Contemporary Turkish – Russian Relations from Past to Future
Turkish Russian Relations in the Soviet and Post Soviet Periodİlyas Topsakal
The first official meeting between the Ottoman Empire and Grand Principality of Moscow was established in 1492. Ottoman Empire had continued the relations with Tsardom of Russia via Crimean Khans in the Crimea and its surroundings, which are the vassal states of the Ottoman Empire. However, when the Tsardom of Russia 18th and 19th centuries progressed and had power in Eastern Europe and Asia, it struggled with Ottoman Empire and gradually invaded most of the Ottoman territories. Russia suppressed the Ottoman Empire by defeating the Ottoman armies in the wars, especially in the 19th century, consecutively, and controlling the Black Sea and Balkans. The great states in Europe such as England, France, Germany protected Ottoman Empire against Russia. Ottoman Empire was defeated heavily against Russia in the Ottoman-Russian War in 1877-1878, and the empire had to give its lands in East Anatolia and Balkans to Russia after the war. In the World War One, Ottoman Empire and Russia have been in the opposite blocks. Since Russia was experiencing the Bolshevik Revolution during the war, Russia retreated from the war and focused on its internal issues. As Germany was defeated in World War One, Ottoman Empire had also been defeated, therefore withdrew from the war by signing the Armistice of Mudros. Afterwards, Ottoman Empire had been broken down, and Kuva-yi Milliye (meaning National Forces) in Anatolia has established the Republic of Turkey (29 September 1922) by winning the War of Independence. Soviet Government that was established on 7 November 1917, supported the War of Independence in Anatolia. In Soviet times, Turkish-Russian relations often negatively but rarely positively continued. As threats against the Republic of Turkey increased in Stalin period, Turkey has joined the NATO, so that Turkey has guaranteed itself against Russia. After this date, Turkish-Russian relations have been established focusing on economic interests, and Turkey reconfigured its security and geopolitical strategies as a part of NATO.