The Power of Apology

Jun 28, 2016 | 02:50 GMT
The Power of Apology
An apology by Turkish Preisdent Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane opens the door to negotiations on a number of fronts.
(CHRIS MCGRATH/Getty Images)

Nearly three years after Turkey secured an apology from Israel for the boarding of the Mavi Marmara off Gaza, the two sides finally normalized ties June 26, thus enabling the two strategic powers to restore a working relationship at a time of great geopolitical stress in the region. Less expected but more significant, the Kremlin announced June 27 that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a letter apologizing for the downing of a Russian Su-24 military aircraft near Turkey’s border with Syria. The Russians had long insisted on the apology as a prerequisite for restoring ties. With the apology out of the way, important issues ranging from Turkish facilitation of a NATO naval presence on the Black Sea to Russia's blocking of Turkey's position in Syria can be negotiated. Deeply divergent interests, however, will limit Turkish-Russian relations....

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