Play Your Hand Turkey: China or NATO as the World Gets Divvied Up
Ed. note: Turkey is given the choice: Stay with NATO or else. Constantinople at the great crossroads between Europe and Asia deciding to either take American (Israeli technology added on) manufactured Lockheed Martin F35 aircraft, or Russian manufactured S-400 surface-to-air missiles. The irony is a compelling example of the split between the Anglo-American sphere and Eurasia. If readers are wondering it was the vehement Russian-hating Zbigniew Brzezinski who advocated splitting the Eastern Orthodox Church at Constantinople to cut off Ukraine from Russia. Maybe the locals will need F35s and S-400 missile systems to settle the schism? President Erdogen is certainly watching carefully the elections in the cities of Istanbul and Ankara.
Source: Middle East Institute
China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Turkey’s Middle Corridor: A Question of Compatibility
January 29, 2019 | by Selçuk Colakoğlu
This essay is part of the series “Turkey Faces Asia,” which explores the development of cultural, political, and economic links between Turkey and the Asia Pacific region. See more …
Turkey’s “Middle Corridor” (MC) and China’s “Belt Road initiative” (BRI) are two grand schemes that envisage trans-continental integration. These two ambitious initiatives have been developed independently of one another. However, are they compatible?
Mapping the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Middle Corridor (MC)
The BRI, which was first formulated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 during a trip to Central Asia, has resonated within and far beyond the region. This initiative, which has a broad geographic scope, consists of two corridors: One route, known as the “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB), follows the historical overland Silk Road through Central Asia, Iran, Turkey and eventually to Europe. The other route, or “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR), originates in the South China Sea, passing through the Malacca Strait, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea and extending into the Mediterranean Sea. [See Map 1.] Beijing has initially allocated about $152 billion of resources to the BRI from its Silk Road Fund, the China-led Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), the China Development Bank, the China Exim Bank, and the Agricultural Development Bank of China.
Map 1. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
Source: The World Bank.
Recently, Turkey put forward a new Silk Road initiative named the “Middle Corridor.” Turkey’s main objectives in launching this initiative are to create a belt of prosperity in the region, encourage people to people contacts, reinforce the sense of regional ownership, connect Europe to Asia, notably the Caucasus, Central Asia, East Asia, and South Asia, create connectivity between the East-West corridor and the North-South corridor, expand markets and create large economic scales, and provide a concrete contribution to the development of regional cooperation in Eurasia.
While representing Turkey’s own version of a Silk Road initiative, the MC is essentially based on the idea of establishing a region-wide railroad network. Its core aim is to extend the railway line that originates from Turkish territory to Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and others) via Transcaucasia (Georgia and Azerbaijan).
The completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTK) and the subsequent modernization of all the railway systems in Turkey to allow for high-speed freight transit is a prerequisite for the realization of the entire project. [See Map 2.] The BTK, which became operational in October 2017, has the capacity to carry one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight per year in its initial stage of operation. Within several years, the BTK is expected to transport three million passengers and 17 million tons of goods per year. Likewise, the SREB represents Beijing’s ambitions pertaining to the reinvigoration of the ancient Silk Road via an integrated railroad link between China and the Middle Eastern and European markets through Central Asia.
Please go to Middle East Institute to read the entire article.
Source: RT News
Turkey must choose between remaining NATO partner or buying Russian S-400 – Pence
April 3, 2019
US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against “reckless decisions,” like pressing ahead with the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.
“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.
Turkey has insisted on purchasing the Russian weapons system, despite repeated warnings from the US. Even after the Pentagon halted deliveries of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet and related equipment to Turkey, Ankara remained defiant, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the NATO summit that the purchase was “a done deal.”
Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are currently meeting head-to-head at the summit to discuss the F-35 dispute.
Please go to RT News to read the entire article.
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