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Turkey proceeding according to own plans with regards to full deployment

Abdülkadir ERKAHRAMAN

It is no secret that Turkey's sphere of influence has grown in an unprecedented way. If we were to glance quickly at the places where Turkish forces have single-handedly solidified their presence, we will realize just how big the "sphere of influence" we are talking about really is.

There is a sentence that the Turkish Minister of Defense has repeatedly said: "Everyone must know from now on that the Turkish Republic has become the focus of global attention."

We are talking about places like Syria, northern Iraq, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, Qatar, Somalia, Azerbaijan... we can count these in a flash.

Following-up on what is happening in this country or that or even the whole region, has become closely linked to following-up on what is taking place in Turkey.

"We are trying to move forward with Russia in Idlib in a reasonable and logical way."

What I’m taklking about here is based on the information I received from security sources, in response to the questions that were asked about the latest developments in the regions where Turkish influence is present.

Let us start from Syria, from Idlib.

As we all know, there have recently been movements with regards to the observation points in Idlib. Sources assess these movements as “needed repositioning in response to developments on the field.”

When asked if there was a possibility of a new escalation in Idlib, the source replied as follows:

"This must not happen, we are trying to move forward in a logical and reasonable way in our talks with Russia, but of course unforeseen things can happen suddenly. Therefore Turkey should be on the alert. Like a firefighter who may not be aware where fires could start again, but is at the ready for it at every moment. The Turkish forces are always ready to assume its duties. "

“S-400 missiles are being tested”

Over the past few days, we have heard news about Turkey testing the S-400 missiles it purchased from Russia, in Sinop. I asked the same sources to confirm this and inquired about what is actually going on?

"tests and controls were carried out," the answer came leaving no room for speculation.

In other words, it's like trying a TV you've bought, and you want to check whether it works or not.

And when take recall the American reaction to this, the answers take us back to the start of the process:

"Since 2011 we have been surrounded by threats, we asked to purchase the American Patriot, but they didn't give it to us. We asked for SAM missiles and they declined to provide us with these. Can we leave the fate of 83 million people at the mercy of their whims? Then we decided to purchase the S-400s, and when you buy something you have to check whether it works or not. To try and inspect it carefully, which means that what is taking place is testing the missile systems, nothing more, nothing less. "

Another question: Is there a specific date for the full deployment of these missiles?

Answer: “There is a plan and we are proceeding according to it. We are talking about a complex system, and there is no such thing as a ‘shift of axis or course,’ meaning that we are a country fully committed to its responsibility within NATO, whether on land, air or sea. "

"We are the country that talks most with Russia in the world"

Since we are talking about Turkey’s sphere of influence, then we must take a look at a major matter in this regard; Ties with Russia.

It is no secret that both Turkey and Russia have different visions with regards to conflicting interests, in many dossiers in more than one place in the region, especially in the case of Karabakh, which we have been closely following of late.

And when we asked the same sources about their expectations regarding the result that Turkey could get from Russia, along with numerous other questions concerning this issue, let us quote a short answer that summarizes the issue as a whole:

"You must not perceive the Turkish-Russian relations in a pessimistic manner. We are the country that meets and speaks with Russia most in the world."

‘The fait accompli since 1997 with regards to the islands will not be allowed anymore’

When it comes to the issue of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, security sources speak of different mechanisms in order to revive the channels of dialogue between Turkey and Greece.

The first of these mechanisms is the shared exploratory conversations.

The second is the military talks that started within NATO as a way to avoid accidents. With regards to this, let's share an interesting anecdote from these conversations:

It is been said that the Turkish military delegation received great praise from NATO during the course of the talks, unlike the Greek delegation, which was reprimanded. The reason for this is that the Greek military delegation says every single time that it has to report to the capital, Athens, so things take too much time.

The third is the "Confidence Building Measures Meeting", which started at the behest of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. This type of meeting has taken place three times, twice in Athens and once in Ankara. An invitation was sent to Athens for the fourth one slated to be held next.

When touching upon the discussion about turning a blind eye to Greece’s arming of the disputed islands, which are supposed to remain demilitarized, and Turkish criticism regarding that, the answer from from the same security sources indicated that the fait accompli situation since 1997 in those islands has never been and will no longer be tolerated.

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