The Turkish public agenda was again very busy over the last week.
While the unlawful attacks from Armenia to Azerbaijan has drawn the reactions from the Turkish public, harsh statement came from Ankara about the issue.
On the other side, new events took place between Turkey and Egypt for the Eastern Mediterranean dispute.
The Israeli report on Turkey has resonated through the Turkish media as well.
The latest threats on medicine from the United States to Turkey, has carried on the already tense relations to even a more negative stance.
Let us begin;
“TURKISH NATION STANDS WITH ITS AZERBAIJANI BROTHERS”
Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijan has been taken a lot of reactions from Turkey.
The Azerbaijani Army and civilian settlements were targeted along the frontline of the Armenian Army, on September 27th.
While the conflict is ongoing as the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense announced, it is been told that 6 villages were liberated from the Armenian occupation.
After the Armenian attacks which denies all the international law, statements from Turkey came one by one;
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used these words in the statement he made;
“Armenia has proven again that it is the biggest obstacle to peace and stability in the region by attacking Azerbaijan. Turkey will continue to stand by its brothers in Azerbaijan as it has always done(…) Holding onto its negligent attitude for almost 30 years, the (OSCE) Minsk group, unfortunately, is miles away from acting in a manner that is focused on finding a solution to the conflict. We are inviting the Armenian people to reclaim their future against their administration that drags them to catastrophe and uses them as puppets,” the president said and called on the “entire world” to stand behind Azerbaijan in its struggle against occupation and brutality. Turkey will strengthen its cooperation with Azerbaijani brothers, with a mentality of “one nation, two countries”.
Vice President Fuat Oktay, has condemned the attacks from Armenia with following words;
“I condemn Armenia’s vile attack on Azerbaijani lands this morning. Registered provocateur Armenia has shown the whole world what it understands from right, law, promise and ceasefire. Then it was time for the international community to distinguish between the victim and the perpetrator. Turkey, how so, if necessary, is located near the Azerbaijani brothers.”
The National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has also spoken about the subject;
“Another violation of the ceasefire regime demonstrates that Armenia seeks provocations. Armenia’s aggressive policy is the main obstacle on the way to peace and stability in the South Caucasus and must give up on this aggression. Turkey will fully and with all its resources support Azerbaijan in the struggle to preserve the country’s integrity. We strongly condemn this treacherous attack on our Azeri Turk brothers.”
On the other hand, the information that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held meetings about the issue, has been reflected to the media.
In Ankara, the possibility of Turkey being directly involved in the conflict, if Armenia insists its attacks, is being spoken.
IS DIPLOMACY IN CHARGE IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN?
Turkish and Egyptian relations in the Eastern Mediterranean is also on the public agenda in Turkey.
The statement from the Turkish officials, has brought the question whether a new era in Turkish-Egyptian relations, which had been at odds since 2013, is starting or not.
President Erdogan has given the answer to the questions related to Egypt, with these words;
“There are of course many different developments here. For example the intelligence dialogues with Egypt is a totally different thing, we can do that, but the agreement Egypt has made with Greece has really upset us. Because the ties between Greece and Egypt are far different than the ties between us and Egypt. This needs to be put into account as. But the intelligence dialogs can be done anytime.”
While Erdogan’s statement has been quite striking, the Foreign Minister Cavusoglu has also spoke about the issue;
“Egypt actually respected our rights here. We should not go too harsh on them just because our political relations are at odds now. Therefore, we can also sign such a deal with Egypt, but we need to be realistic. Political relations must be rehabilitated a little, in order for us to sign this deal.”
Egypt has criticized the usage of the Word “putschist”, later on during Cavusoglu’s speech. The Egyptian Foreign Spokesperson has commented on Cavusoglu’s statements as “contradictory”, in his own statement.
The sources that Uwidata has reached, give out the information that even though a stressful tone is still used in mutual statements, especially the term “ intelligence level dialogue” used by President Erdogan, has been appreciated in Cairo and a possibility for a normalization between the two countries is quite high.
THE REACTION AGAINST ISRAEL
The think-tank affiliated to the Israeli government, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security’s report titled “Turkey as a major challenge for Israel in the 21st century” on September 16th, has resonated through Turkish media.
