The concept in this situation is rather clear. Turkey offers to buy the Mistrals from France that are currently slated for Russia but held up due Putin’s incursion into Ukraine.
These ships would bring several benefits. Turkey obtains amphibious capability to project force onto Mediterranean and Black Sea Shores i.ee Libya, Crimea, Ukraine and eastern Mediterranean where the recent gas discoveries have been shaping a new geopolitical cloud.
In its endeavor to buy Mistrals, Turkey is seen to be helping its NATO allies and France by purchasing the ships. It will save about 1000 jobs in France and save working capital. In the purchasing agreement, France would probably offer attractive financing terms if the sale should go through. Turkey will also take a credible position in economic warfare with allies versus the Russians. Should the deal not go through, Turkey will obtain the diplomatic benefits and goodwill in West.
Another benefit would be for domestic consumption in Turkey as evidence that His Excellency Prime Minister is endeavoring to take concrete steps to expand the Turkish sphere of influence into former Ottoman lands along the Black Sea and Mediterranean. Turkey will be seen as staking out new territories while other people are looking at old maps. This is certainly the case regarding the Sykes Picot frontiers where the maps in Middle East will mostly likely be redrawn.
* Altan Ergun is a global investor with a keen interest in geopolitics.
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