Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin this week in a series of talks which aim to repair the recently destroyed relationship between the two nations.
The relationship split last November after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that it claimed illegally entered Turkish airspace. Prior to this event the two nations were at odds with each other over positioning in the Syrian conflict, with Russia backing the Syrian government and Turkey backing the US led coalition.
Though repairs have already begun, the sundering of ties quickly led to sanctioning against one another and the breaking down of lucrative trade deals which negatively affected both nations. As a result the upcoming talks will likely further ease the trading relationship between them.
Additionally, Since July 15ths failed attempt to overthrow Erdogan’s government, Turkish relations with the United States and Europe have become increasingly complicated.
Concerning the US, Turkey is demanding the extradition of the US based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it believes to be behind the coup, saying that failure to do so will have lasting consequences for their relations. The US is demanding a list of charges and evidence of the clerics involvement in the coup before it will extradite him.
Some Turkish officials have accused the United States of being behind the coup attempt and criticised the US for showing a lack of support for the government.
At a rally attended by nearly a million Turks on Sunday -5 million according to the government- Erdogan announced his backing for the return of the death penalty in Turkey, should the parliament vote in favour of it.
The president wants to use the penalty to execute those allegedly responsible for the coup. The decision to reenact the death penalty would fly directly in the face of Turkey’s current attempts to join the EU, which bans it among all member states.
“This will be a historic visit, a new beginning. At the talks with my friend Vladimir, I believe, a new page in bilateral relations will be opened. Our countries have a lot to do together,” Erdogan said in regards to the upcoming talks between the two nations.