Russia and Turkey Make Nice

by Nick Danforth and Chris Miller, for Foreign Affairs

With U.S.-Turkish relations at their lowest point in decades, Turkey’s president flew to St. Petersburg on Tuesday to meet with his Russian counterpart. As both men were eager to announce, the summit will almost certainly help usher in a new period of Russian-Turkish rapprochement. But, whatever observers might hope or fear, there is little reason to think that the occasion heralds a major realignment in Turkish foreign policy.

Following the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15, the Turkish media has been quick to contrast Russia’s enthusiastic support for Turkey’s elected government with the more restrained response from Western politicians and press. Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on July 16, and Russian papers promoted the (false) story that Russian intelligence had saved Erdogan’s life by giving him advanced warning of the plot. U.S. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, did not...

chris miller