Following Turkey’s shooting down of Russian jet Tuesday, Turkish President Erdogan says Turkey will not remain silent in the face of border violations
ISTANBUL – No one should expect from Turkey to remain silent in the face of constant violations of its border security and ignorance of its sovereignty, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.
Erdogan made the remarks following Turkey’s downing of a Russian SU-24 warplane that violated Turkish airspace.
The Russian warplane was shot down at the Turkish-Syrian border after repeatedly ignoring warnings that it was violating Turkish airspace.
Addressing the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, the president said: “Turkey does not want to escalate this incident [shooting down a warplane]. Turkey only defended its [border] security and its brothers’ rights.”
Erdogan said that Ankara had conveyed its sensitivity regarding the violations before and did its best on its part to avoid such an incident.
“The only reason that such an incident did not take place before is Turkey’s good faith and its restraint. Turkey is not on the side of tension, crisis and animosity,” he said.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin the event will “bear serious consequences” for Turkish-Russian relations. He also alleged that Russian warplanes had been conducting an operation against Daesh north of Latakia in Syria.
However, the Turkish president rejected the Russian claim of Daesh presence in Latakia and its north, saying that Turkmen, not Daesh lived in this region.