Recent improvements in the bilateral relations between Russia and Turkey have provoked intense discussions among analysts and media experts across the Middle East.
Ankara, in the opinion of local commentators, has paid a high price for the downing of the Russian SU-24 over Syria. President Tayyip Erdogan, as the Arab commentators, “is not used to recognizing his mistakes,” yet he “drinks the bitter cup of apology.”
The UAE newspaper Al Khaleej is convinced that Moscow acted wisely in this situation, while refraining from reckless steps and spontaneous claims, choosing the path of applying the economic pressure on Ankara.
Many analysts projected the bilateral relations between Moscow and Ankara on the situation in Syria, that has become the point of intersection of different geopolitical interests of the external forces.
The responsibility for the decline in Turkey’s role in the region, according to some political analysts, lays on the shoulders of the Turkish political elites. Ankara didn’t expect that the flames which that were devouring its neighbor would spread to set the region ablaze. Turkey would have to recognize that it was silly to watch those flames in apathy.
The editor-in-chief of the influential Al-Hayat newspaper George Samaan believes that Erdogan was late to recognize the need for pragmatism in country’s foreign policies, while being unable to turn his back on the old Ottoman dreams. The new pragmatism in Turkey now returns its economic well-being home, which has been the basis of the weight and influence this country has been enjoying in the Middle East.
In clearing of blockages in the relations between Moscow and Ankara, according to the Turkish journalist Hakan Aksay, the former will make hastily steps, since it will be observing Turkey’s steps in Syria, since it will have to stop supporting jihadists and extremist groups fighting there to achieve reconciliation with Russia.
But what can be ultimately achieved is the normalization of relations between the two countries, there’s now returning to the point where bilateral relations were before the crisis.
A prominent Lebanese expert on Turkish affairs Dr. Mohammed Nuriddin notes that there can be no serious discussion of Russia’s relations with Turkey unless the latter would change its standing on the support of radical groups in Syria and Iraq.
Experts continue to argue that the normalization is only a matter of time, provided that the parties will continue moving gradually towards overcoming the bitter aftertaste of the downed Su-24 and the different challenges in order to improve their relations.
Turkish President Erdogan has found himself in a Syrian trap, says a prominent Lebanese-American expert Raghida Dergham, and he’s convinced that he needs Russia in order to get out. Vladimir Putin has benefited from the evolution in the position of the Turkish leadership not only because he received an apology from Ankara’s leader, but also because it drew Erdogan on the track of reconciliation in Syria.
The Iraqi newspaper Al-Zaman sees the joint actions that Russia and Turkey make take to fight terrorism will benefit both of these states. This would be by far a more productive step that Turkey’s cooperation with Washington, which policies have been plagued by vagueness, uncertainty and unreasonable delays.