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Why Russia’s Vladimir Putin is rooting for Turkey’s Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s "pro-Russian tilt" has grown louder in recent weeks, as Vladimir Putin clearly looks for Erdogan to stay in power.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces the biggest challenge to his nearly two decades of uninterrupted rule as galloping inflation, a wilting national currency and resentment toward Syrian migrants sap his popularity — and one world leader is watching closely: Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Recent opinion polls consistently suggest that if elections were held today, Erdogan would lose in a run-off with any of the main opposition candidates being touted as potential rivals and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) would lose its parliamentary majority. As its invasion of Ukraine lurches from bad to horrible and international sanctions start to bite, Erdogan’s friendship is growing ever more important for Putin, multiple commentators say. While the conventional wisdom among many Western observers is that Erdogan is unlikely to lose or let himself lose parliamentary and presidential elections that are due to be held concurrently by June 2023, the mere possibility that he might is unsettling for Putin.

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