Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kremlin Unsure How to Take Erdogan's Vow to Topple Assad

The precedent is already established, the one used in "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks", see below.

The problem with what Erdoğan is doing is it risks drawing NATO into a war with Syria and their ally Russia.
From al-Monitor:
A top Russian diplomat rebuked Turkey’s president over his comments on Syria today, saying they contradict international agreements on the war-wracked country. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russian news agencies Nov. 30 that his government was puzzled by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assertion a day earlier that Turkey was in Syria for no reason other than to topple President Bashar al-Assad. "We are there to bring justice. We are there to end the rule of the cruel Assad, who has been spreading state terror," Erdogan said.

His words flew in the face of Turkey’s earlier claims that it had sent its troops into northern Syria to battle the Islamic State and the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units: It's against all international agreements that Turkey is party to “if Erdogan plans to wage war,” on Assad, Bogdanov said.

In separate remarks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, "It is a very serious statement and one which differs from previous ones and with our understanding of the situation. We hope that our Turkish partners will provide us with some kind of explanation about this."
There has not been any yet.

Russia and Iran are the Syrian regime's chief allies in the war against opposition rebels who are, in turn, supported by Turkey, various Gulf states and in part by the CIA. But in recent months Turkey has signaled willingness to rein in the one group that poses the biggest threat to Assad’s rule — the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, which now calls itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. The shift followed a frenzied campaign by Turkey to woo back Russia after the pair fell out over Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet in November last year.

Analysts reckon Erdogan’s latest spate of hawkishness has more to do with placating his own Islamist base than with yet another U-turn in Turkey’s thus far disastrous Syria policy....MORE
And back to the Cossacks. A couple weeks ago we posted "Little Has Changed Between Turkey, Russia Despite Reconciliation" with this introduction:
Whenever I think about Turkish-Russian relations I think of this painting:

That's "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks" by Repin, hanging in the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

As the story goes, in 1676 the Turkish Sultan, despite being beaten by the Cossacks when he tried to invade what is now southern Ukraine, demanded these guys surrender and submit to Turkish rule.

As can be seen, the Cossacks thought this was the funniest thing they had ever heard and wrote a letter in response.
A very profane, very defiant, very vulgar, very contemptuous letter.

These old boys just cracked themselves up with their letter.
And that's what I think of when I think of Russians and Turks.