RUSSIA, NATO, AND THE ATTEMPTED COUP AGAINST ERDOGAN: A GEOSTRATEGIC AND GEOCULTURAL APPROACH
Leveraging Byzantine Europe as a Positive Construct
- Russia seeks revenge for the fact that, in February 2014, the US and the EU assisted in the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych’s government in Ukraine and attempted to isolate Russia from Ukraine, even though Kiev is the historical cradle of the Russian Empire and the Russian Orthodox Church, and even though Russia is significantly dependent on and has made significant investments in Ukrainian industries.
- Greece and Turkey, each for different reasons, are culturally alien (if not opposite) to the Carolingian Europe, and, therefore, the domination of Carolingian elites in NATO (especially regarding NATO’s policy in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and especially from the 1990s onward) contributes decisively to the gradual alienation of Greece and Turkey from NATO. Thus, both Greece and Turkey, namely, the pillars of NATO’s Southeastern flank, are naturally the weak links in NATO’s geopolitical chain.
- Russia, seeking revenge for the aforementioned (and other) reasons and, more broadly, competing geostrategically with NATO, realized that it can take advantage of Greece’s and Turkey’s peculiarities and discontentment within NATO in order, in line with the broader strategic plans of the BRICS, to destabilize NATO’s Southeastern flank and, generally, to decisively contain and weaken NATO’s power. However, Putin’s Russia has not articulated a neo-Byzantine strategic policy capable of reclaiming Romanity and luring Balkan states, including Greece, into a neo-Byzantine geopolitical arc. Putin’s policy is dictated by Continental Europe’s and Henry Kissinger’s legacy of Realpolitik, his KGB training, and Russia’s energy deals. Therefore, given that Russia has neither a neo-Byzantine strategy nor any decisive “soft power” in Greece (the cradle of Eastern Romanity), the only option that Putin has in order to compete with NATO and form an alternative geostrategic bloc depends on the manipulation of Erdogan’s regime in Turkey and on the BRICS. In this context, Russia seeks to exploit the failed and, indeed, suspiciously ill-designed coup against the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which was attempted on July 15, 2016, Erdogan’s psychological mixture of insecurity and megalomania, as well as the recent friction between the US and Turkey. In particular, in the aftermath of the bizarre attempted coup against Erdogan, which deteriorated Turkey’s relations with the US and the EU, Russia promotes itself as the ultimate and most trustworthy savior of Erdogan’s regime. In particular, Russia aims at hitting three targets with one shot: first, to destabilize NATO’s Southeastern flank; secondly, to convince or, if necessary, force Erdogan’s regime to comply with key geostrategic plans of Russia and the BRICS; and, thirdly, to castigate NATO for its policy in Ukraine and elsewhere as well as Turkey for shooting down a Russian warplane on its border with Syria on November 24, 2015.
NATO is, indeed, in a weak position, mainly because of three reasons: first, it has lost the moral superiority that it was enjoying throughout the Cold War as the guardian of the “Free World” against the totalitarian regimes, and it has been submitted to a selfish and corrupt cartel of arms dealers; secondly, it has failed to take account of, respect, and accommodate the Byzantine Europe, but, instead, it has been dominated by obsessive opponents of the Eastern Roman Empire’s legacy; thirdly, it is being threatened and weakened by the rising economic, political, and military power of the BRICS. Regarding Turkey, in particular, after the attempted coup against Erdogan and the deterioration of the relations between the US and Erdogan’s regime, Russia and China emerged as Erdogan’s necessary geostrategic and economic safety net, and, therefore, Russia’s energy policy and China’s “New Silk Road strategy” will be, directly and/or indirectly, reinforced by the policy of Erdogan’s regime.
Unfortunately, until now, Russia, in essence, replicates NATO’s mentality and power politics, by seeking to win geostrategic chess games against NATO without proposing an alternative, better architecture for the world order. Thus, the Byzantine Europe, which can offer new perspectives and new hopes to Europe, contain Asian powers, and counter the onslaught of aggressive Islam remains geostrategically marginalized, because the West is dominated by obsessively anti-Byzantine Carolingian elites, and because Russia remains unable to understand and utilize the spiritual essence and the political significance of Romanity. I have highlighted the need for a new world society model, and I have proposed an alternative type of man, that is, an alternative civilization, in my book Methexiology: Philosophical Theology and Theological Philosophy for the Deification of Humanity, Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2016.
Copyright: Nicolas Laos. Permission granted to Phi Beta Iota for this post without limit.