Türkiye, Russia and Palestine

Türkiye, Russia and Palestine

Türkiye and Russia in addition to bilateral relations, are engaged in direct or indirect cooperation in various crisis points (Syria, the Caucasus, etc.)

The perspectives of the two countries on the Palestine issue are also similar: End to Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem within the 1967 borders.

In response to the Israeli occupation turning into genocide against the Palestinian people after the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood of Palestinian forces with Hamas at the forefront, both Ankara and Moscow issued strong statements.

During this period, Ankara and Moscow hosted officials from Fatah and Hamas and made efforts for formation of a government of national accord.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced support for Türkiye’s proposal to be guarantor in Palestinian.

However, as of now, neither of the two countries has taken concrete steps.

Russia is busy with ongoing military operations in Ukraine.

Türkiye, grappling with an economic crisis, adopts a policy limited to rhetoric and condemnations against Israel, due to its dependency on the Western financial system.

A significant opportunity to alter the fate of the region is slipping away.

A joint strategy of Türkiye and Russia against Israel would limit the presence of the US in the region, which poses a threat to their interests.

The Türkiye-Russia-Egypt equation

In the event of Türkiye and Russia developing a joint strategy towards Palestine, countries in the region unable to act independently against the US will also be spurred into action.

Foremost among these countries is Egypt.

Egypt is currently uneasy about the US/Israel plan to relocate Gazans to Sinai.

As the Israeli ground operation in Gaza commenced, the Egyptian Prime Minister visited the Rafah Border Crossing and stated that Egypt would never allow the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

Simultaneously, the Egyptian military initiated a comprehensive military exercise in the Sinai Peninsula.

In these days, many in Cairo are questioning the continuation of the Camp David Accords.

However, as can be seen from the recent compulsive devaluation decision leading to a 40% loss in the value of the Egyptian pound that Egypt is grappling with a severe economic crisis.

While negotiations with the IMF continue, the influx of financial support from Saudi Arabia is crucial for the Sisi administration.

One of the reasons for Egypt’s normalization with Türkiye after 11 years is the economy. Cairo is anticipating investors from Türkiye.

Returning to the topic, if Türkiye and Russia develop a joint strategy and roadmap for Palestine, Egypt would likely join it.

If Cairo is added to Ankara and Moscow, this would irreversibly alter the regional dynamics to the detriment of US/Israel camp.

Roadmap for Palestine

Türkiye and Russia together can could take the following steps towards ending Israeli occupation in Palestine:

1. Suspension of economic, military, diplomatic and political relations with Israel,

2. Mediation efforts for the establishment of a government of national accord between Fatah and Hamas,

3. Comprehensive meetings with countries in the region including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to address the Palestinian issue with concrete agendas,

4. Developing a common stance on Palestine at the United Nations,

5. Sustaining global public awareness with various broadcasts on Palestine’s struggle against occupation through existing media networks.

It’s worth emphasizing that the decline of Israel would mean limiting the US’ influence, which poses a threat to both Türkiye and Russia.

Limiting the US in the region would strengthen Türkiye’s hand against PKK terrorism and ease Russia’s situation in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

However, achieving all this requires a shared determination.

Unfortunately, a concrete move on Palestine seems unlikely, given that the Erdoğan government consistently makes concessions to the US, such as the approval to Sweden’s NATO membership and stepping back in economic relations with Russia.

Onur Sinan Güzaltan
Onur Sinan Güzaltan was born in Istanbul in 1985. He had his Bachelors's degree in Law, from the Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne Universty /Paris XII and a Master's degree in International and European Law. He got his certificate of diploma equivalence at Galatasaray University. Later, he got a Master's degree in International Trade Law, at the Institut de Droit des Affaires Internationales, founded jointly by the Sorbonne Universty and the Cairo Universty. In this process, he had served as the Cairo representative for the Aydinlik Newspaper. He has several articles and television streams within the international press, in such as People's Daily, Al Yaum, Al Ahram, Russia Today FranceAl Youm Al Sabea. In addition to being the author of the Tanrı Bizi İster Mi?, a work that studies the 2011-2013 political period in Egypt, he had also contributed to the multi-author study titled Ortadoğu Çıkmazında Türkiye, with an article that focused on the Turkish-Egyptian relations. While currently working as a lawyer, he also writes a weekly column for Aydinlik Newspaper on the subject of international politics and geopolitics.

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April 2024