Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now Turkey Is Worried About Russia; They Need To Bring Backs The Ottomans

Russian 'imperialism' alarms another neighbor

Longtime conflict between nations shows signs of reviving
Posted: September 08, 200810:27 pm Eastern

This U.S. government map reveals how Russian ships could reach the Mediterannean through Turkish waters. Russia also has a hold over Turkey, because it provides about two-thirds of its oil.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization member Turkey is expressing alarm about Russia's military advance into Georgia territory because of the possibility of a return of the historic Russo-Turkish conflicts over sea lanes as well as the new potential conflict over energy, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
In recent years Turkey has defended Georgia's efforts to maintain sovereignty over its territories in South Essetia and Abkhazia, into which Russian military forces have advanced.
Turkey previously provided Georgia with military aid and training. But officials now have expressed alarm, because Turkey gets two-thirds of its oil and natural gas from Russia and faces the possible use of that lever when Russian ships want access to Turkish waters between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
(Story continues below)
Additionally, the initial hesitancy of the West, especially the United States, to react strongly to the Russian invasion reportedly has brought about doubt in Turkey over western backing to provide alternative energy sources should Russia cut its energy supplies.
For Turkey, the latest events in Georgia are reminiscent of a past that led to a series of Russo-Turkish conflicts that culminated in 1878. It was a period that saw an imperial Russia extending its authority by territorial conquest. In fact, the Russo-Turkish wars began in the 16th century and pitted Russia against the Ottoman Empire are considered the longest conflicts in European history.
The last Russo-Turkish war was prompted by Russia's efforts to extend its economic and political power in other countries to recover territorial losses suffered during the Crimean War of 1854-1856 and re-establish itself in the Black Sea.
In the 1820s, Turkey had begun to lose territory to Russia until the West realized the extent of the loss of the Ottoman Empire to Russian expansionism. It then became clear to the West that the Ottoman Empire couldn't even put down a Russian-backed revolt in southern Greece.
The European powers at the time, Britain and France, sided to give Greece its independence. Greece thereby became the first independent country created out of the Ottoman Empire. This action had the effect of impeding Russian aspirations for bases on Russia's southern flank. At that time, the British feared Russian naval domination of the Mediterranean.
Today, Turkey continues to control access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through two straits, the Dardanelles and the Bosporus. Together, they separate Europe from the Asian mainland. The Bosporus is a narrow strait near Istanbul that provides passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara which then connects to the Dardanelles strait into the Mediterranean.
For those countries, such as Russia, which may want to move warships from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, Turkey needs to give permission, especially for warships, including submarines.
But Ankara also has more than $600 million invested in neighboring Georgia. Turkey has a major interest in maintaining a number of oil and natural gas pipelines that run through Georgia from Azerbaijan and then on to Europe. The expectation is that such assess to the oil and natural gas through these pipelines could lessen its two-thirds reliance on Russian energy supplies.

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