Presidents Erdogan, Putin to have first meeting in St. Petersburg

World Today

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is headed to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin.

The first meeting between the two leaders after Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet late last year.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney has more from Istanbul.

The attempt to unseat the Turkish President might just be the key to unlocking tensions between two old friends.

Months of political punches and provocations over the downing of a Russian Jet by the Turkish air force began to subside following an apology by the Turkish President in June.

A visit to Russia by Turkey’s president would have been considered unimaginable just a month ago, but much can change especially when you through an attempted coup in the mix.

The Turkish president has lashed out at the West for failing to offer that “expected response”, even suggesting the U.S. may have had something to do with the coup.

Yet many Western leaders have criticized the government’s post-coup purges, which have seen the suspension, detention or arrest of more than 60,000 people.

While this might signal the start of a new shift in Turkish foreign policy, Moscow is seizing the moment by lifting crippling economic sanctions against Ankara.

Yet the two leader’s opposing views on the conflict in Syria has the potential of jeopardizing their relationship again.

Ankara is becoming increasingly concerned over Moscow and Washington’s mounting support for a Syrian Kurdish group it classifies a terrorist organization and that contentious issues could lead to rematch of political punches.