Erdogan Apologizes To Putin Over Death Of Russian Pilot, Calls Russia "Friend", Restores Ties With Israel

Tyler Durden's picture

In two stunning geopolitical developments over the past 24 hours, Turkey - which is finding itself increasingly snubbed by not only Europe but also the US - has pivoted dramatically and shortly after restoring full deplomatic ties with another country that has recently seen the cold shoulder from the Obama administration, namely Israel, moments ago apologized to Russia for last year's downing of a Russian jet which allegedly crossed above its territory as part of the Russian campaign against ISIS.

As RT reports, Vladimir Putin has received a letter in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the death of the Russian pilot who was killed when a Russian jet was downed over the Syrian-Turkish border last November, the Kremlin said. Erdogan expressed readiness to restore relations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Putin and Erdogan, stock photo.

“The head of the Turkish state expressed his deep sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the deceased Russian pilot and said ‘sorry,’” Peskov said.

In his letter, Erdogan called Russia “a friend and a strategic partner” of Ankara, with whom the Turkish authorities would not want to spoil relations.

“We never had a desire or a deliberate intention to down an aircraft belonging to Russia,” the letter read, according to a statement published on the Kremlin website. According to the statement, Erdogan’s letter stressed that “the Turkish side undertook all the risks and made a great effort to recover the body of the Russian pilot from the Syrian opposition, bringing it to Turkey. The organization of the pre-burial procedures was conducted in accordance with all religious and military procedures.”

Erdogan said that Turkey "shares the pain of downed Su-24 pilot's death with his family" and "sees it as Turkey's pain", according to Peskov. Ankara said it treated the family of the dead Russian pilot as if it were a Turkish family and is “ready for any initiatives to relieve the pain and severity of the damage done,” the letter said.

The address by the Turkish leader also informed that a criminal investigation has been launched against the person suspected of killing the Russian pilot, Alparslan Celik, the Kremlin said. In addition, Erdogan expressed readiness to tackle security challenges in the region and fight terrorism together with Moscow, it added.

This takes place just hours after Turkey and Israel agreed to restore full diplomatic ties after more than six years of animosity, clearing the way for renewed cooperation between the U.S. allies and an easing of Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. As the WSJ reported overnight, officials from both countries said late Sunday that negotiators in Rome had reached a deal that will be made public in Jerusalem and Ankara on Monday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Rome to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and discuss the agreement.

Relations collapsed in 2010 after nine Turkish citizens and a Turkish-American were fatally wounded—including one who died years later— during an Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship carrying activists trying to break the blockade and enter Gaza by sea.

At a briefing in Rome on Monday morning with Mr. Kerry, ?the Israeli leader called it an important step toward normalizing relations that would have?”immense implications” for Israel’s economy. He didn’t provide further details but was scheduled to speak at a news conference later in the day.

“It’s a positive step we wanted,” Mr. Kerry said. “We hope it’s the beginning of others.”

The push toward rapprochement came amid security threats to both nations—the Syrian conflict on their borders, the rise of the extremist group Islamic State and what many regional governments view as Iran’s assertive military and political posture.

The deal won’t end the tight controls Israel imposed on Gaza’s borders in 2007 to hold Hamas militarily in check—a concession Turkey had demanded. But, in a compromise that broke a deadlock after months of talks, Turkey will be allowed to send aid to Gaza through the Israeli port of Ashdod and to build a 200-bed hospital, new power plants, residential buildings and other badly needed infrastructure in the war-torn Palestinian enclave.

Israel will also make it possible for Turkey to launch major development projects in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory whose borders are also controlled by Israel, a senior Turkish official said.

“There are absolutely no references to Hamas in the agreement. Turkey will continue supporting the Palestinian state and the people of Palestine... We are pleased to announce that representatives of the Palestinian government and Hamas have voiced their support to Turkey within the context of the negotiations,” the Turkish official said early Monday.

Just as importantly, the two countries will rebuild military and intelligence ties, which grew close in the 1990s and early 2000s, an Israeli official said. They will send ambassadors back to each other’s capitals.

Under the agreement, Israel will set up a $20 million fund to compensate families of those killed and wounded in the 2010 raid, the Israeli official said, and Turkey will ensure that Israeli officials are shielded from prosecution over the incident.

But the real news here is the formation of a new middle-eastern Axis, one which will include not only Turkey, which in recent months has pivoted toward restoring relations with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now includes Israel and most importantly Russia. This will have huge geopolitical implications for not just regional military developments but also for Russian oil transit plans, as the restoration of diplomatic relations with Turkey may mean that the Turkish stream pipeline is once again back online.

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Panic Mode's picture

Fuck me, that's was quick to change color.

