As the war in Ukraine escalates, the developments are gradually evolving to a point where the effects of the lose-lose game are felt every day.
The ones who will suffer the greatest loss in this war are the innocent Ukrainian people and perhaps the Russian families who sent their children to a war they did not consent to. It is not difficult to predict that the war will bring irreparable economic, political and social destruction to both sides, especially to Ukraine, far beyond its great humanitarian loss.
Meanwhile, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its second week, the parties came together for a cease-fire for the second time amid intense clashes and shelling. Since the first and the second meeting concluded with no positive results, all eyes are on the next meeting.
The delegations of Ukraine and Russia, which only agreed on the opening of the humanitarian corridor, are scheduled to meet for the third time in the coming days.
On the other hand, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his calls for talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the previous day. Zelenskyy met with the world press in the minutes before the second round of negotiations began and made a call to Putin. Zelenskyy said: "The whole world should talk to Putin. There is no other way, so I have to talk to Putin."
"We have to talk man to man without any preconditions. I know we have a lot in common. I have said many times, we want peace. Don't talk to us like we are a different order of magnitude country. Don't treat us like we're from another planet. We'll talk about whatever you want," he continued.
While Putin has not yet responded to Zelenskyy's request for this meeting, he has signaled strongly and clearly that Russia's operations will continue unabated.
We understand Putin's attitude from his speech of Feb. 22, when he announced his decision to start offensive operations in Ukraine. As is evident from his cold shoulder toward a possible meeting at the level of these leaders, Putin doesn't consider Zelenskyy his legitimate counterpart.
But now neither Ukraine nor Russia have the luxury of a no-deal because the bill of no compromise of both sides is threatening to boil over and affect not only their countries but the entire region. The fact that both parties are testing each other's limits and refusing to back down will result in mass destruction.
It is worth mentioning that the most sincere suggestions on this issue have come from Turkey, which has extremely good relations with both Russia and Ukraine. It seems unlikely that this war, in which everyone has picked a side, will end first, after which peace will be guaranteed by a permanent agreement. Such a dream is likely to turn into a nightmare for everyone.
On one hand, Russia has been making nuclear threats and sending clear messages about its intentions as if it's normal, while on the other the Western world is doing its best to isolate Moscow by placing sanctions on Russian musicians, athletes and citizens. It is necessary to work with a common mind, a common conscience. The prerequisite to ensuring this is to be able to talk to both sides and bring them to the table. But with the attitude of the actors who are looking at the issue from the West and East by taking sides and watching the war with full enthusiasm, is making it quite difficult to end this war and bring the parties together.
In this sense, although they have not yet responded to Turkey's invitation to a joint meeting with the parties, it is also a well-known fact that the leaders of Russia and Ukraine have so far found Ankara's position valuable.
Therefore, before it is too late and an irreparable path is taken, before the war escalates further, it will be beneficial for everyone to pay more attention to the words of Turkey, which has no agenda other than friendship and mutual interests, to bring the parties together.
As a very vital and important start, it will be a very big step for the foreign ministers of both countries to come together at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which will start next week. Frankly, the delegations of the two countries that have been negotiating for a cease-fire will have no other function than to deliver messages to their states.
It is necessary to declare a strong political will for peace, to keep the channels of dialogue open and to declare to the whole world that this is wanted.
Antalya, one of the most beloved cities in the world by both Ukrainian and Russian people, wishes to bring peace to both the countries and their peoples. This may sound like a naive expectation but it is in fact a real ray of hope.
It is worth remembering that the only winners of battles are blood and tears. Ukraine and Russia will solve this problem by themselves as two countries that have a common history, culture and geography.
As a neighbor who has been supporting both the countries in this regard, Turkey and Antalya are ready to fulfill this hope of providing a solution to the crisis.