Erdogan shows maturity and statesmanship

TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tendered an apology to Vladimir Putin over Ankara’s downing of a Russian military jet last year and also condoled with the family of the pilot who lost his life in the unfortunate incident. This as well as his country’s recent deal with Israel to normalize humanitarian situation in Gaza clearly indicates Erdogan’s mindset to remove the foreign policy irritants and focus entirely on addressing some of the pressing internal issues.
In fact Erdogan has emerged as a towering Muslim leader and a true statesman as he has not only economically transformed his country but is also taking active interest to promote unity amongst the Muslim Ummah which over the years has only saw bloodshed and violence. The apology to the Russians is being seen as a positive step on the part of Erdogan to revive the relations seriously strained due to the downing of the Russian plane by Ankara near the Syrian border last November. In fact it also is the demand of the diplomacy that normal, rather amicable, relations are maintained with other countries especially those, which matters the most. If we take stock of the Russia-Turkey relations, it comes out that both are the major trading partners and recent tussle in diplomatic relations has had a bad impact on their economies. Turkey accounts for around a quarter of Russia’s total food imports and Turkey is Russia’s second most important trading partner after Germany. Russia’s largest customers are the Turks when it comes to energy. In this backdrop, we believe it was wise of Erdogan to approach the Russians to rebuild the relations and focus on protecting the country’s economic interests. In addition, being the most important countries, it is also not in the interest of world community that strain in Moscow-Ankara relations lingers on as this will not contribute to addressing regional issues like that of Syria but add further complexities to it. We expect that both Russia and Turkey will move forward in a positive manner and turn a new page in relationship for their mutual benefit.

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