Дата публикации: 29 января 2024
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Asia and Africa today, # 1.31 January 2016 Pages 2-6
Номер публикации: №1706534053


The magazine introduces a new category on its pages: "Fact - in the mirror of foreign press". We will introduce readers to the most interesting, in our opinion, publications of foreign newspapers, magazines and other mass media about the fact-an important event (of our choice) that occurred in Asia and Africa.

We will provide quotes from the media without any edits, with minimal abbreviations and comments. Thus, readers are given the opportunity to get acquainted with the opinions of foreign experts on topical issues in Asia and Africa, although these opinions, of course, will not always coincide with the position of Russian international experts.

As the first such fact, which attracted the attention of politicians and publicists from almost all countries of the world, we chose an unprecedented, in the words of Vladimir Putin, "stab in the back" of Russia, when on November 24 last year, our Su bomber was shot down in the sky over Syria, near its border with Turkey, by a Turkish fighter jet.-24, which performed a combat flight as part of the counter-terrorist operation to combat the "Islamic State" (IS/ISIL). Although by the time this issue of the magazine was published, two months had passed since the most serious conflict that led to a sharp cooling of relations between the two countries, there is definitely a public interest in it, and in our opinion, media publications in November-December 2015 are still relevant and deserve careful reading.


"On the edge "was the title of the editorial commentary of The Times of London, dedicated to the tragic event - the death of a Russian plane shot down by a Turkish fighter jet. From the following quote, it follows that the newspaper, as well as many other Western publications, has a different position on the events in Syria. Nevertheless, we believe that our readers are interested in getting acquainted with this position.

"The incident with the plane has raised concerns that incorrect assessments of the situation and the policy of' balancing on the edge of war ' could provoke a war that will spill out far beyond the Middle East."

According to the author of an article in a British newspaper, the core of the crisis is " ... Russia's harmful relations with its client, dictator Bashar al - Assad... Russian aircraft bombed the "Turkmen Brigade", as Moscow considers it a puppet of Turkey, intent on overthrowing the Syrian leader. But the Turkmens have never posed a serious threat to Assad's forces. They are being pressured to demonstrate their position for political purposes."

"Russia offers to organize a joint command with NATO countries to conduct bombing attacks on ISIL targets. In fact, this is an attempt to divide the campaign into operational sectors and give Russia a free hand to strike targets that do not belong to ISIL."

It is noteworthy that almost with the same name "Beyond the edge" was published a few days later an article in the authoritative English-language magazine "The Economist". In particular, the publication writes that "for Turkey, a period of frustration and fear has come due to the possible failure of its policy in the region in connection with the intervention of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Syrian conflict. Turkey's goal is to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and prevent the capture of new lands by Kurdish forces and the spread of Kurdish separatism. Russia stands up for Syria, its long-time friend, and the preservation of power in the hands of Assad."

Columnist for the American magazine "Forbes" Mark Adomanis believes: "As you know, Turkey is a member of NATO, and this case was the first since the Korean War, when the alliance's Air Force shot down a Soviet plane. ...This is the first incident with live projectiles fired in more than 50 years. And this is a serious matter.

The Russian president reacted immediately and harshly, calling the incident a "stab in the back", while accusing the Turkish side of secretly aiding ISIS. ...Turkey, for its part, called an emergency meeting of the NATO Council and at the same time issued defiant statements about its readiness to defend its territorial integrity.

Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and an expert on issues related to-

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The Russian security official is almost certainly right when he says that the current situation is not an omen of a Third World war. Even if the Russians wanted to launch a large-scale war against Turkey (which is an extremely dubious assumption), they do not have the necessary resources to do so.

And while common sense suggests that steps will be taken relatively quickly to "de-escalate" this incident and that tensions between Russia and Turkey will be reduced, the real danger is that we are almost at the edge (if not already past it) of what is considered common sense.

...Given the current heat of the moment, it is not difficult to imagine a future in which the Russians will provide - no longer so veiled - assistance to the Kurds, and the Turks will repay in one way or another by helping the militants in the North Caucasus."

