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    Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Constantine Palace.

    Erdogan 'Makes Pivot to Russia' as West Failed to Support Turkey After Coup

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    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making every effort to improve relations with Russia because Western leaders did not provide Ankara the support it needed following an unsuccessful military take-over on July 15, political analyst Erel Tellal told Sputnik.

    Ankara's relations with Moscow were improving even before the botched coup, but the failed putsch appears to have accelerated rapprochement culminating in Russian President Vladimir Putin holding talks with his Turkish counterpart in Saint Petersburg on August 9.

    "Erdogan's visit came at a time when both Turkey and Russia are going through a rough patch in their relations with the West," the analyst observed. Erdogan "opted for a pivot to Russia when he did not receive the backing from the West he was hoping for following the coup attempt."

    Putin and Erdogan announced that both countries were ready to restore relations, but Ankara wants to speed up this process, Öztürk Yılmaz, deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), told Sputnik.

    "The Turkish president wants to improve relations with Russia in all key spheres as soon as possible to put an end to Turkey's isolation in the international arena," the former Turkish diplomat said. "For his part, Putin has been more reserved."

    Yılmaz also noted that Russia is Turkey's "most important strategic partner," but added that Ankara's "multi-vector" foreign policy should not be viewed in terms of either-or since Turkey's relations with Russia and the West do not automatically cancel each other out.

    The politician maintained that Turkey's rapprochement with Russia will be a gradual process.

    Political analyst Baris Doster was more cautious in his assessment of recent developments.

    "I don't think that Turkey's warming relations with Russia will instantly transform into a strategic partnership and lead to a dramatic alienation from the West," he told Sputnik. "These processes take time and current Turkish leadership will shy away from these decisions."

    In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, smoke rises over Saif Al Dawla district, in Aleppo, Syria
    © AP Photo / Manu Brabo, File
    In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, smoke rises over Saif Al Dawla district, in Aleppo, Syria

    Yılmaz also mentioned the Syrian conflict, saying that a "very interesting balance of power" could emerge in Syria taking into account Turkey's strained relations with the US and the West following the unsuccessful coup attempt, as well as Ankara's "dramatic pivot to and rapprochement with Russia" with regard to the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Turkey has long supported radical groups who are trying to overthrow Assad, while Russia has always maintained that Syrian people are the only ones who can determine the fate of their country through democratic and all-inclusive elections.

    Yılmaz flayed the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party for its strategy in Syria, saying that it was "wrong from start to finish." Ankara, he said, "is currently trying to sail against the wind in Syria. We are convinced that Turkey needs to change its policy, abandon 'Assad phobia' and finally focus on its own interests."

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    Tags:
    talks, bilateral relations, Syrian conflict, coup attempt in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, Turkey, Russia
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