Russian President Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then Turkey's prime minister, in Istanbul, December 2012.
Osman Orsal / REUTERS

Turkey's normalization of ties with Russia in late June was a rare bit of good news for the country. Under the pressure of a wave of terrorist attacks by Kurdish guerrillas and the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS; a massive influx of Syrian refugees; mounting economic problems compounded by Russian sanctions; and growing friction with the European Union and the United States, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to have decided that his country could no longer afford a cold war with Moscow.

By apologizing for Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015, Erdogan paved the way for the

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