Despite mutual hatred, Erdogan and Putin renew relationship, here's why.
So what's behind the making up and renewed “honey moon” between Turkey and Russia? Despite Erdogan's and Putin's mutual dissatisfaction with one another, and some would go further and describe as mutual hatred, Turkey needs Russia and Russia needs Turkey. Just a reminder, Erdogan shot down Russia's warplane last year, prompting Putin to stated that Turkey "backstabbed Russia" and is helping ISIS and that Erdogan and even his family are ISIS collaborators and are buying oil directly from ISIS. However, Turkey and Russia had agreed to reinstate their annual bilateral trade target of $100 billion, Erdogan said, which had been abandoned after Russia imposed the sanctions. Before the Turkey shot down Russia's SU24 warplane last year, Turkish Russian trade was around $60 billion a year. After the plane incident that figure went down to around $6 billion a year, hurting both Turkey's and Russia's economies. Cooperation between Russia and Turkey would be increased on projects including a planned $20 billion gas pipeline and a nuclear power plant to be built in Turkey by the Russians. Russian tourism revenue, a mainstay of the Turkish economy, has been hit hard by an 87 percent dive in Russian visitors in the first six months of the year, causing Turkey losses estimated in billions of dollars in lost revenue. This rapprochement between Russia and Turkey comes in a time where Turkey's relationship with the EU and the US are at their lowest point in years, with Erdogan greatly dissatisfied with the western response for the failed military coup, and with some officials in the Turkish administration even going as far as blaming the US in orchestrating the failed military coup attempt in Turkey.