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Erdogan’s dance with Putin: Humiliating, but face-saving

The facts on the ground achieved by the Russian-backed Syrian regime on the battlefield in northern Syria were imposed upon Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

In Turkish, there is a saying which can roughly translate as “How you will end up on Thursday looks clear enough on Wednesday.”

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his entourage of senior officials headed to Moscow on March 5, their expectation was to achieve a quick cease-fire in Syria’s rebel bastion of Idlib. They had expressed this desire the previous day. Many Turkey experts and pundits predicted that Erdogan’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin would produce a temporary deal that could be face-saving for Erdogan without Syria having the military gains achieved on the Idlib battlefield reversed in favor of Turkey and its Syrian proxies. 

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