Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:12PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, on November 16, 2015. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, on November 16, 2015. (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed James Petras, a Middle East expert in New York, to discuss the future of Turkey-Russia relations.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

 

Press TV: I am wondering at this point Russia is saying it will be hard to undo the damage while Turkey is essentially begging for a meeting. How do you think that this will all play out?

Petras: … move on the part of Mr. Erdogan to any kind of peaceful resolution. He has refused to apologize. He has refused to discuss damages incurred in the shooting down and murder of one pilot and one rescue worker. He has lied about the violation of Turkish airspace. There is clear indication that the attack took place on Syrian soil. He has refused to own up to the fact that most of the ISIS (Daesh) income from the sale of petroleum is because it is shipped and bought by Turkish authorities, including Mr. Erdogan’s son is involved in the elicit oil transactions with ISIS.

So the Russians are very clear that they are going to apply sanctions, economic sanctions on agricultural goods and prohibit the tourist industry which is worth three billion dollars to Turkish business people in the tourist resorts.

So Erdogan is very worried that the business reaction to his reckless policies to Russia is going to have an enormous cost to the Turkish economy. Moreover, Hollande, the French Prime Minister [sic] is moving closer to Russia and creating a situation where Mr. Erdogan’s extremist behavior is out of line with some of his NATO partners.    

Press TV: I wanted to ask you in fact about NATO. Do you think NATO is even behind the scene supporting Turkey, obviously in public it is?

Petras: Well of course in public they stated that they understood Erdogan’s position and they justified his aggression and this has created a division between the United States to whom Erdogan responds and the French and others who think that Erdogan’s action was very provocative.

So I think Erdogan has provoked divisions within NATO. We do not know how consequential those divisions are particularly since his patron in Washington is continuing to support him but one has to understand that public opinion in Turkey, even among his economic partners, is questioning his behavior and I think he is backing off in a mild language which is inconsequential because he has not met the criteria which Russia has set forth that he owned up to and pay respects to Russia by apologizing formally, denouncing the action of the Turkish air force and pay compensation. Until Erdogan takes these genuine measures, there is no possibility that he will be taken serious by the Kremlin.