Preliminary note: How to pronounce Erdoğan
In Turkish, the letter ğ is not pronounced and is not supposed to be pronounced. It is used as a signal that the vowel preceding it is just slightly lengthened so that the following vowel does not form a diphthong and the two vowels are distinct and separate (but without a glottal stop between them). So pronounce it erdo-an.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora. The following is the question and the response.
The beginnings of the Putin-Erdoğan relationship (not an alliance) were inauspicious to say the least. The relationship started in November 2015 with Turkey shooting down a Russian jet, which Turkey claimed was flying over Turkish airspace. The shoot-down was very irregular because both Russia and Turkey were supposedly jointly fighting terror in Syria. However, it must be noted that Erdoğan wants Assad ousted, believing at the time — and still — that Assad is a murderer. In other words, he was hewing to the US line of pro-war propaganda. Putin expressed outrage, as anyone would have expected. But no one expected the two leaders to ever hit it off as they have so far.
However, in July 2016, as fate would have it, there was a coup attempt in Turkey for the purpose of ousting Erdoğan. The attempt was blamed on Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the US. Erdoğan and others suspected the US was involved in this coup attempt, and there was a rumour that Putin had alerted him to the attempt while he was on a flight into Turkey, enabling him to avoid landing his plane at the place where the coup plotters were waiting with their long knives so to speak.
Shortly thereafter, Putin showed sympathy with Erdoğan and reportedly informed him of his suspicion that the US was behind the coup.
Under these serendipitous circumstances, the two leaders started up a bit of a friendship, and Putin, in his inimitable way, managed to draw Turkey into a trilateral group, ie, Turkey, Iran and Russia, that would hold regular conferences, or summits, to “find effective solutions for Syria.”
By involving Erdoğan, Putin was showing him trust and giving him an important role that, given Erdoğan’s healthy self-esteem, he could hardly turn down. And Putin has a way of making difficult people feel like they are in charge.
The goal was to pull Erdoğan even further from the US sphere. It is working. But probably the main factor in winning Erdoğan over is Russia’s show of superior power, both military and diplomatic. Erdoğan warms up to power.
Putin and Erdoğan worked out a deal to organize a de-confliction zone in Idlib Province, of which Erdoğan was named a guarantor (the strategy was to give him importance via decision making power, but at the same time, responsibility for his decision). Unfortunately the terrorists in the zone did not conform to the rules. They kept shooting. Where was their sense of terrorist honour? Therefore, as agreed upon between Russia and Turkey, Russia took charge and brought the terrorists under control. What could Erdoğan say? He had agreed to these terms. Of course, if one were cynical, one might say that Putin had this outcome in mind all along.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan is attacking northern Syria, endangering the lives of the Kurds, whom the Western msm and politicians love with all their hearts – after all, the Kurds want to interfere with Syria’s internal integrity. US leaders want that. This hardly endears Turkey to Washington and makes Erdoğan more dependent on Russia and therefore more willing to make compromises with it.
Under these circumstances, Erdoğan decided to fly to Sochi a few days ago to meet with Putin. They agreed to jointly take control of a 30 km wide swath of land up to the Turkish-Syrian border.
As before and as always, Erdoğan is “in charge.”