epa04510989 A handout picture provided by Turkish Presidential Press Office shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) chatting before a press conference in the new presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, 01 December 2014. Putin and Erdogan began a meeting in Ankara to discuss their often opposing views on the crisis in Syria, the Islamic State threat and gas supplies to Turkey. Russia agreed to send more gas to Turkey and charge 6 per cent less for the energy, starting in January. Putin is on a one-day official visit to Turkey.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES  EPA/TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT

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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