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Geopolitics: Turkey and Ukraine War

turkey flag hanging on bridge

The Turkish Republic and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, from 1299 to 1922, dominated the Bosporus River, and Asia Minor could never be a global power due to its Geopolitical limitations.

(Geopolitics is the study of how geography affects politics and international relations. Within the field of geopolitics, analysts study actors — the individuals, organisations, companies, and national governments that carry out political, economic, and financial activities — and how they interact with one another.)

Still, it can be a significant regional power within its region but is surrounded by several other states.

When it comes to its geopolitical and international decision-making, Turkey has to consider the European Union, Syria, Iran and other states within the Mediterranean.

The European Union is not a united political entity, and according to the UK’s former Prime Minster, Boris Johnson has likened the Union to the Holy Rome Empier being politically disunited.

The Turkish Ottoman Empire declined partly due to the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and the actions of the Habsburg Empire, chiefly Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and his son Philip II of Spain.

What Habsburg achieved was to keep the Ottoman Empire limited to Eastern Europe and North Africa, denying them new trading markets in the Americas and better trade opportunities with India.

With the creation of new international trading markets, the Ottomans lost more wealth due to new trade lines being created to the Far East with places like India and China which made the old Silk Road which connected Europe through the Bosporus controlled by the Ottomans to China becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Over time, we can see the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Turkish Republic, weakening.

Modern Turkey’s history begins with the republic’s foundation on 29 October 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.

The government was formed from the Ankara-based revolutionary group led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues.

Geopolitics: Turkey and Ukraine War
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Why is this Relevant Ukraine War

Ukraine Before the Ukraine War of 2014 to the present day, Ukraine could feed 400 million people with food exports, primary exports heading to North Africa and China.

These exports accounted for 10% of the world’s grain, 16% of the world’s Mae’s nearly 50% of the world’s sunflower oil.

These exports mostly transfer through the Ukrainian port of Odessa, which is responsible for 98% of Ukraine exports transferred through the Bosporus River, which is in the Turkish sphere of influence.

Turkey cannot guarantee the protection of shipping from Ukraine with the rest of the globe because, for the Russians, Turkey was seen as a potential ally that it could draw away from the USA-aligned system.

Unfortunately, this was a gross long-term miscalculation on the part of the Russian Federation.

The Turkish Republic was moving closer to the Russian Federation because of the cost of Western support for Turkey’s regional enemies on its southern border, primarily the Kurdish.

The Kurdish in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran have a strong desire to carve out their independent state, which will take away lands from the Turkish Republic and due to the USA.

Arming the Kurds to fight Islamic extremists within the Middle East has led to temporary damage to relations.

However, the USA and the West lost interest in the Middle East, with the end of the war in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021 ending America’s long war within the region.

The United States is now repositioning itself to face the new threat of the Chinese Communist Party in the Pacific and the Russian Federation in Europe.

As stated above, Turkey has different competing interests.

It will see nation-changing policies to suit its geostrategic interests and policies, which are now realigning with the United States and the European Union and away from Russia.

Geopolitics: Turkey and Ukraine War
Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

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