Ankara, November 26, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
Recep Tayyip Erdogan went on the offensive against Vladimir Putin, 48 hours after the shooting down of the russian aircraft by turkish fighter jets. In an interview with CNN he made it clear that he would not apologize and said that “those who violated our airspace should apologize”.
“If this violation took place today we would have done exactly the same”, said the Turkish president in his speech to Turkey’s mayors. Erdogan also answered to the accusations of the Russian president that Ankara supports jihadists.
“Some say that Turkey buys oil from ISIS, those who accuse us must prove what they say. Shame on you. It is clear where we buy our oil and our gas from. The Islamic state is selling oil to Assad. You should tell this to Assad, whom you support”, Erdogan said, raising the tones in the relations with Moscow.
Turkish President responded to other accusation from Putin and stressed that “they accuse us that our government is attempting the Islamization of Turkey. How can they say that. 99% of our population are Muslims. Can I say that the Russian government in Christianizing Russia?”.
In a show of strength, the Turkish army transported 20 battle tanks to “point zero” at the Turkish-Syrian border, with the photographs published in the Turkish media.
However, in contrast to the statements of Erdogan, in the Turkish Foreign Ministry they are trying to reduce tension with Moscow, leaking information that there is the possibility of a Putin-Erdogan meeting next week at the summit on climate change.
The Kremlin has denied this information and said that “there is no such possibility”.
The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet says the pilot of the turkish fighter acted on his own accord and fired the missile against the SU-24, applying the rules of engagement published by Ankara. “The pilot informed the Centre of the Eskisehir Air Base and when there was no command to not shoot down the aircraft, he fired the missile”, says Hürriyet. However, on Tuesday government sources leaked that the order to down the russian fighter was given by Ahmet Davutoglu.
Reportedly, Dmitry Medvedev gave the order for economic sanctions against Turkey. Many trucks are delayed at the borders and there are reports of deliberate delays. Also 60 Turkish businessmen who visited Moscow were deported as they had a tourist visa and not a professional one, as was reported by the Russian authorities. Earlier, however, the Kremlin had ruled out sanctions and the termination of imports from Turkey.
Turkish imports from Moscow reach USD 25 billion, with the largest share being the natural gas. Russia buys mainly vegetables and cars.
Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief to be arrested for publishing photos of trucks loaded with weapons
The editor-in-chief of the daily Cumhuriyet Can Dündar and the correspondent of the newspaper in Ankara Erdem Gul were interrogated and will be tried, after the demand by the prosecution to be arrested, because the newspaper had published documents showing that the trucks of the Turkish secret services in 2014 were carrying weapons to opposition forces in Syria. The Turkish government says the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid. The two journalists are accused “of publication of evidence that threaten state security, publication of confidential documents, as well as for being agents of military elements!”.
On Wednesday, 20 Turkish trucks were attacked by air in Syria, from Russian fighter jets, according to the turkish media.
Turkey says they were carrying humanitarian aid. From the attack seven people were killed and 10 more wounded. The Moscow did not confirm the information of the attack.