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Asking for Trouble: Erdogan Drags Europe Into New 'Cuban Missile Crisis'?

© AP Photo / Selcan HacaogluA Turkish F-16 prepares to taxi while another one takes off at 3rd Main Jet Air Base
A Turkish F-16 prepares to taxi while another one takes off at 3rd Main Jet Air Base - Sputnik International
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Turkey's "unprecedented" provocation could well lead to a standoff reminiscent of the darkest days of the Cold War, political analyst Pyotr Iskenderov asserted, adding that by downing the Russian Su-24 bomber Ankara managed to achieve the unthinkable: it "outperformed" the Soviet Union's archrival.

"It also proves the existence of a very dangerous geopolitical trend directly related to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which have already become NATO or EU members, or cherish the dream of joining these organizations (often at any price)," the expert wrote for the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Turkish soldiers stand guar near the Turkey-Syrian border post in Sanliurfa - Sputnik International
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Turkey, according to Iskenderov, decided to shoot down the Russian bomber because President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is confident that NATO and particularly the US will back him no matter what happens. Moreover, "the desire to exploit the contradictions between great powers has always been an instrument of the (Neo)Ottoman Empire's policy," he explained in an article titled "Turkey Paves Way for Another Cuban Crisis."

In addition, Turkey does not want the Syrian crisis to be resolved and is ready to add fuel to the fire if necessary, the analyst stated. Protracted civil war in the neighboring country will allow Ankara to continue its illegal oil business with ISIL. It is also trying to pit the radical group against the Kurds as much as possible.

​ISIL's defeat, according to the analyst, does not suit Turkey. "It also does not serve the interests of the United States implementing its strategy of controlled chaos and geopolitical isolation of Russia," Iskenderov observed.

© REUTERS / Reuters TV/HaberturkA combination picture taken from video shows a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border November 24, 2015
A combination picture taken from video shows a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border November 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
A combination picture taken from video shows a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border November 24, 2015

​The downing of the Russian bomber, which was engaged in an anti-ISIL operation, cast a shadow on the already strained relations between Moscow and Western capitals. Therefore, preventing Erdogan from dragging Turkey and other European countries "into a new Cuban crisis" is a priority, the analyst emphasized.

"It should be noted that … as the crisis of 1962 unfolded the opposing sides did not bring down each other’s aircraft. These days, Turkey has 'outperformed' even the United States of the Cold War era," Iskenderov added.

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