Turkey won't apologise to Russia over downing of jet: Davutoglu

Published November 30, 2015
Davutoglu told reporters Monday that "no Turkish prime minister or president will apologise ... because of doing our duty." — AFP/File
Davutoglu told reporters Monday that "no Turkish prime minister or president will apologise ... because of doing our duty." — AFP/File

BRUSSELS: Turkey's Prime Minister says his country won't apologise to Russia for shooting down a warplane operating over Syria that crossed through Turkish airspace.

Ahmet Davutoglu also said Turkey also hopes that Moscow will reconsider economic sanctions it announced against Turkish interests in the wake of last week's incident.

Read: Turkish F-16s shoot down Russian warplane near Syrian border

Davutoglu told reporters Monday that "no Turkish prime minister or president will apologise ... because of doing our duty."

He spoke after a meeting with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) chief in Brussels and said Turkey remains open to talks with Russia about ways to avoid such incidents in the future.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser has said the Russian leader hadn't taken calls from Turkey's president because there has been no Turkish apology.

Russia insists the plane did not intrude on Turkish airspace.

Turkey confirmed that it shot down a Russian warplane, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Russia denied that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish skies. Russia said the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey claimed that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it ignored several warnings.

The incident is one of the most serious clashes between a Nato member country and Russia to have taken place for half a century.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced regret over Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane, saying his country was “truly saddened” by the incident and wished it hadn’t occurred.

Meanwhile, Erdogan had also said his country did not wish to escalate tensions with Russia over the downing of the plane.

Erdogan however defended his country's move to shoot down the plane saying “no one should expect Turkey to stay silent to border violations or the violation of its rights.”

Meanwhile Russia has already warned its nationals against visiting Turkey and stepped up controls of Turkish agricultural imports in the wake of the incident.

And Russia’s leaders have had harsh words for Ankara, with President Vladimir Putin deeming the plane’s downing a “stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorists”.

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