Tag Archives: UNITED STATES

Fracking is Dangerous: The High Cost of Cheap Gas | ENDEVR Documentary


What is fracking and why it is bad?

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand, and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure allowing the gas to flow out to the head of the well.


Why is it bad? Well, in addition to the waste, fracking can cause subsurface geological shifts in the ground, causing settling, small earthquakes, or the release of other trapped gasses underground. For example, methane.


But most importantly, fracking requires use of huge amounts of freshwater. The environmental problems causes by fracking in America have been well-publicized.
This documentary, explores how fracking plants quietly invade some of the most protected places on the planet. What is the price we pay for cheap gas? This documentary answers the question.

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Qu‘est-ce que la fracturation hydraulique et pourquoi est-ce si mauvais pour l’être humain ?

La fracturation est le processus de forage dans la terre avant qu’un mélange d’eau à haute pression ne soit dirigé vers la roche pour libérer le gaz à l’intérieur.

De l’eau, du sable et des produits chimiques sont injectés dans la roche à haute pression permettant au gaz de s’écouler vers la tête du puits.

Pourquoi est-ce mauvais? En fait, en plus des déchets, la fracturation peut provoquer des changements géologiques souterrains dans le sol, provoquant un tassement, de petits tremblements de terre ou la libération d’autres gaz piégés sous terre. Par exemple, le méthane.

Mais surtout, la fracturation nécessite l’utilisation d’énormes quantités d’eau douce. Les problèmes environnementaux causés par la fracturation hydraulique en Amérique ont été largement médiatisés.

Ce documentaire explore comment les plantes de fracturation envahissent tranquillement certains des endroits les plus protégés de la planète. Quel est le prix que nous payons pour du gaz bon marché ? Ce documentaire répond à la question.

The dry Limpopo River in Botswana, where fracking companies have started to drill for natural gas in protected areas.

How The Dystopian New Era of Capitalism has Come to Stay!


The Covid-19 pandemic has caught most countries unprepared! It is not just the poor, less economically developed countries that have also been badly hit. The economically advanced countries—the US and the core European Union countries—have also been equally, if not worse hit. With the help of science ,I hope that humanity will eventually overcome the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Many theories and philosophies will emerge. Many interpretations will be presented before the people and the governments.

We found ourselves in a transformed world sometime in the beginning of 2020. For the first time globally we saw empty streets, closed shops and unusually clear skies, with climbing death tolls being reported daily: something unprecedented was unfolding before our eyes.

One may ask if the difficult days we are going through but also the severity of the effects of the new pandemic is the result and the impact of the new globalized capitalist practices, not only on the economic situation, but also on our poor diet, our alienated new human lifestyle, our immobility in front of our TV screens watching Netflix, obesity, junk food or even drugs overdose . Have they degraded our biological resilience?

If, in the end, it turns out that the Covid pandemic was caused by a leak from a lab in Wuhan, China, it will rank among the greatest scientific scandals in history: dangerous research, possibly involving ethically dubious techniques that make viruses more dangerous, carried out in a poorly safeguarded facility, violently covered up by a regime more interested in propaganda than human life, catastrophic for the entire world.

It is depressing it has taken so long for the world of science, supported by most journalists and politicians, to start accepting the basic truth that no theory should be discounted without evidence — especially given the seriousness of the issues at stake and history of leaks from laboratories. A spate of strong articles seems to have suddenly changed the media narrative, despite mostly reheating material familiar to those of us who have been tracking this story for months. Among these a Wall Street Journal story, for example, about three Wuhan researchers allegedly falling suspiciously sick in November, builds on facts revealed by David Asher, former lead investigator for the State Department.

Nonetheless, the main question is whether the post-COVID 19 world will be the same as before or will it change, whether the capitalist order will become more inhuman and exploitative.

“All philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways. However, the point is to change it” Marx wrote in Thesis on Feuerbach. This was the fundamental premise of the philosophical pursuit of Marx and his lifelong companion Friedrich Engels. They analyzed human existence, the relationship between human beings and nature and the ways in which production and the reproduction of the human species and the economy take place.

