Erdogan, Openly Supporting ISIS, Provokes Russia with Washington’s Approval

By Joshua Tartakovsky, November 25, 2015 Truth be told, ever since the Russian-Turkish agreement declared during the Putin-Erdogan meeting on the construction of the TurkStream, many wondered how long the relationship would last. It seemed that it could. After all, Erdogan may have his conflicting interests with Putin in Syria, with the latter openly supporting the Islamic State and the former supporting the secular republic of Syria and President Bashar al Assad. Still, one could have engaged in a wishful thinking of sorts, that conflicting interests in one region need not negatively affect cooperation in another region. However, the shooting down of the Russian military jet in Syrian skies by the Turkish army may complicate things. Russia is unlikely to go to war with Turkey, at least not now.  It knows better than to fall into provocations and responding to the shooting down of the jet will likely bring about the third world war, under NATO’s article 5. NATO has been actively preparing for a war against Russia quite openly recently. But it is still in a difficult position. Since by not responding, it sends the message that it is a nation whose planes can be toppled without an appropriate response. American readers, long accustomed to the demonization of Russia by the US media,  will not be too distraught by the occasional news headlines announcing that yet one more Russian plane has been downed. For some, Russians are less worthy of life and dignity than Europeans. At the same time, Russia punishing Turkey by military means is too dangerous to consider. Russia may therefore respond by announcing a boycott of Turkish...