Russian response to downed plane is 'malevolent'


-Opposition leader Devlet Bahceli says Turkey has ‘inalienable right’ to defend borders

ANKARA – The head of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Tuesday described Russian actions in the wake of last week’s shooting down of a military jet as “malevolent”.

Since the downing of a Russian warplane for violating Turkey’s airspace near the Syrian border on Nov. 24, Russia has announced a range of sanctions against Turkey.

“The Russian Federation is definitely unjust, definitely malevolent,” Devlet Bahceli told a party meeting in Ankara.

He said it was a “scandal” that Russia has frozen relations with Turkey and demanded an apology for the shooting down of the aircraft despite repeated warnings that it was violating Turkish airspace.

“Turkey has the right to defend its land, maritime and air borders within international law and this is an inalienable right,” Bahceli added.

Among the sanctions imposed by Moscow is the end of visa-free travel and a ban on Turkish food products. Russia has also called on its nationals to boycott Turkey as a tourist destination.