On the site "Haqqin.az" (Azerbaijan) on November 24, an editorial was published on the Internet with a very disturbing headline: "Everything is heading for war between Russia and Turkey." However, a careful reading of it shows that the point of view of the authors, as well as the specialists they cite, is more sober and less categorical. Here's what Turkish expert Mehmet Perincek says, for example::

"Time will tell who is right and who is wrong in this difficult situation. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is that Russia and Turkey need each other. And both in the Caucasus and in the military theater of the Middle East. The interests of these countries largely coincide. The United States is dangerous for Turkey, but it is also at odds with Russia. Therefore, I believe that the two countries should jointly oppose the United States.

Therefore, the Turkish-Russian confrontation is not beneficial to either the Turks or the Russians. These are all American games. They want to sow enmity between the Turks and the Russians in order to implement their plans. History shows that Russian-Turkish cooperation has always been good for both countries, while opposing each other has weakened us to the delight of the West. Therefore, I hope that the reason of our politicians will still prevail over emotions."


A beautiful hope. But, unfortunately, many publications of the Western press just express doubts that it was the mind that guided the Turkish leader Erdogan, who was undoubtedly involved in the incident with the Russian plane. Neta Bar's article in the Israeli newspaper Maariv is titled: "Downed Russian plane: Is Erdogan really mad?".

"A person who is not familiar with the complex reality of the long and grueling war for the future of Syria may think that the Turkish president has lost his mind. At first glance, it may seem that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sitting in his huge new palace in Ankara, ordered the downing of a Russian military plane that accidentally flew into Turkish airspace near the Syrian border in a fit of Ottoman megalomania.

After all, no other leader of a world power demonstrates the principle of "don't mess with me" more clearly than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine can confirm that if you don't want to accept Putin's primacy, you risk paying an exorbitant price.

Why, then, did Erdogan dare to anger Russia to such an extent that President Putin called the incident with the downed plane a "stab in the back" and threatened a tough response?

...From the point of view of Erdogan and his entourage, Russia, with the arrogance of a superpower, allows itself to interfere in what is happening in Turkey's backyard and systematically disrupt Turkish efforts to turn the war against Bashar al-Assad. Turkey has repeatedly warned Putin that he is violating its sovereignty and that seeking to regain lost territory from Assad is hampering its efforts to create a buffer zone for rebels in northern Syria.

...The history of relations between the two countries is rich in conflicts, mainly over control of the Black Sea and its resources. It seems that the civil war in Syria, with all its aspects, has also become part of this confrontation. ...The bloody war in this country has long been transformed from a local conflict into a part of the game of superpowers."

"Unjustified reckless act", "Turkey butts heads with Russian bear", "Heavy price of Turkish mistake" - such and similar headlines, according to Russian expert Yu. Zinina, comments in the Arab media space in connection with the death of a Russian Su-24 bomber in the Syrian sky are full.

Some authors have taken a neutral and expectant position, while others, on the contrary, give an unambiguous assessment of this trick of the Turkish elite. Turkey did something that the NATO pact had not dared to do for decades - shoot down a Russian plane in broad daylight, says Dr. M. Nuriddin, a Lebanese expert on Turkish affairs. It positions itself as a direct participant in the internal conflict in Syria, managing the northern border territories of this country after pushing local armed groups to dismantle border posts and expel military and civil servants from there.

These territories have been turned into pockets beyond the control of Damascus, and they are governed in the same way as in Turkish Northern Cyprus, according to the Iraqi newspaper Al-Sabah. Therefore, when as a result of the strikes, groups of local Turkomans funded and armed by Ankara began to crumble, it launched an aerial provocation.

A number of commentators speculate on how Erdogan's treacherous move will affect the situation in the region and the balance of forces in the fight against terrorism. "After the decision of the Russian Federation to deploy the S-400 air defense system in Syria," writes the Egyptian publication-

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Cist Hashid Al-Shami, - Turkey can say goodbye to its ambitions to create a so-called security zone in the border areas of Syria. Now the closure of Turkey's borders with Syria is a matter of time, as it is in the focus of attention of all international and regional players."

