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A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M Fencer Bomber near the Syria–Turkey border on 24 November 2015.

There was the immediate and as expected angry reaction from the Russians and apology from Turkey. This is highlighted in the Wikipedia article referenced. My question is did shooting down the plane change the dynamic between Russia and Turkey in any way or did relations just return to business as usual afterwards?

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3 Answers 3

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Turkey and Russia may not see eye-to-eye on everything, such as Turkey effectively freezing the Syrian war, by occupying northern Syria to continue their fight against the Kurds, whom they consider terrorists, and transiting stolen Syrian oil. Or Turkey supplying Bayraktars to Ukraine, or Turkey supporting Azerbaijan...

On the other hand, there are some issues, where they can come to agreement. Trade between Russia and Turkey is quite abundant - a large amount of Turkish clothes, fruits, vegetables are imported by Russia. Russian tourists often chose Turkey as their destination for vacation.

Hard to admit, but this is arguably what a healthy geopolitical relationship should look like: bargaining and compromises, combining mutual interests, with the individual interests of one's own country, but no unilateral bullying, decision making, ultimatums, threats and blackmail.

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The shooting event affected relations very strongly.

Even "What if the Russian stop the natural gas flow?" is asked in broadly Turkey. Some Turkish students are arrested in Russia with no reason. Import from Turkey for most products are forbidden in Russia. And touristic organizations are banned to make holiday trips to Turkey.

But after 15 July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey it was necessary to be closer to Russia for Turkey because Turkey knew that the coup is made by FETO (Fetullah Gulen's organization) and Fetullah Gulen lives in US and US doesn't want to give Fetullah Gulen to Turkey. For Turkey it's like a country doesn't give Usame bin Laden and not acceptable. In short, counter-US politics forced Turkey to get closer Russia. And Russia thought that "if I can grab Turkey from NATO it is very good for me". Turkey needed Russia for Syrian issue too.

For these reasons both countries act like they have no problem with each other.

Added references in Turkish:

The title translated: "The biggest trum card of the Russia is natural gas" http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/rusyanin-en-buyuk-kozu-dogalgaz-40018314

This one is about Turkish students detained in Russia: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/rusyada-yurda-baskin-yapip-turk-ogrencileri-gozaltina-aldilar-40020136

This one is about import-ban which includes tomato, onion, cucumber, strawberry, orange, chicken, torism tours, http://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler/2015/12/151201_rusya_yaptirim_liste

And after all those things why Turkey and Russia became ally again in 1 year? The answer can't have a "clue" because this is politics.

I can't demonstrate what Putin or Erdogan are planning to you but I've strong impression like what explained above.

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  • Have you got any credible sources for this information? if so, please add them to the answer. Feb 21, 2017 at 12:09
  • For now I've no time but I'll try to add. But my sources are mainly in Turkish. And I've sumed up a lot of things. Maybe we should divide this answer into different questions/answers? Feb 21, 2017 at 12:18
  • Considering that the question asks about Turkey, it's fine for citations to be in Turkish (or Russian). If you quote them, please provide a translation. For example, you quote, "What if the Russian stop the natural gas flow?" If you linked to a source that said that, you could quote in Turkish and then say, translated that's "What if the Russian stop the natural gas flow?"
    – Brythan
    Feb 21, 2017 at 17:01
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    @ismailyavuz I wouldn't trust a Turkish source much anyway. Since the Turkish government declared state of emergency, any media in Turkey is heavily censored. But your whole line of reasoning doesn't make much sense. The question is about a Russian plane which got shot down by a Turkish plane. But all arguments (except the NATO argument) you make regarding improvement of turkish-russian relations are regarding benefits for Turkey. The real question is what benefits Russia has from overlooking that incident.
    – Philipp
    Feb 21, 2017 at 17:27
  • @Philipp there are some things which are not subjective like what I've added as references. My answer includes what benefits Russia too. Please read carefully. BTW, I don't agree with you about the censored media. I wish you could read the opposition's media in Turkish to see how they are free to say a lot of things.. In short they say to Erdogan "murderer", "rapist", "thief", "traitor" everyday.. No one is detained in Turkey because of just being journalist or something. This is a long story and here is not the place to argue about it. Feb 22, 2017 at 9:35
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This is an old question, but I will say how it looked like from inside Russia over these few years.

First, Russia imposed some economic sanctions.

Second, Russia* bombed some turkish military pilots at a military base.

Third, Russia** shot down one turkish military helicopter.

Fourth, Russia saved*** Erdogan from being overthrown, got their due reparations and considered itself pretty much satisfied...

  • by the resulting amount of active pro-US forces in Turkey
  • by the resulting relations between Turkey and US
  • in general

So now it's back to business as normal, maybe even a bit more so.

I am not sure this is how it happened, but this is sure how it looked like.

*Well, no, but you get the idea.
**Well, no again, but are you with me?
***Really?

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    With all the disinfo being pumped into this site lately I almost DV. Sarcasm doesn't do to well here though, and this barely answers the Q beyond the initial sanctions.
    – Fizz
    Aug 30, 2022 at 15:35
  • @PoloHoleSet about the edit: that episode was actually car bombing sort of thingy, so no objection to phrase it differently, but It was not "shooting down" as no warplanes were involved. Aug 30, 2022 at 19:31
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    1) not a word about sanctions. 2) Where did you get that Russia hit the pilots? 3) Specifically states "Kurdish fighters shot down Turkish helicopter"
    – MishaP
    Aug 31, 2022 at 11:13
  • @MishaP 1) word 26 is "sanctions", 2) mediasphere, 3) yeah, them again. Did you read the footnotes? These are two kurdish "terror" attacks covered by russian media, like, ever, counding both before and after, for years. Of course I have no proofs, I would not talk to you if I had the proofs, and no objections to anyone's beliefs in happy coincidences. Aug 31, 2022 at 12:38

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