NEWSWATCH New York Times: “Discord Between Turkey and Russia Is Fueled by Leaders’ Similarities”

The New York Times considers Turkish-Russian relations in the aftermath of Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military aircraft, in the light of the two nation’s leaders, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Both men are often described as combative, uncompromising, nationalistic and authoritarian. Mr. Putin changed jobs to keep running his country, switching between the post of prime minister and president; Mr. Erdogan has done the same and wants to revamp the Turkish Constitution to give more powers to the presidency.

Both are trying to restore luster to the empires that were lost in World War I — Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire. One is sometimes derisively likened to a czar, and the other a sultan. Both nurse a sense of historical grievance that the West does not fully accept them.

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