08:27 GMT +307 December 2019
Listen Live
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends to the G20 Leaders Summit welcoming ceremony on November 15,2015 in Antalya

    Pecking Order: Turkey Downed Russian Jet to 'Increase Mideast Influence'

    © AFP 2019 / OZAN KOSE
    World
    Get short URL
    547
    Subscribe

    Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane is nothing but an attempt to expand its clout in the Middle East, according to French political analyst Jean Marcou.

    In an interview with RT, French political analyst Jean Marcou suggested that by downing a Russian warplane, Ankara wanted to boost its authority in the Middle East.

    Marcou recalled that since 2008, Turkey has pursued a foreign policy concept known as "zero problems with our neighbors" which allowed Ankara to develop closer ties with the Arab world and the countries of the region.

    However, Turkey had to rethink the concept after the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, something that resulted in the country becoming weak and isolated in the region, according to Marcou.

    Turkey's President  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his son Bilal Erdogan and daughter Sumeyye Erdogan salute supporters from the balcony of his ruling party headquarters in Ankara.
    © AP Photo / Uncredited
    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his son Bilal Erdogan and daughter Sumeyye Erdogan salute supporters from the balcony of his ruling party headquarters in Ankara.

    Currently, Turkey is suffering from the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, which led to refugee flows, terrorist attacks and deteriorating security, among other problems, Marcou said, adding that Turkey's political weight in the Syrian conflict has started to fade away.

    "In my opinion, Turkey intervened because it tried to let Russia and the West know that it did not want reconciliation between the coalitions. However, this is exactly what has happened," Marcou said.

    According to him, the West is also up in arms against reconciliation, which is why both NATO and the Western countries refrained from reproaching Ankara following the incident with the Russian warplane.

    "Therefore, I think that the situation with the downed Russian aircraft allows [Turkey] to partly return to the game and show that its regional clout is still there despite its policy-related problems," Marcou said.

    He concluded by saying that in light of all this, the zero-problems with-our-neighbors concept may already have been replaced with a zero-neighbors-with-our-problems formula.

    Ankara's downing of a Russian Su-24 frontline bomber over Syria on November 24, which claimed the life of a Russian pilot and a naval infantryman who was engaged in subsequent rescue operations, added significantly to the deterioration of ties between the two countries. Russia's President Vladimir Putin described the downing of the warplane as a "stab in the back" and decreed a series of economic restrictions against Turkey.

    Related:

    Turkey Risks Losing $9Bln in Revenue Over Russian Crisis
    Why Turkey Cannot Close Bosporus Strait Only For Russian Ships
    Turkey's Actions Threaten Peace in EU, Middle East – Ex OSCE Top Official
    Turkey's Actions May Threaten Peace in Europe, Middle East
    Tags:
    clout, neighbor, warplane, crisis, attacks, policy, Turkey, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik