Although many policymakers and commentators in the West tend to see Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin as often working together, history shows us that the natural state of affairs between Russia and Turkey is one of competition, confrontation, and even conflict.
Recent geopolitical events remind us of this. The aftermath of the second Karabakh War has brought about a rivalry between Moscow and Ankara in the South Caucasus not seen since the 19th century. Russian and Turkish competition and confrontation can also be found in Syria and in Libya. However, there is another area to keep an eye on that serves as a historical and cultural fault line of Turkish and Russian geopolitical rivalry: the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia located in southern Moldova.