Turkey, Russia Hold Talks, Ease Tensions Over Syria
Russia and Turkey are taking steps to improve ties and work together in Syria after talks between the Russian and Turkish leaders.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
Putin announced that Russia would begin easing sanctions designed to punish Turkey. The move would include restarting work on energy projects, such as work on Turkey's first nuclear power center and a pipeline from southern Russia to the Black Sea.
Russian officials said trade with Turkey could return to normal by the end of the year.
The Hurriyet Daily News reported that the two sides agreed to set up a direct telephone line between their militaries to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.
Relations strained by downing of Russian bomber
In November, Turkey shot down a Russian jet bomber near its border with Syria. Turkish officials accused the airplane of violating Turkish airspace.
Russia denied the plane had been over Turkey and called the act a planned provocation by supporters of terrorism.
Russian officials answered the Turkish move by ordering economic and diplomatic sanctions on its neighbor. In June, the Turkish president apologized for the incident, and the two sides agreed to hold direct talks.
Russia supports the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has supported groups trying to force him from power.
The two sides have been fighting in Syria for more than five years. The violence has caused more than 2.5 million refugees from Syria to enter Turkey.
Russia increased its involvement in the fighting last year by carrying out bombing raids on Syrian rebel targets.
Cooperation or compromise?
Some observers, however, are questioning how much Turkey and Russia can cooperate. They say the two sides have little common ground in Syria's civil war.
Military expert Alexander Golts says, "I think until now they have no clear decision because it's clear that their interests are colliding in Syria." Golts currently works as a visiting researcher at Uppsula University in Sweden.
However, the talks between the two presidents could be a sign that Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants compromise on the issue of Syria. The meeting also could show Western allies that the Turkish leader has several options available to him.
Ishat Saetov directs the Modern Turkey Studies Center in Moscow. He said Erdogan was surprised by the effect Russian economic actions had on Turkey. The "loss of more than 4 million tourists made quite a blow on the economy," he said.
The coup attempt partly changed relations
Although the two countries disagree about Syria, Russia supported Erdogan after members of Turkey's military attempted to overthrow his government.
The United States and European countries have criticized Turkey's reaction to the failed overthrow attempt. The Turkish government has arrested thousands of people, including many reporters.
Turkey accuses clergyman Fethullah Gulen of plotting the failed coup. Gulen lives in the American state of Pennsylvania. Turkish officials want him extradited to Turkey for trial. The U.S. government has refused to do this without evidence.
Turkey is also in disagreement with Europe over payments for accepting Syrian refugees and other migrants. The government wants the European Union to permit visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.
"Syria is one of the issues that Erdogan may trade upon," said Saetov. He said Erdogan may be willing to negotiate on the issue.
Yet Turkish officials say Assad must leave office eventually and that Russia will not take the place of its western allies.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.work together ph.合作；共事
We work together in harness for the president.
2.nuclear power ph.核动力
They are planning a new nuclear power plant.
3.leave office ph.卸任；下台
They told me Mr.Smith would leave office in one month.
4.shot down n.击落
The enemy was shot down by our anti-aircraft fire.
1.The Hurriyet Daily News reported that the two sides agreed to set up a direct telephone line between their militaries to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.
set up 建立
They set up many branches throughout the country.
He set up a new opinion regarding the project.
2.Russia and Turkey are taking steps to improve ties and work together in Syria after talks between the Russian and Turkish leaders.
taking steps to 采取措施
The government is taking steps to control the air pollution.
The government is taking steps to control the rising crime rate.
政府正采取措施, 控制不断上升的犯罪率 。
普京宣布，俄罗斯将减轻针对土耳其的制裁 。具体包括恢复能源项目工作，如修建土耳其的首座核电站及一条从俄罗斯南部通往黑海的石油管道 。
去年11月，土耳其在与叙利亚的边境处击落了一架俄罗斯喷气式轰炸机 。土耳其政府称该飞机入侵土耳其领空 。
俄罗斯政府以经济和外交制裁作为回应 。今年6月份，土耳其总统为此次事件道歉，同时双方同意举行直接会谈 。
双方在叙利亚问题上的明争暗斗长达5年 。暴力冲突致250多万叙利亚难民涌入土耳其 。
然而，观察人士纷纷对土耳其和俄罗斯的合作程度表示怀疑 。他们称，双方在叙利亚内战上很难达到共识 。
军事专家亚历山大·戈尔茨（Alexander Golts）表示，“目前为止，他们尚没有明确结论，很明显，他们在叙利亚问题上存在利益冲突 。”戈尔茨现为瑞典乌普萨拉大学的客座研究员 。
然而，此番会谈透露出埃尔多安在叙利亚问题上让步的迹象 。这次会谈还向西方盟国表明，土耳其总统是有多种选择的 。
Ishat Saetov是莫斯科市土耳其现代研究中心的负责人 。他表示，俄罗斯对土耳其实施经济制裁的影响让埃尔多安倍感惊讶 。“四百多万俄罗斯游客的流失对土耳其经济来说是非常大的冲击 。”
美国和欧洲国家指责土耳其政府处理政变危机的做法 。土耳其政府逮捕了上千人，其中包括多名记者 。
土耳其指控策划此次未遂政变的法图拉·葛兰（Fethullah Gulen）牧师 。葛兰现居于美国宾夕法尼亚州 。土耳其政府希望将他引渡回土耳其受审 。但美国政府以缺乏确切证据为由回绝 。
土耳其在接收叙利亚难民及其他难民费用支付方面与欧盟也存在分歧 。土耳其政府希望欧盟对土耳其公民免签 。
Saetov表示，“叙利亚问题是埃尔多安用来谈判的砝码之一 。”他说，埃尔多安可能愿意在此问题上进行谈判 。