Vsevolod Chaplin: ‘While establishing further relations with Erdoğan, the Russian administration needs to get rid of hoary ideas’
Orthodox blogger of Realnoe Vremya about the return of the role of the personality and faith
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent statement that he wanted to topple 'tyrant' Bashar Assad shocked the Russian establishment. While the Kremlin is waiting for some explanation, columnist of Realnoe Vremya, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin thinks that such statements indicate that the role of the personality in history and world politics has come back. Donald Trump has been an illustrative example of that. In a new column especially written for Realnoe Vremya, the churchman told how the line of the Russian administration should look like in the current conditions.
What is behind Erdoğan's statement?
Whether brainy experts can accept it or not, personality is playing a major role in the world politics, including in terms of the emotional, will, spiritual state of certain people, their faith and beliefs. Probably the times when Churchill, Stalin, Hitler's inner world meant more than economic and geopolitical culture-bound concepts are coming back.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent statement about his plans to 'put an end to the rule' of Bashar Assad is a step dictated by that inner world. The step that doesn't stay within a strict rational framework. The Turkish army is having limited success in Syria. There is a fear that Turkish soldiers will contact Russian Aerospace Forces. But it seems that the psychological confirmation of Turkey's role in the Near Eastern macro region is more important for Erdoğan. He is not afraid to be in conflict and start offensive actions for this sake. Some Muslims are waiting for him to build a real state, not a media terrorist Islamic State. It would be quite myopic to ignore these expectations and think that the very Turkish leader doesn't care about them.
'It seems that the psychological confirmation of Turkey's role in the Near Eastern macro region is more important for Erdoğan. He is not afraid to be in conflict and offensive actions for this sake.' Photo: pravda-team.ru
This is why while establishing further relations with Erdoğan, the Russian administration needs to get rid of hoary ideas that everything in politics depends on oil, territories, fight for personal power or aspiration to live to see political pension calmly. Although rationalists denied their significance, stronger and more important factors join the case. Faith, historical ambitions, different cities 'on the summit', that is to say, factors that simultaneously define the construction of personalities and civilisations.
Trump's strong character
Donald Trump is also a psychologically strong character who is ready to start an action. At the same time, the opinion about his frivolous character of his religious faith is partially right. 'In one of the interviews held when the election was about to take place, the president-elect stated: 'I'm a Protestant; I'm a Presbyterian. Most people don't know that. They have no idea. Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they've had in a long time.'
In conflicts, the system of values can prevail over cautiousness and estimation. The choice of the state secretary for the new administration is too difficult for a reason – this person must be not only a link with the external world but also with the republican (and democratic) establishment. At least his ideas and spirits must coincide with the owner of the White House. It seems that Mormon Mitt Romney, who is almost an ideal candidate from a pragmatic point of view, can't do that.
'In the next months, Russia will try to come to an agreement with Trump. And it is not bad because leaders who associate themselves with the 'right' agenda and traditional values have been ruling on both sides of Bering Strait for the first time in the last tens of years.' Photo: thesun.co.uk
In the next months, Russia will try to come to an agreement with Trump. And it is not bad because leaders who associate themselves with the 'right' agenda and traditional values have been ruling on both sides of Bering Strait for the first time in the last tens of years. Psychologically, such people find it easier to understand and accept each other than the couple of traditionalist and liberal does. However, if multiculturalism and tolerance supporters prefer to start a conflict and announce their deep beliefs, people who are for values are more able to express an honest opposition.
By the way, the conflict could have begun in Syria or Ukraine, with debates about NATO or Russian bases in the region. For Trump, principles and psychological attack, especially in emergency cases, can be more important than calculation. We can't help but pay attention to it like in case of Erdoğan.
Our line also needs to be attacking and based on faith, beliefs, will. An attempt to hide intentions, which is good for special service workers or diplomats, can perform a not very good role in the politics of values. To state our own vision of the future without hiding behind common words about 'peace, friendship and fair' is the best way to avoid a big conflict in the future. To tell about the degree of global responsibility of our country, about its especial responsibility among Orthodox countries that were parts of the Russian Empire and the USSR. To tell about the right to protect ethnic compatriots and co-religionists (including traditional Muslims who shares the same religion with our Islamic community). To tell about the importance of appreciation of states with different social orders – from North Korean to Iranian. To say about values that are higher that human rights – even higher than the world. At least, this will allow to avoid accusations of dishonesty and lie in case of aggravation of the situation. Both for Trump and Erdoğan, the argument 'you should have said that before' can be very important internally.