Historically, economic relations have been bilateral between Russia and Turkey and their predecessor states. Bolshevik Russian government′s help to Turkish progressives during the Turkish War of Independence, the legislatures of Moscow and Ankara grew warm relations. Since they had comparative and progressive political perspectives, somewhere in the range of 1919 and 1923 Lenin sent in any event (however not restricted to ): 39.325 Rifles, 62.986.000 Bullets, 66 field cannons, 150.000 cannon ammunition, 20.000 gas masks, 200 kg of gold, 17 million gold Rubles. All this was carried between Sochi and Inebolu, Turkish port in the Black Sea. Ataturk was quoted as saying “my eyes are at the front, my ears are at Inebolu”.
Russia began resorting to pressure on Turkey, after the World War II. It needed authority over the Turkish waterways (the Bosporus and Dardanelles) and domain in Eastern Turkey. This was a key factor in the advance of the Truman regulation (1947), when the US accepted worldwide accountability for containing socialism, in this way officially propelling the Cold War. Turkey got significant US military aid, deserted its lack of bias and joined NATO in 1952. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union expected to be an aid donor, while that of Turkey was an aid recipient. The inventory of petroleum gas from the USSR to Turkey along the Trans-Balkan pipeline, starting in 1987, spoke to a development of the customary relationship: The specialized and monetary support given by the Soviet Union to Turkey during the 1960s and 1970s offered path to a provider/customer relationship in which Turkey got particular terms.
A golden age followed. Economic ties were solidified with the close relations between Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Putin. An undersea gas pipeline was built in 2003 and by 2014, Russia had become the top gas importer for Turkey. In 2008, Russia uprooted Germany to turn into Turkey’s biggest exchanging accomplice with a yearly exchange volume totaling $38 billion; the two nations want to see that exchange volume develop to $100 billion.
In 2009, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Ankara and closed fifteen intergovernmental understandings and marked seven uncommon conventions. During this visit, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delineated the “key nature” of Russian-Turkish cooperation. In May 2010, during a visit to Turkey by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, Ankara and Moscow agreed to allow visa-free travel for trips up to thirty days. The two leaders additionally arrived at a consent to manufacture the main atomic power plant in Turkey, at an expected estimation of $20 billion.
The participation of Russia and the participation of Turkey in the oil field is genuinely vary from each other. The Turkish organization TPAO completes joint oil generation ventures with Russian organizations, explicitly, the advancement of the Baituganskoye field in the Volga-Ural district. It is likewise an individual from the consortium that is as of now building up the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan, alongside Russia’s LUKOIL which holds a portion of the Turkish retail showcase for oil based goods by means of a backup organization. As much as 150 million tons of generally Russian unrefined petroleum go through Turkey’s Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits consistently, which makes the nation one of Russia’s key vital accomplices on the worldwide oil showcase. Simultaneously, the negative involvement with the Samsun – Ceyhan pipeline venture, which was disposed of in 2013 on account of its poor monetary worth, ought not to be disregarded.
In April 2019, Russian Direct Investment Fund’s (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev reported that Turkey and Russia consented to an arrangement for the development of wellbeing focuses in Russia by the Turkish temporary co-worker Renaissance Holding.
He included that three fields on which the main concentrates will be fabricated have been assigned. Russia was the top market for Turkey’s travel industry division with 5.96 million guests a year ago; some 15.1 percent of each single outside guest to Turkey. The nation respected a sum of 39.5 million remote guests in 2018, a 21.84 percent expansion year-on-year, as indicated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Two nations are dealing with various essential ventures, including the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), expected to be propelled by 2023, and the TurkStream flammable gas pipeline venture, the land and ocean provinces of which have been as of late associated.
From the point of its relations with Turkey, what Russia aspires to? How the West evaluates the convergence policy between Russia and Turkey?
Initially, if everything is put aside, Russia aims at the counterbalance policy versus the Western hegemony. Thus, Russia will take pleasure to act in harmony, especially hand in hand with China, for their common foreign policy purposes. Russia generally prefers to conduct geo-economic projects which are linked to its status in the international arena.
Thanks to our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Turkey and Russia succeeded in establishing a mutual trust environment. As it is well known that after accomplishing the TurkStream Project, Mr. Erdogan called Russia as “reliable friend and significant gas provider”. Heretofore, Mr. Putin also defined Turkey as “significant and reliable partner”. After this project, Mr. Putin emphasized that Moscow demanded for an increase in bilateral trade volume with Turkey. Thus, such projects are often beneficial for developing countries like Turkey so as to enhance their foreign trade volumes.
Especially from 2004, the relations between Russia and Turkey gathered a huge momentum, with Mr. Putin’s first official visit to Turkey. It is a worth-stressing visit that it turned over a new leaf in the sense of the relations between Russia and Turkey. According to the world public opinion, this meeting made great strides to enhance the relations between two countries.
It has a broad repercussion in press that Turkey gets further away from the West and Turkey is opinionatedly blamed due to the this circumstance. However, Turkey has a geopolitical significance for the West and therefore, Turkey cannot be pushed from the Western alliance. In the face of such accusations, all Turkish citizens should stand as the part of “Great Turkey Alliance” and protect Turkey from such anti-governmental allegations. Briefly, the relations between the West and Turkey which have been going on since the period of Ottoman Empire has come to today under the Western control, rather than balanced.
Recently, Turkey has said “no” to the West which is the main reason why the West makes a trouble. Actually, the essential crises which are fundamentally F-35, S-400, Syrian Refugees and Eastern Mediterranean disputes occurred due to the “Strong Turkey” which can say “no” when something contradict to its national interests. Briefly, even if getting completely away from the West is not the right way for the foreign policy of Turkey, the West is not as reliable ally as Russia for Turkey. The reason is that since the end of the Cold War, the Western foreign policy has always been based on hegemony, instead of the balance of power. Therefore, it is seen impossible to actualize the balance of power policy with the West.
As concerns the relations between Russia and Turkey, Russia aspires to the Great Eurasia in cooperation with the Strong Turkey. In this direction, so as to provide permanent economic growth, political stability and higher foreign policy success, Turkey should continue to be a reliable partner of Russia, in the eyes of Russia.
Beril KAHRAMAN – Graduated from Bilkent University, department of International Relations, got a master’s degree at Hacettepe University
Teymur NABİLİ – Graduated from Bilkent University, department of Economics, getting master’s degree at Linköping University, department of Strategy and Management in International Organizations (Msc) – SWEDEN