President Vladimir Putin seems to be acting with his emotions rather than his mind these days as he pours fuel into the fire after Turkish warplanes downed a Russian je tfighter that violated Turkey's southeastern airspace.
Turkey has been playing down the incident simply to avoid creating new tensions in an already volatile area. While Turkish leaders have stressed the downing of the plane was a legitimate act of self-defense the Russians are extremely angry over the incident and Putin is hopping mad that someone has at last made a move to stall his expansionist dreams in the region.
So Putin is not only threatening Turkey with retaliation and confrontation but he has started to deepen the crisis with a series of moves that will hurt him and his country as well as others that he confronts.
Russian warplanes have hit a Turkish relief convoy that was carrying food and health supplies to the Syrian civilians who have been the victims of the Syrian civil war which Russia is further exasperating with its military intervention along with Iran. The lorries had just cleared the Turkish border gate and were inside Syrian territory when Russian jets hit them. People died and the relief material was destroyed. Well done Mr. Putin!
Added to this is a brand new move in the Russian parliament to declare denial of the so-called 1915 "Armenian genocide" a crime in Russia. Turkey says no such genocide happened but acknowledges that Armenians collaborated with the Russians against the Ottoman Empire during World War I and the Ottomans moved them to other areas of the empire while many perished during the exodus especially through disease and attacks by Kurdish gangs. Such laws have been passed in various European countries but some have become redundant due to various reasons and some are just inapplicable as the European Court of Human Rights has declared such laws are in violation to freedom of expression. So now Putin thinks he can make such empty gestures and hurt Turkey with the Armenian card. Well done Mr. Putin!
The Russians allowed extremist Russian groups to attack our embassy in Moscow and cause material harm to the building. Well done Mr. Putin!
While all this was happening, our notorious main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) was trying to find a justification to support Putin. The Kurdish nationalist People's Democracy Party (HDP) sided openly with the Russians. Well done Mr. Putin, Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş!
So Putin suffered a small dent in his expansionist quest to build his new Russian empire. His intransigence in Ukraine, Crimea and the Caucasus has now spilled into the eastern Mediterranean with his involvement in Syria. But it is now high time the free world started putting a brake on his dreams.
Russia should realize that Turkey is not a country to be taken lightly. If Putin plays the PKK card against Turks they too have a potential to play many more cards that will cause an inferno in a very volatile geography inside Russia that Putin will never be able to control.
Russia and Iran should be defeated in Syria. Russian presence in the eastern Mediterranean should be terminated. If the Russians insist on having a base on the Mediterranean coast where they do not belong why shouldn't the Americans have a base on the Black Sea coast?