Turkey and Russia developed very close relations throughout the 2000s. Yet, their growing differences about the Syrian civil war dragged the two countries into a serious crisis on November 24, 2015, when the Turkish armed forces shot down a Russian SU-24 fighter jet violating Turkey’s airspace near the Syrian border. In the following seven months, political, economic and cultural links between the two countries were almost completely frozen within the framework of Russia’s sanctions against Turkey. This article aims to discuss the impacts of the fighter jet crisis on Turkish-Russian relations. Although Ankara and Moscow normalized relations following President Erdoğan’s letter to President Putin in June 2016, it is important to understand the main factors that led to the crisis in order to make sound predictions about the future of the Turkish-Russian rapprochement process.
Critical geopolitics, which is a relatively new field of study for scholars of international relations, seeks to understand and analyze how politics is imagined spatially. To this end, it makes a distinction between three types of geopolitical reasoning: formal, practical, and popular geopolitics. Ahmet Davutoğlu is a very significant figure in terms of exploring the close relationship between formal and practical geopolitics in the context of Turkey due to his dual identities as an international relations professor and a foreign minister. Employing a critical geopolitical approach, this paper aims to discuss Davutoğlu’s geopolitical ideas toward the Middle East by analyzing his writings and speeches to reveal the main images and narratives that shape his geopolitical understanding of this region.
The first decade of the 20th century represents a very significant though turbulent period in the history of the Caucasian peoples. Not only had the region been shaken by the impacts of the drastic political changes taking place in the three neighboring empires—Russia, Iran and the Ottoman Empire—it had also become a scene of inter-communal violence due to the escalating tension between Armenians and Muslims of the Russian Caucasus. Although both communities had already been greatly influenced by the revolutionary ideas and movements of late 19th century, the real revolution for them had actually started with the bloody clashes in Baku in February 1905. The so-called Muslim-Armenian War of 1905-1906 was particularly influential on the national awakening of the Muslim Azeris as the Armenian community had already been very much organized as a result of the activities of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaksutyun) that was founded as early as 1890.