02:44 GMT +310 December 2018
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    President Erdogan: Time to Patch Up Quarrels

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    Andrew Korybko, Sergey Strokan
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    Hours after deadly terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the crucial step to normalize relations with Russia by holding a phone conversation with President Putin. The move, made seven months after downing of Russian jet coincided with Turkey’s singing of reconciliation agreement with Israel.

    Triple suicide attack at the Istanbul Ataturk airport was followed by Turkish leader’s desperate moves to restore his tarnished image abroad and win back the support of the leading powers which he once lost.

    In a late apology to Moscow over shooting down Russian bomber jet and killing its pilot Oleg Peshkov in November incident that sent bilateral relations to the historic low President Erdogan has sent a letter to President Putin expressing his will to end the crisis. The move was shortly followed by a phone conversation between the two leaders.

    The latest Ankara initiative was made hand in hand with signing of the reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Israel to end six-year period of unprecedented chill in bilateral relations following May, 2010 incident in Mediterranean sea. It is not clear whether two moves of Turkish leadership came as a coordinated effort to reveal a new tendency  or was the initiative  a mere coincidence.

    In an article titled “The violence in Turkey highlights the country’s many conflicts” carried by The Guardian and written by Ranj Alaaldin the publication is unwrapping the riddle of the country “that once prided itself as the Middle East’s pro-western, outward-looking beacon of stability” and ended up as a regional hotbed of tension and a springboard for Islamic militants.

    “Turkey’s government and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the head of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), have invested heavily in the continuing conflict in Syria, devoting considerable resources to the toppling of the Bashar al-Assad regime even when in recent years the international community has opted for a political rather than military settlement to the conflict. Once Syria’s rebellion against the Assad regime became dominated by Islamic fundamentalists, these groups became central to Turkey’s foreign policy objectives”, says the author.

    And here is another quote:

    “Turkey has also become increasingly disconnected from its friends and allies in the international community, which has undermined coordination with Europe on matters of intelligence and security”.

    Vladimir Sotnikov, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies and analysis “Russia-East-West” (studio guest); Sergei Utkin, Head of Department of Strategic Assessment, Center for Situation Analysis, Russian Academy of Sciences (studio guest); Hasan Selim Ozertem, security expert and researcher at Ankara-based think-tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK); and Professor Efraim Inbar, director of Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies commented on the topic.

    Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Turkey, Russia
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