Top of the agenda, as is now always the case when it comes to Russian–Turkish bilateral relations, was the issue of energy. Turkey is Russia’s second-largest European importer of natural gas after Germany, and its importance as a customer has only grown given the political tensions this year with the European Union and the U.S. over Moscow’s power-play in Ukraine. That has led to sanctions and new geopolitical conundrums for Russia. The dramatic fall of the Russian ruble, a consequence of a drop in oil prices, has added to the sense of urgency.
Source: Ishaan Tharoor in the Washington Post, December 2
Erdogan is president and prime minister and effectively foreign minister, chief judge and prosecutor, big city mayor, university rector and father figure. His recently unveiled Ak Saray, or White Palace, had a price tag of $359–659 million, a thousand rooms and more than two million square feet.
Source: Steven Cook in Politico Magazine, November 20