Both Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan have had recent troubles with Washington. Putin has been accused of war crimes in Syria for killing hundreds of civilians. Erdogan is killing Kurds and escalating the conflict, whereas the US is relying on Syrian Kurds to stem the Isis tide.
On December 19, 2016 the Russian Ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was shot and killed as he gave a speech at an embassy-sponsored exhibit in Ankara. Eye-witnesses were reported to have heard eight shots. The gunman shouted out: ‘‘Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!’’ referring to the Syrian city where Russian bombardments have helped drive rebels from areas they had occupied for years during the war. He also shouted ‘‘Allahu akbar,’’ the Arabic phrase for ‘‘God is great’’ and continued in Arabic: ‘‘We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad, for jihad.’’ The attacker also smashed several of the framed photos hung for the exhibition and an additional three people were injured during the attack.
‘We consider this to have been a terrorist attack,’’ Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. ‘‘Terrorism will not pass. We will fight it decisively.’’
The attack comes a day before a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign and defense ministers in Moscow to discuss Syria. Russia and Iran have backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the nearly six-year conflict, while Turkey has supported Assad’s foes. The Kremlin suggested Turkey, Russia and Iran should come together for a solution, initially over Aleppo, but which could also be enlarged to include other parts of Syria, Reuters quoted a Turkish official as saying.
Melih Gokcek, the mayor for Ankara, told reporters outside the exhibition center that the ‘‘heinous’’ attack aimed to disrupt newly-re-established relations between Turkey and Russia.
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have co-sponsored the evacuation of civilians and rebels from Aleppo and also discussed the prospect of organizing a new round of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana. Now this incident threatens to derail the evacuations of civilians from Aleppo.
The last time a diplomat was killed in Turkey was in an attack in 1971. Israel’s consul-general to Istanbul, Efraim Elrom. Until recently Turkey has been considered a relatively safe place for diplomats. This streak has been broken after the assassination of Ambassador Karlov, however, in view of the fact that the Erdogan administration is entirely dependent on Russian energy, relations will continue among the governments. Recent instability in Turkey and the fact that it is dangerous to be there has severely curtailed the tourist trade. Revenue from tourism fell by 32.7 percent to $8.28 billion in the third quarter of the year.
Despite the death of the Russian’ Diplomate we expect Putin to continue to guide Erdogan’s foreign policy.
Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has been characterized as increasingly undemocratic marked by attacks on freedom of expression. Despite outlawing competitive political parties, and a declining economy, he seems popular among the rural undereducated Turks. Turkey will stay in close collaboration with Russia for many years to come, despite their “hot-headed” relationship. Erdo?an is completely dependent on Russia for natural gas. Over the past 30 years the imports of natural gas from Russia into Turkey have nearly doubled. After Germany, Turkey is Russia’s second-largest natural gas client in Europe.
According to Natural Gas World: “After the European Union’s stance about competition on Russia and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia declared its intention to diversify its demand route by creating a new direct pipeline that runs through Turkish territory. The construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline was first discussed between Gazprom and BOTAS in December 2014. With an annual capacity of 63 billion m3, this pipeline will replace the South Stream, since the construction was suspended over the European Union’s stance about competition. According to initial plans, the Turkish Stream will extend from Russia, through Turkey and stop at the Greek border, giving Russia access to the southern European market. 14 billion m3 natural gas was planned to be consumed in Turkey.” (full article)
The right to self determination has been attacked by European Bureaucrats and regular people are fighting back.
After the first and second world war the concept of political self determination has been touted all over Europe.
A wonderful site from Princeton University explains:
“At its most basic, the principle of self-determination can be defined as a community’s right to choose its political destiny. This can include choices regarding the exercise of sovereignty and independent external relations (external self-determination) or it can refer to the selection of forms of government (internal self-determination). The fundamental concept of self-determination-the right to choose-has its roots in the American and French revolutions in the eighteenth century with their emphasis on justice, liberty, and freedom from authoritarian rule. It found its most prominent expressions following World Wars I and II. In the aftermath of the First World War, self-determination was perceived to be Woodrow Wilson’s guiding principle for redrawing European and world maps to establish a new, just order. Following World War II, self-determination was enshrined in the United Nations Charter, initiating its transformation into a legal right under international law. In practice, this notion provided the justification and impetus for de-colonization and is often conflated with independence. More recently, the term is associated with struggles by groups within a state for greater autonomy or independence-primarily ethno-nationalist claims or counter-reactions to oppression or authoritarianism.” The report ends with this astute suggestion: “The key to resolving self-determination claims is to understand and address multiple layers of conflict in ways that promote the ideals of self-determination (the right to choose) as well as the related norms of human rights and territorial integrity. This necessitates accounting for the emotional appeal of national and local identity while avoiding oppressive political actions that foment violence and instability.” Full text go to: Princeton Edu
While freedom, whether political or economic, is closely tied with the concepts of self determination the EU and government officials around the world has been largely tone-deaf to the concerns of individual native groups of people during the past 20 years, as big business has pushed for ever more globalization. Uniform Rules and Regulations are definitely practical when expanding a business around the world. It is not convenient to have a companies march toward global success impeded upon by regional preferences, likes, and dislikes.
Older people are much more in tune with “the way things were.” And, when the world around them changes at ever increasing speed and they feel that their expectations are no longer fulfilled and they feel “left behind” they don’t like it. Older people are more inclined to vote than younger people.
