Erdogan meets with Putin for first time since Russian warplane downed.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – On his first foreign visit after Turkey’s failed coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for inviting him for talks Tuesday aimed at repairing ties shattered by Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane along the Syrian border last year.
The downing of the Russian jet in November, which Putin described as a “treacherous stab in the back,” came amid boiling tensions over Syria, where Moscow and Ankara back opposing sides in the war. Russia promptly cut ties with Turkey over the incident, banned Turkish vegetables, restricted Russian tourists’ access to Turkey and blocked some Turkish companies from working on the Russian market.
Erdogan in June sent a letter to Putin with a long-anticipated apology for Turkey’s downing of the jet, setting the scene for the meeting Tuesday at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg.
Opening the talks, Putin said he was “glad” to be seeing Erdogan again and praised his visit as Turkey’s commitment to repair the soured ties.