"Our positive relationship with Russia is known. But if Russia loses a friend like Turkey, with whom it has been cooperating on many issues, it will lose a lot, and it should know that," President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday during his visit to Brussels for talks with the European leaders over the migrant crisis.
However, the US newspaper The New York Times has dispersed all hope.
“Turkey, which from the outset of the war more than four years ago backed rebel groups in the belief that Mr. Assad could be quickly toppled, finds itself powerless to shape events in Syria,” it says.
“The Russian presence has changed the entire parameters in Syria, including a safe zone,” the newspaper quotes Mensur Akgun, director of a Turkey-based research organization, the Global Political Trends Center, as saying. “No one will dare confront Russia.”
Because of history and its deep economic links to Russia, Turkey “will try its utmost to avoid any type of confrontation with the Russians,” he added.
However, Soner Cagaptay, an expert on Turkey at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, also admitted that “Turkey is unlikely to confront Moscow even when Russia undermines Turkey’s interests, such as in Syria where Russia is supporting the Assad regime, even as Ankara tries to depose it.”