Legally speaking, Turkey had the right to down the Russian jet. Yet Russian President Vladimir Putin has been the only world leader whom Erdogan has never dared to criticize. Erdogan knows very well that Putin does not know any boundaries when it comes to clashes. Turkey has become a sort of satellite state of Russia from the energy perspective. Turkish industry and Turkish households now rely on natural gas, and Turkey gets this from Russia and Iran. The genius AKP increased Turkey’s heavy reliance on Russia for energy by giving nuclear plant tenders to the Russians. What strategic depth!

While the AKP is aware that it cannot clash with Russia, it is acutely aware that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) wing in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has established a de facto Kurdish autonomous state in northern Syria. This is something that the AKP has been staunchly against from the beginning of the Syrian crisis. With this, Turkey no longer has an Arab neighbor! When the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is gone, this will absolutely be the case. It is tragic for the AKP. While dreaming about dominating the Arabs, it now has no territorial contact with Arabs.

What the AKP has been trying to do is both stop the PYD from establishing a state and prevent the ethnic cleansing of the Turkmens by the PYD. So, the AKP has not only been trying to topple the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but it has also been trying to stop the PYD. That is why Turkey has been sending thousands of trucks to Syrian opposition groups. According to “rumors,” this even includes ISIL. Yet Russia has different plans. It is not only, and rightfully, afraid of Islamist radical terrorism that can cross into the Russian federation; it also wants to protect its ally, the Assad regime. This means that Russia is siding with Assad and the PYD and that it is against Syrian opposition groups, including ISIL. Unfortunately, nobody cares about the Turkmens and, since the PYD does not want these Turkmens or the Arabs forcefully displaced by ISIL either, Russia will not help — to say the least (!). Thus, to the chagrin and agony of Turkey, the PYD (PKK) is establishing its purely Kurdish populated state in Syria.

Turkey’s allies are not concerned about all of these things. They have already settled the civil war in Syria with Russia and Iran by accepting that Assad will remain in power. The Obama administration does not want a fight in Syria and instead wants to concentrate on China’s rise. The results of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya are very dark; so, unlike the AKP, they will not bother risking too much in Syria. Thus, the AKP has now ended up getting exactly the opposite of what it wanted from the “Syrian Spring.” Again, what strategic depth!

NATO will never want to engage in war against Syria over Turkmens. The Western powers are not against a Kurdish autonomous region in Syria anyway. So the AKP is alone in this fight. From now on, what the Russians will do is stay away from Turkish air space, which will probably make the AKP leaders heroes at home, thanks to their media, but Russia will never allow Turkey to help the Syrian opposition or the Turkmens. What a misery for the Syrian opposition, the Turkmens and the AKP! The AKP is now allowed by both NATO and Russia to wage war against ISIL. Again, what a misery for the AKP!


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