The terms used in the report, which evaluates Turkish domestic and foreign policies in depth, are likely to cause some tension for the Turkish-Israeli relations.
While the report described President Erdogan as an “authoritarian”, assessments on Turkey’s activities in the Middle East, Africa and in the Balkans posing a threat to Israel, is also included.
While Fetullah Gulen, the perpetrator of the July 15th 2016 coup attempt, is considered as a potential ally of Israel, the Israeli government was called out for strengthening the anti-Turkish front in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the report.
Another important assessment in the report was that Israel could use economic instruments to “surround” Turkey.
Israeli writers, who also target the Turkish Navy, suggest on strengthening the intelligence instruments against Turkey.
Even if there are no statements regarding the striking report from the government, the possibility of tensions rising between Turkey and Israel, is rumored among political groups.
MEDICAL THREAT FROM THE USA
David Satterfield, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, stated that he could stop selling medicine to Turkey in case Turkey would not pay off its debt to the U.S. pharmaceutical companies. Head of Turkish Pharmacists’ Association Erdogan Colak said that what the U.S Ambassador told was modern medicine embargo.
In his speech made at the 38th American-Turkish Conference organized by Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), Turkey-US Business Council (TAIK) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, US Ambassador David M. Satterfield in Ankara said that the debt of the public hospitals in Turkey to foreign medicine companies had risen from $ 230 million to $ 2.3 billion within a year. Stating that foreign medicine companies might not want to continue that way and could stop selling medicine to Turkey, Satterfield added that this would not be for the benefit of Turkey.
While the Ambassador Satterfield’s statements has created an outrage in Turkey, the Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca has made the following statement;
“It was requested to make a payment plan by scheduling the debts until today. Talks on this have also started. I want to say that there is no problem with medication in general, and talks about supplies have also started, (…) During this period, when the relevant companies are being negotiated, when a payment plan are being requested, the ambassador’s statement in this way was extremely unfortunate. It reminds me of the approaches in the colonial countries. I want to remind that they should know that Turkey is not like before.”
The term “It reminds of approaches in the colonial countries” used by the Health Minister for the USA, has drawn quite a lot of attention.
PRESIDENT ERDOGAN: “THE ASIA ANEW INITIATIVE”
President Erdogan attended the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations.
Erdogan addressed many regional issues in his speech, while his assessment of the overall political direction of the world and Turkey’s place in this, has hit the public agenda.
Erdogan used the following words in his speech;
“Being the easternmost European and the westernmost Asian, increases Turkey’s specific weight in all areas. With our ‘Asia Anew’ initiative we will give our relations a new dynamism in our current time when the pendulum of history is shifting again towards Asia. We have also gained significant momentum in our relations with Africa, with which we have humanitarian and historical ties connecting our close geographies. We plan to implement projects aimed at strengthening Africa’s capacity at the third Turkey African Union Partnership Summit that we intend to hold in Turkey next year. As I conclude my remarks, I would like to say that our strong support for multilateralism will continue during this sensitive period we are passing through. We must of course keep our distance from the pandemic, but we must also close ranks in our joint struggle and cooperation against all the challenges that threaten the international community. We will continue our efforts to transform Istanbul, one of the most prominent cities in the World throughout history, into a regional hub of the United Nations.”
While Erdogan’s emphasis on the rise of Asia has hit hard, the leader of the Patriotic Party Dogu Perincek has made a striking commentary on this speech.
Perincek has said these words;
“This is a historical speech. This ends the Atlantic Era of Turkey, which has been going through since the last 75 years, from 1945. The President of the Republic of Turkey himself, has declared the end of the Atlantic Era from the United Nations Assembly. He did not announce it to a newspaper, that Turkey is back in a shift toward Asia from the UN General Assembly, where the whole world listens to. The word ‘New’ is also very important. Here, the president makes a reference to our historical Asian ties. He also makes a reference to the concept of Turkishness, which stretches from Asia as a horse’s head. President Erdogan says that the tides of history has turned back on Asia. He announced that we are approaching towards the Asian Era. And Turkey is taking its place in this Asian Era.”
President Erdogan’s words were considered by many groups to be a declaration of Turkey’s break out from the Atlantic Alliance.