A Russian warplane was shot down by the Turkish authorities earlier this month. Turkey, however, spoke about it openly stating that they were unaware of the warplane being Russian and hence, the attack was a genuine mistake. The truth behind this statement though is something only the Turkish authorities can explain. However, this episode didn’t really go down well with Russian President, Vladamir Putin. The social media was flooded with memes of the aggressive Russian President’s possible response of brutality towards Turkey throughout the past thanksgiving week. However, little did anyone know that Putin did have similar plans. The first step towards vengeance began as the Russian president signed a decree imposing a raft of punitive economic sanctions against Turkey last Saturday.
The decree is a strict one which had been brought into force immediately post the announcement. It involves strict surveillance also prohibiting Charter flights from Russia to Turkey. It has also gone ahead and issued a notice to all major and minor tourism firms stating that all trips for people between the two countries are to be cancelled with immediate effect. Turkish products and export have been outlawed. However, the worst sufferers are Turkish nationals and firms based out of Russia. The decree states that all economic activities and transactions of Turkish nationals and companies are to be curbed or halted with immediate effect.
A senior Turkish official spoke to the media stating that these sanctions are not going to be helpful to any degree. He rather added that these stipulations would only worsen the relations between Moscow and Ankara. However, a senior official in Putin’s cabinet retaliated stating that November 24 witnessed the death of a Russian fighter pilot and members of the marine crew who were later trying to rescue him. It is hence, that an apology from the Turkish president is the minimum that is expected but not something which is remotely close to being delivered yet and so the Russian reaction is only fair. Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the contrary remained stubborn in his stand. He stated that though he was quite saddened by the whole incident but remained well in his rights in attacking the war plane. He justified his statement by saying that the Russian warplane, SU-24 Jet was flying within the Turkish air space and it was only fair for him to be protecting his people by minimising any possible risk involved.
This whole episode has made it tougher for France, as it is a NATO ally to Turkey as well as a partner to Russia for coordinating air strikes and attacks on the Islamic state targets. The fallout between Russia and Turkey have been unfortunate. This is mainly because earlier in 2009, the then Turkish Prime minister, Erdogan and Russian President, Vladamir Putin had met at Sochi to discuss the economic ties between the two countries. The meeting had been a fruitful one which even lead to the lifting of visas for people travelling from Russia to Turkey, and vice versa. However, the unprecedented attack has now wiped away all the goodwill between the two nations.
With both presidents refusing to budge, there needs to be some space for dialogue between both them in order to resolve this crisis.