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    New Balance of Power 'To be Defined Between Trump, Erdogan and Putin'

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    Thursday marked the one year anniversary of Turkey's downing of a Russian Aerospace Forces Su-24 jet in the Syrian sky while it was on an anti-terror mission, which gravely affected relations between the two countries. One year on, Turkish politicians tell Sputnik what helped the two to ease tensions and reset relations after the incident.

    A year ago, on November 24, 2015, a Turkish General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter launched an air-to-air missile at a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 combat aircraft which was on an anti-terror mission in Syrian airspace.

    According to Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Turkey’s F-16 fighters then ambushed the Su-24 in the sky as they were otherwise unable to reach the area on time after taking off from the nearby airfield. He added that the Russian Su-24 was tracked by Turkish Air Force radar for 34 minutes.

    Commander of the Russian jet Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov and navigator Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin managed to eject before the plane hit the ground in an area where fighting raged between the Syrian army and terrorists.

    Peshkov was killed by militants in mid-air after he ejected over jihadist positions. Murakhtin was able to hold out for 12 hours on enemy territory and was eventually rescued by Russian marines and Syrian commandos.

    During the rescue operation Russian marine Alexander Pozynich was killed when one of Russia's helicopters involved in the operation was hit by small arms fire and made an emergency landing on militant-controlled territory.

    The incident greatly deteriorated relations between Ankara and Moscow. Russia was extremely tough in its rhetoric, introduced anti-Turkish sanctions and banned tourism into the country.

    However the two countries later managed to ease tensions and reset the relationship.

    Commenting on the development of ties after the incident, Turkish lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Metin Kulünk told Sputnik Turkiye that the command to shoot down the Russian jet was "part of an operation against both Russia and Turkey."

    "The aerial incident which happened on November 24 last year was part of an operation directed against two states which historically have had very close ties with each other," he told Sputnik.

    "While setting up a new world order, the global system is trying to split Turkey and Russia.  This is because the center of power, which is located across the Atlantic, does not wish to put up with the existence of another power which could become its competitor," the politician explained.

    He further explained that the system that the center of power has set up for Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and tried to impose on Russia and Turkey, has been wisely rejected by Presidents Putin and Erdogan.

    The two leaders have demonstrated their political will to settle the relationship between the two countries.

    "The level of cooperation the two countries have so far reached in terms of the economy, energy infrastructure and the defense industry bears a very important meaning both to the region and to the process of shaping of a new world balance of power,"  Metin Kulünk said.

    The key players of the global system have been demonstrated that it is impossible to renew the global system without Russia and Turkey, the politician said.

    "The way the world moves in the foreseeable future, especially after the election of Donald Trump, will be defined by the balance of power between Trump, Erdogan and Putin," he told Sputnik.

    The politician explained that the West was forced to abandon its idea to set up a new world system to its own template. Meanwhile, international trade is once again turning to the East, which is becoming a key region in the new century.

    In a separate comment on the issue, Vice-chairman of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party  Öztürk Yılmaz told Sputnik  that the two countries should closely cooperate on securing the territorial integrity of the Syrian state and searching for ways to settle the Syrian crisis.

    The two countries could also cooperate in setting the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. And thirdly, there are vast opportunities for further cooperation between Ankara and Moscow in the Central Asia.

    "We regard Russia as our reliable partner, thus we prefer adhering to principles of partnership, to consensus and respect of mutual interests and not though a stand-off," he told Sputnik.

    The politician added that the main aim of Ankara is to dynamically develop cooperation in such spheres as trade, tourism, mutual investments, student exchange, etc. as it answers the interests of both countries.

    Related:

    Turkish-Russian Ties to Deepen Amid Improving Relations - Deputy Prime Minister
    Level of Russian-Turkish Relations Still Not Fully Restored - Turkish FM
    Tags:
    incident, downing, Su-24, bilateral relations, Öztürk Yılmaz, Metin Kulünk, Syria, Turkey, Russia
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