Turkey’s Dangerous Game with Russia

13th June 2019 | Reading Time: 6 minutes   29 Views
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Turkey has long been an ally of the United States and a prominent member of Nato. That, however, has not stopped it from the development of strong economic as well as political ties with Russia over the course of history, and the dangers of this risky game seem to be arising now, with the US planning to impose sanctions on the Euro-Asian nation.

While Turkey’s geographical location is usually viewed as a major advantage, since many countries in its immediate neighbourhood require active Turkish collaboration in order to export or import oil and natural gas via economically feasible pipeline projects, the ongoing political, economic and military conflicts between the same global and regional actors not only negatively affect the development of the energy transportation routes in Eurasia, but also present a major foreign policy challenge for Ankara that has traditionally sought to maintain a careful balance in its relations with the West and Russia.

Turko–Russian Relations

Russia and Turkey emerged as independent powers almost simultaneously – in 1380 and 1389. There followed a spectacular rise for the Ottoman empire, which expanded rapidly and had become a superpower by the 16th century. Russia only emerged as a major European power in the late 16th century. This led to the beginning of a direct rivalry between the Ottoman Empire and Russia that would eventually result in the Russo-Turkish war in 1768-74, and last up until the First World War.

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