I’m not very familiar with the history between Turkey and Russia, but there appears to have been some strife many years ago. In recent history, many people of the FSU world travel to Turkey for a quick and cheap vacation. That will change if Turkey takes any action against Russia.
As far as history goes, there were generations of bloody warfare between the Russian and Ottoman empires. At least three of the striking cathedrals in St. Peterburg were erected or dedicated to honor Russia's battlefield conquests against the Ottoman empire or other Turkic peoples.
One of these cathedrals has a column of impressive height, that is a precise replica of its original made from from 140 barrels of Turkish cannon captured as trophies in a battle that took place near present-day Moldova. (The Soviets sold the first monument to Germany -- perhaps some of those Turkish barrels came back to the USSR in the form of Nazi artillery shells).
“While the world watches Crimea, Putin is still planning for the Republic of Moldova to join Russia's Customs Union. Pressure from Moscow is high - and might be enough to scrap Moldova's EU Association Agreement.”
“First, Russia limited wine imports from Moldova. Then, of the roughly half a million Moldovans working there, it denied work visas to 20,000.
Now, it seems Moscow is moving from sticks to carrots in its attempt to persuade Moldova to rethink an upcoming EU Association Agreement: As of February, the Gagauz, an ethnic minority, have been preparing a popular protest against the EU deal - and seem to be winning Moscow's favor for their efforts.
Previously, Moldova had been considered a safe candidate for an EU Association Agreement. Located between Romania and Ukraine, it is supposed to sign the contract with the EU this summer - despite its "frozen conflict" in the separatist region of Transnistria.
That region is increasingly demanding to join the Russian Federation outright - or, at the very least, to join its Customs Union. One hundred kilometers (62 miles) south of Molodva's capital, Chisinau, economic relations to Russia, it seems, are more important than EU trade.”
European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle believes that due to the situation in Ukraine EU may consider an issue on enlargement.
The European Commission confirms its offer on admission of Ukraine into the EU, Deutsche Welle reports.
“If we want to change this part of Eastern Europe that faced the recent events, we should use the most powerful instrument of the policy, which EU has – it is enlargement. It has unprecedented efficient and stabilizing force”, - said European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in an interview to Die Welt German newspaper.
"Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has criticised Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea as setting a 'bad precedent', but said that the territory was now 'de facto' a part of Russia.
Speaking to reporters in Minsk on Sunday, Lukashenko, a close ally of Russia, said that Ukraine, which shares a long land border with Belarus, should remain 'a single, indivisible, integral, non-bloc state.'"
For those not familiar with Belarus: Lukashenko's dictatorship is perhaps the nearest the world has to last century's totalitarian states, except for North Korea. Belarus is Russia's most dependable ally, usually marching in lock-step with Putin. Belarus was the first to join with Russia in the "customs union" Putin wants to extend to all of the former Soviet republics.
When Russia stole a large part of Georgia's territory in 2008, Belarus (like all the other former republics) saw the writing on the wall: what Russia has done to one neighbor, it can do to another. At that time, Belarus simply remained silent -- and Moscow noticed. The Kremlin expressed its "disappointment" at the lack of a public endorsement from Belarus.
For Lukashenko to come out and make an explicitly critical statement, is (in my opinion) very strong. Will it make any practical difference? Perhaps not. But if Putin retains any wisdom, maybe he will remember that if even your best friend tells you that what you are doing is wrong, it is time to reconsider.
It's probably much too late now, but I wish that after the rape of Georgia, the former Republics (excluding Russia!) had considered a mutual-defense union, specifically NOT aligned with the west and NATO.
Such a union would be militarily weak, of course, but its psychological power might have been useful -- and it wouldn't allow Russia's famous paranoia about Western encirclement* to provide a pretext for aggression.
* NATO is very much a defensive union. It has intervened in small countries, but only to break up massive internal bloodshed. And its interventions have never involved the theft of even an acre of land, or other national assets. I don't think that even the stupidest drunk in the Kremlin really believes that NATO is going to invade Russia, but they pretend to be threatened so their bullying will look noble.
My fantasized mutual-defense union for the former republics (other than Russia) of course doesn't exist, and isn't going to. The idea of it being separate from NATO is that Russians fear NATO (or at least, pretend to fear it) -- and this fear supposedly motivates Russian aggresssion (or at least, gives a "cover story" for Russian aggression).
A defense union seperate from NATO would not provide as much supposed provocation.
I never saw the "No NATO" shirts, and didn't really discuss NATO with Ukrainians. When I first started visiting Ukraine about 10 years ago, it seemed to me that Ukraine had mixed feelings about joing NATO; and that even if Ukraine wanted to, it would have to do a LOT of work to qualify for membership.
My guess is that even in Ukraine had decided that it wanted to join NATO, and Russia hadn't just raped and mutilated Ukraine's territory, Ukraine probably could not have qualified for membership before 2040.
That's why I think that when Putin talks about NATO (as a justification for stealing Crimea, for example), it's another one of his filthy lies*: a lame pretext to cover his true motivations and intentions.
* "We had invade Crimea immediately, because Ukraine MIGHT have decided it wanted to join NATO, and MIGHT have actually joined within 20 years. An emergency!"