Turkish embassy asks Russia stop harassing Turkish citizens

Turkish Embassy in Moscow demands Russian government to end all practices of harassment against its citizens living in country following number of complaints received

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

A Russian security officver stands in front of the Moscow embassy of Turkey

Following downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets on Nov. 24, Turkish citizens living in Russia have been the target of Russian authorities.

Turkish Embassy in Moscow issued a call Saturday for Russian authorities to cease targeting Turkish citizens living in Russia.

According to the statement issued by the embassy, it has been receiving a number of calls from Turkish citizens in various parts of Russia complaining of harassment by Russian authorities.

“After we acquired the necessary details about the incidents, we demanded an explanation from Russian authorities about the complaints and asked them to halt the pressure put on Turkish citizens,” read the statement.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that Russian police officers raided a university dormitory in Saratov, in the early hours of Saturday and checked only the passports of Turkish students. Eyewitnesses also said certain students were detained after passport controls.  

Another Turkish citizen, Cemalettin Yavuz, a research assistant at Trakya University in Turkey's northwestern province of Edirne, was detained by Russian security forces for visa violation on Saturday. According to the statement by the Turkish university, Yavuz had been in Chuvashia Republic of the Russian Federation within the framework of a training program and was detained illegally.   

Yavuz was taken to the court, fined 5,000 rubles ($75) and handed a five-year exclusion order.

At least 26 Turkish businessmen were taken into police custody in Russia's Black Sea city of Krasnodar late Wednesday, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

Five of the group returned to Turkey on Saturday morning.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry asked its citizens early on Saturday to delay non-urgent and non-significant trips to Russia amid strained relations between the two countries.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets on an aerial patrol intercepted an unidentified warplane on Nov.24 within engagement rules when it intruded into Turkish airspace on the Syrian border.

The intruding aircraft was warned about the violation 10 times within five minutes before it was shot down.

The Russian Defense Ministry later announced that one of its SU-24s had been shot down. It crashed in the Syrian region of Bayirbucak, close to Yayladagi district of Turkey's southern Hatay province.

NATO confirmed the accuracy of the information shared by Turkey about the violation.

It was not the first time Russian fighter jets had violated Turkish airspace. In early October also, Russian warplanes had breached Turkish airspace. Russian officials apologized and pledged that no such incident would be repeated. Turkey had previously renewed its warning on engagement rules, including a military response against violations of Turkish airspace.