While asserting that “labour is the source of wealth and prime basic condition for human existence,” Marx and Engels analysed the dialectics of nature. They pointed out how the harmony among people, land, water and air leads to changes. In Capital, Marx explained that “labour is in the first place a process in which both man and nature participate”. Marx went on to explain that labour process was nothing but the production process. He showed how labour is the source of wealth and how labour power keeps producing surplus value. In the same work, he explained how under capitalism, surplus value is appropriated by capitalists, who are the owners of the means of production. He also explained how this appropriation of surplus value leads to accumulation of wealth at one pole and the pauperisation of the working people at another. Such inequality is reflected in the miserable working and living conditions of the working people.

In addition the new era of Capitalism comes with more surveillance practices. Drawing on Shoshana Zuboff’s (2019) sustained investigation in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism along with sources infrequently highlighted in the social work literature, the focus is on some of the main imperatives driving forward new surveillance practices. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism describes how global tech companies such as Google and Facebook persuaded us to give up our privacy for the sake of convenience; how personal information (“data”) gathered by these companies has been used by others not only to predict our behavior but also to influence and modify it. This results on how this has had disastrous consequences for democracy and freedom. This is the “surveillance capitalism” of the title, which Zuboff defines as a “new economic order” and “an expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above”.

It seems likely that the future is going to witness intense class struggles for political power so that a new social order emerges in which the state shall ensure housing, healthcare, education and all means of livelihood to all its citizens, and equality, justice and dignity of all citizens are upheld.

A number of questions have arisen as we see the progression of the pandemic. Why is it that such a pandemic was not foreseen, when warning signs with avian flu, swine flu, SARS and MERS, all within the last two decades, were clear? Why is it, that with such advances in medicine, vaccines and healthcare, infections have spread so rapidly and the health systems collapsed?

The political implications of COVID-19 will continue to unfold for months, perhaps even years.

The pandemic hit after four decades of neoliberalism had depleted state capacities in the name of the ‘superior efficiency’ of the market, fostered deindustrialization through the ‘globalization’ of production and built fragile financial structures secured by magical thinking and state guarantees, all in the name of short-term profitability. The disintegration of the global economy left the wealthiest and most uncompromising neoliberal economies, the USA and the UK, exposed as being unable to produce enough face masks and personal protective equipment for their health staff, not to speak of ventilators to keep their hospitalized population alive.

These insufficiencies were caused not only by the lack of productive capacity due to changing technologies or China’s trade policies but also by deliberate policies: from universities to labs to manufacturing, neoliberalism actively promoted the fragmentation and disarticulation of a wide range of systems of provision as individual firms scrambled for short-term profits. The ensuing shortcomings were exacerbated by the destruction of state planning capacity and the disinclination of neoliberal governments to use all necessary means to mobilize industry, labour and private capital for a common purpose during the pandemic. Under pressure from the pandemic, service provision was transformed beyond recognition; online work became the norm in countless areas in a matter of days rather than the years that this transition would have normally taken, while the neoliberal worship of consumption dissolved into empty supermarket shelves, scrambles for hand sanitizer, pasta and sardines and fistfights for toilet paper.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the Achille’s heel of capitalism. Underfunded and ageing health systems across the capitalist world are crumbling whilst the global economy has entered a recessionary spiral.

Initially, the western world leaders adopted the same strategy as China by downplaying the lethality of Covid-19, but then once the crisis was out of control, they started reacting by proclaiming that the fight against the pandemic is likened to that of a World War and does not discriminate between rich and poor. At present, nearly two years after the spread of Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the question of how the virus first emerged remains a mystery due to the unwillingness of the Chinese regime to give us clear answer and take its own responsibilities instead of orchestrating propaganda worldwide and trying to divide the leftists at one hand and then the rest of the world!

Today, after months of ‘state-imposed quarantine’, it should be recognized that whatever the exit strategy, ‘normality’ might be a word with an ‘elusive’ meaning. The question therefore that begs an answer is rather simple: What’s next?

Photo credit: Pawel Kuczynski

China’s “Silk Road” in the Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond


China’s economic and political footprint has expanded so rapidly that many countries, even those with relatively strong state institutions and civil society organizations, found it difficult to manage the effects of this extension. The United States and the advanced industrial democracies of Japan, Australia and Western Europe are paying more and more attention to this issue. Whether Beijing seeks to use debt as a tool to expand its influence and leverage over other countries remains under debate. 

The Belt and Road Initiative ( BRI) is the foundation of President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy through which China is trying to establish connections with more than 100 countries in the world. The BRI was officially launched by Xi in 2013, and was added into China’s constitution in 2017, The Economist reported.

