MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in St. Petersburg earlier in the day for talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, in what is his first overseas trip after last month’s failed coup.
"It is good to see [Turkey and Russia] moving closer together after the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey last year. But I do not expect the two nations to grow so close that Russia can offer an alternative to NATO’s security partnership. Turkey is an important NATO partner," Steinmeier told the German newspaper Bild.
Simultaneously, a failed coup attempt in Ankara on July 15 triggered a massive crackdown on the Turkish judiciary, military and media. It cooled Turkey’s relationship with its Western allies who condemned the purge.