Relations between Moscow and Ankara suffered a heavy blow after a Russia’s Su-24, which was conducting air operations against the Daesh militants in Syria, was shot down by a Turkish jet on November 24. The pilots managed to eject, but one of them was killed by rebels while parachuting to the ground. Ankara claims that Moscow violated its airspace.
The Kremlin denies this allegation. In November, President Putin imposed sanctions on Turkey, banning imports of Turkish goods, terminating charter flights and suspending the visa-free regime with Ankara. The new round of sanctions bans hotels, tourist agencies and companies providing services from operating in Russia.
The list also now extends to construction work, activities in architecture and the lumber industry. Unal Cevikoz, a retired diplomat, former Turkish Ambassador to the UK, who also worked on NATO projects with Russia in mid-90’s and who's currently the President of the Ankara Policy Centre told Radio Sputnik that one should not expect improvement of relations between the two sides, in fact, they may deteriorate even further.
“As more sanctions are coming from Russia, Turkey will take counter measures and that will seriously deteriorate the commercial and economic relations between the two countries,” the analyst said.
Talking about what were the reasons behind Ankara’s actions, Cevikoz said, “After the event took place probably the Turkish establishment is regretting that it has happened. Now both the countries should just get together and establish a kind of modus vivendi so that this kind of tragic event never happens again.”
He also talked about NATO presence in Turkey and how the NATO-Russian council has not been functional so far. “It is important to make the NATO-Russian council functional again because whenever there will be crisis like this in the future the best solution would be the council.”
Cevikoz said that Turkey has been on the wrong side of history since the Syrian conflict had started. “Turkey has unfortunately isolated itself in the international community. It is insisting on removal of Assad in Damascus in order to find solution to Syrian problem. It may have been a solution five years ago but in time Syria has a main problem which is the Islamic State. Turkey unfortunately is not giving priority to this combat against terrorism. That makes a big difference between Turkey and other nations."
The analyst said that he hopes Turkey soon finds the right track and joins the international community in fight against Daesh.