The projects revolve around the improvement of physical infrastructure in these countries in order to open trade routes and transport corridors that approximately correspond to the historic Silk Road routes that consisted of both land and sea corridors connecting the East and the West to each other.

From the British point of view of BBC‘s, despite that China being technically a “communist” country, the government had put its faith in trickle-down economics, believing that allowing some people to become extremely rich would benefit all of society by dragging it out of the disastrous quagmire of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution as quickly as possible.

After the 1989 fall of communism in the Soviet bloc, five self-declared communist states remain today: China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam. Belarus and Venezuela can also be added to the mix as they fulfil the criteria of a communist state – even though they do not officially invoke the ideology. So, at present, the number stands at seven. Another question arising now is that if capitalism is the engine of China’s economy at present, what is communism today? And if the number of communist states is poised to grow in the near future, as some predict, what does this prospect mean for capitalism?

China managed to fend off the post-Mao malaise with the introduction of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in late 1978, which redefined for several decades the meaning of the special brand of Leninism known since the 1980s as “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. Yet only a decade later, the PRC became an international pariah again after the brutal suppression of the 1989 democracy movement known as the “Beijing Spring”. 

Few would have contemplated, much less predicted, in 1989 that the PRC would rise again so soon and so dramatically, and become within a few short decades a major global player, aspiring, plausibly, to (re)design the “future of all mankind”. Yet it was, arguably, exactly this hopeful, pivotal year of 1989 that set China on this path and ultimately led to its current position in the world.

There is no place for dissent that would disrupt the harmony between the wise rulers and the devoted masses. The market economy and private ownership are only tolerated insofar as they help the party achieve its goals.  The country is ruled by law, but it is the party that decides what the law is and interprets it as needed. As Xi Jinping declares, the main feature of the New Era is the unquestionable leadership of the party in all aspects of life. He is fond of quoting Chairman Mao’s adage: “The Party, the government, the army, the people, the education; East West South North and the centre—the Party leads it all !

In the beginning of China’s expansion, it was about the potential of China, especially after Deng’s Open-Door Policy. In the second stage, the discussion transformed from its possibilities to its increasing influence on the global economy, especially after its membership to the World Trade Organization. In the third and last stage, especially after BRI, the discussion is shifting to China’s ever more complex balancing act between nations. 

China ‘s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Eastern Mediterranean region

The Eastern Mediterranean remains a region of critical importance for the United States and the West. Through Greece and Cyprus, it is a frontier of the European Union. Through Greece and Turkey, it is also a NATO frontier. The presence of Israel, a unique U.S. ally, adds to the region’s geopolitical significance. Coupled with the fallout from the conflict in Syria, the rise in political tensions, close encounters between military forces, and overlapping territorial and resource claims among allies and partners in the region, divisions and instability have increased. These developments have created opportunities not just for Russia, but increasingly for China to exert influence.

For the record, during the era of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt was the first Middle Eastern and African country to recognize the People’s Republic of China in 1956. Former President Hosni Mubarak was one of the first foreign leaders to visit Beijing after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

It is no surprise the Chinese state-owned conglomerate TEDA is the biggest investor in the Suez Canal industrial zone near the city of Ain Sokhna. The company operates an industrial park with 85 companies and more than 4,000 employees.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project , of which the Mediterranean is a key part, has forced the United States and Europe to think more seriously about geopolitics for the first time since the Cold War. Geopolitical competition requires the orchestration of political, economic, and security instruments in the words of China’s Foreign Minister. The challenge for the United States and Europe going forward will be to agree on the problems posed by BRI, and then to develop a set of integrated strategies in response.

The sudden Chinese economic growth occurring at the end of the 1970s, coupled with its government’s strategy to promote Chinese investment abroad at the end of the 1990s gradually reduced the economic gap between China and the Mediterranean. Under Xi Jinping, Chinese diplomacy has become more active, not only through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but also by expanding their economy globally.

China heavily invests in infrastructure and acquisitions of European companies. Especially in the Eastern Mediterranean, China is building an enormous economic presence. Its involvement in major infrastructure projects is growing at a rapid pace and may have a significant impact on trade routes that traverse this strategically located region.

