Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey will not apologise to Russia for downing its warplane as the Russian aircraft violated international engagement rules by entering Turkey’s airspace despite being warned several times.
Erdogan said ‘’Our air forces did their duty in line with the rules; otherwise Turkey has no reason to deliberately target Russia which we have strong relations.’’
Erdogan also reminded that the nationality of the aircraft was not known before it was hit and similar violations were made in Turkey’s airspace earlier.
He added that Turkey would have to give the same reaction if the same violation were carried out today.
‘’We have a strategic partnership with Russia and our relationship requires solidarity, not threats,’’ Erdogan said.
He also added that "we are sad to be faced with such an incident, as well as with other similar issues in Syria."
Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 fighter jet on Tuesday along the Syrian border after it entered Turkish airspace over the southern border province of Hatay for a total of 17 seconds, despite being warned 10 times in five minutes before being downed.
Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) released the radar footage of the incident which indicated the downed warplane violated the Turkish airspace over the country’s Hatay province near its Syrian border.
Turkish Army also released audio recordings of warnings that were given to the Russian pilot before the jet was shot down.
However, Russia had denied its plane entered Turkish airspace and that a warning was issued to the pilot.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a “stab in the back” and warned Turkey of "serious consequences."
Erdogan says DAESH sells oil to Syrian regime
Erdogan also touched on DAESH terrorist organisation, saying that it sells oil to the Assad regime which should be the first place to look to determine who is arming and financing DAESH.
US Treasury Department on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Syrian businessman, George Haswani, who the department said "serves as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime" from DAESH.
Erdogan said ‘’Turkey is the only country that sincerely fights against DAESH’’ and added ‘’I would like to deal with the DAESH issue today to clearly show the motives of the ones who are aiming to design Syria.’’
‘’There is no DAESH forces present in Latakia and in the northern of Latakia where Turkmens live. Despite this fact, the bombardments target these regions, killing more than 300 Turkmens just in one and half month,’’ he said.
‘’So, those saying that we are fighting against DAESH only target innocent Syrian people,’’ he added.
Erdogan also said that Turkmen people are fleeing to regions in Turkey close to the Syrian border in order to escape the attacks.
Noting that Turkey received the biggest harm from DAESH among all countries, Erdogan said, ‘’We came under terror attacks of DAESH in Ankara, Urfa, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep and Nigde. We lost our 140 citizens and 7 security officials in these attacks and since 2011, 3000 DAESH suspects were detained while 800 of them were arrested.’’
‘’However, we determinedly maintained our fight against the terrorist group and we will continue to do so,’’ he said.