Putin and Erdoğan: an alliance of convenience?
Putin and Erdoğan have met for talks in Sochi. Ankara insisted on the meeting after Russian warplanes intensified their attacks on pro-Turkish militias in the Syrian province of Idlib in recent weeks - despite the ceasefire that the two parties agreed on in March 2020. Journalists are already analysing the encounter even though no concrete results have been announced so far.
Not a true bromance
Polityka does not believe the two countries will join forces:
“In Syria, Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides. In Libya, Turkey supports government forces, while Russia backs General Khalifa Heftar. And in Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey was behind Azerbaijan's victory last summer in a conflict with Armenia, an ally of Russia. And worse still, the Kremlin was forced to merely observe the blitzkrieg and only emerged as a mediator towards the end of the escalation. Karabakh was a slap in the face - Turkey invaded Russia's sphere of influence and also changed the balance of power. ... No matter how much the media focus on the bromance between Putin and Erdoğan, in reality it is more about tactics. ... Ankara is not an equal partner of Moscow, but it has had good cards lately.”
At least there's a productive dialogue
Commenting in Izvestia, Turkologist Yuri Mavashev praises the two presidents for continuing the efforts to find a joint approach despite their conflicts of interest:
“The tense situation in Idlib called for operational intervention. ... But also as regards Afghanistan, the positions of the Russian and Turkish leaderships do not seem to coincide. Russia has a constructive and pragmatic dialogue with the Taliban based on recognition of the facts, and Ankara clearly has difficulties on that score. ... In short, there is still plenty of antagonism in Russian-Turkish relations, and new disputes cannot be ruled out. Nevertheless, despite international pressure, they are moving forward - which is more than can be said of the dialogue between Ankara and Washington.”
Biden to blame for being sidelined
It's the US president's fault that Erdoğan is now talking to Putin on his own, comments the pro-government daily Star:
“One could say that compared to the previous ones, this summit is the most important so far and will influence the direction of global politics. For it is taking place at a difficult time, which is a consequence of the fact that Biden already began provoking Erdoğan a year before his election as president. He announced that Erdoğan should be pushed out of government by cooperating with opposition forces inside Turkey. In the nine months since he took office, Biden has stuck to this position. For this reason, Erdoğan declared last week on his flight back from New York that his relations with Biden are worse than they ever were with former US presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump.”