Tension has been highest since the Cold War ended around Ukraine. Russia has mobilized more than 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border and conducted military drills everyday, requiring that further expansion of NATO must be stopped. Putin may have underestimated that The West could do nothing but the U.S and its allies also have started sending military aid to Ukraine and  deploying troops to Poland, the neighbor of Ukraine. Facing counters of the West, Putin seems to seek a way to withdraw his troops with honor. Not only Russia and its supporters, the U.S and its close allies, some regional powers intervene in this crisis for their own interests.


Turkey is a NATO member among countries which intervene in the crisis . Although Turkey has the second largest number of military personnel in NATO, Turkey has confronted the West due to eastern Mediterranean gas field conflict with Greece and invasion of Syria etc.. in recent years. However Turkey has supported Ukraine by the Western side in the crisis. Compared to Germany hesitating to take strong measures against Russia, Turkey seems not to be afraid of opposing Russia despite byplayer in the crisis.


Turkey and Russia have engaged proxy wars in Syria, Libya and also Nagorno Karabakh in recent years. Turkey has challenged the Russian sphere of influence like plotting to overthrow the Assad regime by using Syrian oppositions and supporting Azerbaijan to capture Nagorno Karabakh. On confronting Russia, Turkey has strengthened ties with Ukraine. In events about Turkey and Ukraine relations, the introduction of Turkish drones by Ukraine angered Russia. Ukraine bought Turkish manufactured Bayraktar TB2 in 2019 and introduced more in last year. Ukraine used drones in the eastern war-zone of Donbass in last October for the first time reporting destruction of military equipment belonged to Pro-Russian militias. Russia has strongly opposed selling the drones to Ukraine but Turkey hasn’t cared about Russia's reactions. If Putin decides to invade Ukraine, the drones may be used against Russian forces and it will bring inaccessible data to Turkey. The crisis is also a huge business opportunity for the Turkish military industrial complex. Turkey seeks to shake Russia and economic interests in the crisis by supporting Ukraine.


Turkey also wants to let NATO members admit Turkey as a geopolitical power again. Every Russian vessel has to pass Bosphorus - Dardanelles straits located on Turkish territory. Russia poses to invade Ukraine from Crimean peninsula mobilizing a lot of military vessels around the Black Sea. Turkey can monitor move of Russian navy and even block the straits. In the Cold War era, the Western powers regarded Turkey as bulkwalk to the Soviet Union so considered its stance conniving with minority issues in Turkey. But today long after the Cold War ended the Western Turkish allies has stopped such conniving step by step and  finally started supporting Kurdish factions including YPG labeled as terror group by Turkey. Russian aggression is common menath to both the Western powers and Turkey.  Turkey tries to regain post Cold War losses.


Turkey will never play a major role in the crisis because the crisis will not likely spill over into it due to Ukraine being far from its sphere of influence. But Putin never forgets Turkish behaviors amid the hardship of Russia.  International society should also pay attention to Erdogan’s dangerous games that have already intensified regional conflict around MENA.



(IRuniverse Roni Namo)