NidStyles's picture

He likely realized the whole EU thing wasn't going to happen, so he'd be up against the Bear by himself. Not a good position for any single nation.

Panic Mode's picture

Yeah. EU or Russia? He is not as stupid as he looks. 

nibiru's picture

Guys it is Russia. They are still waiting for their revenge - attack on stock exchange? Energy infrastructure? Maybe some evidence about ISIS + Turkey submitted at the UN meeting?

Wait and observe - this is the tactic of Putin now and he will do this when Erdogan least expect it!


santafe's picture
santafe (not verified) nibiru Jun 27, 2016 9:10 AM

Turkey restores ties with Israel because the Ashkenazi Jews are a Turkic People like the Turks.

Dr. Spin's picture

Erdogan is a complete megalomaniac.  I expect he got an offer he couldn't refuse...


fockewulf190's picture

No.  He didn´t get what was offered to him from Merkel.  Plus Oreo and Lurch are complete idiots.  Always a factor.

BuddyEffed's picture

The Israel make nice makes sense since there is evidence Turkey may have been back dooring oil to there.
And I'll bet we hear little more of Turkey unleashing a million migrants on Europe, now that the immigration and refugees issue has helped to cause unintended consequences in brexit.
The brexit uncertainty will force the powers that be to give as much appearance of stability as possible. Hence the Russia make nice too. I'll surmise that Russian sanctions get lowered ASAP too.
And the 3 billion for Turkey because of immigrants is a hot button issue to back burner or forget about too.
TPTB may have finally gotten the same surprise that a kid poking at a hornets nest gets when the hornets get wary.

BobEore's picture

Too easy.

The Khazars - as with every "horde" which came out of east Asia in sequence through long centuries, were a confederation of tribes which had a top echelon of the conquering one, and a melange of the conquered ones. As with empires like that of the Kushanas, Epthalites, Avars, and later, the Mongols, the genetic makeup was so variable as to be impossible to chararcterize in terms of "racial" category. Genghis Khan himself had red hair - his mother was a Nestorian Christian.

Likewise many of the Khazar ancestors of the Ashkenazi of today had red hair and blue eyes. Seljuk Turks - newly arrived at the time, became a more or less mercenary appendage to the Khazar military - and in time a part of the mix there. Certainly not the predominant element.

Likewise, the present day people of Anatolia are not predominately "Turkish" - that is a lie and a fantasy upon which a republic was established to replace the multi-ethnic - multi-cultural Ottoman Empire. The genetic roots of the people are truly diverse - Armenian, Greek and Kurd only the most visibly known rootstock. Lydians, Lycians, Hurrian, Assyrians, Laz, Circassians, even Gauls - the true melting pot of the middle east which the current regime wishes to turn into one insipid mongrel race. It won't work.

The tiny terror state and the tin pot caliph are joined at the hip - and lip now, but both due to sip the same draught of hemlock which comes inevitably to all who use oppression of others as a tool to their hegemony. Won't be long!

This is what really ties the two together - not DNA

“For a land to be a country, it needs the blood of martyrs.” Recip Tayyip Erdogan


DieselChadron's picture

Yeah, no.  Notice the pope just called the Armenian slaughter by the ottoman empire a genocide and erdogen responds by calling the pope a crusader?  Erdogan is now a marked man.  He's desperately trying to reconcile with Syria and Russia for protection.  So, now PUTIN GETS DAT ASS

BlindMonkey's picture

"this is the tactic of Putin now and he will do this when Erdogan least expect it!"


I would suspect that the Turkstream project talks will be back on the table momentarily and that Turkey will stop funneling war into Syria.


With the crack up of the EU a very real possibility, Erdogan has no interest in having the refugees STAY in Turkey.

BuddyEffed's picture

And yet he and his powers that be masters dont want to push Europe over the edge with more refugees either.
The migrants and refugees were just too much for Europe to stomach and that issue was a straw that helped to break the same back TPTB were pissing down on and telling them "it's just raining"

QuiteVoiceFromRussia's picture

> Guys it is Russia. They are still waiting for their revenge

I disagree. Turkey would have less problems, Russian sancitons would be lifted, Turkey will get Russian pipline and probaly Iranian one. Unless Ergoan try to oversmart Putin things mostly would be fine for him.

HowdyDoody's picture

The real test - will the Turks put the (alleged, but self-incriminated) murderers on trial? The pilot and the Turkman?


Max UK's picture

No point. They would just frame some poor guy, it would be a show trial in keeping with the absolute lack of integrity of the Erdogan regime.

Erdogan himself probably still secretly celebrates the downing of the Russian jet, as an act of Turkish virility and heroism. He woud never put the real 'patriots' on trial, who were anyway just following orders.

On that last point, it underlines the disgusting dishonesty and hypocrisy of his 'apology.'

