Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that those buying oil from DAESH are all obvious as he slammed the Russian accusations that Turkey is importing oil from the terrorist organisation.
Erdogan’s comments came after the Russian defence ministry accused the Turkish president and his family of being involved in illegal oil trade with DAESH on Wednesday.
Responding to the claims, Erdogan said "Russia has to prove that Turkey buys oil from DAESH, otherwise this is just slander," while he reiterated that he would step down if Russia proved its claim.
‘’Let me tell you who buys oil from DAESH. One of them is George Haswani who holds both a Russian passport and Syrian citizenship and he is the first man who was engaged in this business," Erdogan said.
Accordingly, the European Union imposed sanctions earlier on the Syrian businessman who said he had bought oil for the Syrian regime from the DAESH terrorist group, which has seized wide areas of the country including its oil-producing regions.
"George Haswani provides support [for] and benefits from the regime through his role as a middleman in deals for the purchase of oil from DAESH by the Syrian regime," the EU said in its official journal without detailing how it reached its conclusion.
Erdogan also said "a famous Russian chess player" had ties to the oil trade with DAESH, referring to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov without openly announcing his name.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is known to be a wealthy Russian businessman and the long-standing president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), was also sanctioned by the US for helping Bashar al Assad's regime to buy oil from DAESH.
The Russian Financial Alliance Bank and two individuals -Mudalal Khuri and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov- who hold shares or manage the bank, were among those who were targeted by US sanction for their role in financial transactions with the Syrian government.
Tension between Turkey and Russia rose after Turkish F-16 fighter jets shot down a Russian SU-24 for violating Turkish air space along the Syrian border, despite repeated warnings.
Since then, Turkish and Russian leaders have been exchanging accusations of helping terrorists in Syria.