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President Putin’s Visit to Turkey
Ajay Mohan
2016-10-08
Region : Middle East-North Africa,
Issue : Security,
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey on Oct. 10 will “accelerate” bilateral cooperation, between Turkey and Russia. Putin will be in Istanbul to attend the 23rd World Energy Congress upon the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, no doubt Russia looking very sincere seeking to restore and develop relations with Turkey, President Vladimir Putin has said, emphasizing that the intention is mutual. “It is expected that this visit, which comes as a follow-up to the two leaders’ earlier meetings in St. Petersburg on Aug. 9 and in Hangzhou [China] on September 3 on the side lines of the G20, will contribute to further improving our cooperation and to accelerating normalization process between Turkey and Russia. Russian Presidential aide Yury Ushakov made the remark on October 4, adding that Putin would also speak at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul during his visit.
Some years ago Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's then foreign minister and later prime minister, coined the slogan "Zero problems with all neighbours" as Turkey adapted its policy to meet the wave of changes during the so-called Arab Spring. In Istanbul, the two leaders are also expected to discuss ongoing energy cooperation, with a special emphasis on the realization of the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline project that will transfer Russian gas to Europe via Turkey. "We are sincerely seeking to restore full-fledged relations with Turkey, a friendly nation to us, a country with which we’ve been for years developing unique cooperation and active relations,” Putin said during a recent meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev .Turkey is an OECD country and a G20 member. Its economy experienced mostly positive growth during the last 15 years. Its economy has been the fastest growing among OECD countries in many of these years. The U.K.'s PwC forecasts Turkey's economy to be the 14th largest by 2030. Currently, it is the 17th largest. Turkey's economy has proven to be resistant to crises, such as the crisis between Turkey and Russia last year due to the Turkish military's downing of a Russian warplane at Turkey's Syrian border and the domestic political crisis that recently occurred due to the failed coup on July 15. Turkey's economy grew 3.1 percent during the second quarter of 2016, despite the failed coup attempt.
Turkey, with its strategic location, economic size, and military (the second largest in NATO) is an important regional power. It cannot be ignored in regional developments, nor can it stay idle regarding the developments that potentially threaten Turkey's security. Turkey and Russia recently understood how important their economic ties were for the health of their future relations and therefore reconciled after the dispute that arose from the downing of a Russian warplane. Since the end of the Cold War, normalization of Turkey-Russia relations and increasing economic ties continue, despite disagreements on Russia's annexation of Crimea and Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad. Turkey is dependent on Russia's natural gas and Russia is an important market for Turkey's exports as well as for Turkish construction companies. Also, millions of Russian tourists visit Turkey every year.
From the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) rise to power in 2002 to the Arab Spring, Turkey followed a foreign policy based on "strategic debt" and a "zero problems with neighbors" vision. Thus, Turkey improved its relations not only with Russia, but with almost all of its neighbors. Turkey and Russia relations become more strengthen during the failed coup Russia support Turkey’s effort to curb the failed coup “We thank the Russian authorities, particularly President Putin. We have received unconditional support from Russia, unlike other countries,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. Turkey and Russia relations is necessary for the future stability in the region both nations are capable to solve the Syrian problems. This coming meeting establish trust and strengthen friendship.
Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FORE INDIA.

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