: Reuters: As Turkey's coup strains ties with West, detente with Russia gathers pace

12:58 Aug. 6, 2016

Reuters: As Turkey's coup strains ties with West, detente with Russia gathers pace

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in a conference of the heads of chambers of commerce in Ankara, Turkey, on Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo)

Turkish President Erdogan travels to Russia on Tuesday to meet Putin 

As Turkey's relations with Europe and the United States are strained by the fallout from its failed coup, President Tayyip Erdogan travels to Russia on Tuesday to meet Vladimir Putin in a trip he may hope will give the West pause for thought.

Turkish officials insist Erdogan's visit to St. Petersburg is no sign that the NATO member and European Union membership candidate is turning its back on the West. Rather, they say, it is the next step in a rapprochement with Russia that started weeks before the July 15 attempted putsch.

But the thaw with Moscow, which imposed trade sanctions nine months ago after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border, comes as Ankara's relationship with the West could scarcely be more fractious.

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