The article by former Turkish diplomat Ömer Murat, published in Kronos36.news on July 25, discusses the implications of Putin’s response to Erdogan’s recent U-turn in foreign policy. The analysis highlights how the cancellation of the grain shipment agreement between Turkey and Russia could exacerbate the already high food inflation in Turkey, which is among the countries with the world’s highest inflation rates.
The article delves into the reasons behind the cancellation of the grain agreement, which the Turkish government tried to downplay by attributing it to the US not easing sanctions on Russian grain exports. However, the author suggests that the real reason lies in the escalating tensions between Russia and Turkey due to Erdogan’s support for Ukraine and his willingness to host Ukrainian President Zelenski during the NATO summit.
Murat emphasizes that the cancellation of the agreement does not necessarily indicate a complete breakdown in relations between Russia and Turkey. Putin is not likely to take such drastic actions right now, as it may not be in Russia’s best interest. Instead, it appears that Putin is attempting to exert pressure on Erdogan and pull him back into the fold using veiled threats and leverage. The author speculates that Putin may have conveyed additional warnings or conditions to Erdogan privately, which were not disclosed in the public statement.
The cancellation of the grain agreement is expected to have significant ramifications for Turkey’s economy, particularly in terms of food inflation. Turkey is one of the world’s largest consumers, producers, importers, and exporters of wheat, and it heavily relies on grain imports from Russia, among other countries. The author suggests that if Erdogan fails to convince Putin to reinstate the agreement promptly, the impact on Turkey’s already high inflation rate and the burden on low-income individuals will be inevitable.
However, the author cautions against prematurely assuming a complete breakdown in Russia-Turkey relations based on this incident alone. Erdogan still has various cards to play and may attempt to mend relations with Russia. Yet, the article highlights how Erdogan’s relationship of dependency on Putin poses a significant obstacle to normalizing Turkey’s relations with the West and finding effective solutions to the ongoing economic crisis.