Erdogan vows to no response against Russian sanctions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says not to make reprisals on Russia’s “emotional” sanctions following Russian warplane being shot down because of violating Turkish air space

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Wednesday that Turkey would not carry out any retaliatory action against Russia's "emotional" sanctions after a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkish F-16 jet for violating Turkish airspace.

"(Russia) is our strategic partner, we will continue to provide them with products including food," Erdogan said.

Erdogan stated that the attitude of the Russians were not in line with "state dignity".

"Turkey in this regard retains its nobility. We are not using the same language as them... We are expecting them to change their language," he said and accused Moscow of evaluating the incident in an "emotional" way.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree officially enforcing economic sanctions against Turkey.

Citing the reasons for the sanctions as being to protect Russians "from criminal and other illegal activities" on the Kremlin’s website, the decree puts a ban on charter flights leaving Russia for Turkey, prohibits Turkish tourism sales, forbids certain Turkish imports and limits the economic activity of Turkish companies and individuals in Russia.

The sanctions involve the end of visa-free travel after January 1 for Turkish citizens.

Erdogan indicated Turkey would not retaliate against Russian citizens living in Turkey in response to Russian actions against Turks in Russia.

"Reciprocity is something that must be done within the limits of the law."

Turkey buys half of its natural gas from Russia. But Erdogan remarked that it would be no trouble if Russia cut Turkey's gas valves as a sanction.

"We have not lived with natural gas all our lives... this nation is accustomed to hardship," he said.

Erdogan also stressed that in the past Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the Turkish president's "courage".

"He (Putin) has (said) many words about me as an honest head of state."

Relations between the two countries soured November 24. when a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24 jet which was bombing Syrian opposition forces in Latakia, near the Turkish province of Hatay, after it failed to heed 10 warnings that were given in five minutes.

According to the Turkish authorities, the plane had violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds before being shot down, but Russia denied the jet ever left Syrian airspace.

The incident marked the worst confrontation between Russia and a NATO-member since the end of the Cold War.

On September 30, Russia began its aerial campaign over Syria. Moscow said it would be targeting positions held by DAESH terrorists, but reports indicated that the majority of Russian air strikes have targeted Syrian opposition fighting against Assad who is a strong ally of Russia.

TRTWorld and agencies