The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most important maritime highways of all international trade routes around the globe. It is a focal point, as it represents the western end of the BRI. Given the Mediterranean’s strategic position, China has stepped up its presence in the region by acquiring, building, modernizing, expanding, and operating the most important Mediterranean ports and terminals in Greece, Egypt, Algeria, Turkey, and Israel. Beijing wants to capitalize on the Mediterranean’s geographical proximity to become a major distribution hub for Chinese goods to the European Union (EU), its biggest trading partner. The increasing economic ties between China and Europe are giving the Mediterranean region an opportunity to regain its place at the forefront of international trade.

China is the main geopolitical rival to the United States in the Asia Pacific region. As this rivalry intensifies, it is likely to affect other regions. China has major ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean in the area of infrastructure and transportation, and the greater its regional involvement becomes, the larger the risk becomes of this spill-over effect, regarding a potential economic trade war with other nations.

China’s activities in the area, while relatively new, are growing in scale. In the sphere of investment and trade, the Eastern Mediterranean is a conduit for Chinese power into Europe. Through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has gained influence over strategic infrastructure, from 5G networks to port facilities. Two important examples include a nearly €600 million investment in the Greek port of Piraeus (dating back to 2006), and China’s success in bringing Italy on board to the BRI in March 2019.

In addition, China also continues bilateral negotiations with Turkey on the Port of Izmir, and Istanbul holds strategic importance for the BRI. Its alliance with Egypt constitutes a very critical point for China’s trade because of the significance of the Suez Canal for intercontinental maritime trade from Asia to Europe. Moreover, China also has the right to manage the Port of Ashdod in Israel for forty-nine years.

For China, the way to secure the BRI’s trade interests in the Mediterranean is not only to abstain from intervention in the domestic politics of other countries, but also to prevent any conflict between those countries. 

  • The BRI as a debt trap for less-developed countries ?

However, labeling the BRI a debt trap is not only insulting to the borrowing countries, who feel they are being accused of gullibility, but it also neglects the domestic root of this debt problem. Although China often claims that it is not exporting its system of governance, the BRI’s “hidden debt” is an offshoot of the public-private partnership (PPP) trend that took off within China over the past decade as more and more local governments leveraged capital from the business sector to help fund large infrastructure projects.

The reviving of the Silk Road: These projects were being planned and undertaken as of December 2015 in China’s Belt and Road initiative.

To be sure, China is not the only country spreading the PPP gospel, which began in Western countries and gained support from multilateral development banks as a solution to the Global South’s infrastructure gap. Still, whether in the West or China, PPPs have not proven to be a silver bullet. Many projects suffered heavy losses that eventually required a public bailout.

In China, PPPs are particularly problematic given that state-owned enterprises, with their privileged access to China’s state-controlled financial system, often act as the local governments’ “private” partners in PPP projects. This off-balance-sheet financial arrangement, coupled with inevitable moral hazard problems, has perpetuated China’s string of inefficient domestic investments, such as the infamous “ghost towns” that blight many parts of the country. While Beijing-backed overseas PPP projects have caught the U.S. foreign policy circle’s attention, it is important to keep in mind that China’s domestic hidden debt is a much bigger concern for Beijing. A September 2017 report estimated China’s PPP projects at around $2.7 trillion.

Sources and further analyze :

The geopolitical influence of Russia on Turkish political tactics and strategies


The extraordinarily troublesome year 2020 tested many international institutions and bilateral ties, but few experienced sharper challenges than the complex and troubled relations between Russia and Turkey,which have a strong impact on crisis developments in Europe’s immediate neighborhood.

In the last two decades, Turkish foreign policy has undergone a remarkable transformation and Eurasianism, with its anti-Western and pro-Russian rhetoric, has become more visible in the foreign policy practices/activities of the JDP (Justice and Development Party) government.

The question regarding the nature of the relations between Turkey and Russia it seems so much contradictory today. On the side of a NATO member perspective, one could say that Turkey’s positioning is ”highly isolated and more broadly leads members to reflect on the positioning of its vis-à-vis the United States”, whose unilateralism is now giving rise to new alliances.

While closer relations bring several benefits with little cost to Russia, it is difficult to say the same for Turkey, particularly when it comes to the cost of these relations. One could make a long list of benefits that Russia gains from engagement or cooperation. Meanwhile Turkey has accrued some benefits—for example, by disrupting the plans of Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD in northwestern Syria—but this has come at a high price). Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 missile systems from Russia has led to its removal from the United States’ F-35 program and sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. In broader terms, its closer relations with Russia have generated heated discussions in the West regarding Turkey’s place in .

