Russian tourist and Turkey love story to come to an end?
Tuesday, 29. May 2012, 05:20
Is somebody trying to change the perception of Turkey and the Turks within the Russian Federation? Are positive relations between the two countries being hindered?
On May 12 Turkey and Turks were the subjects of negative
jokes on the RTR-Platena television channel of the Russia Federation. Turks
were caricaturized as barbaric people; and Turkish men were depicted as wearing
the fez and women the chador.
Throughout the TV program it was pointed out that Turkey
should not be preferred as a vacation destination but that the Black Sea coasts
of the Russian Federation or Crimea should be considered instead. While a song
with the lyrics “I’d rather go to Crimea and to Sochi than the coasts of
Turkey” played, they danced.
Their main concern has become Russian tourists choosing to
vacation in Turkey. Both Moscow and Ankara should be careful about this issue.
It is one which is liable to provoke tension. Some groups who experienced the
Cold War era in the Russian Federation have started to use those events as a
means of opposition against Turkey and Turks.
As for Turkey, a positive perception of “the Russian
Federation,” “Russia” and “Putin” is on the rise. A positive relationship is
being established between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin. The Russian
Federation is trusted.
Turkey is quite pleased with the number of Russian
tourists who visit, which exceeds 3 million a year; having Russian
daughters-in-law (Turkish men marrying Russian women); and trading with the
Erdoğan, Putin and Dmitry Medvedev have a very broad
vision. Turks have already forgotten about the Cold War. They are just focused
on the future. As for the Russians, they are having trouble changing their
Why did the situation in the north suddenly turn against
Turkey and the Turks? The first reason for this is that the remnants of the
Cold War era and those who are trying to base Russian nationalism on an
opposition to Turks and Turkey are taking advantage of the gradual
differentiation between Russian and Turkish Middle East policy.
This differentiation is not only about Syria. The
inclination towards different policies covers all of the Arab world and Iran.
Moreover, the Jewish lobby is more influential in Moscow than in Washington,
D.C. They have more power in terms of affecting sanctions and policies.
Therefore, the tension between Turkey and Israel causes a
standoff and invisible cracks in the relationship between Ankara and Moscow.
Israel wants Damascus to be ruled by a “wounded lion.” As for Turkey, it seems
to be favoring a change in Damascus’ rulers while maintaining the territorial
integrity of Syria. The differentiation between Turkey and Israel in terms of
Syria’s future increases the tension between Ankara and Moscow.
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