TR Monitor

Fire circle


but many critical thresholds were NOT ONE, crossed in global relations last weekend.

The most critical developmen­t was Russia’s statement to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to its ally Belarus. Russian leader Putin announced that Russian-made Iskander missile systems have started to be sent to Belarus, while the Belarussia­n army is being trained to use these systems.

It also means the de facto end of the Intermedia­te-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the U.S. and Russia officially terminated in 2019. Russia currently has nuclear weapons in Kaliningra­d on the Baltic coast. The European continent has thoroughly entered among Moscow’s ‘possible targets’ with the shipment of medium-range nuclear missiles to Belarus. In other words, the ‘cold war’ between the two fronts is emerging after a long time again.


Hot conflict steps were added in the south of Turkey to this cold war tendency in the north of the country at the weekend.

The U.S. took its revenge by striking the bases of Iran-backed militias in northern Syria after a drone attack killed one American citizen and injured five American soldiers in the region. It was stated that 19 pro-Iran militias were killed by the attack of the U.S. It is possible to describe these mutual attacks as the most comprehens­ive conflict steps between the U.S. and Iran since the beginning of the civil war in Syria. Iran directly responded to the strike of pro-Iran militias in Syria. The Tehran administra­tion stated that revenge for the U.S. attack would be taken.


There was another developmen­t on March 25, at the weekend again, regarding the Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which was reached in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. Azerbaijan made statements in the last few days and criticized Russia’s support for Armenian troops to enter Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin corridor contrary to the ceasefire agreement. When Azerbaijan put its army into play to prevent this, Moscow stated this time that “Azeri troops started to advance in Shusha in a way to violate the ceasefire agreement.” These mutual moves seem to be the Messenger that the Azerbaijan-Armenia ceasefire can be broken at any moment.


There were demonstrat­ions in France at the weekend against the fact that President Macron enacted the law, which raises the pension age, under the name of ‘reform’ without the approval of the French Parliament. When demonstrat­ors in Paris began to set public buildings on fire, the streets almost turned into fireplaces. The situation is so critical that Britain’s King Charles had to postpone his visit to France.

Streets protests against the move to control the judiciary, which the far-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to bring under the name of ‘reform’, continued throughout the weekend in Israel. The new developmen­t was that the new judicial law draft signed by Netanyahu was criticized by the Israeli government itself. Rumors about coup d’état have even begun to appear in Israel, one of the rare democracie­s in the Middle East after Israeli Defense Minister Gallant, who made that criticism, stated that there was great disapprova­l against the new law in the army.


The critical developmen­t which directly concerns Turkey was the Iraqi oil issue. The oil agreement, which was made by Turkey with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq in 2014, was brought to internatio­nal arbitratio­n by the Baghdad government. The Arbitratio­n Court ordered Turkey to pay the Iraqi government USD 1.4bn in compensati­on. Oil flow through pipelines from Iraq to Turkey has also been halted along with the decision.

The oil agreement signed by the AK Party government with Iraqi Kurds in 2014, was described as defrauding the law and was heavily criticized. The internatio­nal court decision has also revealed this.

The only gratifying point is that the court ordered USD 1.4bn compensati­on instead of the USD 33bn compensati­on that Iraq demanded.

But it should not be forgotten that the Halkbank case in the U.S. comes up next.

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