21:25 GMT +3 hours30 May 2016
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends the opening session of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015

Turkey 'Painting Itself into a Corner' After Conflict With Russia

© REUTERS/ Christian Hartmann
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After Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria it lost its political and diplomatic influence in the Middle East. Now, Ankara is on the verge of losing Central Asia.

Turkey, which is step by step driving itself into isolation in the Middle East, has come close to losing its influence in Central Asia.

"Turkey — which with its deterioration in relations with Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Israel lost its economic, political and diplomatic influence in the Middle East — is now on the verge of losing Central Asia because of Ankara's crisis with Russia stemming from events in Syria," journalist Zulfikar Dogan wrote for Al-Monitor.

Some country members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that established close ties with Turkey after the fall of the USSR now appear to be preparing to distance themselves from Ankara. At the December 2015 CIS summit, calls were made for Turkey to apologize to Russia.

"The support for Russia among the Central Asian Turkic republics, which have received billions of dollars of credit and financing support from Turkey, and [Kyrgyz President Almazbek] Atambayev's call for an apology shocked Turkey, disillusioning Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party government," the article read.

The words by Atambaev who used to call Erdogan "my old brother" were a real shock for Ankara, the author noted.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
© AP Photo/ Basin Bulbul, Presidential Press Service Pool
Russian sanctions have severely disrupted Turkish exports to Central Asia. The transit route via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan cannot sustain exports to the Central Asian market. Amid falling oil prices and the resumption of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis Azerbaijan cannot be considered a reliable partner. In addition, Ankara has concerns about new Russian weapons deployed to the Caspian Sea.

The military cooperation agreement between Russia and Armenia, the normalization in Russian-Georgian relations, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have impeded Turkey’s access to the Caucasus, Dogan wrote.

What is more, the Eurasian Economic Union refused to sign a free-trade area agreement with Ankara, and plans to enter talks with Iran instead.

"No doubt, this brought Turkey one step closer to losing Central Asia in the wake of its isolation in the Middle East," the author concluded.

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tensions, sanctions, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia
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  • Baybars
    Does Mr. Erdogan see the target painted on his forehead?
  • cast235
    IF Georgia is serious, it would join EEU and CSTO ... If not, why let them go in with no visa for? Why preferential nothing? Russia needs to learn it's craft. Or polish it.
  • marcanhalt
    That warm fuzzy feeling you are getting in the middle of the night, Erdogan and Ahmet, is not what you think it is. Stop smiling; you just pissed your pants again. And the joke is on you as the warm waters of the Caspian are in that bowl where your hand is. You have been, successfully, able to do with Turkey what the last 1000 years of its makeup has not been able to do; expose what a corrupt society you really are. If there were ever a mobile waste management system in the world, it would be Turkey. It will not only NOT be a caliphate, but it will have nothing in its history to fall back on that a decent mind will be able to recognize. So dream on, you two, because you are nothing more than two egregious late night imbeciles.
  • rmukarutabana
    Pan-Turanian and the Grey Wolves ideologies are apparently not working as Erdogan had hoped,
  • UDENTA O UDENTA
    This is precisely what you get when a leader bundles both a nation's domestic and foreign policies almost irreparably. Erdogan's high handedness, despotic actions and islamist mind se has sharply divided Turkish society, alienated secular constituencies and created deep fissures and polarizations that have unsettled social stability. Turkey is gradually descending the slippery slope of civil strife. Erdogan's pro-terrorist project has imperilled his country because of the inability of his intelligence and security agencies to contain the threat being unleashed by the Frankenstein monster of terrorism and extremism he nurtured. Erdogan's 'no foe in Turkey's near abroad' strategic policy lies in tatters, from Syria to Libya and from Iraq to Egypt. Erdogan's needless spat with Putin over the criminal downing of a Russian fighter jet has further complicated and undermined Turkey's national security, exposed the financial and oil deals partnership between it and Daesh terror gangs and isolated it in Central Asia. Most tellingly. Erdogan's EU and NATO partners look down on him in contempt, as a leader you cannot trust. How further low can a leader drag his country.
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