During an interview with the BBC in November 2014, Merkel was clear about the fact that she didn’t really care about the internal rumblings in Britain. She explained her disregard for the internal issues inside England that she ignored the internal concerns of native Germans as well. She wanted to uphold her “European Ideals” at all cost. The English people were concerned about having their island flooded with refugees and the associated costs of social benefits paid out. Germans were concerned about that as well. The BBC wrote:
“At the European summit on 25 October Angela Merkel was asked about a possible UK move to change the treaties to reduce the number of migrants. “We have the basic principle of free movement,” said the German chancellor, “and we won’t meddle with that.” It was her way of saying free movement was not up for negotiation.” Full BBC Article
She pointed out that she had given the decision as to how to deal with the social benefits issues to an appointed group of the European courts. The refugees would swamp villages all over Germany based on her rulings, bureaucrats in Brussels would decide that the locals had to take in the refugees and that they needed to pay for their housing, food, education and safety at a local level. As it turns out this insensitivity toward locals has extreme consequences for Europe.
“And from that point on it will be more important for the German government to save these European fundamentals in comparison with keeping the United Kingdom inside.” An article in Der Spiegel stated on November 2, 2014. David Cameron was under extreme pressure within Britain, but when he asked for assistance on working on a compromise, Merkel thought it was better for Europe that Britain exits rather than for Europeans to change their regulations to deal with the refugee crisis. Back then Merkel decided that keeping the Schengen Agreement alive was worth the price to push Britain out of the EU. Full Article
A local newspaper reported: “The report, presented on Thursday by the Association of German Cities, found that a total number of 500,000 new arrivals would cost €7 billion overall, while 1.2 million refugees would cost €16 billion. That adds up to a maximum of €5.5 billion more than has already been promised to local governments by Chancellor Angela Merkel from federal funds, the association’s finance chief told reporters in Berlin. Merkel had promised €670 per month per refugee to Germany’s 16 states.” Full Article
Merkel’s eagerness to live up to Time Magazine’s image of her as the most powerful woman in the world seemed more important than keeping the European populations’ belief in the EU alive. Time naively encouraged her to ignore Europeans’ wishes. While Obama had trouble bringing 25,000 or 40,000 refugees into the US. Germany was swamped by 1,500,000 million. Full Article
The key to solving the problems of the Brexit, Grexit, and Europe and the never-ending refugee crisis is to find a healthy balance between protecting the freedoms of multi national mega companies with those of “Self Determination on a local level.”
Whenever the middle class was eroded due to financial hardships as it has been over the past 30 years in most Western Countries, super powers fell apart. The masses need to benefit in order for them to support a governmental structure. Rude suppression of their needs and especially ignoring their concerns, lack of communication with the masses through out history has resulted in chaos. Government officials are ever more reliant on corporate donations instead of the middle class and it shows. (Pew Study on Middle Income Trends.)
Is it true that economically free movement is beneficial, of course, especially if it pertains to a young and highly trained workforce. However this point has not been explained well to the local populations, financially and culturally burdened with the influx of refugees.
The Brexit would not have happened if people knew that there is a clear benefit to them. And the bureaucrats would have done better if instead of ignoring the natives with sweeping statements that had no relation to the individual lives of regular people would have studied the issues more carefully, and made adjustment that would have allowed regular people to benefit more obviously from the global economy they aim to support.
Putting an appointed governmental body above self determination of local neighborhoods, without providing any recourse and participation in the conversations is perceived as dictatorship. No matter how beneficial the bureaucrats think is is, and most importantly no matter how beneficial it actually is. Communication that goes both ways is a must for a stable government. Whenever “outsiders” gain too much power things fall apart. Big business unless it creates local jobs is considered an “outsider.” Education about how the economies work and related in simple language is the only way empires stay intact.
As we all know, of you don’t study history you are destined to repeat it.
In 476 C.E. Romulus Augustus, the last of the Roman emperors in the west, was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer, who became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome. The order that the Roman Empire had brought to western Europe for 1000 years was no more. Really really fun full article here. When local people have to pay too much out to support foreigners and outsiders they tend to rebel.
Merkel now has put the faith of refugees into the hands of a Turk who wants to bring back the Ottoman Empire. Earlier this year death rates of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean again have surpassed 2,500 since people no longer want to risk being captured by the un-democratic Turk, Erdogan. This has not worked out very well and the Schengen Agreement that was so important to her when dealing with David Cameron’s attempt to actually listen to the British people has fallen by the way side anyway. Two years into the refugee crisis European Borders are being checked again anyway. The Guardian
German people are increasingly disgusted with the way the government ignores their “internal” needs and they are leaving the ruling parties in droves. In May 2016 Bloomberg reported: “Last week, the assembly held a debate in which Erdogan was labeled a “dictator” and Turkish threats to back out of the refugee accord should the EU refuse Turks visa-free travel were called blackmail.” Maybe Merkel and her EU bureaucrats would have done better if they had started to work through life changing issues with their people.
Unless the bureaucrats in Brussels wake up and start listening to their people and are working on dealing with the local people’s concerns, instead of working on the concerns of multi-national corporations without regard for the local countries Europe will go the way of the Roman Empire. The British people have spoken. Merkel’s lack of support of David Cameron and his need to deal with the internal issues of “Self Determination” had dire consequences. Big business would do well to start urging politicians to do their job. After all isn’t that what they pay them for?