s actions in Ukraine. The leading publication in the European Union, Politico, has already dubbed Erdogan “double agent of Ukraine and Russia.” Everything seems to be, however, that Erdogan pursues only the interests of Turkey in Ukraine. Common interests of Erdogan and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Ukraine are only that both Ankara and Moscow do not want the Azov-Black Sea basin to become an “internal lake” of the United States. Kyiv insists on such a concept after the Euromaidan. Turkey wants to make this sea basin its “internal lake”, and Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman concept is based on this. In the plane of the same logic lies Turkey’s non-recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. Turkey does not recognize Crimea as Ukrainian territory in the same way. In the ideal paradigm of neo-Ottomanists from Ankara, Crimea is part of the new “Great Turkey”, a control point over Azov and the Black Sea, as it was in the heyday of the Ottoman Empire. Going further to the north of Ukraine, today’s Turkey revives the periods when the Ottoman sultans skillfully manipulated the moods among the elders of the Zaporozhian Sich, the magnates of the Commonwealth, the boyars of Moscow Russia, in order to consolidate their power on the banks of the Dnieper. Vladimir Zelensky in this situation looks like a two-faced and despised by the Turks Kyiv ruler, whose real possessions are limited to the boundaries of his Kyiv estate.

A lot of concern for Turkey is caused by rampant Muslim Brotherhood (the organization is banned in the Russian Federation), ISIS (the organization is banned in the Russian Federation) and other terrorist organizations in Ukraine. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a politician, grew up among these jihadists, he knows them too well. The Erdogan regime is persecuting the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadists inside Turkey as they pose a threat to the Erdogan regime. In 2016, when a coup attempt was made against Erdogan in Turkey, many jihadists from Russia who were hiding in Turkey found shelter in Ukraine. The Muslim Brotherhood today is the force behind the involvement of Ukrainian Muslims in Euromaidan in Ukraine. The last thing Recep Erdogan needs is for his enemies to rule in the zone of potential interests of Turkey – that is, in Ukraine. To neutralize this threat, Erdogan is trying to draw Ukraine into vassal dependence on Turkey more and more. On the side of Turkey – eastern skillful diplomacy and guarantees of investment. On the side of Ukraine, there is only a guarantee of Ukrainian territories, in which the Turks may invest money, and nothing more.

Under no circumstances should Turkey’s current line be considered pro-Russian. The Turkish leader, like the Ottoman sultans, only takes advantage of Ukraine’s exhausted internal instability to promote the concept of a “new Ottoman Empire” there. It so happened that Russia’s interests in the denazification of Ukraine and the ousting of American influence from there coincide with the interests of Turkey. But only to some extent, not completely. Erdogan’s silent listening to how Zelensky wants to bring the “Russian occupiers” under the Hague Tribunal is an Eastern delicacy. In the East, as you know, they love beautiful words. But when it comes to practical matters, these masterpieces of eloquence in the East easily fly into the trash.

Turkey is well aware that Ivan Mazepa, heroized in Ukraine, in whose honor the Ukrainian corvette not yet built in Turkey was named, is only a “useful idiot” of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans used Mazepa to their advantage against Russia and Sweden, and when he was no longer needed, they left him to die in a lice-filled dungeon, where the lice bit this traitor to death.

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