The Future of Eurasia: Russian-Turkish Strategic Alliance

The Future of Eurasia: Russian-Turkish Strategic Alliance

The Turkish and Russian presidents are going to held a meeting in the city of Sochi on August 5. This will be their second meeting in a short time, after having gathered in the Astana Summit in Tehran recently.

Following that summit, Türkiye’s president Erdoğan had stated that Russian president Putin “had a number of interesting proposals”. Both countries are already coordinating actions in a wide range, from the Caucasus over Syria to Libya, from tourism to energy cooperation.

Ahead of their meeting, the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies has published a fundamental text as “a proposed concept of Russian-Turkish strategic alliance”. The institute invites politicians and experts alike to debate the proposal.

United World International presents below the Caspian Institute’s publication, which can be read in original here.

Today we are witnessing the wreckage of the traditionally shaped international system and the search for a new world order. The previous globalization project was oriented on the leadership of one group of countries – «the globalizers» over all other countries – «the globalized». The «most advanced Western countries» were the key beneficiaries of that super-colonial system. They were on the top of the pyramid. The other participants of «the food chain» also received their ration and position in the global system. But only in exchange for unconditional submission and unquestioned observation of the imposed rules. Samuel Huntington, a geo-politician, in his Clash of Civilizations forecasted the emergence of exactly this kind of structure, which he called «the West against the rest».

The US and their allies, just like the chieftain and forty gangsters, terrorized the entire world, they were prosecuting the objectors everywhere and ostentatiously punished the disobedient. Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya – and everywhere. Everything outside the globalization core was declared as having little value and thus – subject to annihilation like bio-waste. Gradually «the West against the rest» formula has brought the planet to edge of a new World War. First there were economic wars and sanctions wars, then came a series of regional conflicts. And finally, the fire emerged in Europe itself. Now it is time to look back, to understand what is happening with us and how we shall live from now on.

Counter-polar world

Why did not the collapse of the bipolar system after the USSR disintegration bring peace and stability? There are three important aspects. Firstly, the monopolar world centered around the USA is strategically unstable. It could not provide for global security in the long run. The reason is simple – one cannot be the ruler of the entire world. As the time progressed, the United States started losing their global leadership. They were immediately challenged by the new centers of power – both in economics and in politics. But the monopolar world cannot turn into a multipolar one overnight. It has to undergo a difficult and even sanguinary phase of the counter-polar world. A dangerous, but inevitable phase, where new global centers challenge the «global ruler» and even put their future in the game.

Obviously, the USA will support the world order with one center of power at all costs. Together with their allies they hope that their consolidated power will allow for fixing the global dominance – making an irrevocable «anthropological disruption» and turning all the other sub-centers of the planet into mobs of «unfinished people». But our variegated world has already irreversibly changed. It is no longer a backyard of Euro-Atlantic region, it started recognizing its own interests. This underpins the growing strategic uncertainty, and the vacuum of power, the paralysis of international organizations including the UN and NATO. Today we are observing the growing friction between the former «global ruler» and the pretenders for global leadership, as well as disagreements with the peripheral centers. None of them wants to remain obedient «globalization slaves».

The International of resistance

Secondly, the growing number of countries are demonstrating their discontent with respect to the domination of the West. More and more nations understand: they are in the unfair global system, where they may be unexpectedly disconnected from life-supporting appliance. And Russia today is practically at the front line of this resistance. In essence, having started the special military operation in Ukraine, Moscow has become the lead singer for the global «the rest». It is important that we are not seeing any strong condemnation of the RF actions from many countries not being part of Euro-Atlantic alliance. Türkiye, China, Arabic countries including the Persian Gulf monarchies, India and even Israel are not joining the open sanctions-based war against Russia. Let us say that many of these countries have good relations with the USA. But all of them understand quite well that it is not their war that is taking place today. This is a particular war of «the collective West», in which it strengthens its solidarity by sealing it with blood.

It is paradoxical enough, but the growing stigmatization of Russia results in developing cracks in the globalization monolith, in pro-Western global community stopping to be unified and global. The very essence of the benefits of global market and other global systems – financial, educational and others – is in the absence of alternatives, in practically all the important players being restricted by the rigid globalization framework. Disobedience is the biggest threat for the globalization project. If a noticeable part of the players does not support the common rules of the game, the project stops being global and becomes regional.

The «Savannah World»

Thirdly, the COVID-19 pandemic jump-started the crisis of the existing world order. The above-national operations and global supply chains were disrupted. Effectively, the idea of globalism per se is under erosion with the idea of regionalism coming to replace it. Certain macro-regions started to survive autonomously  – like submarine compartments. The world has changed drastically, and today we should be thinking not globally, but regionally. The global harmony illusion collapsed like a wall in a ghetto. The wild «Savannah World» was revealed, where the rule of force is in effect and when everyone defends their own interests. Hence, every country today needs to independently find its path to survival and strengthening its positions.

