Citizens living in Turkey's eastern province of Erzurum have expressed support for the Turkish government's decision not to apologise to Russia over the downed Russian jet, despite rumours of Russia threatinging to cut the natural gas supply to Turkey.
They said that Turkey has the right to defend its soil and borders. Accordingly, there is no need for an apology for the Russian warplane which had violated Turkey’s air space in spite of several warnings, they said.
Furthermore, they said that they would rather take the trouble of burning coal than to apologise to Russia for no reason in the case of Russia not providing natural gas to Turkey.
A citizen from Erzurum said "Why should we apologise? It is Russia who made the violation so they should actually apologise to Turkey. The alternatives for natural gas is not limited to Russian gas. I believe the officials must have taken the necessary precautions.. At worst, we can burn coal. Everything has a solution except for death."
Another Turkish citizen commented on the apology to Russia over the downed jet saying that "It is Turkey whose air space was violated; so obviously Russia is at fault. There is no need for an apology to Russia."
"If you remember the times when Western countries laid an embargo on Russia earlier, only Turkey supported Russia. If Russia looks back at its past, it can realise who is a friend and who is an enemy," he also said.
"What Russia has done to Turkey since past years is all obvious so they are the one to be blamed. Putin says Erdogan backstabbed us however Russia stroke at our heart by bombarding innocent Turkmen children in Syria," said one other person from Erzurum.
Local people of Erzurum also share a common memory with Russia, dating back to the 20th century when Erzurum was invaded for a short time by Russian soldiers during World War I before Russian forces were defeated by public militias defending the city.
Meanwhile, with respect to the economic sanctions which Russia implemented on Turkey over the incident, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that "We discussed all necessary measures for the stability of our economy with our finance minister and we will soon share them publicly."
"If there will be harm in export and import balances or Turkey’s investments in Russian energy sources, the both sides will lose. What we prefer is to hold talks instead of putting embargoes which will result in bilateral harm," he said.
Davutoglu also touched upon Russia’s gas supply to Turkey saying that "I don’t think Russia would cut the supply because there are serious formal agreements between the two countries based on international law."
"However, we should be prepared for the worst scenario and accordingly we are working on alternative solutions," he added.
As to Russia's ban on Turkish imports of vegetables and fruits, Davutoglu said that the exporters should not be worried as there is no shortage of markets in the world for Turkey.
Meanwhile, Davutoglu also emphasised that Turco-Russian relations have a sound basis.
"If Turkish air space had not been violated, such a crisis would not have occurred. Turkey is not the party that initiates an intentional crisis or escalates it," Davutoglu said.
"Turkey made a defensive move to protect its own air space and did not provoke or offend anyone."