ORHAN – Does Putin’s ideological determination have any value?

Does Putin’s ideological determination have any value?Russian President Vladimir Putin came to Turkey with $100 billion worth of investments in his bag and a worthwhile ideological determination in his mind at a time when the ruble is depreciating and oil prices are falling.I wonand#39t ask andquotWhich one is precious or beneficial?andquot as you may have big economic potential, but it is not a walk in the park to get the commercial projects in your bag implemented if you are unable to stretch your ideology.

One could expect Putinand#39s visit to Turkey to lead to anything except Russia changing or stretching its Syria policy.During the Cold War era, Western countries nurtured ties with Baathist regimes in the Middle East and backed these regimes for their interests.

However, the relationship between those regimes and the USSR relied on ideological affinity or kinship and this genetic identity created by this ideological kinship can be observed at the heart of their relations.In his visit to Turkey, Putin made us remember this genetic kinship once again.

He argued that it was wrong to question the legitimacy of Bashar al-Assad because he was democratically elected to office and only Syrians should be allowed to decide the fate of Assad.I wonder which Syrians he was referring to.

Is he referring to the Syrians, half of whom are scattered around the world and most of whom are living in Turkey, or those Syrians, 300,000 of whom were slaughtered and hundreds of thousands of whom were tortured and whose homes were destroyed?Putin is still wearing the goggles of the power he has inherited. Although it has long jettisoned its imperial ambitions, Putin-led Russia rests its foreign policy on Eurasianism This is still true even though Aleksandr Dugin, the chief ideologue of Eurasianism, was forced out of office as Putinand#39s aisor several years ago.

Russia is today a country which is in deep waters in Ukraine, Crimea and Chechnya due to its geo-linguistic domestic policies. Russian foreign policy turned a blind eye to the identity-based, national and religious demands that came to the stage in the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

The policy of treating all Russian-speaking people as Russians has made the demographic diversity within the federation highly explosive.Unfortunately, Russians are so affected by Islamophobia that they donand#39t want state funds for boosting the countryand#39s population to be used by Muslims.

andquotThe population of Muslims is rapidly growing so why give them incentives?andquot Russians ask.Despite incentive policies, Russiaand#39s population is decreasing.

It is estimated that its population — currently 143 million — will drop to 135 million in 2025.The decline in oil prices from $130 per barrel last June to $70 per barrel has been rendering Putinand#39s economic policies dysfunctional.

Some authors had been arguing following the Gulf War that Russia would make a comeback to the Middle East with a big push within a quarter of a century.This never happened.

Russia came up with no policy other than backing the old regimes in the Middle East.The Russian foreign policy is characterized by nationalist withdrawal, the weight of the Soviet bureaucracy on the government and updated Eurasianism with imperial ambitions.

The popeand#39s visit is very different from Putinand#39s. This is because new Turkey, too, will turn its face toward Europe in this century.

Donand#39t worry! There is no shift on the ground. But no one should rely on Russia to challenge Europe or nurture excessive demands.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman