President Tayyip Erdoğan and President of Russian Federation,Vladimir Putin, reached an agreement after long marathon talks in Sochi, and the deal seems to have pleased everyone.
Russia and Turkey are happy about the deal, and Donald Trump, who is supposed to be displeased with developments that make these two countries happy, strangely appears to be glad about the agreement in Sochi, too.
Trump says in his Twitter message that he sent after the letter of agreement between the two leaders was released: “Good news seems to be happening with respect to Turkey, Syria and the Middle East. Further reports to come later!”
What is more interesting than this is that several dissident columnists in Turkey who fiercely opposed the Turkish military operation in Syria are now positive about the agreement in Sochi in their initial statements.
Mehmet Y. Yılmaz, a dissident journalist, for instance, says in his piece titled “Erdoğan achieved his goal”:
“Where Turkey stands today must be seen as an achievement of Erdoğan although it was at the cost of bringing the relationships with Europe to the verge of a complete impasse. (..) At this stage, I can tell that President Tayyip Erdoğan returned back home from Sochi having achieved his objectives.”
Akdoğan Özkan, who writes on the same news website as Mehmet. Y. Yılmaz, t24, is also positive about the deal in Sochi, and his interesting remark was used as the headline of an interview made with him: “The USA has faced perhaps the heaviest defeat in Syria since the Vietnam War.”
Do you find this situation interesting, too?
[It is rather an exaggeration to compare the developments in Syria with the Vietnam War that lasted 20 years (1955-1975) and costed lives of 58.200 US soldiers. During that 20-year period, Vietnam was an inseparable part of everyday life for the whole American society. From people who were enlisted to those who sought a way to avoid military service -and their families too, of course, the war, in one way or another, had an impact on almost anyone’s life. Consider large and small protests throughout the country occurring on a daily basis, too. What happens in Syria today is a concern only for Washington, and perhaps merely for politicians and nobody else. . .]
Developments may be seen from a different perspective
Nevertheless, it is possible, of course, to conclude that “Russia is the winner, and the USA is the loser”. Trump has withdrawn American troops from the region, and Russian soldiers and Syrian government forces are gradually replacing them.
The USA had taken the Kurdish YPG/PYD forces into its own service, and Turkey was using the local anti-regime forces brought together under the name of National Syrian Army in its military operation on the ground. Now, however, Russians will assume a joint security task together with the Syrian government army.
One clause in the first point of the ten-point agreement between Turkey and Russia in Sochi that reads, “The two sides reiterate their commitment to (. . .) the protection of national security of Turkey” seems somewhat problematic to me.
Because, the statement well implies incorporation of Russia into the protection of Turkey’s national security. . .
[What turns Syria into a security concern for Turkey is the presence of a terrorist organization nested with the PKK along the Turkey-Syria border. PKK banners are hanging on YPG buildings, and this is another evidence of the nested structure between these two. The Sochi agreement aims to restrain PKK/YPG forces from posing a threat to Turkey in Syria. That’s good. However, Russia has never seen the PKK as a ‘terrorist organization’ up until today while the PKK is in the list of ‘terrorist organizations’ of the USA and the EU. What is more, the PKK has a representative office in Russia. We don’t see the words of ‘PYD’ and ‘terrorist’ together in the letter of agreement, and this implies that there is no change in the Russian’s position with respect to the PKK. Thus, this question arises inevitably: Does Russia consider the PKK -and naturally PYD as well- as a ‘terrorist organization’ or not?]
If we aren’t willing to look at the given picture as “Russia is the winner, and the USA is the loser”, how should we interpret the outcome of the recent developments?
As people who follow my analysis of Trump in my recent pieces are possibly well aware, I am convinced that Trump represents a distinct line in political affairs.
[Trump is not a normal person. Some psychiatrists look at him as ‘mentally ill’, and have also diagnosed his disorder. A political process in the form of impeachment process has been initiated in order to remove him from presidency of his country, too.]
Nevertheless Trump is the president of the USA today, and it is imperative to view his objectives closely.
Donald Trump poses a serious problem for the world, but he himself is challenged by a peculiar problem, too. His problem is that there are only a few people in the USA including his close circle of supporting friends who are truly aware of what he represents while he enjoys foreign friends in abroad who find him normal, look at what he represents positively, thus sympathize him. . .
Trump’s political line
Trump seems decided to change the ‘pro-globalization’ stand that was adopted by the ruling circles -including presidents- in the USA until he was chosen as the new resident of the White House. He pushes hard in order to draw his country away from its international commitments. He is in bad with the existing ‘world order’. He doesn’t recognize resolutions imposed by the UN and some major UN agreements such as Paris Climate Agreement. The NATO is worthless for him. Such a distinctly diverse stand renders Trump ideational relative of Putin, which profoundly upsets political circles in the USA who disagree with his conduct.
In this regard, it may be argued that “Putin is the winner, but Trump is not loser”.
Their winning does not necessarily suggest winning of their respective countries, though.
The opposition against Trump is almost certain to intensify in the USA after the agreement in Sochi.