Ghordius's picture

yeah, sure, this has everything to do with the EU /S

you guys know that the Russian-Turkish (and before, Russian-Osmanic) relations are a little bit older then the EU? or the US?

peddling-fiction's picture

Poor GhordEUs, he cannot see what everybody else sees.

Or maybe he does, but is not allowed to write about it.

Good luck lefty...

Ghordius's picture

well, you truly have me there. Turkey and Russia kissing up... and I think about the implications for Israel, Syria, the KSA, Saudi Arabia, Egypt comes to mind, too, the US, of course...

... but no, beyond the fact that Ankara is bitching with us, I don't see much "EU" in all this. meanwhile, you do. and I find it interesting. why? you are allowed to write what you want, aren't you? then do it

I'll give you a leg up: we import oil and natgas. and export goods and services for them

Ghordius's picture

+1 thanks for the link, it's truly a very interesting article. yes, I am familiar with the Treaty of Rapallo, but less so with this "Russia Insider" argumentation around it

peddling-fiction's picture

Whether it is in Rapallo or somewhere else, this is what might be happening behind the scenes.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Erdogan feels the pain, but not for Russian pilots, rather pain for empty hotels in Antalya and unreceived revenue circa tens of billions of USD per annum. Apologozing from the start and paying compensation straight away would certainly be cheaper. Brexit has put in a very a different light prospective and quite elusive EU membership while ruined relations cause very real enormous losses right here right now.

peddling-fiction's picture

Your comment is spot on and your avatar is so very fitting for this apology.

Here is your avatar up close:

BobEore's picture

This total capitulation - on the part of a person who actually deposed his own appointed Prime Minister rather than follow up suggestions from that party for more moderate stances - on the Kurds... the Eu...Russia... as well as Syria,

has a lot to do with the EU. Had the bluff worked - and the 6 billion demanded been delivered by the end of June, Erdie would have never taken this step. Only with the implosion of that gambit - and the Brexit thing just showed how much a major factor immigration policy is in Europe - could he face up to this back down -


as I  said back in March - June would be crunch time. They've extended the Bayram holiday to 9 days now - to get domestic tourism going - it wouldn't even start to make a difference. They've lost 2016 and are on the verge of seeing 2017 go the same way. Their jihadi proxies have had their asses kicked all along the border, and YPG has plugged the exits for the ISIS black traffic which fueled the Ankara budget. It's over.

Russia has no need to give back any favors for this. You can forget about your pipeline and the return to normal. Twist n turn time - Vlad will let him go - every which way but loose!

Blankone's picture

Words are not capitulation.  Sounds more like a negotiation tactic being used agains the EU to get what he wants.  If that does not work then he can just begin funneling increased numbers of refugees into the EU.  His timing is excellent in that the EU wants calm waters with the Brexit and others considering simular votes. 

When he pulls his troops out of Syria and Iraq then you will have some action to show he is backing off.

Pipeline through Turkey?  Only a fool would now pursue this.  It could easily be shut down or used to blackmail Russia (or the EU) by Turkey if it is built.

BobEore's picture

Words are not capitulation.

Depending upon one's cultural context that may be true - or decidedly not so. If you spend some amount of time living in Asia, you will know why the 'may not be true.'

This is a capitulation - truly. Whether it segues into something else - a negotiating tactic or what have you - is another matter altogether. This person would never have taken this step without extreme duress. Russian and Israel double-teamed him, and he never saw it coming or going.

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Yeap he figured any nuclear exchange and Turkey would be ground zero. Secondly, he sees the EU imploding better to side with Russia and China

Harlequin001's picture

We're sorry we shot your pilot, we'll just pump the poor fucker up and everything will be ok.

Life of Illusion's picture



Merkels pipeline support just got Brexit and turk knows better support real power in the region.

xrxs's picture

Does he get Kurdistan as a parting gift?

NidStyles's picture

He should get an eviction notice....

BlindMonkey's picture

"He likely realized the whole EU thing wasn't going to happen"


There might not have been an EU by the time the EU was ready to vote on the matter.


Brexit sure did change things quickly.

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Different color, same spots

Croesus's picture

@ Panic Mode: 


Fuck Erdogan. The Turks are a plague on humanity. Textbook definition of "useless eaters", lead by one of the supreme useless eaters of the world. 

swamp's picture

Putin, watch your back --

BarkingCat's picture

Putin is smart and I am sure he does not trust the goat fucker with delusions of grandeur. 

Ed's Goat Ran is also a liar. They did want to shoot down a Russian plane. They sat there waiting in ambush and shut down a relatively defenseless plane.


Additionally, let's not forget that Turkey is involved in trying to overthrow, via violent means, Russian ally - Syria of Syria.


