Turkey’s position in the war between Russia and Ukraine and the possibilities

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The same thing happens again. The world is getting used to the war in Ukraine. Two months have passed and the news of the battle has become part of our lives. But it’s not even front-page news at this point. Nobody counts the civilian dead anymore. This is what happened in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Russia is hitting cities, people and hospitals, but the sad thing is that it’s not shocking anymore. How will this war end? What will be the way out of this tragedy?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said that the possibility of further peace talks with Russia in Turkey depends on the stance of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukrainian officials often criticize the world for not taking a more active stance against Russian aggression. They trust Turkey to mediate, but I think they want more active involvement from the West.

For example, on April 23, in the city of Odessa, Russia beat eight civilians, including a three-month-old baby. Not only should these acts be condemned, but Russia should be put under such pressure that it would be impossible to continue these barbaric acts.

A crucial meditation

That is why Turkey’s role is crucial. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 22 that the Istanbul peace talks were the quickest way to end the war. Since the beginning of the war there has not been a more effective means of ending this violence. The Turkish mediation process is the only channel through which the sides communicate with each other and try to find ways of reconciliation.

Turkey stresses the importance of the existence of humanitarian corridors and dialogue. In a recent phone call with Zelenskyy, Erdoğan reiterated his support for the negotiations and said Turkey would welcome a guarantee position. Erdoğan also stressed the urgency of evacuating civilians in the city of Mariupol.

However, the violence continues. The talks are also to be continued. And, of course, the most important of the talks will be between Zelenskyy and Putin, if the Russian leader can be persuaded to meet his Ukrainian counterpart. Erdoğan recently said he plans to call Putin to discuss presidential-level peace talks in Turkey.

An impulse in the dynamic

Turkey’s position as a mediator and the country maintaining its contacts with both sides while opposing the Russian invasion puts Ankara in a unique and powerful position for Washington. This position becomes an impetus to improve relations with the United States

In addition, Turkey’s position in NATO has been underlined and strengthened since the beginning of the war. It is understood that as a committed NATO ally, Turkey is a win-win situation. Support for good relations with the West has also increased among the Turkish public. While Eurosceptic attitudes had become quite strong up until the war, it is now seen that Turkey’s national interest is to be part of NATO and to have good relations with the West, while maintaining its ties with Russia.

I think this dynamic will shape the near future of Turkish foreign policy rhetoric and give Ankara a strong position in the region.

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