OWEN MATTHEWS – Erdoğan and Putin reignite the bromance

ISTANBUL — The long-standing friendship between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is due to resume after a 10-month interruption as the two strongmen meet for a summit in St. Petersburg Tuesday.

Relations between the presidents of Russia and Turkey have been frayed since last November when Turkish F-16s downed a Russian bomber that strayed over the Syrian-Turkish border. But now, after a period of mutual hostility that included a ban on Russian tourists visiting Turkey, both combative leaders realize that more unites them than divides them — and that it’s time to rekindle an alliance based on defiance of the West.

The chief driver of this Russo-Turkish reset is last month’s failed military coup against Erdoğan. In the aftermath of the attempted putsch by discontented elements in the army, Erdoğan has gone on the rhetorical warpath against alleged backers of the coup in the West.

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