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With ties with West strained, Turkey gets lifeline from Poland

Drawing on his rapport with the Polish president and a landmark drone deal with Warsaw, Erdogan seems to be aiming at two goals — strengthening his hand in NATO and having a close ally within the European Union. 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) welcomes Poland's President Andrzej Duda (R) ahead of their meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, on May 24, 2021.
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For those familiar with why Istanbul happens to have a “Polish village,” Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit to the picturesque neighborhood this week was loaded with symbolism evoking the historical legacy that connects Turkey and Poland.

The “Polish village” — or Polonezkoy in Turkish — was founded in 1842 by Polish exiles who took refuge with the Ottomans in the hope of organizing Poland’s independence struggle after its invasion by Russia, Austria and Prussia. Their leader, Michal Czajkowski, who became known as Mehmet Sadik Pasha after converting to Islam, led an 8,000-strong regiment in the Ottoman army, which, in coalition with the British and the French, defeated Russia in the 1853-56 Crimean War.

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