How does official Russian strategy view Turkey from military standpoint?

I'm looking for views that are officially published, such as position papers, official military/strategic doctrine documents, public statements by high level government/military officials, articles in "voice of government/military" publications etc...?

Time frame is post-2010, the later the better (basically anything that is informed by Edrogan's rise to power and his transformation of Turkey away from Ataturkish society).

One of the (but not the sole) reason for my interest is the rather vocal position that Stratfor always took on the topic of Turkey's potential to rise to a hegemonic regional, if not global, power, and the fact that their geopolitical interests in many ways are at contradiction to that of Russia (even aside from NATO angle).

  • 2
    Obvious strategic interest: the straight of Istanbul is the only access to the Black Sea and Russia's only real way to the Mediterranean. Sep 12, 2017 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


    For obvious reasons, Russia would not publish its official strategy or military doctrine for Turkey. Yet, there are some semi-official publications on the matter,of which I included a few below(in Russian language). Basic Russian outlook on Turkey has not changed from Soviet times, i.e. Russia and Turkey are potential adversaries . Reasons for that are multiple:

  1. Turkey is still member of NATO (an inherently anti-Russian organization)
  2. Russia and Turkey have very different ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  3. Turkey controls entrance to Black Sea which is vital to Russia
  4. Russia and Turkey have different interests in Middle East (Syria above all)
  5. Russia and Turkey are historical adversaries.

    Still, recently Russia has gone out of its way to appease Turkey, despite heavy Turkish provocations like shooting down Russian Su-24 over Syria, killing of Russian ambassador in Ankara, practically invading Syria (Russian ally) and arming groups that fight both against the Syrian government(Russia endorsed belligerent) and Russian troops in Syria. This is purely pragmatical for the Russian side - Russia already has lots of enemies including Turkey, not rising diplomatic tensions with them could only be seen as beneficial.

    It is worth mentioning that Erdogan (Turkish president) with his nationalistic and moderate Islamic views represent a wild card in relations with the Western globe of influence(that is seen as the de facto "enemy" of Russia historically). In fact, there were even rumors that the recent military coup attempt against him was silently endorsed by the US, and that Moscow helped him by warning him a few days ahead. If this is even partially true, Russia could count on political goodwill with Turkey while he stays in power.

Turkey between West and East

Soviet army poster about Turkish army

Recent semi-official article concerning among other things relations between Russia and Turkey

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    Can you please include relevant quotes and titles of publication? I'm fluent in Russian so they don't need to be translated, but links tend to degrade
    – user4012
    Sep 14, 2017 at 14:00
  • @user4012 Just one quote but very relevant: "Турция является членом североатлантического альянса, и таким образом, у российского президента теперь есть "друг" в лагере противника" . In first link (PDF) you have names of publications and other metadata.
    – rs.29
    Sep 15, 2017 at 6:38

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