US Vice President Joe Biden will visit Turkey Wednesday to try to reassure President Erdoğan they still stand together against terrorism – and the coup attempt in July, about which conspiracy theories abound.
Easing tensions between Ankara and Moscow would seem to benefit both Mr. Erdoğan and Mr. Putin. But Turkey also presents a complicating factor to the Kremlin in its dealings with Turkic peoples at home and abroad.
The septuagenarian cleric, living in exile in Pennsylvania, is the inspiration behind a pro-democracy movement in Turkey whose adherents had become increasingly concerned with Erdoğan's authoritarianism.
Weeks before the failed coup, a spontaneous act of student defiance had triggered a protest against alleged efforts by Erdoğan and his Islamist-rooted party to impose pro-government ideology on schools.
Turkey, Egypt, and other favorite vacation spots are out of reach these days for Russians. But the north coast of the Black Sea, spanning from Crimea to Sochi to Abkhazia, offers an affordable alternative.
Turkey is waging a 'hearts and minds' campaign to undermine popular support for the 32-year Kurdish insurgency. But rising violence, including possibly Tuesday's Istanbul bombing, casts doubt on its strategy.