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Why Turkey is in crosshairs of Chechen leader

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s latest threats to Ankara have betrayed the undercurrent tensions between Ankara and Moscow that have been simmering for a while. 
Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov casts his ballot as he votes during Russia's presidential election at a polling station in the settlement of Tsentoroy, outside Grozny, March 18, 2018.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia’s Muslim-majority Chechnya region and a loyalist of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has triggered a fresh spat between Turkey and Russia by suggesting to name a park in Chechnya after Turkey’s public enemy No. 1, amid ongoing disagreements between Ankara and Moscow over Syria and Ukraine. According to the sources familiar with the matter, Kadyrov’s hit to Ankara’s sore spot was a manifest of an ongoing face-off between Ankara and the Chechen leader that also involves a Russian spy network that Turkey claimed to have busted in November.

In retaliation to Turkey naming a park after Dzhokhar Dudayev, Chechnya’s pro-independence leader in the 1990s, Kadyrov suggested that a park in Chechnya could be named after Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdish militants fighting against the Turkish government. 

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