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Leonid Bershidsky

Here's Why Erdogan Is Burying the Hatchet With Putin

Turkey apologized to Russia for a downed warplane so the two could do deals again.
Let's move closer.

Let's move closer.

Photographer: Chris McGrath

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are too alike to remain enemies for long. On Monday, the Kremlin's official website published excerpts from Erdogan's letter to Putin in which the Turkish leader apologizes for the downing of a Russian warplane in November and offers compensation to the dead pilot's family.

There may be economic reasons for the unexpected apology, but the two leaders' ideological closeness -- and their interest in doing deals -- probably also helped end the spat.