Prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, explained his country’s rationale behind the downing of an unprotected Russian bomber on Nov. 24. Russia, the officer alleged, is bombing civilians in what it claimed as fight against the ISIS.
“The bombardment which was done during this incident was not against [ISIS]. There is no single [ISIS] in this part of Syria,” Davutoğlu said in a joint press conference held with NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg. “We have been telling to Russian friends that the bombardments against civilians on our borders are creating new waves of refugees, which do not go to Russia or any other country, but coming to Turkey,” the prime minister said.
“Turkey, after bombardments, receives more and more tens of thousands of refugees from Syria. We received the injured people, totally burned,” Davutoğlu said. The prime minister was adamant that Russia violated its airspace, stressing that Turkish-Syria is a national security border for Turkey. Hence, Turkish airspace is Turkish sovereignty.
In the aftermath of Turkey’s downing of the Russia’s bomber, Russian President Vladimir Putin found it insulting that Turkey established contact with NATO rather than contacting Russia. To this, Davutoğlu said, “Our action was a defensive action. And Turkish-Syrian border also is a NATO border. Violation was not only against Turkish border but also against NATO border.” He also stressed that Turkey has warned Russia after three violations of airspace that happened in Ankara, Antalya and in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Mr. Putin was consistent in his claim that Turkey was buying oil from the ISIS and Russia is in possession of intelligence supporting this. He alleged that this is the real reason behind the downing of the Russian jet. He had been saying this a day after the incident, and he said it again during the United Nations climate change summit in Paris.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now challenged Mr. Putin to resign if he cannot prove this claim. “If you allege something you should prove it. You should put your documents on the table if you have any. Let’s see the documents,” the president was quoted as saying by BBC. According to the report, Mr. Erdogan had also vowed for his own resignation if his Russian counterpart can truly proved his allegation.