According to Abdelbari Atuan, the editor-in-chief of the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper in London, a well-known publicist, Erdogan began to realize that he was involved in an adventure and a dangerous game because of the downed Russian bomber. He found himself alone with the Russians while all his allies remained silent, and NATO and the United States expressed a minimum of verbal solidarity. "The Turkish leader is backing away and looking for a ladder to climb down from the top of the tree where he ended up because of the action with the Russian plane."

Interestingly, many Western media outlets express surprise at the incident with the Russian plane, initiated by Turkey, from the point of view of personal relations between Putin and Erdogan, which recently seemed quite friendly. The article "Fight Club: Erdogan and Putin in the Ring", published in the authoritative American magazine "Foreign Policy", is indicative in this regard. Its author is one of the columnists of the English "Guardian" Dmitry Bechev.:

"Despite the deep differences in Syria, Erdogan and Putin have a proven track record of cooperation in the field of mutual interests. Turkey flatly refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow and instead looked for opportunities to expand its presence in the Russian market in the hope of partially filling the yawning foreign trade deficit at Russia's expense. The leaders of these countries even have a similar style: "two angry men on the borders of Europe-loud, proud, try to ignore". However, after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber... both sides started making loud statements.

...Moscow and Ankara have maintained peaceful relations since they signed the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty in 1917, and I bet they won't sacrifice peace. There will be a lot of muscle flexing, but military clashes are not in the interests of either side. Erdogan has every reason to show his teeth and try to teach Putin a lesson. Turkey is not in a position to prevent the beginning of political negotiations on Syria. Still, Ankara will do anything to break Russia's nose - just to save face. At the same time, Putin and Erdogan have many reasons not to let the situation get out of control.

Even if Turkey and Russia are not friends (they seem far from being friends today), the two countries understand each other well. What the current situation leads to depends on Erdogan and Putin. With their penchant for using international politics to please their electorate, these two leaders may well continue their show... But after the obligatory militant outbreaks, it is reasonable to move to de-escalate the conflict."

..Subscribers of Asia and Africa Today magazine will receive this issue at the end of January and probably know how the conflict between the two countries is developing (and, possibly, will come to an end) due to the downing of our bomber by a Turkish fighter jet. It is all the more interesting to get acquainted with what forecasts were published in the world media at the end of last year, and how successful were the "predictions" of experts at a time when the conflict was still gaining momentum.


In those autumn days, some seriously feared that a "second Caribbean crisis"was brewing in the world. And in the United States, there were publications that third countries, including the United States, could also intervene in the conflict between Turkey and Russia, which, of course, would escalate the situation in the world to an extremely dangerous level. One of the headlines of the American magazine "Time" "in all seriousness" warned the president of the country: "Obama should not interfere in the Russian-Turkish crisis."

Its author is Trever Troll, an associate professor at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.:

"The threat of an escalation of the crisis between these countries (Russia and Turkey), which are extremely important for finding a political solution to the Syrian civil war and for the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is of concern to President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, he urged Russia and Turkey to avoid escalating the crisis over the downing of a Russian plane and focus instead on the "common enemy" of ISIS.

Since Obama does not want more direct U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, he does not have much influence over Russia and Turkey. Fortunately for the US, staying on the sidelines is the best strategy in this case.

Finally, while Obama is likely to come under domestic political pressure to step up the fight against ISIS, the fact is that military action - by the United States, Russia, or Turkey - is unlikely to prevent future terrorist attacks against America, and is likely to even increase their likelihood. It is important to remember that ISIS was born out of the chaos of the Iraq war, and stepping up the fight will not eliminate the conditions that led to its emergence.

...No matter how many bombs are dropped by Russia or Turkey, they will not be able to prevent a repeat of terrorist attacks. With all of this in mind, the best thing for the United States to do is step aside in Syria and focus on ensuring that our intelligence and homeland security services prevent terrorist attacks as effectively as they did after 9/11."

