On June 27, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the death of the pilot in the downing of the Russian Su-24 plane over the Syria-Turkey border in November 2015. The Kremlin website reported that in his letter, Erdogan said that Russia is Turkey's friend and strategic partner, and that the Turkish authorities do not want to ruin relations between the two countries. Erdogan wrote: "We never had the desire or deliberate intention of shooting down the Russian Federation plane."
The letter went on to say: "[Turkey] undertook much effort at great risk to retrieve the Russian pilot's body from the Syrian opposition and bring it back to Turkey, where pre-burial procedures were carried out in accordance with religious and military procedures. We performed this work at a level worthy of our two countries' relations. I would like once again to express my sympathy and deepest condolences to the family of the Russian pilot who was killed, and I say I'm sorry. I share their grief with all my heart. We look on this Russian pilot's family as we would a Turkish family and we are ready to undertake any initiative that could lessen the pain and severity of the damage caused."
Below is a review of cartoons published in pro-Kremlin media outlets on the subject. The cartoons below underline that Erdogan backed down to Russia, hoping that normalization with Moscow would have positive effects on the economy. They also stress that following Turkey's backing down to Russia, Ukraine will also soon apologize. The only problem, the cartoons point out, is that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko does not know how to write "sorry." The cartoons also accuse Turkey of sponsoring the Islamic State (ISIS).
Erdogan Backs Down And Apologizes To Russia
Vitaly Podvitsky, Sputniknews.com, June 28, 2016.
The cartoon above, on the Russian government-funded news agency Sputniknews.com, was captioned: "He finally did it!... Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan has stubbornly refused to apologize for the downing of the Russian Su-24. But it seems like the president cannot stomach such dire relations with Russia. His apologies came as a bolt from the blue, but there is light in the end of the tunnel."
Vitaly, Vk.com/13studiya, June 27, 2016.
In the cartoon above, a Russian Cossack tells Erdogan: "Why is your tail between your legs? Only yesterday you barked so loud! So loud!"
Vk.com/13studiya, June 27, 2016.
In the cartoon above, Erdogan tries to emerge from the sewage and calls the Kremlin. The answering machine says: "Mr. Erdogan, you have reached the Kremlin. In order to apologize please dial 1, in order to pay compensation please dial 2."
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Vitaly Podvitsky, Ria.ru, June 27, 2016.
In the cartoon above, Erdogan says into the phone: "Hello! Hello! Moscow? Hello?" The graffiti on the broken walls reads: "Perspectives," "Relationships," and "Economy."
Ukrainian President Poroshenko Wants To Apologize To Russia, But Doesn't Know How
Twitter.com/sharzhipero, July 1, 2016.
In the cartoon above, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says to Erdogan: "Hi, listen, did you really extended apologies to Russia?" Erdogan replies, "Yes." Poroshenko says: "What did you say? Ok, what's next? Beg your pardon or bAg your pardon?"
Twitter.com/sharzhipero, July 4, 2016.
In the cartoon above, Poroshenko says to Erdogan: "Hello! Recep..." Erdogan says, "Yes, my dear!" Poroshenko asks: "How do you write it correctly, I'm sorry or I'm sAorry?"
Ukrainian President Poroshenko Does Not Want Erdogan To Apologize
Vitaly Podvitsky, Ria.ru, June 28, 2016.
On June 29, 2016, soon after Erdogan wrote to Putin, Poroshenko stated that Erdogan had not apologized to Russia, but "merely expressed his condolences to the family of the dead pilot." He added: "I believe that the Turkish president's position is absolutely understandable."
Turkey Accused Of Sponsoring Terrorism
Vk.com/13studiya, July 6, 2016.
In the cartoon above, Erdogan says: "You know, I'd love to visit Crimea - to look at the sunset and the seagulls. And for that reason I will conquer the whole world by using ISIS, which I rented."
Vk.com/13studiya, June 29, 2016.
The cartoon above, published following the June 28, 2016 attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport that was blamed on ISIS, shows a dog representing "ISIS" biting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who says, "Disgusting dogs, you feed them, you breed them..."
 Kremlin.ru, June 27, 2016. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6506, Russian Opposition News Portal Ej.ru: As A Result Of Turkey's Apologies, 'Kremlin Propagandists Will Tell Us...We Just Have To Suffer A Little More, And [The West] Will Swallow The Annexation Of Crimea', July 5, 2016.
 Rbth.com, June 29, 2016.