Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan praises Russia for its support following a coup attempt, as he prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after years of tense relations. Ashraf Fahim reports.
A massive show of support for Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan just days ahead of his trip to Russia. After years of icy relations, Erdogan now says he wants to turn a new page with Moscow. Turkey is still reeling from a failed coup and the fallout has put a strain on its relations with its Western allies. Turkey says they were slow to back him up as the coup unfolded, but Erdogan told Russia's TASS news agency he's grateful for the support he received from Russian President Vladimir Putin. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "He told us right away that they were on our side after the coup attempt. I would like to express my gratitude, on behalf of myself and my people, for his support." Erdogan's meeting with Putin is intended to end a period of tense relations over the conflict in Syria, which reached a low point after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border. Now Erdogan is changing his tune. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "Let me say this loud and clear. Russia is the most important actor in bringing peace to Syria. I believe that Russia and Turkey should solve this problem together." Now that Ankrara's relations with Europe and the U.S. are at a low point, Erdogan may be hoping to give the West pause with his tilt towards Moscow.