Kremlin: Erdogan has apologized to Putin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered his apologies to his Russian counterpart for the death of the pilot of a Russian plane downed by Turkey.

Source: B92
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A file photo of Erdogan and Putin (Getty Images)
A file photo of Erdogan and Putin (Getty Images)

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has received a message from Turkey’s President Erdogan where the Turkish leader expressed his readiness to settle the situation over the downing of the Russian warplane," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to TASS.

"In his message, the Turkish head of state offered his condolences to the family of the Russian pilot and said, ‘I am sorry’," he said, adding that the message also stated an investigation was underway "against a Turkish citizen associated with death of Russian pilot."

Relations became strained between Russia and Turkey, close allies up to that point, after a Russian Su-24 bomber was downed on the border between Syria and Turkey.

Moscow said that Ankara, while shooting down the aircraft, carried out an illegal action in the Syrian territory, while Ankara said the plane had violated its airspace, and that this reaction would be repeated under similar circumstances in the future.

A war of statements ensued, during which Russia persistently accused Ankara of cooperating with Islamic State and helping the Jihadis smuggle oil, while Turkey denied this, and protested over Russia's military campaign in Syria.

Russia imposed sanctions on Turkey after the incident that also dealt a blow to Turkey's tourism sector.

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