The “Times” wonders, was Putin able to turn Erdogan away from the West?; report writers “Hannah Lucinda Smith and Burhan Yuksekkas” say, on November 2015 Turkish fighter pilots shot down a Russian jet close to the Syrian boarders, and the dispute between Moscow and Ankara was very sharp.
But in less than a year, Putin had used the crisis skillfully to prevent the export of Turkish agricultural products to his country, destroying the trade of many tomato farmers, whose most of their income depended on exporting their crops to Russia.
The newspaper adds that “Putin” significantly reduced the number of tourists from his country to Turkey, and his goal behind these sanctions was to change the direction of Turkey from the West and NATO and turn its destination towards Moscow.
Since bridging the gap with Turkey in 2016, Putin has taken advantage of political events to create a rift between Ankara and NATO.
The failed coup attempt against Erdogan and the delay in European and American support for the Turkish president allowed Putin to come close to Erdogan.
According to the newspaper, with the start of the US withdrawal from Syria, Russia and Turkey came close to Iran to have the upper hand in Syria.
With the delivery of the S-400 Russian-made missile defense system to Turkey, Erdogan’s conflicting loyalties with the West and Russia reached a critical point.
The newspaper added that US President Trump said that he excluded Turkey from the program “F-35” fighter jets of NATO sanctions on Ankara may follow that procedure.
The newspaper concludes that: “Erdogan” presents the purchase of the Russian missile defense system as a defensive action, accusing the United States to harbor the failed coup attempt plotters against him, while he believes that Russia helped him to collect evidences against those who tried to coup against him.