Erdogan and Yildirim congratulate Putin and Medvedev on Day of Russia (what could it mean?)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to congratulate him and all Russians on the Day of Russia and wished the relations between Moscow and Ankara will come to a level that they deserve.
"Dear Mr. President, on behalf of the Turkish people I congratulate you and all the Russians on the Day of Russia, and hope that the relations between Russia and Turkey will come to a level they deserve in the near future," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has also sent a similar letter to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. Yıldırım said in his letter, "I hope that our relations will reach the level which is necessary for the common interests of the peoples of the two countries. I wish the Russians well-being and prosperity," the head of the Turkish government wrote.
The Scientific Director of the Fund of Development and Support of the 'Valdai' International Discussion Club, editor of the magazine 'Russia in Global Affairs', Fyodor Lukyanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that we should not perceive Erdogan's conciliatory statements over Russia, as well as his regret about tensions between Moscow and Ankara as a willingness to reconcile with Russia. "In general, it is necessary to raise the question here whether Russia is ready to reconcile with Erdogan. Because there have already been some signals from Turkey that it would like to leave the November incident in the past. But Russia either did not respond to them, or reacted very harshly. Erdogan is in a difficult situation. For him it would be very important to begin to get himself out of this situation. But at the same time we must understand that he is a leader of a certain type, who cannot show weakness or retreat, perhaps it could be even fatal to his image. So there is a question of whether Russia is ready, in turn, to show some flexibility, "the expert explained.
"Firstly, the conflict with Russia had quite a heavy economic impact on Turkey: both tourism and trade sharply fell. Secondly, Turkey has not succeeded in its grand strategy in the Middle East. The conflict with the neighbors is not what it needs. It seems that Erdogan is seeking an opportunity to mend relations with at least someone, given the fact that the relations had soured literally with everyone: with the US and the EU in particular," the Scientific Director of the Fund of Development and Support of the 'Valdai' International Discussion Club noted.
The editor of the magazine 'Russia in Global Affairs' expressed serious doubts over reconciliation projects between Ankara and Moscow. "As for the projects, I do not know, because the projects require not only reconciliation, but the end of the confrontation, as well as a relatively high degree of strategic trust. I doubt that we will be able to get back to that level, to be honest," Fyodor Lukyanov concluded.
The head of the Center for Turkish-Russian Researches, Aydin Sezer, on the contrary, expressed confidence that Erdogan and Yildirım intend to normalize relations with Russia, as much as possible. "The fact that the former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has resigned increases the chances of improving the relations between Russia and Turkey. In addition, Erdogan is working under the pressure of public opinion and business, which are dreaming of restoring relations with Russia," he explained.
The political expert also noted that Erdogan has to try to make peace with the Kremlin to solve other problems which Ankara is facing today. "Turkey has major problems in its foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. Unfortunately, Russia's conditions for reconciliation have remained the same since the first day and if they are not revised somehow, nothing will change. Alas, such a situation where the countries are distancing from each other prevents the creation of a healthy friendship," Aydin Sezer pointed out.
"It is very difficult for Turkey to apologize out loud in front of everyone, in this regard, both countries are similar, these are the imperial traditions of both countries. I think that Turkey is able to pay compensation, but Russia will also have to review its policy towards Turkey, it is also interested in reconciliation, because today still there is a considerable potential for cooperation in the energy sector," the head of the Center for Turkish-Russian Researches reminded.