Turkey Has Fought Russia 16 Times In The Past, Will Do It Again If Need Be: Erdogan Foreign Affairs Advisor

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Turkey Has Fought Russia 16 Times In The Past, Will Do It Again If Need Be: Erdogan Foreign Affairs Advisor

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On February 28th, Mesut Hakki Casin, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey had “fought Russia 16 times in the past, we will do it again.”

Mesut Hakki Casin, a professor at Istanbul’s Yeditepe University and a member of the foreign affairs board that advises Erdogan, said 25 million Muslims live in Russia.

He said Russia will be “dismembered from within,” according to a tweet posted by Ahval.

Russia is sending two warships carrying Kalibr cruise missiles to the Mediterranean Sea toward the Syrian coast amid mounting tensions between Russia, Turkey and Syria over the Syrian province of Idlib, the Russian Navy said on February 28th.

Turkey has sent thousands of troops and military hardware into Syria as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned of a full-scale offensive unless Russia-backed Syrian forces pulled back from Turkish observation posts in the region.

Regardless, below is a dissection of the claim by Casin, and a review of the past Russian-Turkish wars and how they went. Officially there’s been 12 wars between Russia and the Ottoman Empire/Turkey since the 16th century.

  1. First Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1568-1570 and ended in Russian victory;
  2. Second Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1676-1681 and ended in an undecided victory, but Turkish expansionism was put on hold, so it could be deemed that Russia got the upper hand in the end;
  3. Third Russo-Turkish War, which is a subset of the Great Turkish War: took place between 1686-1700 and ended in Habsburg, Polish-Lithuanian, Russian, and Venetian victory;
  4. Fourth RussoTurkish War: took place between 1710-11 and ended in Ottoman victory;
  5. Fifth Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1735-39 and ended in an undecided state, with both the Ottoman and Russia receiving some concession as a result;
  6. Sixth Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1768-74, ended in Russian victory;
  7. Seventh Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1787-92 and ended in Russian victory;
  8. Eighth Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1806-12 and ended in Russian victory;
  9. Ninth Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1828-29 and ended in Russian victory;
  10. Crimean War: took place between 1853-56 and ended in victory for the Ottoman, British, French and Piedmontese;
  11. Tenth Russo-Turkish War: took place between 1877-78 and ended in Russian and allied victory;
  12. World War I: between 1914-18 and ended in German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman victory against Russia (not as victors of the war itself). It is deemed as a victory for the side that officially lost in World War I specifically because of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed on March 3rd 1918 and then subsequently the Treaty of Kars, signed on October 13th, 1921. Russian territory gained in 1878 was receded to the Ottoman Empire with the Treaty of Kars. Prior to that, in the Brest-Litovsk treaty, Russia ceded hegemony over the Baltic states to Germany; they were meant to become German vassal states under German princelings. Russia also ceded its province of Kars Oblast in the South Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire and recognized the independence of Ukraine. Thus, despite Germany and co. losing World War I, Russia left the war with a peace treaty prior to its end and made quite a few concessions.

In addition, there were strained relations during World War II and the Korean War, as well as throughout the Cold War.

But the record shows that, unless Turkey receives help from Britain and France, it is unlikely to come out on top in a possible conflict. And currently NATO appears rather wary of providing anything more than words of encouragement to Turkey in its antagonism of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Russia.

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