Turkey, on Friday had asserted its grave warning to Russia not “to play with fire”, in response to reports that Turkish businessmen had been apprehended by Russian government. Moscow, on the other hand, says, it would defer visa-free travel.
Prior to the hostile confrontations of the two countries, Russia and Turkey has strengthened their relations through trade ties.
However, the incident on Turkey annihilating Russian aircraft near the Syrian border, was a sign of conflict between former Cold War opponents. This would damage the two countries’ relationship.
The hostility between the countries have created discomfort for the world leaders, who are hoping to acquire support and assistance in eliminating the threats caused by the Islamic State in Syria.
Russia and Turkey seems to have different goals in the Syrian conflict. Turkey had long supported the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, and called on Turkey to have re-election. Russia has complicated the the civil war by leading air strikes in support to al-Assad government.
President Erdogan criticized reports that Turkish businessmen have been detained by the Russian government because of the inconsistencies in their travel visa while attending a trade fair in the Russian soil.
The two leaders are now exchanging statements, but may not really bring resolution to the issue. Mr. Erdogan sought to talk with Putin “face-to-face” in Paris at the climate change conference, hoping to resolve the issue. Mr. Putin made it clear that a talk will happen with Erdogan after Turkey had apologized to Russia.
Turkey made it clear that Russia has gone too far, stating, “It is playing with fire to go as far as mistreating our citizens who have gone to Russia”.
However, President Erdogan also wants to keep Turkey’s good relation with Russia, “We really attach a lot of importance to our relations with Russia … We don’t want these relations to suffer harm in any way.”
Although Putin and Erdogan have long shared economic trade, the incident on the downing of the Russian jet would eventually lead to tension.