Not only do the pasts and motivations of the Russian and Turkish leaders have a great deal in common, but their geopolitical destinies are also deeply intertwined.
(OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Absolute power is both reviled and revered. Most in the West will look aghast at blatant power grabs, smirk at narcissistic acts of self-promotion and regularly admonish leaders engaging in tyrannical behavior. But many others will just as easily look in awe at a leader who embodies sheer power. When a country's politics have been more volatile than just, people will more naturally crave a leader who oozes confidence and manifests strength. They will more willfully submit to propaganda's blinding, wanting to neither see nor hear stories of evil that can tarnish the image they hold of their protector.
This dichotomy defines two highly consequential leaders of our time: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, two men whose pasts and motivations not only have a great deal in common, but whose geopolitical destinies are also deeply intertwined....