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10 August, 2016

Erdogan finally turns to Putin probably because he sees Hillary coming

by system failure

The chaotic puzzle of Middle East requires complex moves by key players. Yet, the latest move by Erdogan to turn to Putin and try to restore relations between Turkey and Russia, shows rather that the Turkish leader had run out of options concerning international alliances.

Although Erdogan managed to prevent the coup against him and proceeded in an exhibition of power inside Turkey through increasing authoritarianism, he probably realized that he couldn't go too far with no allies outside the country. Initially, the Washington hawks needed Erdogan, as well as the Saudis, to do the dirty job, which was to assist Daesh terrorists and other groups in their proxy war against Bashar al-Assad.

But the relations between the United States and Turkey probably started to decline dramatically when Washington realized that Erdogan was using jihadists to serve his own agenda, which was to expand Turkey's influence throughout Middle East, as well as, crush the Kurdish resistance, putting an end to any plans for a Kurdish state.

The whole game resembles a mob-type exchange between a number of players, rather than relationships between nations. Furthermore, the high degree of uncertainty of the developments in Middle East betrays the multi-polarized power balance in a complex geopolitical terrain.

Starting from Washington, it is clear that it has lost quickly the control of various "rebel" groups in Syria and Iraq, especially after a series of terrorist operations inside US and European soil that simulate a new type of non-linear war by the jihadists. As a result, it was forced to compromise with the Russian intervention in Syria, while silently accepted Iran and Hezbollah to clean up the mess in the Middle East. It appears that Washington also failed to deal with Erdogan's "uncontrolled" independence.

Putin, not surprisingly, forgot his anger and his statement about "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists" concerning Erdogan and Turkey, after the downing of a Russian jet on the Turkey-Syria border, less than a year ago. It is clear that Russia's position was also difficult, not only due to the Western economic sanctions, but also because many crucial economic projects with Turkey were frozen. Putin rather easily accepted Erdogan's new attempt to approach him, as Russia has huge economic and geopolitical interests in the broader area.

Furthermore, Putin wouldn't miss the chance to take advantage of the fact that the relations between the United States and one of its most important NATO allies, are now probably in the worst position than ever.

Regarding Turkey, it's not only the coup attempt that made Erdogan more suspicious about the US intentions. It's also the fact that a potential Clinton presidency will make his position even more difficult.

While Obama seems that he wants to leave without taking the credit for further mess, Hillary will do everything to show 'who is the boss' again. She will not tolerate independent agendas from any Western ally, which means that she will demand full commitment by NATO members to the neocon/neoliberal agenda. An agenda that includes, of course, a direct confrontation with the Sino-Russian alliance, in order to decelerate its quickly growing perspective in the economic/geopolitical battlefield.

But there is also another, more symbolic, dimension in this perspective. Think for a moment Erdogan's position in that case. A Sunnite president will appear that obeys to a woman and retreats to her power, in front of millions of his Turkish supporters. Erdogan's dreams to expand his influence in the broader Sunnite Middle East will end instantly. He would never accept that, and moreover, he would never accept a Kurdish state, although the Russians and the Americans have probably already agreed on that. Therefore, the timing of Erdogan to approach Putin should not be considered accidental.

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