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Putin gifts Erdoğan with documentary about Turkish president’s life

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gifted his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with a documentary about Erdoğan’s life, during talks between the two presidents in the coastal city of Sochi, Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT reported.

The documentary, directed by Mikhail Gusman, is about Erdoğan’s life and political career, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s state news agency TASS on Monday.

Gusman, the first deputy director general of TASS, produced a film about Erdoğan in June as part of the “Formula of Power” series.

The 25-minute film contains fragments of four conversations between Erdoğan and Gusman and focuses on Erdoğan’s childhood and his school and college years.

In the film Erdoğan said he began to get involved in politics when he was about 17, working in youth, district and regional organizations as well as on party committees. He later became mayor of İstanbul.

The film pays special attention to Erdoğan’s private life, the story of how he met his wife, his attitude toward religion and his love of soccer.

Putin has collaborated closely with Erdoğan on key international issues despite some disagreements.

NATO member Turkey opposes Western sanctions on Russia due to its war on Ukraine and has close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors. It also condemned Russia’s invasion and has sold combat drones to Ukraine as part of its diplomatic balancing act.

Critics accuse President Erdoğan of establishing one-man rule and silencing dissent. The president and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been the subjects of harsh criticism in Turkey and the international community due to gross human rights violations taking place in the country, especially after a failed coup on July 15, 2016.

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