by Stephen Lendman
Antagonizing Russia is foolhardy. Erdogan’s reckless act is proving costly. Putin’s promised payback is proceeding.
On Saturday, responding to Erdogan’s aggression, he signed an “Executive Order on measures to ensure Russia’s national security and protection of Russian citizens against criminal and other illegal acts and on the application of special economic measures against Turkey.”
It “restricts foreign economic operations envisaging imports to the Russian Federation of certain goods originating in the Turkish Republic in line with a register determined by the government of the Russian Federation (exclusive of the goods brought into the Russian Federation for individual use in the amounts permitted by the laws of Eurasian Economic Union).”
It bans or restricts Turkish organizations from conducting certain types of activity in Russia. Effective January 1, Russian employers are prohibited from hiring Turkish nationals. Current Turkish employees aren’t affected.
Charter flights to Turkey are banned. Travel agencies suspended arranging tours. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said some current and planned joint projects are frozen.
Illegal presence and movement of Turkish vessels in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea are prohibited. Visa free travel for Turkish nationals visiting Russia is suspended effective January 1. Turkish diplomats and their families aren’t affected. Sergey Lavrov announced the action – calling it “not an empty threat but a real warning.”
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry advised its nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Russia. Tourism accounts for 11% of Turkey’s GDP – around $170 billion.
Restricted Russian travel could cost its economy about $30 billion annually – a stiff price for Erdogan’s recklessness plus other measures costly him dearly.
Loss of revenue from frozen joint projects and prohibited new ones will hit Turkey’s economy hard. So will banning its companies from involvement in Russian construction if ordered.
Other punitive measures are being considered – including a full or partial food embargo, restrictions on customs duties and financial transactions, as well as on overall trade, services and investments.
Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukaev said the major Turkish Stream pipeline project to deliver natural gas through Turkey to Europe and planned construction of a nuclear power plant may be cancelled.
Erdogan complicit with Washington committed an act of war against Russia – then was caught red-handed lying about the incident, falsely claiming the Su-24 bomber violated Turkish airspace and failed to respond to “10 warnings.”
Moscow has clear evidence otherwise. The surviving navigator explained the incident occurred in Syrian airspace and no warnings were given. The air-to-air missile struck the back of his plane “out of nowhere,” leaving no time for evasive maneuvers.
Erdogan committed a war crime against the wrong country. His action achieved nothing but the enmity of an important neighbor. Rashness has a price. He’s beginning to pay dearly for his recklessness.
Allied with Washington, he supports ISIS and other terrorist groups in Turkey. RT International interviewed journalists from the Turkish newpaper Cumhuriyet.
Its editor-in-chief and Ankara bureau chief face longterm imprisonment on bogus charges of treason and espionage for publishing photos of Turkish intelligence agents transporting heavy weapons cross-border to terrorist elements in Syria.
According to one Cumhuriyet journalist unidentified for his safety, Turkish officials knew weapons sent “end(ed) (up) in ISIS hands.” Its “flag (could be seen) very clearly (from the) Turkish (side of the) border…”
Radicalized Turkmen fighters no different from ISIS were sent arms and munitions. Turkey is directly involved in aiding terrorists fighting the Assad government. Claiming it’s helping the so-called Free Syrian Army is a Big Lie. It exists in name only.
Another Cumhuriyet journalist said “ISIS is smuggling oil to Turkey” cross-border from Syria. It’s “common knowledge” Ankara disingenuously denies. Russian aerial surveillance exposed its Big Lie.
On Saturday, mortars were fired on Syrian armed forces from Turkish territory. According to Syrian army spokesman General Ali Mayhoub, “(l)ast night, there was intense mortar fire on Syrian government forces’ positions fire from the Mount Jebel Aqra area, which is on the Turkish side” of the border between both countries.
“Taking advantage of the fact the border is de facto controlled by terrorists, Ankara, without obstruction, supplies them with weapons and other resources for their criminal activity.”
In return, it’s getting “oil at bargain prices, cultural treasures looted by bandits (in Syria and Iraq, as well as) other contraband.”
Wounded ISIS and other terrorist fighters are taken cross-border for treatment in Turkish hospitals. Russia urges steps taken to close the border between both countries, an important step to halt aid reaching terrorists in Syria.
A Syrian General Armed Forces Command statement said: “We have certain information that the Turkish government recently increased support for terrorists and the level of supplying them with arms, ammunition and munitions to continue their criminal acts in exchange for oil and antiquities stolen from Syria and Iraq at low prices, taking advantage of the presence of terrorists whom it enabled to control border areas.”
Cross-border traffic both ways continues unhindered. Ankara’s claims about supplying humanitarian aid are a complete fabrication.
Erdogan is a major part of the problem in Syria, not the solution. His criminality is exposed for the world to see – complicit with his US puppet-master, both countries partnered in high crimes against peace, along with other NATO members, Israel, and rogue Arab states.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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