Fears that the Russian-Turkish conflict

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it may, after all, encourage the United States to increase its role in the NATO bloc, other American media outlets have expressed. The Washington Post published an article by its columnist Daniel Dreisner under a very disturbing headline: "Will the Russian-Turkish incident get the situation out of control?". It raised a question that probably both then and now seems to many to be "on the verge of fiction":

"Can Barack Obama lead NATO? Contrary to realistic fears, American alliances do not involve the United States in unnecessary wars. But for alliances to enhance security, small countries need to feel that they can rely on the United States. U.S.-Turkish relations have been "bumpy" in recent years, and it will be interesting to see if America can keep Turkey from further escalating the conflict. Even if Putin escalates tensions elsewhere, will Obama be able to organize a strong but balanced response from the North Atlantic Alliance?"

D. Dreisner asks the question: will the situation get out of control in connection with the incident with the Russian plane?

"It's probably possible, although I don't think so. First, Russia and Turkey are quite dependent on each other, and a serious increase in tension will harm both countries. It will be very difficult for Turkey to cope with the problems that will arise if the Russian gas supply is cut off. And it will be very difficult for Russia without the Dardanelles."

The attention of the authors of this review could not but be attracted by the title of a large article by Ariel Cohen, published in the American magazine "National Interest": "The quarrel between Russia and Turkey is a distraction - and it is dangerous." What distracts attention from the Russian-Turkish conflict over the downed plane?

"The confrontation between Turkey and Russia very much distracts attention from the main thing. Two parallel priorities today should be eliminating the threat posed by ISIL and finding a comprehensive settlement in Syria. Washington lacks vision, leadership, and firmness in achieving these goals."

Further, the author makes a number of suggestions on how to avoid conflicts in the air space in the future. The most balanced and well-reasoned of them is:

"Although the NATO-Russia council suspended its work due to Russian intervention in Ukraine, and Russian-Turkish military ties were severed after the incident with the bomber, the alliance can establish joint real or virtual control over Syrian airspace, coordinating actions to reduce the risk of new incidents. The US and Russian militaries, as well as Russia and the Israel Defense Forces, have already reached agreements on conflict prevention by setting up hotlines."


Our review would be incomplete if we did not take into account the views expressed by the Arab countries that are Turkey's immediate neighbors in the region.

On the day of the incident, an electronic Arabic publication "Elwatannews.com" (Egypt) on its website, it posted an article "Turkey shot down a Russian military plane... how will Moscow respond to Ankara?".

The article provides comments from Arab military experts and analysts. For example, Mohammed Atollah, a specialist in international law, gives a fairly balanced assessment. In particular, he says that the UN Security Council resolution on combating terrorism in Syria and Iraq was officially adopted, and Russia has taken on an important mission to eradicate terrorism in the region. It all depends on whether the Russian plane violated Turkish airspace or not. Even if it did, in this case both countries are responsible for their actions, but Turkey should have considered the consequences of the attack on the Russian Su-24.

The independent Arab newspaper Ar-Rai al-Yauma (Opinion Today) published an analytical article on its website with a very long headline: "Turkish attack on a Russian plane. Will this lead to a regional or global war? Will Putin respond to the "stab in the back"?.. and what will be the revenge? And where did Turkish President Erdogan go wrong?"

In this article, Arab analyst Ibd Al-Bari Utwan argues that no one has taken away the right to defend its state borders from Turkey, but an attack on a Russian plane is tantamount to declaring war on Russia. The analyst wonders that perhaps Erdogan just wanted to provoke a war, enlisting the support of his ally - the United States.

A similar point of view is shared by the author of the article "Russia, Turkey, DAESH "in the daily inter-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat ("Life"). The publication writes that, most likely, the attack on the Russian plane was coordinated between Ankara and Washington. America's goal is to involve Turkey in a political and military confrontation with Russia, and Russia in a confrontation with NATO, of which Turkey is a member.

In his reflections, the author, however, does not undertake to assess the crisis in relations between the two countries unequivocally and expresses the opinion that it can be either just a "storm in a glass of water", or a serious conflict that can develop into a real war in the future.

The official reaction of the Egyptian authorities to the incident with the Russian bomber was almost immediate. The very next day, the national media issued a statement by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Ahmed Abu Zeid, in which they expressed "sincere condolences to the friendly Russian state in connection with the innocent victims." "We are well aware of the scale of the consequences of this incident for the Russian side," he said. -We also confirm that he again proved the importance of

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We hope that it will not affect the desire to counter this evil consistently, with all determination and rigor, in conditions where the interests of the parties do not overlap,"he said.