We are facing quite a stark choice. We can either surrender to the conqueror’s mercy, or to join the group of satellites of one of the global players, or to turn into another «instability belt». We can become a battlefield for a long time or even a donor of organs (losing the integrity). But there is another way out – to search for non-standard alliances. Figuratively speaking, energetic lions in Savannah need to get together in prides in order to hunt for the senescent elephants. We need to revive historic and civilization-based connections in order to take a  rightful place in the developing new global practices. It is time for alliances, first of all – inside continental Eurasia. It is time for creating new centers of power to counteract the growing pressure of the West. We are convinced that the Russian-Turkish alliance may become such new power – an influential global player equal to the USA, the EU and China.

Westernization attempts

Let us take a look at the history of Russia and Türkiye, both located at the very heart of Eurasia. For centuries they were powerful empires – poly-ethnical and multi-confessional. For hundreds of years, they were successfully uniting vast territories populated with numerous different nations. In the 20th century, both empires disintegrated under the weight of internal tension and hostile surge from outside. However, both Russia and Türkiye maintained their imperial core capable of development and expansion. Dozens of new states emerged in the other territories of the former empires, and they continue looking in our direction.

Both powers – Russia and Türkiye – tried to play according to the Western rules for quite some time. They performed westernization, tried to catch up with modernization and to join the ranks of collective West. However, all their attempts to join Western alliance turned out unsuccessful. The post-Soviet Russia was quickly denied the EU and NATO membership. Türkiye was accepted to NATO as the host-country for the Straits, but its rights were significantly limited. Recently Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed: «Türkiye did not receive from NATO the support it was expecting». Ankara was even less lucky with the attempt to join the European Union. The European Commission believes that Türkiye will continue to be the candidate for the EU membership forever. The outcomes of the preceding decades is obvious – we need to finish with our adoration of the West and with our naive Eurocentrism as the lynchpin of our policies.

Divorcing Europe

It is time to understand that Europe will never accept Russia and Türkiye on equal terms, but always will keep them at a distance. They need us only as obedient colonies or defeated countries disintegrated into several pieces. Quite recently there were two dangerous dreams in the public opinion of our countries. The first one was about «return to Europe» at the expense of the denial of our own identities. The second one – the attempt to «save Europe» from Globalism Hydra, similar to saving from fascism in the past. Life itself has proved that both these paths are fatal and lead to a global disaster. We need to accept the main thing — the divorce with Europe is already in place. Russia and Türkiye will have to live independently and build the common future together outside of the Euro-Atlantic region.

Vadim Simbirsk, a Russian geo-politician, turned out to be right saying that «The European Union does not want and cannot include Russia, Türkiye or Kazakhstan solely on the grounds that they have some geographical parts of Europe». It is time to talk openly about the unbridgeable civilization gap between Eurasian and European countries. The perennial policy of the EU with respect to our countries may be characterized as «colonization without integration». The objective of our Western «partners» was to make energy resources of Russia and transit capabilities of Türkiye operational tools servicing the interests of the West, but not to allow our countries to use them as their independent policy mechanisms. It is time to comprehend that our own interests are above everything else.

Bidding for leadership

In the beginning of the 21st century, Russia and Türkiye both grew notably stronger. We were able to overcome our internal difficulties and started pursuing independent policies. As the regional powers, we started influencing the territories of the former Russian and Ottoman empires. Joint action of Russia and Türkiye resulted in surprising the world with their success in Syria, Libya and especially in Southern Caucasus (during the Second Karabakh war). We started settling the previously frozen conflicts, opening opportunities for new transit routes. Immediately both our countries faced the growing counteraction of the USA and the European Union.

Today, the West is openly opposed to the growth of Russian and Turkish influence in the world. «Türkiye is subject to sanctions, pressure and blackmail», Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed. The pressure on both countries is growing constantly becoming tougher and more sophisticated. The external forces are obviously unhappy not only with our independent policies, but our leaders personally – Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both of them are energetic, charismatic and lucky. Their long and successful activities have won them the support of the overwhelming majority of their citizens. 

Let us emphasize a number of valuable political features of our leaders – multidimensional thinking, search for non-standard solutions, capability of firm advancing of national interests. Simultaneously, they are capable of reaching agreements and meeting halfway, of finding the ways out of the seemingly irresolvable crises. This is extremely important in our quickly changing world and underpins our mutual trust. That is why all the hopes of the West to turn Russia and Türkiye into pariah states or change their leaders by way of imposing sanctions are in vain. The unprecedented pressure on Russia and Türkiye will only contribute to our leaders getting closer and our countries joining in a strategic alliance.

Joining resources and capabilities

The course of events forces Russia and Türkiye to build closer alliance than ever – not a temporary or an opportunistic one, but a strategic alliance of the two states. In such alliance each country will keep its independence, sovereignty and identity. Health pragmatic approach and consideration for mutual interests will underpin our alliance turning it into consolidation of the resources and capabilities with the maximum synergy as an outcome. We are talking here about joining the efforts with the purpose of achieving joint dominance and protection of mutual interests against external enemies. The power of such consolidation will allow for settlement of the most complicated and decades-old conflicts across the entire Eurasian region, not just in the post-Soviet territories. In essence, Russia and Türkiye together can change the balance of forces in Eurasia completely.

