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Little has changed between Turkey, Russia despite reconciliation

Turkey’s economy has not seen the benefits from normalizing bilateral ties with Russia as Ankara tries to speed up the pace of economic fence mending.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via REUTERS      ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSRO2X
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After Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet along the Syrian border on Nov. 24, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of “serious consequences for Russia's relationship with Turkey.” He described the incident as a “stab in the back,” sending a message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he saw the downing of the plane as a betrayal. Russia soon slapped economic sanctions on Turkey, and the $38 billion trade volume between the two countries began to shrink. Turkey was seriously hurt, as many sectors of its economy ran into a wall.

Seven months later, on June 27, 2016, Erdogan sent a letter of apology to Putin, setting off the normalization process that would bring the two leaders together in St. Petersburg on Aug. 9. Because the meeting opened a new chapter in bilateral ties, the way in which the two leaders addressed each other escaped no one's attention. While Erdogan repeatedly called Putin “my dear friend” and an “esteemed statesman,” Putin responded only with “Mr. Erdogan.” Similarly, the Turkish leader pledged to “rapidly take relations back to their level before Nov. 24, 2015, and even further,” while Putin said that restoring ties to their pre-crisis level “will take time.”

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