The tumultuous year 2020 tested and significantly degraded the always ambiguous Russian-Turkish partnership, which has become transactional at best and certainly not “strategic”. The foundation of economic ties, and first of all the export of Russian natural gas to Turkey, has seriously weakened. Even if both states experience an economic recovery in the coming months, which is by no means certain, the trade and investment flows would hardly recover. In the temporarily and disagreeably suspended Syrian and Libyan wars, Russia and Turkey are not only backing opposite factions but also manipulating the risks of a direct military confrontation. Turkish forceful interference in the Nagorno Karabakh war was decisive in securing the victory for Azerbaijan and devalued Russian security guarantees for Armenia.

This breakthrough was far more disturbing for Moscow than the official discourse reveals, and the deployment of a Russian peacekeeping force cannot restore the capacity to dominate security developments in the Caucasus. Personal ties between the two ambitious leaders suffice for finding a mode of deconflicting in these war zones, but their mutual irritation and mistrust are accumulating. Thirty years ago, Russia’s supremacy in the Caspian Sea was unquestioned. Even with the independence of new countries with their own navies in the early 1990s, Russia and its Caspian Flotilla had little to fear.

On June 26 of this year, the Turkish government began constructing the first bridge over Canal Istanbul, the huge waterway project designed to run parallel to the Bosporus Strait. Ankara has presented the megaproject as a strategic move that will turn Turkey into a logistics base and grant it geo-political leverage over both regional and international trade and transportation routes. However, Turkey’s political opposition considers Canal Istanbul to be a rent-seeking project designed to attract international – prob­ably Chinese and Arab – investment in the hope of reviving Turkey’s deteriorating economy. The Canal may also affect the Montreux Convention, the decades old treaty that governs the Turkish Straits. Given the rivalry between the US and Russia, ques­tions around the Montreux Convention will add another point of contention, increase tensions and may also present serious consequences for Turkey.

Russia, however, would be deeply concerned about any attempt to alter the status quo as the Convention constrains unwelcome Western presence in the Black Sea while also providing Russia an opportu­nity to develop an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capability. Arguably, the impor­tance of the Turkish Straits for Russia has increased with the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

The maturing of autocratic regimes in Russia and Turkey does not facilitate their rapprochement in the security domain, as each ambitious ruler is more interested in exploiting the opportunities emerging from the conflict the other one is facing in relations with the West than in extending a helping hand to the fellow dictator-in distress. Also some observers suggest Ankara could see its drone sales to Ukraine as powerful leverage over Moscow in a number of regional disputes that are going on between the two.

A major problem for Turkey in its relations with Russia remains the asymmetry, even if interdependent, in favour of Moscow. Yet, the nature of asymmetry is dynamic and subject to change, as Turkey has engaged in what can be termed dependency reduction on Russia, both geopolitically and structurally (energy-wise).

  • Eurasianism and Blue Homeland

With the demise of the Soviet Union, Turkey saw the emergence of a potential area of influence for itself in Central Asia. Supported by the West, its Eurasianism in this period meant Turkey could play a leading role in the affairs of the newly independent Central Asian and Caucasus states. Hence it was also premised on a competitive agenda with Russia. However, despite its early eagerness to take advantage of this epochal development, Turkey failed to cultivate a leading role in Central Asia.

Unlike the more geopolitically informed early forms of its Eurasianism in the post-Cold War era, Turkey’s recent turn to Eurasia, driven partially by its deepening discontent with the West, seeks to build closer relations with Russia and China. This latest form, present earlier among some military officers and marginal political groups in the early 2000s, carries a strong suspicion of the West as the constitutive ingredient of its political identity. Thus, the current Eurasianism is essentially an ideological disposition rather than a coherent geopolitical vision. Its most recent manifestation can be seen through the imprecise, nebulous, and unofficial Blue Homeland geopolitical concept.

The Blue Homeland concept effectively means three things. First, it represents an expanded vision and understanding of Turkey’s maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. Second, it is the navy’s call to reimagine and reposition the country as a maritime power. Third, the ideological concept—as exemplified by the narrative of its creators who believe that Turkish geopolitical interests are better served through realignment with Russia and China—signifies a reimagining of the country’s place in the world.

Syria is central to the current shape of Turkey-Russia relations. It offers a model of partnership for both countries in a context where their interests are competitive. However, the Syrian-centric cooperation between Turkey and Russia is also special and is thus unlikely to be replicated elsewhere due to structural constraints and contextual nuances.

