Shifting Balances and Maintaining Control in the Volatile Middle East
Very few countries in the world have to tiptoe daily around countless sensitive balances, all precariously maintained in a volatile geographic area. Turkey is one of them and the challenges it is facing everyday are like no other.
November 24th had been one of those days when a very unexpected incident raised the tensions in the region between Turkey and its long-lasting friend, neighbor and strategic partner Russia.
We wish from the very bottom of our hearts to see an end to all conflicts, deaths, and suffering. Yet, undesired situations might occur but the best thing to do is to look ahead with a clear and rational mind, as no sane person would want conflict.
For this reason, regardless of what happened, it is crucial to set a great example with a sensible, rational behavior that will de-escalate the tension. A good example had been when the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said right in the beginning that they didn’t want to further escalate the crisis. And when asked whether he thought the incident could turn into a conflict, Minister Lavrov said, “We do not intend to fight with Turkey; our relationship with the Turkish people has not changed. There are just questions that have arisen for the Turkish government.”
During the telephone conversation between Erdogan and Obama in the wake of the incident, the two leaders agreed on the importance of de-escalating tensions and agreed on taking measures to prevent any repetition of similar events. Despite some harsh statements from both sides, the prevailing focus had been on de-escalating the tension and closing the subject amicably. Furthermore, it was reported that Turkish President Erdogan requested a meeting with President Putin in Paris and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke on the phone with his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov and the two Ministers decided to meet in the next days.
These are all good developments that are certain to have a positive effect on the shaping of the next couple of days.
Although Russia and Turkey hold diametrically opposed positions on matters such as the Ukraine Crisis, the Crimean problem, and Syria, they have never impaired the neighborly and, even more importantly, the friendly relations between them. When the Western world began imposing heavy sanctions against Russia especially after the Ukraine crisis, Turkey continued to stand by its long-time ally despite criticism from the world.
In the same way Russia has always cherished and prized Turkish friendship, continued its cooperation with the Turks in every area from military to energy and there is no doubt that they will wish to maintain this fruitful relationship in the future, both for the sake of both countries and the sake of regional peace.
Therefore, Turkey is determined to get through this crisis with the most sensible and peaceful approach expected from long time friends and allies. We are hoping that Russian administration will show their true statesmanship with a calm and levelheaded approach as they had done so many times before. They should know that the Turkish people have always loved, embraced Russian people and considered this friendship as a valuable gift. Turkey and Russia are two friends that are tied with strong bonds of brotherhood, two friends that grew together. It is in our power to ensure that this friendship continues. What we need to ensure is a calm approach. If we maintain this sensible manner especially now, the days ahead will give us plenty of time and opportunity to make up for this undesired incident.
(Harun Yahya has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com)