Turkey is probably hurting financially from their souring relations with Russia.

They lost a lot of Russian tourist business, exports and business opportunities.  Russia kicked out Turkish businessmen.  


Putin should not normalize relations with them. Turkey should consider itself lucky that they did not get their military bases turned into ruble after they shot down that Russia plane (over Syria).


MrBoompi's picture

Yes it's a lie but Erdogan and Putin worked this out beforehand.  A public ass kissing is still nice, even if it doesn't solve much.  Not only is Putin a Trust But Verify kind of guy, he's also a Not Trust But Verify kind of guy.  As long as Turkey is in an alliance of any sort with the US, Russia will not let its guard down.  

Volkodav's picture

Never trust Turkey

Russia know this more than any

Max UK's picture

Indeed, but with allies like the USA, who needs enemies?

Erdogan had an epiphany. He realised that he has no real allies, and no neighbour who does not despise his Turkey. Finding himself embroiled in a regional war, and with secessionist movements on his own soil, implicated as the main ISIS sponsor, bridges burned with Russia, the EU, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran; relations with Greece as sour as usual, he probably had a lightbulb moment, 'If you can't see the sucker at the table, it is you.'

Now the little scorpion has painted a smile on his face, and written what is surely the most overtly disingenuous letter of apology that one could find, but agonisingly humiliating for him nonetheless. The man is of course not to be trustd; that is obvious. But he is also scared. The Hague awaits him, or worse.

Librarian's picture

Erdogan is not what I would consider either well-educated or an experienced politician/leader.

I would place him solidly in the bottom 40% in these categories.

What he is doing is similar to what you see at home when your kid is trying to get a deal.

First mom says No.  Then the kid comes to Dad.  Dad also says No.

The kid then goes back to mom and proudly declares: "Dad didn't tell me that I couldn't do it".

This sort of negotiation technique works well in Hollywood movies where the willing suspension of disbelief is a required condition of purchasing a ticket.  In reality, even Saakashvili is smarter than this and sack-0-willies is dumber than a bag of hammers.

Putin's answer will likely be something along the lines of "drop out of the coalition and we can talk".

Erdogan will then start crying uncrontrollably until the EU sends him another couple of million Euros to take the edge off his butt hurt.

A more likely possibility it that Erodgan is taken out first in a coup.  It could be called "The Brown Revolution".  Then, State will step in to get him a teaching gig in Boston and recycle him over to Ukraine.

It's the Circle of Political Life in these dying days of the empire.

EddieLomax's picture

I'd be disappointed too if Russia accepted the friendship of this treacherous country (although it is true, countries only have interests not friends)

It is a curious coincidence that he comes out with this just after Brexit - is there a link, the EU no longer looking worthwhile or possible without Cameron being there to welcome him, or has the economic bubble been burst by brexit and he's trying to shore up finances.

My guess is on #2, in that case just sit back and let him burn, he's still financing/supplying every Islamic nutter out in Syria (along with his gulf state buddies) and probably now knows that he's going to get a lot of the blowback when the ISIS eventually collapses.  So

  • His EU dreams are likely dead
  • He's pissed off Russia big time
  • The country to the south who he meddled in and fanned their civil war is about to kick the faction of Islamic nutters he supports out
  • A near economic neighbour to the west (Greece) has been an economic basket case for 5+ years
  • The world economy is likely to go into recession (it was going to anyway, but Brexit will speed it along).
  • And to top it all off, if Trump gets in his main ally doesn't like Islam.

I'm going to look forward to watching Turkey dig itself deeper.

slammin_dude's picture

I"m shocked it took this long....muslims are the quickest turncoats in history....

Joe Cool's picture

The Risk Board is always in motion...

peddling-fiction's picture

Realpolitics are in a pivot mode this week.

williambanzai7's picture

How thin the veil of geopolitics ...

Europe is one big clusterfuck. How long until the finger gets pointed at Vichy DC and the global neocon cabalists?

How stupid does one have to be not to be able to connect the geopolitical dots that led to the current state of affairs?

Make fun of Trump. That's the ticket. It's all his fault.

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Looks like Putin just turned one more head in that direction

Ghordius's picture

seriously, I don't get you

the article is about Russia. arguably the "pet enemy" of what you call "Vichy DC and the global neocon cabalists"

it's also about Turkey. arguably a shared friend of both EU countries in nato and the US

then it is also about Israel, a US ally... only. as the KSA... the same. and Qatar.... the same

but yes, "Europe is a big clusterfuck" because... "we made fun of Trump"?

we are perfectly able to connect those dots, WB7. we might differ, though, about what to do about them

I did not insult or make fun of Trump. but if I did, you would resent that. how about Biden? how about... Cheney?

williambanzai7's picture

Go find a safe place to sulk