Developments at the broader international level, a new administration in the US, and rising tension between Ukraine and Russia indicate that Turkey would face more constraints and higher costs for its geopolitical balancing act between the West and Russia.

In spite of the dynamism and developments in Tur­kish-Russian relations since 2015, analysts say that they cannot extra­polate that the same level of cooperation will con­tinue, provided that Turkish-Western relations do not experience a rupture.

  • The new instable geopolitical puzzle

To explain these increasingly close relations in recent years, the analysis mainly features Turkey’s motives. What is perplexing is not that Russia would want to form closer relations with Turkey regionally or bilaterally; the benefits of such engagements for Russia is clear. On top of economic and energy inter­ests (including Russia building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant) and given Turkey’s membership in NATO, undermining NATO’s cohesion and creating more friction between Ankara and its NATO partners serve Russia’s interests. For instance, as a NATO mem­ber, Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 systems confers more prestige on these systems and generates more tension between Turkey and the US – both of these developments serve Russia well.

Similarly, coopera­tion with Turkey gave more legitimacy to Russian-designed processes in the conflict zones, most impor­tantly in Syria. The list of benefits that Russia has accrued from its engagements or cooperation with Turkey goes on. Plus, unlike Turkey, Russia does not have to pay a cost for forming increasingly close rela­tions with Turkey. In contrast, from being removed from the F-35 fighter jet programme to the CAATSA sanctions to the deepening crisis in its relations with the West, Turkey has to pay a heavy price for its close relations with Russia and purchasing the Russian-made S-400 missile systems.

The concept of an “axis of excluded” has been utilised as one of the explanatory paradigms that has been adopted by certain analysts to account for the deepening of Turkish-Russian relations. The basic argument behind this approach is that, despite struc­tural differences and contrasting worldviews  be­tween Turkey and Russia, both actors are opting for closer relations as a result of their shared frustrations with Western and US policies being directed towards them.

The state and health of Turkish-US relations has a direct impact on the nature of Turkish-Russian relations. At least, this is the case from Turkey’s per­spective. Relatedly, the opacity of US policy – or the perceived loss of its strategic clarity – the nature of its local partnerships in Syria (particularly its evolving relationships with the Syrian Democratic Forces, the backbone of which is formed by the YPG, which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK), and regional alliances (the US being highly supportive of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel’s regional designs and visions in recent years) have further driven wedges between Turkey and the US. 

In this regard, Turkey’s governing elites often justify Turkey’s closer relations with Russia and China by referring to the fashionable, but largely nebulous, concept of searching for strategic autonomy in Turkish foreign policy. 

 It is also important to note that the natures of the political economies of Turkey and Russia are also constraining factors in bilateral relations. Russia pursues policies that will reflect the interests of a major energy-exporting country, whereas Turkey represents a major energy-importing country in its regional policy. Whereas Russia favours high energy prices, Turkey’s interests lie in low energy prices, particularly given Turkey’s huge current account deficit, which is partially caused by Turkey’s increasing energy needs. This incompatibility in the two countries’ political eco­nomies will have some implications on their regional policies and interactions.

Both of them, Turkey and Russia have had different standings on the regional status quo. At the regional level, after the Arab uprisings, Turkey operated as a revisionist power. It supported the overthrow of authoritarian regimes and the establishment of a new regional order, developing closer relations with the pro-change forces in the region. Despite the fact that in recent years, Turkey has adopted a much more cautious stance on the continuing waves of protests in the Middle East, this does not change the overall picture.

In contrast, Russia has operated as a status quo power in the region, displaying clear preferences for regional authoritarian strong men such as Sisi and Assad. It was suspicious towards the Arab uprisings and supported the incumbent regimes. Such a diver­gence of preferences as regards the regional status quo created a strategic incompatibility between the two powers’ regional visions.

However, to be honest, I don’t believe the fact that renowned think tanks keep pushing the scenario possibility that Ankara will leave NATO and pursue its own foreign/military policy. If there is one thing which will never happen in Turkey, that is the exit from this alliance. Never. For a simple reason: NATO is the ultimate shield protecting Turkey against nuclear powers in the proximity, especially against Russia.

References:

  1. https://www.ifri.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/baev_turkey_russia_2021.pdf
  2. https://www.gmfus.org/news/turkeys-geopolitical-and-ideological-eurasianism-and-its-relations-russia
  3. https://www.swp-berlin.org/10.18449/2021RP05/