Turkey won’t apologize to Russia over warplane downing

Turkish and Russian military officers, rear, salute as a Turkish honour guard carry the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov into a Russian Air Force transport plane at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (Turkish Military, via AP)

Turkish and Russian military officers, rear, salute as a Turkish honour guard carry the coffin of Russian pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov into a Russian Air Force transport plane at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (Turkish Military, via AP)

BRUSSELS — Turkey won’t apologize to Russia for shooting down a warplane operating over Syria, the Turkish prime minister said Monday, stressing that the military was doing its job defending the country’s airspace.

Ahmet Davutoglu also said Turkey hopes Moscow will reconsider economic sanctions announced against Turkish interests following last week’s incident. The Turkish resort town of Antalya is “like a second home” to many Russian holidaymakers, he said, but refused to yield on Turkish security.

“No Turkish prime minister or president will apologize … because of doing our duty,” Davutoglu told reporters after meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.

“Protection of Turkish airspace, Turkish borders is a national duty, and our army did their job to protect this airspace. But if the Russian side wants to talk, and wants to prevent any future unintentional events like this, we are ready to talk.”

Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian warplane on Nov. 24, sparking Cold War-style tensions between Russia and NATO, of which Turkey is a member. One of the Russian pilots was killed, while a second was rescued.

On Monday, the body of Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, the Russian pilot, was flown back to Russia following a military ceremony in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Turkey’s military said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the international climate talks in Paris, on Monday said “we have every reason to believe” that the plane was shot down to protect what he described as Turkish profiteering from illegal imports of oil produced by Islamic State rebels in Syria.

The Russian air force said Monday that its Su-34 fighter bombers in Syria were now armed with air-to-air missiles for defense. Air force spokesman Col. Igor Klimov said the missiles have a range of about 60 kilometers (35 miles), Russian news agencies reported.

Russia began airstrikes in Syria on Sept. 30 that it says are focused on IS fighters. But some observers say Russia is targeting other rebel groups to bolster the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russia insists that the plane that was shot down didn’t intrude on Turkish airspace.

Douglas Lute, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said he saw American data which “corroborates Turkey’s version of events. So the airplane was in Turkey, it was engaged in Turkey.”

Putin on Saturday called for sanctions against Turkey including bans on some Turkish goods and extensions on work contracts for Turks working in Russia. The measures also call for ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.

RussiaTurkeyWorld

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read