Erdogan says Turkey does not want escalation with Russia

Turkish president says the incident showed what kind of consequences careless steps could have


Afp November 25, 2015
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said Turkey did not want any escalation with Russia over its downing of a Russian plane on the Syrian frontier but vowed to always defend Turkish borders.

"We have no intention to escalate this incident. We are just defending our security and the rights of our brothers," Erdogan said in a televised speech in Istanbul.

Putin rages as Turkey shoots down Russian plane

"Turkey has never favoured tensions and crisis, it has and will always favour peace and dialogue," said Erdogan.

But he added: "No one should expect us to remain silent when our border security and our sovereignty are being violated."

Turkey said it shot down the Russian warplane after it repeatedly violated air space above the Turkish border. Moscow however insists that the plane never strayed from Syrian air space.

Erdogan said that the incident early on Tuesday showed "what kind of consequences careless steps could have".

He revealed that two Turkish citizens were wounded by pieces of the Russian plane that fell on the Turkish side of the border.

Turkey shoots down Russian military plane on Syria border

The president dismissed Russian claims that the plane had been on an anti-terror mission against Islamic State (IS) terrorists in northern Syria, saying that the area was populated by Syria's Turkmen minority.

"No one should ever fool themselves: There are no Daesh (IS) elements in the Bayirbucak region where Turkmen live," said Erdogan.

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COMMENTS (15)

Muhammad Altaf | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend Russia will not dare to escalate tension with Turkey they know their armament is no match to superior Turkish military armament. Besides Russia and Iran are not in Syria to destroy IS they are there to support and keep "Butcher of Syria" Assad in power.
Irredenta | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend @syed & syed: The Turkmen in Northwest Syria, adjacent to Turkey are a Turkish irredenta, (meaning: a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another.) Russia, under the pretext of fighting the ISIS is mercilessly bombarding the Turkmen, as Russia supports Syrian claim over Haitay, which joined Turkey. Adjacent to the Turkish province of Haitay, a chunk of territory with a predominant Turkmen population remains in northern-most Syria, near where the planes fell but they were shot over the Turkish territory, adjacent to the Turkish-Syrian border. ““No one,”” said the Turkish Prime Minister, Davutoglu, ““can legitimize attacks on Turkmens in Syria using the pretext of fighting the Islamic State.””
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