Today, Turkish active foreign policy noticeably is limited by its domestic economic difficulties. Russia can provide its ally with practically unlimited support in terms of energy, natural resources and significant transfusion of money. Our country is ready to open the huge market of Russia and of some other post-Soviet countries for unimpeded supplies of Turkish goods, as well as for construction and manufacturing companies’ operations based on tax incentives. In return, Türkiye positioned as a strategic transit center and «energy junction board» is capable of helping Russia out of the commercial embargos in the West, thus receiving significant benefits from such cooperation.

In the sphere of strategic military cooperation, the outlook for the two countries is practically unlimited. Russia and Türkiye have two strongest and combat-effective armies right at the gate to Europe. Today NATO has restricted Türkiye drastically from accessing the most state-of-the-art military technologies including modern fighting aircrafts and air-defense systems. On the contrary, Russia is ready to provide its ally with all the capabilities for joint operation and manufacturing the most recent aerospace and missile systems up to creation of the joined strategic forces for non-nuclear deterrence. The joint air-defense and ballistic missile defense systems of Russia and Türkiye will become a reliable «umbrella» for the entire territory of continental Eurasia. The allied operations of Russian and Turkish naval forces will turn the Black Sea into our «closed sea» and turn the Mediterranean area from the potential conflict zone into the peaceful navigation zone. The consolidation of resources and capabilities of Russia and Türkiye can provide for exactly such synergy.

Near-term outlook

The strategic alliance of Russia and Türkiye will bring stability and peace to all the territories of our former empires.  Even now it is obvious, that conflicts in the territories of Eurasia may be settled only in case there is a consensus between Russia and Türkiye. In the situation of a covert war against us sponsored by the West, just opportunistic cooperation alone is no longer enough. Today the policy of the West features permanent stirring of conflicts and instigation of one Eurasian country against another one – Türkiye against Russia, Iran against Israel, Russia against China. The idea of driving an «Islamic wedge» between different parts of the Russian Federation is brought back to life, while the Turkic countries are viewed as a priority destabilizing source. Let us remember the recent coup d’йtat attempt in Kazakhstan. Due to all these compelling reasons, we need strategic «tempo-battle» and systematic development of friendly alliances.

The Russian-Turkish alliance will immediately find many reliable partners among the post-Soviet states. This will be rapidly progressing Azerbaijan led by a strong and successful President Ilham Aliyev; strategically important Kazakhstan led by an experience diplomat President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev; flourishing Uzbekistan headed by a proven leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev; resources-rich Turkmenistan with its young leader Serdar Berdimuhamedow; passionate Kyrgyzstan led by the new President Sadyr Japarov. All these countries will not be facing a false choice between Moscow and Ankara. All of us together will be moving towards the common desirable goal – peace and prosperity on our continent.

New change

The alliance of Russia and Türkiye may drastically change the geo-economics of the entire Eurasia: open new transit routes from the North to the South, develop efficient economic connections, setup the core part of our continent as a unified macro-region. Only the Russian-Turkish alliance is capable of assuring military, energy and food security of Big Eurasia, of breathing new life and assurance into the historic ecumene space and provide  the countries of Southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa with everything necessary. Without our joint participation, this ancient region may suffer the impending hunger and cold, may turn into the arena of horrifying disasters and the source of unprecedented migration tsunami.

With respect to Europe – united for the time being – our strategic alliance will have a moderate position. We do not intend to attack them or to forcefully impose our terms and conditions on the Europeans. Let them live as they want, but at a distance  – «at arm’s length». However, our countries will be carefully watching for adherence to the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the European Union, will strongly defend the traditional family values uniting Russia and Türkiye – the eternal Genesis foundations desecrated in modern secular Europe and in post-humanitarian America. The main thing is to strengthen faith, trust and common interest within our Russian-Turkish alliance making us united and unbeatable.

There examples of successful interaction used to counteract the external pressure in the history of Russia and Türkiye. Let us remember 1920s, when Moscow sent weapons, gold and its best commanders – Mikhail Frunze and Semyon Aralov – to help the young Turkish Republic. The Turkish people still remember this timely support. And today, we can see great interest of Turkish political class in further rapprochement with Russia. The historical progress logic requires for filling the political, economic and cultural vacuum at the interface of Europe and Asia. The alliance of Russia and Türkiye will serve the interests of both countries and moreover – the interests of the entire Eurasian region.

Historic chance

Now the moment is coming when the leaders of Russian and Türkiye – Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan – can and must set themselves an unprecedented historic task: to establish a strategic alliance, thus opening a new chapter in the history of our nations, our continent and the entire world. In other case, the entire Big Eurasia region bears the risk of becoming the battlefield for a very long time. Acting singly, our countries may not survive the tectonic change staring us in the face. We need to use the historic chance for the alliance provided to us by fate and fortunes.

Of course, the idea of the strategic alliance between Russia and Türkiye, of drastic restructuring the huge region at the interface of Europe and Asia cannot meet anything, but relentless counteraction by the USA, the UK, Europe, China, Iran, Armenia and others. But historically the truth is at our side.

The Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies is open for constructive discussions of the proposed concept of Russian-Turkish strategic alliance – both with politicians and experts, and with our potential new allies.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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June 2024