Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the inauguration of the Bayzid I Mosque (Yildrim Bayezid) at the Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, on June 23, 2016. / AFP / ADEM ALTAN
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Turkey's president has apologized for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, the Kremlin said Monday, an unexpected move that could open the way for easing a bitter strain in Russia-Turkey ties.Recep Tayyip Erdogan's letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin comes seven months after the incident, which has triggered a slew of Russian sanctions that have dealt a severe blow to the Turkish economy. Erdogan, who often has been compared to Putin because of both leaders' intolerance to dissent and biting criticism of the West, had apparently miscalculated the plane incident's fallout for the Turkish economy.Erdogan has now offered both, according to his letter, excerpts of which were released by the Kremlin.Erdogan's office also said that the Turkish leader called on Putin to restore traditional friendly relations between Turkey and Russia and work together to address regional crises and jointly combat terrorism.
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