Turkey "won't apologize for downing jet, would do it again"

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country "will react every time in cases of violations of its airspace" as it did when a Russian warplane was shot down.

Source: B92, Tanjug
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"If today there is another violation of the airspace of Turkey, we are ready to respond in the same way," the Turkish president said on Thursday.

As he said, the shooting down of the Russian plane on Tuesday was "automatic response in accordance with applicable orders issued to the Turkish army." He then described Kremlin's reaction to the incident as "emotional" and "unworthy of politicians."

"They say that Turkey is buying oil from Islamic State. Everyone knows where we buy energy - mostly from Russia, then Iran, Azerbaijan and Iraq. Provide evidence that we are buying from IS, let those who accuse us prove it. If you are looking for sources of financing of Islamic State, look first to the Assad regime," Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey will continue to support "moderate rebels" in Syria.

Erdogan said that the incident had "alarmed Ankara, as well."

Also on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked that Turkey was yet to apologize for downing the Su-24 bomber - or offered compensation, or guarantees that "those responsible for the crime" will be punished.

The pilot who ejected after the plane was hit was killed by "Turkmen rebels" as he was parachuting, while his navigator was rescued. Russia maintains that the plane was hit and crashed inside Syrian territory, while Turkey claims that it had violated its airspace.

The Russian president today stated that, in his opinion, Turkey was "intentionally trying worsen relations between Moscow and Ankara."

"One gets the impression that the Turkish leadership is deliberately steering the Russian-Turkish relations into the dead end, this is regrettable," Putin said, and according to TASS, added:

"What happened two days ago in the sky over Syria runs counter to common sense and international law: the aircraft was shot down over Syrian territory.
We see as absolutely unexplainable the treacherous stabs in the back from those we had seen as our partners and allies in the anti-terrorist struggle."

Speaking on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavasoglu said that his country would not apologize to Russia for shooting down its plane, as its considers its action justified.

He noted that Turkey "expressed its regret" yesterday over the incident, and that this took place during his telephone conversation with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, AFP reported.

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World Friday, November 27, 2015 14:24 Comments: 21
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