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Cooperation between Russia and Turkey: Network Exchanges


World geopolitics are always shifting, but a particularly interesting change has recently occurred that will change the balance of power in the Middle East. Russia and Turkey, a NATO ally influential in the region, have recently grown much closer and more cooperative. Although both nations had been at odds with each other after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet back at the end of 2015, their current situations have made it more useful for both nations to make amends rather than continue upholding a hostile outlook towards each other. This is due to a deterioration of relations with the rest of the immediate international community, primarily the United States. Both Turkey and Russia ignited tension with the United States due to their involvement in the Syrian War, with the leader of Turkey also gaining further disapproval due to his use of a coup a few months ago to crackdown on government dissenters.

Turkey and Russia have agreed on the Turkish Stream pipeline, which is a pipeline for going down through the Black Sea. The pipeline would allow Russia to supply gas to nations in Europe even if the routes through other neighboring countries were to be closed off, while lowering natural gas prices for Turkish markets. The two nations have also discussed cooperating in military operations in fighting ISIS on the borders of Turkey. Putin and Erdogan have recently displayed friendliness and cooperation in multiple conferences, showing to the world that Russia and Turkey are not isolated.

The alliances and relationships between nations of the world can definitely be seen as a network, with cooperation between two nations as an exchange. The article exhibits how a change in the network structure can lead to a change in the relative power of the nodes (nations) in the network. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, they have considerable options, both politically and economically, regarding who they can cooperate with, since NATO contains a network of most of the nations of Western Europe and the United States. Thus, Turkey is relatively powerful in the Middle East, especially compared to Russia who is more isolated in terms of connections. However, with Turkeys deterioration of relations with the United States, and thus NATO, Turkey has limited its political options and become more of an isolated entity. By reestablishing good relations between themselves, Turkey and Russia have introduced an edge between them in the network, and they can now strike up better deals along that edge rather than have to bargain against the much more powerful nations of NATO. Through their cooperation, Turkey and Russia have raised their own strength and leverage on the international field.


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October 2016