The Egyptian diplomat stressed "the need for clear coordination so that such incidents do not happen again in the future," and expressed confidence that "Russia will continue its mission to eliminate terrorism in Syria and will do so with full responsibility."

At the same time, the official representative of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry refrained from assessing whether this was a deliberate action on the part of Turkey. "We have no information on this," he said.

Egypt's former Foreign Minister, Mohammed al-Orabi, was more outspoken, although he spoke in " diplomatic language." "The downing of the Russian SU-24 aircraft in Syria is an incident that deserves regret and has no justification," he said in an interview with Sputnik, a Russian Arabic-language news agency, on November 25, " because it was carrying out an important operation for all mankind to eliminate the militants of the ISIL(DAESH in Arabic)terrorist organization Russia has every right to stop military contacts with Turkey. The Russian military understands the nature of the risks and challenges they face in the region. But I believe that both sides will behave as cautiously as possible in the coming period."

The former minister stressed that " the downing of the Russian plane was an unjustified step, since both at the regional and international levels it is known that the presence of Russian troops in this region is aimed at combating terrorism. Therefore, there is nothing that can justify this act of aggression on the part of Turkey." He added that"Turkey's policy towards Syria and the region as a whole has created a certain kind of political isolation for itself, and currently there is not a single country in the region that supports its policy."

"The Turkish reaction to the Russian plane should have been different," al-Orabi added. "In such cases, a warning follows, followed by a warning shot... Both the military and pilots perfectly understand the meaning of actions that are taken in such situations."

"I believe that this incident will push all parties to the conflict to accelerate the achievement of a political settlement, as things are beginning to take on a dangerous trend. I am convinced that Russia, as a large and responsible country, is committed to finding a political solution to the crisis so that we can avoid events that could blow up the entire region."

The statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, was less selective in its characteristics and more specific. On November 30, many Arab electronic media outlets published a statement made by the Crown Prince during a meeting of the Russian-Emirati cooperation commission in Abu Dhabi. Condemning the destruction of the Russian SU-24 by a Turkish fighter jet, he bluntly stated that "this is an act of terrorism." "The UAE condemns the recent terrorist attacks witnessed by many countries, including the downing of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula and the downing of a Russian warplane in Syria." However, for the sake of truth, it is worth noting that Al-Nahyan's statement, distributed by the official Emirati news agency WAM, contained a slightly modified quote: "The Crown Prince expressed his condolences to Russian friends in connection with the incident that occurred with a Russian military aircraft in Syria."

Former Iraqi Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki spoke quite harshly and frankly. He accused Turkey of "bringing the world to the brink of war" by shooting down a Russian plane, and also reproached Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for pursuing an aggressive policy and applying double standards. "Erdogan claims that a Russian military plane entered his country's airspace for a few seconds. He forgets that his country's planes violate the borders of the airspace of Iraq and Syria on a daily basis, " al-Maliki was quoted as saying on his news feed on November 26 by Agence France-Presse.

"Erdogan's aggressive policies and double standards threaten to plunge the world into a new war," warned the Iraqi politician, who also served as Prime Minister of Iraq in 2006-2014.

* * *

On December 3 and 4, foreign media actively discussed President Vladimir Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly, which focused on the confrontation with Turkey and Russia's efforts to organize an international fight against terrorism. However, there were no any bright and unusual publications. A brief review published by RIA Novosti noted: "In general, the authors of the articles did not take the side of either Turkey or Russia, preferring to stay out of the conflict." However, almost everyone noted: The Russian leader made it clear that Turkey will regret shooting down a Russian plane in Syria."

Many media outlets speculated on what else Russia would do to "punish" Turkey: a more drastic and thorough reduction in foreign economic relations. suspension of construction of a nuclear power plant?

Readers of the first issue of Asia and Africa Today magazine for 2016 probably already know about this.

D. I. VINITSKY, our sobkor in Egypt

K. V. MESHCHERINA, editor of the magazine

N. I. PETROV, magazine columnist

Опубликовано на Порталусе 29 января 2024 года

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