At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, only 22-years-old and feeling trapped on land, explains his dream to establish a fleet and setting out to sea as he says, “Having only an army on land is like having one arm, to have two arms you need to have a fleet.” For the young czar has discovered that, the economic and political dimension of putting out to sea, will open new strategic roads that will lead to world domination.
It is known that Peter the Great's successors have continued this legacy for decades. For example; Lenin, one of the most important figures in Russian history, writes in his letter, “Russia taking over the straits will allow Russia to expand economically and politically and will enable us to dominate the world's seas.” In this context, it is evident that the Mediterranean, the seas at the end of the straits, is a critical target that has been in the hearts of the Russians for a long time.
Initially known for his 'insane' attitude, Peter later came to be known for the greatness of his vision, thus being called the “great”, and is known to be Putin's historical mentoring figure. Therefore, Putin's recent Syria move should be read with an expansive and sea-loving ancestor policy perspective.
THE SYRIA SALVO
As you know, President Erdoğan met with Putin this week. The meeting was important in that; during a period in which we are struggling with internal issues, the dynamism in our region is assuming new dimensions.
In this manner, the two leaders discussed Russia's Syria Salvo, among other important subjects. Thus, Russia is trying to create a new dynamic in the region by increasing its military concentration in Syria, its longtime friend... Tanks, howitzers, missiles and others are being deployed in Syria. The news that Russia is trying to establish a naval and air base in Latakia, a big coastal town, besides expanding its small naval base in Tartus is spreading.
THE COVER OF THE STORY
The cover of this new story Russia is currently writing is called “Damn ISIL, Long live fellow Syria.”
This move Russia has adopted draws attention with its timing being just before the U.N. General Assembly on September 28. As, once Putin takes that microphone in his hands at the assembly, he will have the chance to play the powerful role while he was playing guilty yesterday. And he will say; “Since no one else succeeded, I am taking the initiative to solve the Syria crisis and the terrorism in the region.”
The West, who has blown the chances it took, will have to sit and listen to Putin. Just as they have been watching the recent developments in the region... Although the Pentagon is consoling itself that Russia is in the region to protect the Syrian government and its base in Tartus, it is actually eating its heart out.
Hence, everyone knows that although the cover and introduction of this story is about ISIL, Russia isn't writing this story out of the love of Syria. It would be better to say that they are just continuing their plan to keep Syria as their ally. Of course, Russia is concerned about ISIL. Not on behalf of Syria, but for its own interests...
In this sense, Moscow's Tartus and Latakia missions are a manifestation of the East Mediterranean Project. And it shouldn't be forgotten that Russia has the desire to increase its bases in the sea, starting from Cyprus. Putting the region's political and economic importance aside, the energy resources of the region are a critical point. Therefore, we should underline that, Russia planning to put out to warm seas from Syria who has a share of the East Mediterranean is an indispensable opportunity for them. Besides, the two sides have agreements to conduct exploration work in the area.
THE ENERGY TREASURE
Starting from this point of view, we can see that things will escalate in the “energy game” as I have mentioned many times during my previous articles. Therefore, I would like to share a part of my article titled “The Mediterranean's energy has stressed the U.S.” The report with a U.S. military logo reads: “If the U.S. doesn't provide observable diplomatic and military assistance, partial alliances can be made between rising powers and new peace destructors in the Mediterranean.”
One of the intentions here is Russia. Therefore, it seems that America's worst fears are coming true. Besides, cunning Russia has undertaken the mission of “peace maker” nowadays, instead of its peace destructor role. Now, if we get straight to the point, Russia is aiming to increase its influence area in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, while continuing to play its protectorate role over Syria. And on the other hand, Russia is trying to increase its advantage over the Ukrainian issue. In short, the Kremlin is trying to enjoy the best of both worlds with its last move.
The timing of the Syria move is just as significant as its content. At this point, the statement Putin made a few years ago comes to mind, “The objectives of our foreign policies are strategic rather than being short termed.” These objectives reflect Russia's rare historical role in its international matters.
FOR THE HAPPY DAYS TO COME
All these developments will obviously have reflections on Turkey. It is important that we act strategically in order to protect our power while “long range shots are being made into history.” Therefore, no matter what we believe in, we have to protect our unity, hold on to our national objectives and embrace each other.
Hereby, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Eid of my readers, and hope these spiritual days strengthen our very much-needed unity.
As Lenin says at the end of his letter dreaming of the seas, “For our future happy days...”