Against a backdrop of rising tensions between Turkey and the West, Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey pledged on Tuesday to repair relations after nine months of open antagonism.
Although their meeting in St. Petersburg on Tuesday produced little beyond vows of friendship and cooperation, the symbolism of the two former antagonists coming together for a friendly talk was enough to raise alarms in Western capitals. Besides being a member of the NATO alliance, Turkey is vital to Europe’s efforts to stanch the flow of migrants from Syria and Afghanistan.
Washington and Ankara, long at odds over American support of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, have had a series of problems lately. Anti-Americanism has been on the rise in Turkey, amid accusations that the United States played a role in the failed coup in Turkey and widespread resentment of the White House’s criticism of the resulting crackdown.
Turkish officials have been further infuriated by President Obama’s reluctance to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Mr. Erdogan has accused of leading the coup attempt.