The Flames of Hatred Reignited

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The Flames of Hatred Reignited

Michael Wandel, Staff Writer

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On November 24th, 2015, a Russian jet was shot down flying near the Turkish-Syrian border by Turkish jets. The pilot and copilot of the jet ejected, but the main pilot died after ejecting from the jet. His copilot was found by Syrian rebels and then returned to Russian custody. As a result of this, the Russian and Turkish governments have been engaged in heated arguments – both have claimed that the other was in the wrong. Russian president Vladimir Putin claims that the Russian jet only flew over Turkish airspace for a moment while Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claims that the Russian jet flew directly into Turkish airspace.  This event could be the reason that Vladimir Putin has brought in new anti-air missile launchers near the Turkish border. This tentative event between Turkey and Russia can be traced back to hundreds of years of conflict between Russia and Turkey, the latter being part of the Ottoman Empire long ago.

The Russian and Ottoman Empires fought each other in countless wars over domination of the Balkans and Black Sea. The wars fought between the two mighty empires were brutal and countless lives were lost in these various conflicts. Eventually, as history has showed time and time again, both empires eventually collapsed under the weight of their own corruption and decadence, but the hostility between the two nations never ended. During the Cold War, Turkey was important to NATO for its strategic position and many nuclear warheads were placed in Turkey, further straining its relations with the nearby Soviet Union. Now in today’s world relations between Russia and Turkey seem to be the same as ever with this downing of a Russian jet and killing of a Russian pilot. Heated negotiations will continue and who knows if other major nearby nations such as Iran will come into the mix. Only time will tell what happens next.

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