The Jerusalem Post - At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed the growing links between Moscow and Ankara. The Sochi talks came after Erdogan failed to secure a meeting with US President Joe Biden on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Putin, Erdogan noted that he had proposed that Turkey work together with Russia on the construction of two more nuclear power plants on Turkish soil. The Russian company Rosatom is currently building a power plant in Akkuyu, in southern Turkey.
The Turkish president also said last week that Turkey still intends to purchase a second supply of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia. The purchase of the system by Turkey last year led to US sanctions on Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate, and the cancellation of Turkish reception of the F-35 fighter jet.
In an interview with the CBS network, quoted by Reuters, the Turkish president said that “In the future, nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defense systems we acquire, from which country and at what level.”
The US State Department, responding to Erdogan’s statement, warned that any additional purchase of Russian defense systems would risk triggering additional sanctions.
Erdogan’s statements confirm the Turkish tilt toward Russia, and Ankara’s growing estrangement from Washington.
The latest Turkish moves also reflect a contradiction at the heart of Turkish regional strategy, between an immediate desire to avoid isolation, and the deeper strategic goal of unilateral regional assertion and support for Sunni political Islam which are part of the core outlook of Erdogan and those around him. The understanding of this contradiction is likely to determine Israeli responses to Turkish diplomatic moves.
The Turkish move toward Russia is not only determined by Ankara’s declining relations with Washington. There is...READ MORE
The Jerusalem Post is a broadsheet newspaper based in Jerusalem, founded in 1932 during the British Mandate of Palestine by Gershon Agron as The Palestine Post. In 1950, it changed its name to The Jerusalem Post.